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Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

Historic Name: Yew Dell Farm
Crestwood, KY

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens occupies the former Theodore Klein commercial nursery, farm and family home. Designed and built by Klein between 1941 and 1977, the property features Cotswolds-style fieldstone buildings, an 8-acre arboretum, and a wide variety of gardens with views borrowed from the surrounding agricultural landscape.

Klein’s nursery was the center of a robust ornamental-plant business from World War II until Klein retired in the 1970s. In 2001, Yew Dell, Inc. acquired the property to restore it and develop a botanical garden. Restored gardens include the evergreen Serpentine Garden, with Abies (fir), Picea (spruce), Pinus (pine), Taxus (yew) and Tsuga (hemlock); the Secret Garden, shaded by a holly allée and planted with Helleborus (lenten rose), hardy ferns and Asarum (hardy gingers); and the English-style Walled Garden, with Klein’s trademark fieldstone walls and herbaceous plantings. The arboretum, more than 60 years old, includes a collection of Fagus sylvatica (European Beech) cultivars described by plantsman J.C. Raulston as one of the best in North America.

Open to the public in 2005, the 61-acre property operates as an active botanical garden, while still conveying the history of the site and serving as a cultural connection to the agricultural heritage of this rapidly-developing part of Kentucky.

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