A number of themed gardens make up the landscape of Hilltop, each designed to serve a purpose. Many of Hilltop’s gardens are places for hands-on learning for youth programming, including the Family Garden and Junior Master Garden, where children have the opportunity to learn through planting, maintaining, and harvesting from their own garden plots.
The ornamental display gardens, including the Shade Garden and Libby’s Border, provide inspiration for home gardeners and encourage appreciation of beauty and aesthetics.
The Pollinator Garden and Bee Garden supply pollen and nectar, present home gardeners with ideas for incorporating pollinator friendly plants at home, and facilitate a space for youth to get a close up look at bees, butterflies, and other insect visitors.
In the Tea Garden and Herb Garden visitors of all ages can learn about using plants to add flavor to dishes or drinks, and even harvest a bit to take home.
The Shakespeare Garden allows visitors the opportunity to make connections between literature and plants, and links Hilltop to the dozens of universities and botanic gardens throughout the world who also have a Shakespeare Garden.
The Campus Garden is a place that brings together Indiana University faculty, staff, and students to work in the soil, allowing the opportunity for connection through a shared interest in gardening.
The Color Field, where plants are grown for natural dying, embodies the connection between plants, art, and science.
The Urban Garden presents options for those who don’t have a yard, but have a patio, balcony, rooftop, or even parking lot that can be transformed into a growing space.
Lastly, the Compost Demonstration engages visitors in learning about turning trash into treasure by converting food waste and yard waste into a rich, nutrient-full compost to feed plants and improve soil.