Yew Dell is an internationally-recognized center of gardening, plants and education, all offered in a stunning site of significant historical importance. Originally the home, gardens and commercial nursery of the late Theodore Klein and his family, Yew Dell now offers the public exceptional display gardens, an ambitious slate of education programs and community events, ongoing garden plant research, hiking trails and event rental opportunities.
Yew Dell is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Preservation Partner Project of the Garden Conservancy, a national non-profit dedicated to saving the nation’s most exceptional gardens.
This year being Yew Dell’s 20 year anniversary, they announced their Castle Gardens Capital Campaign! This project will transform the area surrounding the iconic Yew Dell castle into a stunning collection of new gardens, water features, and educational opportunities – all fully accessible to all visitors. Come be part of this project and support our efforts to spark a passion for plants and gardening through accessible science and inspiring beauty!
Group Tour Info Request
General Admission (on your own): Adults 18+: $9 Seniors 55+ & Children 6-17: $5 Children 5 & under and military (with ID): FREE! Tour guides can be arranged for groups of 10 or more with 2-weeks advanced notice (see website for group pricing). Members are FREE during open hours all year.
As you plan your visit to Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, be sure to check out our “Trip Ideas” for more things to do while you’re here! Next door to Yew Dell, for example, is Kentucky Artisan Distillery, and 3rd Turn Brewing is also on the same small street! You’ll also want to visit our Oldham Foodie & Farm Getaway package!
Yew Dell Gardens is a nationally-recognized center of gardening and sustainable horticulture that offers extensive display gardens, a diverse slate of educational programs, family-oriented community events, ongoing research into new and better garden plants, and a wide range of private event facilities. Be sure to see the unique Yew Dell castle that sits atop the gardens!
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is the former home, garden, and commercial nursery of the late Theodore Klein, an internationally-known nurseryman and plant expert. Starting in 2002 and continuing to today, Klein’s unique collection of rare garden plants, display gardens, and architectural features have been developed into a major horticultural display, education, and research center. Yew Dell is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated one of the top ten destination gardens in the U.S. by Horticulture Magazine.
Yew Dell Hiking Trails – With more than a mile of hiking trails, three ponds and wildlife galore, this is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon… out of the garden! Most of what is now Yew Dell’s natural areas was productive pasture and farm fields during the heyday of the Klein farm and nursery. The ponds were built to provide water for farm animals. What you see today is the result of some 30+ years of regrowth after Klein stopped grazing livestock on the fields. You can still see signs of that past activity in the form of old fences and common fence-row plants such as Eastern Red Cedar.
Castle – Originally built as the Klein family’s pool house, the fieldstone construction carries the same theme as the house and numerous stone walls around the property. The Castle has a small working kitchen and central room that can be rented for meetings, retreats, and special events.
Arboretum – This is a delightful place for a quiet walk among one of the best tree and shrub collections in the region. Extensive collections of Cornus (dogwoods), Fagus (beech), Magnolia, Viburnum, Ilex (holly) and more offer a year round display. Many specimens are mature examples of some varieties that are just coming onto the market so you can see for yourself what they’ll look like in the future.
Greenhouse – The new state-of-the-art greenhouse facility was opened in 2014 to serve as a center for education, plant propagation and production. The facility is powered, heated, and cooled by a solar and geothermal system that, during the summer months, produces excess energy that is sent back to the public energy grid. The north roof is covered with a green roof system containing more than 30 different types of plants. The greenhouse is open to the public.
Garden Gift Shop & Visitor’s Center in the Tobacco Barn – The Visitor’s Center is housed in a repurposed tobacco barn. One of the original Klein farm buildings, the tobacco barn was used to dry tobacco for a number of years. It was also used for various other farm purposes such as equipment storage. In 2005 the barn was completely refurbished and in 2010 it was rechristened as the Yew Dell Visitor’s Center with the addition of the Gift Shop. This project won architectural awards!
The Gardens at Yew Dell offer a delightful place to spend a day, an excellent place to learn about new plants and provide an opportunity to check out design details for your own garden. The gardens range from formal to informal and contain everything from trees to shrubs, annuals and perennials and everything else you can imagine. And while variety is the consistent theme, the one thing you can always count on is that there is always something blooming at Yew Dell – 12 months of the year. You won’t want to miss the Walled Garden!
One such garden is the Secret Garden. Flanked by the gorgeous Holly Allee, the Klein-designed Secret Garden is a place for display and testing of everything from dwarf conifers to peonies. Through the hard work and generosity of the Louisville Rambler Garden Club and Oldham County Master Gardeners and support from the Principal Financial Group, this garden has experienced a rebirth as a display of more than 70 winter/spring-blooming Helleborus species and varieties (lenten rose), cold hardy camellias (fall and winter blooming) over 100 hardy ferns and numerous species and cultivars of Asarum (hardy gingers). Other companion plants in the garden include a sampling of hostas, the white-leafed Liriope ‘Okina’ and the majestic Cardiocrinum giganteum with massive white lily-like summer flowers held some 8-9 feet above the ground.
The original buildings that still grace Yew Dell’s grounds were created by Theodore Klein between the early 1940s and 1980s and have been painstakingly brought back to shining condition. Added to this unique collection are the stunning new architectural projects that were added to the property since the inception of Yew Dell Botanical Gardens. These projects emerged from a partnership between Yew Dell staff, board members and the Louisville architectural firm of deLeon and Primmer Architecture Workshop. Garnering top design honors from the Kentucky chapter of the American Institute of Architects and recognition from near and far, they continue Yew Dell’s long-standing tradition of outstanding design.
Classes & Events are held throughout the year! From our Hummingbird & Bee Festival to our Kids’ Backpacktivies, there’s always something cool happening at Yew Dell. Various workshops teach how to prune trees and shrubs, but they also offer “how-to” workshops for those do-it-yourself crafters! Check out their calendar!
Event Lawn – The former shade structure for the Klein Nursery, this area now offers a large open lawn for events flanked on one side by the Holly Allee and the other by a formal planting of annual color. From spring bulbs to summer perennials, this is always a show place to enjoy.