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DanWalt Gardens in Billings hits major milestone

Danwalt Gardens
Posted at 11:14 AM, May 18, 2023

BILLINGS — As if thousands of beautiful blooms isn't enough, spring just got sweeter for one Billings garden that hit a big, tourist-attracting milestone.

“Just last month we became a botanical garden," said Clint Lunde, owner of DanWalt Gardens. "This is a pretty big deal for us, we’ve been working on it for a couple of years.”

DanWalt Gardens, a two-acre garden of perennials, shrubs, trees, fountains, and more, started as a backyard garden turned event venue that the Lundes purchased from the original owners about six years ago.

“This is a fun business to own, no one ever storms out of here unsatisfied or angry, everybody leaves happy and they’re happy while they’re here," Lunde said.

In April, DanWalt Gardens became an official botanical garden as designated by the American Public Gardens Association, and to do that they had to check a few boxes.

“We have to have a certain amount of educational opportunities here in the gardens, we do kids tours and we have plant labels," Lunde said.

“It’s kind of a big deal to become a botanical garden," said Clint Lunde, owner of Danwalt Gardens.

To get botanical status, the garden must also maintain plant records, be open to the public on a regular basis, and have a full-time staff member.

For Lunde, the hope behind the hard work is to put DanWalt Gardens on the map for garden lovers everywhere.

“It’s kind of a big deal to become a botanical garden. There are certain tourists who travel through the country and wherever they go they look up and see if there’s a botanical garden nearby," Lunde said.

Already the gardens are attracting out-of-town visitors like Larry Bass of Lubbock, Texas, who stopped at DanWalt Gardens while passing through Billings with his wife on their way to Yellowstone National Park.

“We were just looking for something to do this morning and we found it in the 15 best things to do in Billings. It’s beautiful," Bass said.

"I’m a pastor and this would be beautiful to have a wedding, right over there," Danwalt Gardens visitor Larry Bass of Lubbock, Texas.

Bass, a pastor who has officiated many weddings in Texas, sees the appeal.

"I’m a pastor and this would be beautiful to have a wedding, right over there. I would love to do a wedding out here, but I’m not driving from Texas to do it. It’s beautiful," Bass said.

If the full garden tranquility experience isn't your cup of tea, Lunde says the resident flock of Serama chickens entertain as many visitors as the flowers.

Danwalt Gardens has a small flock of Serama chickens.

DanWalt Gardens is open to visitors every day except Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. More information can be found here.