Annuals Gardens


Annuals Gardens Gallery 2023

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Annuals Theme 2023: "Field of Blooms"

To paraphrase James Earl Jones ...

We hope “people will come” to see these floral displays!

For the 2023 season, the DABG annual flowerbeds salute the sport of baseball — as well as Dubuque County’s famous Field of Dreams movie site — with the theme “Field of Blooms.”

Several of the 16 square flowerbeds depict scenes from either the movie (Field of Dreams) or the book (Shoeless Joe). Other gardens are designed around baseball-related sayings by celebrities such as Babe Ruth, Harry Caray, and Charles Schulz’s Snoopy.

The annual gardens, planted in late May, usually take two to three weeks for the flowers to become established and “fill out,” making late June the beginning of their optimum bloom time.

Highlights of this year’s theme include:

  • A miniature porch swing overlooking a botanical baseball diamond
  • The DABG’s very own ghost players heading toward their field
  • “Heaven” mapped in white begonias
  • Every visitor’s favorite team within a garden of MLB pennants
  • Our own Hot Dog Derby racers trotting around a track of flowering Bacopa

For non-baseball-fans, there are still fields of flowers to view. New varieties of seeds being tried out for the first time include:

  • Bunny Tails grass
  • Firmament forget-me-nots
  • Jewels of Opar
  • Chocolate-Mint coleus
  • Scarlet O’Hara morning glory
  • Royal Wedding climbing snapdragon
  • a mixture of strawflowers


For a show of pure color, few plants can measure up to the contribution of annuals in a garden. Annual plants:

  • grow from seed,
  • flower,
  • produce new seeds, and
  • die during a single growing season.

Greenhouse Activities. Volunteers can be found in January in the greenhouse — packets of seed in hand! — ready to start the germination process. During the early months of each calendar year, thousands of annuals gradually fill two greenhouses as volunteers upgrade seedlings into pots ready to be planted in mid-May.

Ideal for providing changing color from year to year in gardens, the Annual Gardens in our Botanical Gardens are easily spotted. As you approach the Visitor Center, you'll come upon a vast area of large and smaller beds bursting with color: the annual beds! As you make your way along the pathways in this area, you may notice that the majority of these beds follow a theme. Each year a different theme is designed and carried out by members of the Green Team. Garden volunteers and Arboretum guests sometimes get into the spirit by suggesting themes for upcoming years.

Our AAS Display Garden. Every year the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens looks forward to receiving sample flower seeds or plugs that have been named All-America Selections based on their garden performance in tests conducted throughout the United States.

During 2023 our AAS Garden will display the following winners* ...

2023 Winners:

  • Blue-by-You Salvia, perennial winner
  • Doubleshot Orange Bicolor Snapdragon, ornamental seed winner
  • Coral Candy Premium Sun Coleus, ornamental seed winner

2022 Winners:

  • Bees Knees petunias, 2022 Gold Medal ornamental winner
  • Concert Bell Sunflower, 2022 winner (planted in a shrub berm)

2020 Winner:

  • Amarillo Gold Rudbeckia, flower winner

*Previous AAS winners are also included in other gardens and marked as such.

WITH APPRECIATION Creation, care, and maintenance of the Annuals Gardens: the Green Team.