If flowers were as popular as football in American culture, South Dakota State would be the envy of the Fighting Irish and the Rose Bowl would be McCrory Gardens, the prettiest 70 acres you may ever stroll. SDSU’s horticulture profs started the botanical gardens and arboretum in 1965 as a research plot and a place to educate and inspire students and the public. More than 40,000 flowers, trees and shrubs are planted each year. McCrory regularly rates as one of the nation’s top ornamental gardens. There’s a small admission fee.