There are more than 70 thrilling rides and attractions at Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay, but the park is also home to thousands of trees, shrubs, perennial plants, annual flowers, and ornamental grasses. Depending on the season, you’ll notice that blossoming trees, shrubs, and flower beds are actually coordinated with the colors of nearby rides and buildings. While many theme parks simply maintain what landscaping they have, Kentucky Kingdom makes a substantial investment in its 63-acre site, acquiring thousands of new plants each season. The park operates its own greenhouses year-round and houses a wide variety of annuals and perennials, including tropicals, succulents, and even vegetables.
Kentucky Kingdom’s horticulture department, headed by Jason Anderson, a degreed horticulturist and certified arborist, has a staff of more than a dozen skilled and experienced men and women. And speaking of long experience, horticulture supervisor Rose Moley has been with the park for many years, having joined the landscaping crew at the original Kentucky Kingdom back in 1992! When you see our professional horticulture staff in the park, we invite you to ask them questions about our landscaping. You’ll quickly learn that they are very knowledgeable in their field and that this is not just a job for them, but a passion.
Kentucky Kingdom boasts many unique specimen coniferous and deciduous trees and more than 100 different species of perennials and ornamental grasses. More than 20 cultivars of unique and colorful annuals are installed each season.
Many of our specimen plants are identified with plaques containing a QR code that gives you the opportunity to link to interesting facts about each cultivar, including the best ways to grow these plants in your own yard.
Throughout the park, you’ll encounter many different showcase gardens, including the English garden in the Carousel Courtyard, the lushly landscaped slopes at the Tin Lizzies ride, and the beautiful flower beds in King Louie’s Playland. In addition, Kentucky Kingdom has joined other botanical gardens across North America working to restore the population of Monarch butterflies by planting a butterfly garden. Our two certified “Monarch Waystation” gardens are located at T3, and Storm Chaser, and contain a lovely assortment of flowering perennials and shrubs that serve as host plants and nectar sources for the Monarchs.
Kentucky Kingdom is respectful of future generations and follows best practices when applying pesticides or fertilizer to preserve the biodiversity of our park.
We invite you to check back throughout the season for new photos and updates from our horticulture department.