Access to 360+ Gardens Across North America: Discover Nature Through The American Horticultural Society

Written by Kali Todd

Budget Travel Guides & Tips

October 30, 2023

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.


Become captivated and inspired by nature with access to a flourishing network of over 360 gardens across North America, including 317 paid gardens with complimentary entry when utilizing an American Horticulture Society (AHS) Reciprocal Admissions Program Membership.

AHS understands the profound impact of gardens and arboretums and aims to foster a love of horticulture and botanical wonders with a can-not-miss membership opportunity starting at only $35 for individuals. Established with the goal of fostering a deeper appreciation for the environment, AHS is a collaborative effort that extends across 48 States, the US Virgin Islands, Canada, and Grand Cayman. 

An AHS Membership provides an opportunity to experience multiple gardens and arboretums for the price of a single membership, making it a cost-effective means of enjoying a multitude of horticultural wonders. Adult admission at participating paid gardens runs up to $25 per person, making the $35 AHS Membership a steal if visiting gardens 2 or more times per year.

The AHS program opens the door to diverse horticultural experiences. From the serene Japanese gardens in the Pacific Northwest to the vibrant desert botanical gardens in the Southwest, members can immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of natural beauty, discovering the unique characteristics of various ecosystems.

Take a look at all of the gardens included in this Program on my map below! A Google Map link is available here.

In green are free gardens that do not require an AHS Membership or Garden Membership to visit but offer discounts and special benefits to cardholders. 

In blue are gardens or arboretums with entry fees, however, with an AHS Membership, admission is free! You can visit any garden in blue as many times as you would like with a valid membership. 

If you are a member of another garden listed on the map, you have reciprocal benefits and also gain free entry to the network of gardens and arboretums. For example, if you are a member of Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, you receive free entry to Harry P Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida, free entry to The Arboretum at Flagstaff in Flagstaff, AZ, and so on.

In red are gardens or arboretums with a 90-mile exclusion enforcement. Meaning, for AHS Members, if your home address is within 90 miles of the location, admission is not free. For those using reciprocal benefits with your specific garden membership, the garden you’re visiting cannot be within 90 miles of the garden you are a member of to receive reciprocal benefits (aka free admission) IF the garden visiting if marked in red on the map. For example, if I have a membership to the New York Botanical Garden (listed on the above map in blue), I do not have reciprocal benefits to visit Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center (listed on the above map in red) because it is only 5 miles away and enforces the 90 mile exclusion. This exclusion is calculated differently by each garden and can either be as the crow flies or driving directions. Please call the garden in question to verify.

Yellow-marked gardens and arboretums are the same as blue-marked except they require a reservation to visit. Admission is free for AHS Members and members of reciprocal gardens and arboretums. You must contact the location before visiting to set up an appointment.

Final Thoughts.

An AHS Reciprocal Admissions Membership is a fantastic opportunity that includes:

  • Free admission and privileges to a network of 361 gardens and arboreta across North America (316 paid gardens, 45 free gardens)
  • Free 1-year subscription to the award-winning magazine, The American Gardener
  • Discounts on educational programs, garden shows, seeds, books, etc
  • Access to members-only gardening resources on the AHS website

The American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Membership is an amazing deal, offering tax-deductible memberships at the following 2023 prices:

National Member (1 membership card) $35
Sustaining Member (2 membership cards) $50
Contributor Member (4 membership cards) $100
International Individual Member (1 membership card, non-US address) $55
International Couple Member (2 membership cards, non-US address) $70

Mutli-member cards do not have to be apart of the same household, however, the primary member will be the only one to receive The American Gardener magazine subscription. If you’re interested in purchasing an AHS membership, visit

What is your favorite reciprocal garden? Comment below!


  1. Christine

    This is so cool! I’d never heard of an AHS membership but it sounds like an awesome resource. And I appreciate you so clearly laying out all of the free botanical garden options as well! This has definitely inspired me to explore more gardens.

  2. bunfuns

    I can’t believe the membership is so inexpensive, thanks for sharing!

  3. Ann

    Love beautiful gardens. They bring me joy to view. I didn’t realize that the price was budget friendly.

  4. Tracy McHugh

    I love your post! I was just at the Sunken Gardens in St. Pete last weekend and we were talking about going to Selby Gardens in Sarasota. Both on your great list.

  5. Laurel

    This is so cool! I would love to explore these gardens.

  6. Merritt

    Adding these to my road-trip bucket list! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Hari

    I love how clearly you’ve laid out the various gardens and this will be helpful for me to explore when I visit North America. Awesome resource!

  8. Saviour

    My first time hearing of the AHS membership but it sounds really cool.


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