Members Area

Mill Mountain Wildflower Garden Rejuvenated


January 04, 2022

Mill Mountain GC Partners with the City of Roanoke

Set on a knoll atop of Mill Mountain, Roanoke, Virginia, visitors can find a newly-rejuvenated, award-winning wildflower garden featuring a cascading tiered pond, an educational outdoor classroom, fairy garden, pollinator garden, eastern and western mountain views, and abundant native plants, wildflowers, and trees. The garden is the result of a decades-long partnership between Mill Mountain Garden Club (MMGC) and the city of Roanoke.

In 1971, the club worked to transform two and one-half acres of blighted and neglected land into a wildflower garden and restored natural habitat. After fifty years of constant use, it was clearly time for an upgrade and MMGC members were up to the task. Invasives had hidden garden views and expectations for both accessibility and education about native plants and conservation had changed. A Founders Fund grant, awarded by The Garden Club of America in 1978, made it possible to complete the planting and construct appropriate entrance gates.

More recently, MMGC spearheaded a campaign to raise funds to rejuvenate the wildflower garden. Through 100 percent club participation, community generosity, grants, and awards from multiple partners, including the city of Roanoke, the club succeeded in raising over $200,000 to implement a natural garden design. Asheville, NC landscape designer and Roanoke native, Art Garst’s design includes enhanced trails (one of which is ADA compliant), decorative garden features, impressive stone features, and an infusion of native plants. Introducing more than fifty species of native perennials, shrubs, and trees sets the stage for important conservation and horticultural education. Interactive features such as the fairy garden and the star stump jump took advantage of existing downed tree stumps. Clearing out truckloads of invasives opened vistas that had been hidden for decades. 

The Mill Mountain Wildflower Garden is now more than a garden. It is a classroom on the mountain for visitors of all ages to learn about nature. In recognition, the garden has been awarded the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy A. Victor Thomas Environmental Stewardship Award (2021) and the Common Wealth Award (1988 and 2019) from the Garden Club of Virginia. The wonders of nature, the tranquility of water, and the beauty and usefulness of native species are now available to all.  



See All News