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Vander Veer Botanical Park


Vander Veer Botanical Park 

Since its establishment in 1885, gardens and floral displays have been a tradition at this beautiful 33 acre park, inviting visitors to stroll from the Conservatory to the Stone Fountain. The park grounds are home to an extensive collection of gardens and trees, including many planted during the early 1890's.

The Conservatory at Vander Veer is located at 215 W Central Park in Davenport. Hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Closed on Monday. 

Park Features:
The Grand Allee, a prominent walkway of trees and gardens leads to the popular Stone Fountain: a fountain of dancing, billowing Grand Allee water and changing lights.  Vander Veer is a popular place for walking, both on the Grand Allee and the outside perimeter. The outside perimeter walkway is busy day and night providing a .9 mile lap for fitness enthusiasts.

The Conservatory is famous for its 100-year tradition of providing gardens under glass. Rotating features on display annually in the Conservatory include: 
- Spring Azalea and flowering bulbs, lily, daisy and fuchsia
- Summer tropicals and foliage
- Fall color includes the Chrysanthemum Festival 
- Winter features the Poinsettia Lights Display

The greenhouses at Vander Veer are open to the public for strolling and enjoying the production side of conservatory display.

The Municipal Rose Garden, established in 1948, is an All-America Rose Selections (AARS) garden.

The Hosta Glade, established. 1998, is an American Hosta Society Official National Display Garden.

The Old World Gardens and Fountain, ca 1900, is a display of carpet beds of the style popular in many European countries, including 19th century Germany are represented at the fountain. The stone fountain is the second fountain built in the park. The first was an iron Victorian fountain that was later removed. The stone fountain dates back to the 1930s and has been renovated in recent years. The fountain runs from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. May through October. The water shoots up at varying heights and colored lights change the color of the water making for some beautiful nights in Vander Veer Park.

The Children's Sculpture Garden, established 1999, is a colorful yet peaceful setting for Amber, Adam, and Cole: Grammy's Flower Children by Ted McElhiney. Look for the giant Praying Mantis, a sculpture donated by Dick Southwick. 

All-America Selections Annual Display Garden - All-America Selections® is a nonprofit organization that tests new varieties and introduces those with superior performances as AAS winners.

Other collections and display gardens include the Shade Gardens and the Daylily Border and Grand Allée Teaching Beds. 

The Lagoon and Playground - The children's playground and lagoon are favorite summer spots. The lagoon is stocked by the IowaVander Veer Lagoon Department of Natural Resources, with catch-and-release fishing. Vending machines provide corn for park visitors to feed the ducks.

Enabling Garden - The Enabling Garden is an accessible garden and features plantings that stimulate all the senses, and includes planting beds and containers raised for comfortable reach. This accessible garden can be used by persons of any age or ability and includes garden elements that appeal to all five senses. The gardens are designed to improve and maintain the physical mental and social health of everyone. 

The Enabling Garden eliminates physical barriers to gardening, creating an area where people of all ages and abilities can garden together. Key features of the Vander Veer Enabling Garden are: accessible paths throughout, garden beds and containers at differing elevations, water feature, pergola, and a riot of color and textures.


Basic Information

Location: Between Brady and Harrison Streets (Highway 61 North and South) just south of West Central Park Avenue in Davenport, Iowa. Several classes and community workshops are held in the Gardener's Grounds Education Center. This facility is located across the street from the Conservatory, just north of the park. 

Hours: The Conservatory and greenhouses are open Tuesdays-Sundays from 10 am-4 pm (closed on Mondays). No admission fee. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The park is open daily from sunrise until one half-hour after sunset. Vehicle entrances are off Central Park Avenue. Admission to the park is free. 

Contact information:

Visitor Information: (563) 328-7275

The Friends of Vander Veer: (563) 323-3298

Mailing address 214 W. Central Park Avenue, Davenport Iowa 52803-1503


Weddings in the Park 

Whether you want the warmth of the sun or floral fragrance, the Rose Garden, Conservatory, or Lilac Garden Gazebo offer the finest of nature's settings for your wedding ceremony. Call the Davenport Parks and Recreation office for available dates, 563-328-7275. 
Fee: $150 for 2 hours for the gardens; $250 for 2 hours for the conservatory.

Rose Garden at Vander Veer Botanical Park Accredited by the All-America Rose Selections, the Rose Garden features 1800 roses representing approximately 145 varieties. You can sit by the fountain or enjoy a stroll through Vander Veer Botanical Park as you observe a wide array of roses in bloom.  It is a popular Quad Cities wedding location!

The City of Davenport and the Davenport Horticultural Society dedicated the Stampe Lilac Garden in 1980 on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Stampe for their efforts in establishing and maintaining this outstanding horticultural area. Beginning in early April, flower enthusiasts can see narcissi, daffodils, crocus, and young blooming lilacs. In mid-April, hyacinths, tulips and crab apples will begin to bloom. Schedule a visit to the garden and experience the colors and fragrances of 30,000 spring bulb blooms.