OGDEN -- Between Harrison and Monroe boulevards along the Ogden River sits one of the most-treasured places in Ogden.
Ogden Botanical Gardens is home to 11 acres of perennials, annuals and trees just waiting to be admired and shared with the public.
"We strive to educate the public and connect them to the plant world," said manager Dori Jones. "This is a place where people can come and enjoy the different varieties of flowers, trees and shrubs in a garden setting."
The gardens opened 16 years ago. Hundreds of plants provide an ideal setting for weddings, receptions, parties, reunions and photography sessions.
"We probably have about two to three wedding receptions here a week," Jones said. "It's really a beautiful place to have a wedding."
Ogden Botanical Gardens is a nonprofit organization that partners with Ogden City, Weber County and Weber State University. A main goal of the gardens is to educate the public on gardening practices as well as provide a beautiful place to enjoy, Jones said.
"We have three acres that are landscaped with flower beds, trees and shrubs, and we have some natural areas along the river and hillside," Jones said. "We also have an arboretum, which is a variety of trees that grow well in Utah."
Some of the trees in the garden include blue atlas cedar, giant sequoia and Japanese pagoda. A water-wise garden was built three years ago with the help of the Kiwanis Club.
Classes and workshops are held at the gardens, Jones said. Because the gardens have a partnership with Utah Botanical Center in Kaysville, the same classes and workshops are held there as well.
"We teach a variety of classes. Some of them are free and some are taught at a reduced cost," Jones said. "In August we will have a salsa demonstration class at both centers, where we'll be teaching how to make great salsa. We'll also have a salsa showdown between Weber and Davis counties to see who makes the best salsa."
A class called The Secrets to Saving Seeds will be taught in September. In October an apple- and cheese-tasting workshop will be held.
"We are open all year round. The building is only open from March until the end of October, but we always have something fun going on for the public," Jones said. "We have a hotline where people can call in with questions, and a diagnostic clinic where people can bring a sample of their plants in and we will help them figure out any problems."
The garden also has an arboretum memorial where people can adopt a tree that is already growing in the garden and have their loved one's name written on a plaque.
"One big thing we are trying to get going here is an outdoor classroom for children that will allow them to come here and watch demonstrations on ecology, horticulture and all different gardening aspects," Jones said. "We would really like this to be an interactive area for children to come and enjoy."
The garden relies heavily on donations, Jones said. Checks can be made out to The Ogden Botanical Gardens and sent to 1750 Monroe Blvd., Ogden UT 84401.
"We also have a great blog if people want to learn more," Jones said. "Just go to ogdenbotanicalgardens.blogspot.com. This is a great place. It's a popular place, and we are always working hard to bring more things for the public to enjoy."