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Great Gardens As Art

By  Lynn O'Rourke Hayes   

Enjoy the gorgeous gardens dotted throughout Massachusetts. Get outside, inhale the sweet aromas of flowers in bloom. Enjoy!

Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge
Fifteen acres includes display gardens, an arboretum, and interpretive woodland trail. More than 3,000 species and varieties of plants are exhibited. Mother’s Day Weekend is the 34th Annual Plant Sale-- Calling all gardeners! Get a jump start on the gardening season and choose from thousands of plants, shrubs, and trees – many grown at Berkshire Botanical Garden.
The Botanic Garden at Smith College, Northampton
Founded over 100 years ago, the Botanic Garden at Smith College in Northampton has been painstakingly tended to serve as a living museum to plants native to New England and ecosystems all around the world. It is home to thousands of plants and rare blooms, and is the site contains a number of specialty gardens. Free to the public.
The Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls
One of the Commonwealth's most unusual and enchanting "gardens" is found in Franklin County. The Bridge of Flowers is a former trolley bridge that was originally built in 1908, but became weed-covered 20 years later. In 1929, a plan was implemented to turn the bridge into a garden that would span the length of the bridge. Currently more than 20,000 people per year enjoy its impressive and rich floral beauty from the first appearance of tulips in April through the bloom of autumn mums. Free to the public.
Chesterwood, Stockbridge
Chesterwood is the country home of Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), sculptor of the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Memorial in Washington, DC, and The Minute Man, Concord, MA. Chesterwood’s landscape featuring mountain vistas, woodland walks, and perennial gardens is French’s own design.
Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich, Cape Cod
A favorite destination for Mother’s Day, Heritage Museums & Gardens consists of one hundred spectacular acres of labeled trees and shrubs, beautiful flowers and sweeping lawns. There are several miles of passive recreational trails as well as five acres of lawn. Entrance Fees: Adult- $15.00
Lynch Park, Beverly
In the summers of 1909 and 1910, President Taft leased the Stetson cottage which stood on today's Rose Garden. Important leaders from around the world came to "Beverly Massachusetts, Garden City and Summer Capitol of the United States". The Rose Garden at Lynch Park was built in 1910 within the foundation of Taft’s cottage with rare plants and shrubs from around the world. This 85-year-old rose garden, modeled after those in Italy, blooms each spring in brilliant pinks, yellows, reds, oranges, purples and white bordered by rolling lawns and lush greens overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens, South Deerfield
While this attraction's main claim to fame is its amazing collection of thousands of butterflies, these beauties flutter freely among an expansive 18,400 square foot conservatory filled with tropical vegetation. Magic Wings features a koi pond and a waterfall in its tranquil setting. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for children 3-17 (children under 3 are free).
The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Estate & Gardens, Lenox
This elegant home and its gardens were designed by renowned American writer, Edith Wharton, in 1902. The 49-acre property features one of the most significant formal gardens in New England, including an Italian walled garden, French flower garden, and a lime walk lined with pleached linden trees.
Mytoi, Martha’s Vineyard
Nestled within Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vineyard, the intimate Japanese-style garden, Mytoi, offers natural serenity and a place of contemplation to visitors who venture here. Sheltered by a lovely pine grove, the preserve includes a small pond and island, non-native and native flowers and plants, footpaths leading past a birch walk and stone garden, and a trail winding toward Poucha Pond and the salt marsh. Free to public.

New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods, Framingham

5-acre accredited living museum is the "eye-popping showcase for native plants" of New England Wild Flower Society, America's oldest plant conservation organization. Enjoy guided walking tours of gardens and habitats weekdays at 10 am, weekends at 2pm. Featuring over 1,000 native plant species plus unique New England Garden of Rare and Endangered Plants. Open April 15 through October, Tuesday through Sunday plus holiday Mondays 9 am-5pm. Learn, Grow, and Protect! Native Plants for sale at eco-friendly Garden Shop.

