A display garden is a type of public garden. The different types of public gardens are botanical gardens, conservatories, arboreta, display gardens, historic landscapes, zoos and for-profit attractions such as Disney World. Every public garden meets a specific criteria that defines its type.
A public garden is an organization that uses its facility to further its mission. An appropriate definition for a public garden is a mission-based institution that maintains collections of plants for the purposes of education, research, conservation and/or public display. A public garden must be open to the public, have a professional staff and maintain plant records systematically.
The Gardens at Kansas State University is designed as a life-long learning laboratory. Our mission is to encourage environmental involvement with the university community and the general public. An ever-changing display of plants provides an opportunity for education, research and conservation.
While a display garden and a botanical garden both maintain collections of herbaceous and woody plant material and offer a variety of educational programs, a botanical garden has very diverse collections of plants and conducts extensive research to promote and improve plants and their conservation.
The Gardens at Kansas State University promotes plants and conservation and provides research opportunities but doesn’t actively conduct research. In the gardening world The Gardens is properly defined as a display garden.