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History of KSU Gardens

Gale Farmstead


In 1871, the K-State Agriculture College purchased the Gale farmstead (once a plant nursery) that eventually became the KSU Gardens. New building construction decreased garden size and eventually forced the Gardens to move to their current site.

Kansas State University Gardens

History>Dickens Hall

Kansas State University was established in 1863. In 1877, 100 species of trees and shrubs were sent to the college from Harvard Botanical Gardens to form a campus arboretum. In 1907, a Victorian style conservatory was built, and in 1927 Professor Leon Reed Quinlan established a formal rose garden. At its peak, the campus arboretum contained 4,000 specimens representing 700 species of woody plants. Expansion of Kansas State University considerably reduced the number of plants in the campus arboretum and in 1978 when the formal gardens were eliminated, the KSU Gardens and Conservatory were located to their current site. Today, the Kansas State University Gardens is a horticulture display garden that has been established as an invaluable educational resource and learning laboratory for K-State students and the visiting public.

The K-State Dairy Barn and Milk House


The K-State Dairy Barn and Milk House (caretakers cottage) was built in 1933 in the exact location where it resides today. Due to inadequate facilities, the actual dairy production was moved to a new site north of campus in the fall of 1976. The cottage, which today serves as the Gardens Visitor Center, once housed student workers that lived upstairs and milked for their rent. The first floor contained a weighing room, milk room, refrigerator, washroom, and the herdsman’s office.