The Ricks College Horticulture Demonstration Garden was the dream of horticulture instructor Kim Black. In the late 1970's he submitted a proposal to the college requesting 10 acres of land east of the Ezra Taft Benson Building, then the Life Science/Agriculture Building. He wanted to give practical experience to students in horticulture classes and offer educational demonstrations for the community and the Horticulture industry.
Construction began on the gardens in 1977. The original ten-acre site was primarily pasture land with some cultivated cropland. Since then, the Horticulture Demonstration Gardens have grown to become the largest research and display garden in Eastern Idaho. The gardens are constantly changing. Each year a new feature is added. Throughout the years, students in the Landscape Horticulture program have designed, built, and maintained all of the major features. During fall and winter semesters, students in the Advanced Landscape Design class work on designing the new feature. The addition may be a new gazebo, a reflection pond, or a new foot bridge. Whatever the project, students are responsible for developing the conceptual design image of the new section of the gardens. During the summer, those plans on paper are transferred into lumber, stone, and plants as the landscape construction class goes to work. Thus, the Horticulture Demonstration Gardens grow, and will continue to expand each year.