May 2020:  The Idea Garden has not been abandoned.  Due to the constraints imposed by COVID-19 and concern for the safety of visitors and volunteers, Mother Nature is temporarily managing the garden.

The Idea Garden, part of the University of Illinois Arboretum in Urbana, is 18,000 square feet of planted space. Champaign County Master Gardener volunteers work more than 6,000 hours each year in the garden to provide a source of inspiration, relaxation, and continuing education for our community and its visitors. Since 1997, the Idea Garden has been maintained as an educational tool to demonstrate garden design and maintenance ideas, to encourage novice and experienced gardeners to experiment with new plants and techniques, and as a site for public workshops. Look in the Borders and Sections area to learn more about each designed space in the garden.  To help identify some of the butterflies you are likely to see in the garden, look at our butterfly page