Naumkeag, Stockbridge
A property of The Trustees of Reservations, the Choate family summer estate is distinguished by beautifully landscaped grounds originally designed by Nathan Barrett. With its gracious house, magnificent gardens, and panoramic views, Naumkeag is a quintessential country estate of the Gilded Age.
Polly Hill Arboretum, Martha’s Vineyard
The Polly Hill Arboretum, a Martha’s Vineyard horticultural and botanical landmark, was developed by the legendary horticulturist, Polly Hill (1907-2007). Rare trees and shrubs from around the world are set among stone walls, meadows, and fields, including Polly’s famous North Tisbury azaleas, the national stewartia collection, camellias, clematis, crabapples, magnolias, and many more. Admission donation.
The Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain
Of the thousands of flowering plants in the Arboretum, only one, the lilac, is singled out each year for a daylong celebration. Tours of the lilacs, dance performances, picnicking (allowed on this special day only), and family activities make for a memorable day. Be a part of this beloved Boston tradition! Lilac Sunday is May 8, 2011.
The Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum, New Bedford
Built in 1834 as a Greek revival mansion, the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and its grounds represent the period of New Bedford's history of immense prosperity, due to the whaling industry. The property encompasses a full city block with an historic 19th century wooden pergola surrounded by formal boxwood rose parterre garden, boxwood specimen garden, civic garden and an award-winning woodland walk. On Saturday, May 7 children ages 4 through 10, accompanied by an adult, are invited to create a floral arrangement and card for mom’s special day.
Scituate Wildflower Garden, Scituate
This award winning garden has been established and maintained by the Scituate Garden Club and open to the public. On the first Saturday of June the club holds its famous Plant Sale on the grounds between it and the Historic Mann House on Greenfield Lane in Scituate. This hidden gem is not to be missed by anyone visiting Scituate on Mother’s Day or any day throughout the year.
Seaside Gardens at the House of the Seven Gables, Salem
The seaside gardens at The House of the Seven Gables capture the charm of colonial America period plantings. The Wisteria Arbor was added in the 1920s and is covered in a variety of wisteria introduced to the U.S. during the height of the China Trade in the 19th century, while the property’s horse chestnut tree dates to 1830 and is one of the oldest specimens on the North Shore. $12.50 for adults, $11.50 for seniors (65+) and AAA members, $7.50 for children (5-12)
Sedgwick Gardens at Long Hill, Beverly
From 1916 to 1979, Long Hill in Beverly was the summer home of noted author and editor of The Atlantic Monthly, Ellery Sedgwick and his wife Mabel Cabot Sedgwick. An accomplished horticulturalist and gardener, Mrs. Sedgwick designed and planted the original gardens. The five acres surrounding the property’s house are laid out in a series of separate garden “rooms,” each distinct in its own way and accented by garden ornaments, structures and statuary. Free entrance.
Spohr Gardens, Falmouth, Cape Cod
For more than 40 years, these privately owned gardens have been open to the public. The owners, Margaret and Charles D. Spohr began creating this wondrous setting around their home in the 1950s and welcomed the ever-growing number of visitors who heard of its beauty. Five acres of gardens, gracefully wrapped around Oyster Pond, provide the perfect setting for a June stroll. With more than 50 species of flowers, 75 types of trees and 100 varieties of shrubs, this lovely locale is in perpetual bloom. Free to the public.
Stanley Park, Westfield
The American Wildflower Society Display Garden Winner of the A.A.R.S. "Outstanding Public Rose Garden" Award, Westfield's Stanley Park offers more than 50 varieties of roses and 2,500 rose bushes. Another popular park attraction is the Herb Garden, which includes numerous varieties of fragrant, culinary, and medicinal herbs as well as large old-fashioned formal perennial gardens.
The Stevens-Coolidge Place, North Andover
The Stevens-Coolidge Place was the summer home of diplomat John Gardner Coolidge and his wife, Helen Stevens Coolidge. The estate includes a perennial garden, a kitchen and cut flower garden, a rose garden, a French potager garden with brick serpentine wall and a greenhouse complex. Gardens are free, donations are welcome.
Three Sisters Sanctuary, Goshen
Located in Goshen, Three Sisters Sanctuary is an outdoor space bursting with gardens, sculptures and landscape art. There are several concept gardens linked together on the grounds, including the imaginative Energy Garden, which features a 15,000 pound, seven foot stone surrounded by crystal-topped stones that lean on a 45 degree angle out towards the universe.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston

A living museum of plants, featuring 132 acres of a hilltop garden paradise with a panoramic view toward Mt. Wachusett and the reservoir. Distinctive sections include a Lawn Garden with more than 350 varieties of trees and shrubs, a Secret Garden with fragrant and textured perennials, a Cottage Garden, Systematic Garden, and in winter an Orangerie filled to capacity with fragrant, blooming plants; special events, guided tours, lectures, and workshops.
For more information on Massachusetts’ Great Gardens, please contact Ashley Fenton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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