Hilltop Garden & Nature Center

Hilltop Garden and Nature Center on Indiana University’s campus is located at 2367 East 10th Street in Bloomington. Established in 1948 by IU biology professor, Barbara Shalucha, Hilltop serves as an academic and recreational resource for IU students, staff and the surrounding community to learn about, and engage with, gardening and nature. Given shared aspects of their mission statements, the Bloomington Garden Club (founded in 1938) has supported Hilltop from its inception.  

Hilltop is open year-round, but has seasonal hours. For up to date hours, visit Hilltop’s website.


Shakespeare Garden


This Hilltop garden is devoted entirely to plants that are mentioned in Shakespeare’s literature and thrive in Indiana. 

The idea to create a Shakespeare Garden was proposed by Bloomington Garden Club member Linda Heath, who volunteers regularly. It was created in 2014 with the help of Hilltop coordinator Lea Woodard, IU landscape architect Mia Williams, Monroe County Master Gardener Charlotte Griffin and garden designer, Bob Baird. 

Read more about the Shakespeare Garden in this Indiana Daily Student article.

Click here to see Shakespeare Garden Plant List.

Shade Garden


Hilltop is home to delightful Shade Gardens maintained by a group of Bloomington Garden Club members who refer to themselves as ‘Shady Ladies’. 

Shade Gardens at Hilltop showcase plants that are both sun and shade tolerant. 

One of the eight shade garden areas is devoted entirely to Indiana native plants, with each individual plant accompanied by a descriptive plant marker to help visitors learn both plant names and requirements. 

Children's Programs


The Family Gardening Program at Hilltop provides a fun, interactive learning environment in which families work on gardening activities together.

The Junior Master Gardener program is an international youth gardening program of the university cooperative Extension network. Hilltop also works with various other organizations to provide gardening and nature education through field trips and camps, including Boys and Girls Clubs, WonderCamp, Head Start, Banneker Center, and Kid City. 


The Bloomington Garden Club supports many of Hilltops youth gardening programs, including the Seed Kit program which reaches out to many area schools.