• Welcome to The Whiteside Garden

    A Botanical Treasure

    In 1963, Dr. Wesley (Wes) Whiteside began transforming 5 acres of former farmland into a diverse botanical garden that has become a true treasure for east-central Illinois. Though he retired from Eastern Illinois University’s Botany Department in 1987, Wes continued to nurture and develop his garden, drawing many visitors to view his collections, which are unmatched in the region.

  • Golden Anniversary

    Celebrating the Garden

    In September 2013, The Whiteside Garden celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Golden Anniversary event that included a reception, self-guided garden tours, and presentations on garden collections. Hundreds of people visited from at least 12 states. For more information and some pictures of the event, see our History page.

  • Featured Plant


    EIU student Marci Gallagher (Dept. of Biological Sciences) worked to catalog the vast daylily collection at The Whiteside Garden. The daylily collection contains over 800 cultivars of daylilies. Marci’s project consisted of locating the plants as well as documenting the breeder, the cultivar, and the year of introduction. Cultivars in the collection date from 1929 to the present and include several bred by Dr. Whiteside. Marci worked with Dr. Janice Coons and Nancy Coutant, EIU Dept. of Biological Sciences. See our projects page for more ongoing and past projects at The Whiteside Garden.

  • Volunteer Days

    Come help with garden projects at The Whiteside Garden and get a guided tour of the garden. Volunteer Days are held monthly. Check our events page for more information..