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.