Photography Policy & Garden Etiquette

Photography Policy

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a unique and beautiful location for photography for all types of families and groups. Our Photography Policy is designed to ensure that all guests have a positive experience during their visit, whether or not they are taking photographs.

We invite guests to photograph the plants and landscapes as well as take candid, casual photos of their party — please share them on social media using the hashtag #gdmbgblooms!

For professional and portrait photography, we ask that you adhere to our photography policy (linked below), which includes a location fee. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Photography Policy

To reserve a time slot for professional photography, please call 515.323.6290.


  • All photographers and their parties should follow our garden etiquette (see below).
  • The Botanical Garden reserves the right to cancel any photography session, without refund, if this policy and/or garden etiquette (below) is not being followed.
  • Masks must be worn by photographers at all times and by guests when not actively taking photos.
  • Do not visit the Garden if you are ill, exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have received a positive test for COVID-19 in the last 14 days; if anyone in your household is ill, exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have received a positive test for COVID-19 in the last 14 days; or if you have been in contact with anyone who is ill, exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have received a positive test for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. For photography session cancelations due to Covid-19 exposures, please call 515.323.6290.

Garden Etiquette

Our garden etiquette is designed to enhance your experience — as well as the experience of fellow patrons — and to protect our unique plant collection. We ask you to please:

  • Stay on the paths unless otherwise designated. Please do not play, climb on or attach anything to water features, sculptures, plants or trees.
  • Take pictures! Monopods are permitted; tripods, lighting and props are not (see our photography policy above for further details).
  • You are welcome to smell and gently touch the plants, but please do not remove leaves, fruit, seeds or flowers from any plants in the garden.
  • Please do not touch the bonsai.
  • Outside food and beverages are not allowed, with the exception of bottled water and baby bottles. Food and drink can be purchased at Trellis Café, the Garden Shop or our approved caterers.
  • You may bring your service animal, but please leave your pet at home. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden does not allow pets on Garden grounds. Service animals are permitted in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animals are defined by the ADA as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
  • Refrain from smoking, vaping or using any type of nicotine product at our facility. The Garden, including our parking lot, is a tobacco-free zone.
  • Refrain from playing active sports and games except those provided by the Garden.