Our Gardens

The Gardens at Yew Dell offer a delightful place to spend a day, an excellent place to learn 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 anything else you can imagine. Because of our variety, you can always count on something blooming at Yew Dell – 12 months of the year.

Yew Dell’s gardens also support our ongoing research aimed at finding the best new plants for regional gardens. Each plant in our gardens is evaluated for performance. And when we find a new winner, we work with local industry members to get the plant into production… and eventually into area garden centers. We’re always on the lookout for pest-resistant, attractive and well-adapted plants for our gardens and for yours.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Kitchen Garden
Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden displays a rotating collection of vegetables, herbs and tropicals. From heirloom tomatoes to a gourd-covered arbor, this is a favorite garden for kids of all ages.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Overlook Garden
Overlook Garden

A new garden designed and planted in 2005, the Overlook combines old stand-by reliable plants and new varieties not yet on the market. It is an excellent place to learn perennials, especially those that love hot dry locations. The garden sits on very shallow soil and is rarely irrigated so you can see first-hand, how plants perform in this tough setting. The Overlook Garden was designed by noted British plantsman and designer Adrian Bloom. It was planted entirely by volunteers with more than 3000 plants donated from the 4 corners of the Country… all in a single day!

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Sunken Rock Garden
Sunken Rock Garden

This rock garden is one of the oldest gardens on the grounds. Designed and built originally by Theodore Klein as a garden for cut flowers and dwarf conifers, this garden was completely transformed into an alpine styled rock garden by members of the Oldham County Master Gardeners Club who continue to maintain the garden today.

In order to accommodate alpines and cold hardy succulents from southern climates, the soil in the Sunken Garden was excavated to a depth of about 15” and replaced with pea gravel to provide excellent drainage. And each year we push the horticultural envelope with new plant trials.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Big Pine Garden
Mill Stone Garden

This shady garden offers a wide range of unusual plants from all over the world. From North American native buckeyes to Chinese delphiniums, the garden includes many selections not yet available on the market. Formerally called the Big Pine Garden, a large Pinus strobus (white pine) gave the garden its name and was one of the few plants on the grounds that was here when Theodore and Martha Lee Klein bought the property in the early 1940s. The tree was severely damaged during a tornado in the spring of 2019.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Walled Garden
Walled Garden

Located adjacent to the main house (administrative offices), Klein’s original walled garden was rehabilitated in 2004 with generous support from the Glenview Garden Club. This traditional English walled garden is surrounded on three sides by one of Klein’s signature fieldstone walls set off with a small round pool in the center of the garden space. The changing pallet of mostly herbaceous perennials includes blooms throughout the gardening season. Featured plants include Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’ (Japanese Forest Grass), Chinese tree peonies (Paeonia suffructicosa and cultivars) and the dwarf yellow-leafed oakleaf hydrangea, H. quercifolia ‘Little Honey’.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Greenhouse Terrace Garden
Greenhouse Terrace Garden

From raised Corten Steel planters with weeping hornbeams to gravel beds of hardy succulents, this is one of the more varied plantings at Yew Dell. Season containers of tropicals and succulents supplement the space making it a delightful spot to check out unusual plants, sit and enjoy the sun or host a corporate event.


Yew Dell’s nursery provides the space we need to propagate and grow all the plants for our garden projects, research studies, plant sales and workshops. The nursery contains plants collected from all across Kentucky and all around the globe so you’ll likely see plants you’ve never seen before. Visitors are welcome to wander the areas but we ask you to pay close attention to signs and to avoid walking in restricted areas because  some of our research projects are quite sensitive. If you have questions about any of our work, by all means feel free to ask one of our staff. We always love to talk about our projects.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Secret Garden
The Jean Ohlmann Secret Garden

When we think of generosity – we think of Jean Ohlmann. Ask anyone who knows her and they will say words such as amazing, unbelievable and inspiring. Jean’s love of Yew Dell began with an encounter with Theodore Klein when he did a program for her garden club- the Louisville Rambler Garden Club- and she fell in love with this place. Jean has devoted many hours volunteering with Yew Dell, and made the incredibly generous gift to Yew Dell, much of which will go to create an endowed fund to support the Secret Garden, a space her garden club adopted back in 2003 and has continued to help maintain up to today. Flanked by the Holly Allee, the Jean Olhmann Secret Garden is a place for display and testing. 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 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.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Event Lawn
Event Lawn and Garden

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.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - Serpentine
Serpentine Garden

Klein intitially designed this stunning evergreen collection to grace the original drive entrance to the property. The garden is composed of an impressive collection of evergreens including species of Abies (fir), Picea (spruce), Pinus (pine), Taxus (yew) and Tsuga (hemlock). The collection is a stunning display of plant color, texture and form. The original front Yew hedge was removed in 2012 because it was in failing health and is currently being renovated.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens - 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. From spring flowers to summer foliage, fall foliage and fruit and winter bark and form, there is always something beautiful to see in the Arboretum.

Holly Allee

The Holly Allee consists of two rows of Ilex apaca ‘Klein No.1’ (American Holly) that Klein trained into an evergreen tunnel – and the only access to the Secret Garden.