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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

September 9, 2005

Reiman Gardens celebrates its 10th

by Dan Kuester

Reiman Gardens celebrates a decade of growth with a "Best Blooming Birthday" celebration Sept. 17-18.

It will kick off with free admission all day Saturday, Sept. 17. Donations will be accepted and all money collected will go to the United Way of Story County. The day includes a barbecue fund raiser and social at 5 p.m. honoring Roy and Bobbi Reiman, who donated money for phase one of the gardens. The barbecue dinner is $35 and open to the public.

"It's always great when Bobbi and Roy Reiman are here. They give a wonderful perspective on why the gardens are so important," said Teresa McLaughlin, director of Reiman Gardens.

The celebration also will feature the Best Blooming Birthday Cake conservatory display, a nine-foot, cake-shaped custom planter filled with thousands of plants including verbena, lobelia, chrysanthemums and grasses. Reiman Gardens' 10-year commemorative book, a pictorial view of the gardens' history, also will be released for sale to the public.

The weekend will continue from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, with a family day, complete with children's games, crafts, jugglers, music and cotton candy. Regular admission will be charged; members are free.

Finished ahead of schedule

The 10-year history of Reiman Gardens is as colorful as the plants that blossom there. What began as a four-acre plot south of Jack Trice Stadium has grown into a 14-acre, world-class botanical garden that includes an award-winning rose garden, a children's garden and the conservatory complex. The complex features the 2,500-square foot Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing that is home to butterflies from six continents, and an indoor conservatory, gift shop and cafe.

Original plans called for the gardens to be complete in 25 years, but it was finished in just seven.

The mission of the gardens continues to evolve, said McLaughlin. "We are getting more involved in education, environmental issues and conservation of native Iowa species," she said. "We will also continue to strengthen our relationships with the academic departments at Iowa State, our peer gardens and other local non-profit organizations."

Cake planter

A nine-foot, cake-shaped custom planter filled with thousands of plants is the centerpiece of the conservatory display this month as part of Reiman Gardens' 10th birthday celebratio. Photo by Bob Elbert.