Annual Theme, Exhibits, and Art

Hillside Garden Reiman Gardens

Annual Theme

Reiman Gardens' staff use a new theme to inspire its horticultural displays, educational programs, events, and products in the Gift Shop each year. The theme emphasizes a new dimension of the garden so guests can visit again and again to see and learn something new in the everchanging and exhilarating displays. We are excited to introduce our 2024 theme: Living Landscape!

The case can be made that no other state symbolizes a living landscape like Iowa. With 85% of the land devoted to agriculture, one Iowa farm produces enough grain to feed 155 people worldwide. But Iowa’s landscape is much more than cornfields and meticulously kept farms. Windmills of old and new dot the countryside, creating natural, sustainable energy. Rolling hills, native prairie flowers, and the beauty of four seasons paint a picture of Iowa’s heritage. Wildlife, like deer, fox, and rabbits, call this landscape “home.”

We invite you to take life a little slower in 2024, to take the road less traveled, to get out and explore the beauty of Iowa's living landscape. Our exhibits, classes, and displays will encourage you to connect more with nature this year, to appreciate the natural resources that our state has been blessed with, and to treasure the goodness of our land and all it provides--from the honey of the bee to farm-to-table produce, to the smell and sounds of a good old-fashioned Iowa thunderstorm. We invite you to participate in and enjoy this year's theme.

Current Exhibits

Each year, our outdoor garden spaces, Hughes Conservatory, and Garden Room each feature sculptures and artwork that reflect the annual theme. Over the years, Reiman Gardens has also collected many works of art integrated throughout the grounds. Find descriptions of each piece of art and its location here.


  • Lanai exhibit at Reiman Gardens conservatory

    Current Hughes Conservatory Display

    Life on the Lanai
    On display April 26 - July 27, 2024 

    la·na·i  /ləˈnī/ 
    noun: a porch or veranda.

    Aloha! We’re taking you across the ocean this summer to a different kind of living landscape: the Hawaiian Islands, the most remote islands in the world. Most of Hawaii’s plants are not native—they were brought to Hawaii by Polynesian immigrants who transported them on canoes. Others reached the land through water, wind, and the wings of birds. Did you know that 90 percent of Hawaii’s plants are not found anywhere else in the world? To Hawaiians, they represent history and survival through their culinary and medicinal functions. To the rest of us, they primarily represent beauty and variety. So, as Hawaiians would say, E Komo Mai (welcome, and come inside)!


  • Garden Art Gallery Summer 2024

    Garden Room Gallery: Pollinator Friendly Ames!


    "Pollinator Friendly Ames" is a collection of photographs of--you guessed it--pollinators! The 27 framed photos were taken by artist Laura Beskow.     


    All of the photos in the Garden Room are of butterflies that can be found right here in Ames, Iowa. While most of the photos were taken at various locations in Story County, Iowa, some were taken in Nashville, Tennesee. Check out the entire collection which contains descriptions of each of the different kinds of butterflies. You're bound to learn something new! When you're done, head over to the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing and see how many of them you can spot flying in the Wing!

    Are you a local artist? You are invited to consider displaying your art in our Garden Room for a future exhibit. Open to all artists or Iowa State University students 18 and over, you are invited to submit five (5) digital images representing up to twenty (20) original works of art for display in the Garden Room Gallery at Reiman Gardens. Solo and group exhibitions are permitted. Learn more here.

  • Garden Playhouse

    Coming Soon: Garden Playhouses!

    From Saturday, June 1 – Tuesday, October 1, 2024, Reiman Gardens will debut a new outdoor exhibition of garden playhouses inspired by nature. This show will feature a variety of functional playhouses designed to be site-specific and inspired by our 2024 interpretive theme, The Living Landscape. These structures and interpretive materials will form an interactive outdoor display to enchant all visitors to the Gardens and encourage them to explore and engage.