Construction began on the gardens in 1977. The original ten-acre site was primarily pasture land with some cultivated cropland, and even an old landfill and a private airplane landing strip. Since then, the Horticulture Demonstration Gardens have grown to become the largest research and display garden in Eastern Idaho, and now a central park of the BYU Idaho campus.
The gardens are constantly changing. Each year a new feature is added. Throughout the years, students in the Design Build emphasis in Horticulture have designed, and constructed most of the major features.
Students from advanced design courses are responsible for developing the conceptual design image of the garden feature which is then put together by the landscape construction class. Each year a project either creates a new feature or reconstructs an aging one.
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.