When you go to Tizer Gardens, it is worth knowing what you’re getting into. You can go knowing nothing about the place and have a really good time. But if you know facts then your enjoyment turns to wonder. Tizer Gardens is the only full time operating Botanic Garden & Internationally Accredited Arboretum in the region. They have over 500 different types of perennials, 450 different conifers, and 500 different deciduous trees. They are the northernmost testing ground for the Plant Select program and one of the testing grounds for the All American program. Every few seconds as we wandered through the garden, owner Richard Krott would pause to point out another rare plant from Siberia or South Africa or Turkistan or countless other countries, including some extremely rare plants native to Montana. But you don’t necessarily think about all that as you wander through their gardens. Mostly the thoughts that float through your mind have more abstract themes like “lovely,” “beautiful,” “peaceful,” and “serene.” The flowers, shrubs, and trees offer a riot of colors whatever the season. We went last weekend, and frankly I was a little worried that we had missed the peak time. But, as Richard will tell you, all times are the best times to go. The gardens start blooming in early spring, and keep up the pace until Tizer closes in October. There were even, to my surprise, flowers that only really start to flourish after the first freeze. Each season brings something new to the Gardens. They weren’t as green and full and flower-filled on our visit as they are during the summer, but between the late-blooming flowers and the changing leaves, the place was simply exquisite. I’m pretty sure you could go there constantly and find something different. There are so many strange and unique plants. If you get the chance, mention your favorites to owners Richard and Belva. They can provide endless information about each of the rare and exotic plants in their collection. They love Montana, they love Prickly Pear Creek, and most of all they love their plants.
But hurry! They are planning to close for the season on October 19th.