In 2014, Reiman Gardens will boldly go where no garden has gone before, showing the link between space, science fiction and the Gardens. Learn about the sun and stars and all the amazing stories associated with them while enjoying beautiful plants, colorful butterflies, and quirky sculptures only outer space and science fiction could inspire.
Special Theme-Related Displays You Can See During 2014
Alien Invasion :: Garden Inspired Space Alien Sculptures (April 26 through October 19)
Aliens have landed and invaded the Gardens! Dozens of artists, community groups, and other organizations have painted and decorated a collection of more than 20 alien sculptures, paired with six, original, large-scale pieces of extraterrestrial art. Inspired by nature, they’ll be right at home in the Gardens. Take a tour and see how each alien connects to its natural surroundings. See something you like? Many of the sculptures in this show will be for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Gardens. Click here for more information.
Bio-Dome :: Conservatory (April 15 to Mid-November)
Explore the fascinating world of aquaponics–growing plants in water along with fish. Aquaponics creates an elegantly self-contained ecosystem in which fish emit waste that plants absorb as nutrients. In return, the plants purify and oxygenate the water for the fish.
Imagine the kind of planting you might find in a space station or intergalactic outpost that is used to nourish humans far from earth. A huge tank holding approximately 100 gallons of water and dozens of tilapia fish is the centerpiece of this display. It is planted with a variety of edibles, including lettuces, Swiss chard, basil, tomatoes, and even pole green beans, twining up a trellis.
Click here to learn more about aquaponics.
Attack of the ‘B’ Movie Posters :: Garden Room (April to December)
Run, don’t walk to the Garden Room to view illustrations created by Iowa State University students on movie posters that celebrate the low-budget, science fiction movies from the 1950’s. Each poster showcases a yet-to-be filmed sci-fi movie about killer plants, invading insects, or other things!
Maiden Flight :: Butterfly Wing (March through October)
Each day, the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing has dozens of maiden flights during the daily release of butterflies. Just like space travel, there are hundreds of take-offs and landings every day. Learn how butterflies and moths grow from eggs to caterpillars to pupae to flying adults. No need to travel to a galaxy far, far away; this voyage through a butterfly’s life cycle can be seen every day at the Gardens.
Tulips & the Solar System :: Campanile Garden & Herb Garden (Mid-April through Mid-May)
In spring, the tulips and other bulbs will be out of this world! Visit the Gardens and the sun, planets, stars and comets blooming in tulips of yellow, red, white and purple in a pattern inspired by the sun and all the celestial bodies that surround it.
Interstellar Highway :: Stafford Garden (May through October)
A map of the interstellar highway is dotted with stars that guide sci-fi space travelers to their destinations. Learn about Iowa’s unique prairies, speckled with flowers to guide pollinators across the plains to their feeding destinations.
Fruits in Space :: Home Production Garden (May through October)
You don’t have to travel to Alpha Centauri or find yourself lost in space to see several interesting and out-of-this-world fruits and vegetables. See many of the common plants we grow for food with a sci-fi twist. Green bean giants! Purple carrots and potatoes! Square watermelons! You just might be surprised by what you can learn about the foods we eat when you see them growing… in space!
Oddly Familiar Planets :: Herb Garden (May through October)
Science fiction is filled with worlds and environments that are oddly familiar. Forest moons or lava planets, the flora and fauna of these strange worlds is highly specialized to survive and provide food and materials for the organisms that live there. Stop by the Herb Garden to see plants important to humans that are used in food, spices, beauty and medicine. Many of these plants require some specific environmental conditions found only on Earth and a planet in science fiction!
Solar Flair :: Campanile Garden (May through October)
The sun is the source of life on Earth and it starts with plants! The sun’s rays provide the energy needed for plants to photosynthesize and produce food for other organisms to eat. Visit the Campanile Garden to see bright yellow, orange and red flowers which dazzle as we explore the sun’s important role for life on Earth.
Exploration! :: Children’s Garden (May through October)
Humans have always explored the unknown using all five senses to discover the world around us. Whether you are exploring space or your own back yard, it’s easy to find something new in both places. Explore the Children’s Garden and learn about the many plants that stimulate our five senses!
Future Stars :: Trial Garden (June through October)
Every year at Reiman Gardens the staff trial dozens of new plants to find the next best one. Just like the stars of Hollywood or the stars in the sky, some shine brighter than the others. Visit the Trial Gardens to watch and learn about the rising stars of the plant world.
Starlight & Star Bright :: Conservatory (Mid-November through December)
Stars and other celestial bodies have always been an important part of the holiday season. Their light is reminiscent of the glow that is central to the holiday traditions many of us celebrate – from guiding stars to eight days of light to the twinkling strands that cover our homes! Visit the Gardens during the holidays to see a display inspired by the stars and comets that radiate in the night sky.