If you are planning a vacation to Hershey, Pennsylvania this spring, we recommend strolling through the Hershey Gardens and stopping to smell the decadent rose garden. After a winter siesta, the garden will be in full swing by April 6, 2012, full of life, color and love. Its 23 acres of seasonal colors will be a sight for all eyes through the end of October.
The Hershey Gardens were created by Mr. Milton S. Hershey. After receiving a request to sponsor a national rosarium in Washington, DC, yearnings to create something closer to home began to bud within him. Rather than put his efforts into creating a garden away from the city that he built, he invested in a 3 ½ acre rose garden, which opened in 1973. The garden was expanded to a 23-acre botanical garden by 1942, keeping with his ideas of creating beautiful spaces for the people and families who lived in Hershey. The Hershey Gardens remain full of beautiful displays, with seasonal flowers blooming throughout the grounds. Gazebos, benches and resting areas throughout offer spaces to relax while you take it all in.
One attraction of Hershey Gardens in particular, The Butterfly House, offers guests a special treat. The Butterfly House at Hershey Gardens is called home by over 300 varieties of butterflies. Equipped with both nectar plants to feed the butterflies and host plants to support egg-laying and caterpillar feeding, this garden allows visitors to view every stage of a butterfly’s life. A friendly and helpful staff, as well as volunteer “Flight Attendants,” are always present to guide guests through the garden, explaining the different stages of a butterfly’s life.
The Children’s Garden offers plenty of fun for kids visiting Hershey Gardens. Within Hershey Gardens Children’s Garden, there are 30 smaller, themed gardens designed to inspire kids through hands-on learning and whimsical props. Within these mini-gardens, kids can tell time as a human sundial, learn to read a compass in the Rose Compass Court and cruise through giant Hershey Kisses in the Chocolate Tropics. Unusual, yet vibrantly colored flowers and plants keep eyes moving from one section to the next, keeping visitors engaged and ready for what’s next.
Other specialty gardens of Hershey Gardens include a Memorial Garden, with red, white and blue flowers; the Perennial Garden, full of daffodils, black-eyed susans and joe-pye weed in the summer; the Herb Garden; the Arboretum, with Persian parrotia, hemlocks and bald cypress; a Japanese Garden that includes sequoias and redwoods; and an Oak Grove, full of acorns.
Each area of Hershey Gardens offers something different for its guests, and should be visited before you leave. From April to May, daffodils, magnolias, flowering cherries, crabapples, azaleas, dogwoods, flowering plums and over 30,000 vivid tulips will welcome you through the pathways. And from June through August, rhododendrons, azaleas peonies, annals, perennials, herbs and shrubs will be displaying their beauty. Everything is in bloom throughout the spring and summer, making Hershey Gardens a lovely visit.
The Hershey Gardens are just across the street from The Hotel Hershey, on Hotel Road – a short drive from the resort, The Suites at Hershey. It’s a great way to spend a day. Pack a picnic and explore the various blooms and vines. Make sure you check out the Children’s Garden—it is beautiful and fun for all ages. Take a peek inside the Gift Shop and pick up a memento. Or, just stroll through the gardens enjoying the fragrances created by the many blossoming flowers.