Castle Gardens Capital Campaign

Construction has started, but we’re still fundraising!
Contribute today to help us reach our goal to open these beautiful new gardens in spring of 2025!

See our progress!

Discover a Magical Garden…

. . . an ever changing landscape that sparks the senses, inspires the mind, and nourishes the soul. 

This is the magic of Yew Dell Botanical Gardens.

Since 2002, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens has been a thriving center of horticulture and a cultural cornerstone for the community. But we’re far from finished. Through the Castle Gardens Campaign, we are excited to embrace our mission to: spark a passion for plants and gardening through accessible science and inspiring beauty.

The iconic castle will rise from newly designed gardens. The reimagined arrival experience will orient visitors towards discovery and surprise while providing accessibility for all. This project will plant the seeds to inspire and teach future generations. Yew Dell will emerge as a treasured crown jewel as we embark on this exciting, transformational project. 

A History of Passion

Since its earliest days, Yew Dell Farm – the home, farm and commercial nursery of Theodore and Martha Lee Klein and their family – has been a place of innovation, passion and celebration of Kentucky. (Read more about Yew Dell’s History.) 

With thousands of visitors annually from all across the globe, more than 1,700 active memberships and hundreds of volunteers, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is a strong and growing organization. And with five successful capital campaigns completed in its first 20 years, the organization is poised for its next phase of growth.

The Castle Gardens Campaign

Current View

Proposed Plan

The Castle Gardens Campaign Project Goals

  • Create a completely re-imagined entrance experience that will allow Yew Dell’s unique story to unfold as visitors first experience the grounds
  • Transform the Castle Terrace space into a stunning horticultural display garden with extensive new plantings, demonstration rain gardens and enhanced and shaded seating throughout
  • Recreate the original Klein family swimming pool on the Castle Terrace as a dramatic water feature and display space for water plants
  • Develop a dramatic transition from the upper Walled Garden, to the main Castle Terrace and to the lower Overlook Garden and Pollinator Meadow spaces with a series of grand stair cases and fully accessible ramps
  • Add significantly to the ability to accommodate increased visitation and expand the capacity for revenue-producing events
  • Through endowment funds raised for this project, add a full time horticulturist position to ensure the highest level of horticultural management of Yew Dell’s gardens

The Team

Richard Hartlage, Land Morphology

To guide this project to a successful completion, Yew Dell has engaged the Seattle, Washington, firm of Land Morphology. Founded by renowned horticulturist and designer Richard Hartlage, Land Morphology is focused on creating rich, emotive places across the country. The firm is comprised of a talented interdisciplinary team of landscape architects, designers, urban planners and horticulturists, who create highly varied spaces that integrate exquisite built form, sophisticated horticulture, and the fine arts. Each space is uniquely memorable, vibrant, carefully crafted, and environmentally sustainable. 

An added benefit to the firm’s selection for this project is that founding partner, Richard Hartlage, grew up in Crestwood, Kentucky, and knew Theodore Klein whose property now serves as the core of Yew Dell Botanical Gardens.

Dr. Paul Cappiello

Executive Director, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens

Yew Dell’s staff is led by Dr. Paul Cappiello, internationally known plantsman, researcher, garden designer, and for the last 19 years, executive director of Yew Dell Botanical Gardens. Along with a talented staff and strong board of directors, in the last 20 years the organization has grown from one part-time staff member to a staff of 24, a board of 17and a track record of having raised more than $30 million to build a highly respected and admired organization.

The Numbers

  • Planning and design $300,000
  • Construction $3,000,000
  • Project administration and project management $150,000
  • Fundraising and recognition $50,000
  • Endowment $1,000,000
  • Contingency (10%) $500,000
  • TOTAL $5,000,000

20% of all campaign gifts will be held in Yew Dell’s endowment accounts to provide ongoing operating funds for the gardens

Let's raise the flag!


Follow our progress as we grow!

February 2022
Formal, quiet-phase
fundraising events begin

April 2022
Public announcement
of the Castle Gardens Campaign

Spring/Summer 2023
Construction preparations/path re-routing

Fall 2023
Finalize construction drawings

Spring 2024
Begin construction

Fall 2024
Complete construction

Spring 2025
Public dedication
of the Castle Gardens

*With a gift of $2,500 or more, your name(s) will be prominently displayed on the Donor Display to recognize your generosity and support of the Castle Gardens Campaign.

Group Volunteer Form

To set up a group volunteering opportunity, please complete the form below. We will be in touch soon to help get you scheduled!

*Youth volunteers are age 6-17.

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you whether it’s regarding your visit, gardening questions, or sharing a horticultural fun fact!

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