Connecticut gardens enhance public parks, nature centers, and historic home museums. A grand garden of this state is the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in the capital city of Hartford, site of a famous flower show every spring. Many of the state's fine historic homes
have grand gardens, as do many of the
Gardens are a beautiful place for romantic walks
or nature exploration with children.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
77 Forest Street
Hartford, CT, 06105
Harriet Beecher Stowe loved her gardens and believed in the healthful value of plants. Stowe planted gardens; exchanged plants with others, and pressed flowers into diaries. The Stowe Center gardens historical and new plants, ranging from shade-loving perennials to annuals to meadow flowers. The gardens are in bloom from late May through September. The gardens include Connecticut's largest Merrill magnolia and the Stowe Dogwood cornus florida rubra, a pink dogwood believed to be from Stowe's time. The Stowe Center gardens and grounds are open for strolling. Garden tours may be arranged by calling 860-522-9258 ext. 317. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is part of the Connecticut's Historic Gardens consortium. Self-guided garden tour.
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300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT, 06793
Located on a terraced site in the hills of Litchfield County, Hollister House Garden is an American interpretation of such classic English gardens as Sissinghurst , Great Dixter and Hidcote. Hollister House sponsors such events like Twilight in the Garden, Connecticut Open House Day, and Music in the Garden. New events are planned for the renovated 18th century barn adjacent to the garden. Each event encourages visitors to explore the romantic English-style garden. Hollister House Garden is a member of the Garden Conservancy and hosts an annual event, Garden Study Weekend.
Open to visitors late April to late September, Fridays, 2-5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Private group visits on weekdays by appointment only.
500 Hawthorne Avenue (near Osbornedale State Park)
Derby, CT, 06418
Former estate of Frances Osborne Kellogg. Elegant Colonial Revival home (1850), original antiques and fine arts. Formal rose and flower garden, English rock garden. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Admission: Donation requested. Open: Late April-mid-December, Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Grounds: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
1329 West Middle Turnpike
Manchester, CT, 06040
The park contains 250 acres of gardens, open fields, woodlands, ponds, picnic areas, sports facilities, and other attractions. There are three sets of public restrooms in the park, and all are handicapped accessible.
Admission: Cars: Monday - Friday, $4; weekends and holidays, $5
5774 Main Street
Stratford, CT, 06614
A lovely rose garden is among the attractions at this park aside the Housatonic River. The park includes a historic home of the Boothe family, exhibits of antiques, and picnicking grounds.
See full description
of Boothe Memorial Park and Museum.
1520 Bronson Road
Fairfield, CT, 06824
Built in the 18th century, this traditional New England farmhouse is host to exhibits detailing the daily lives of colonial Americans. The property also has a wildflower garden and a kitchen garden.
Open: Sundays, June to September, 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Fee charged.
20 Park Center Road
Nice urban park for walking, swimming, field sports. Park is famous for its grand rose garden.
Formal rose garden in this city on three rivers is a pleasure in late spring and summer.
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of Mohegan Park.
275 Great Neck Road / State Route 213
Waterford, CT, 06385
Beautiful seaside gardens; Roman Classical Revival Mansion open for tours in summer
This park is on the 230-acre property occupied by the former summer mansion of the Harkness family. The property is loved for its vast lawns sweeping down to Long Island Sound, its old trees, and beautiful flower gardens. These include an Alpine rock garden. Property is open year-round, daily, from 8 a.m. to sunset. Parking fees are charged.
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of Harkness Memorial State Park.
Hayden Hill Road, off Route 154
Haddam, CT, 06438
This three-story, 1794 home has been restored to reflect the lifestyle and furnishings of the period. A garden on the property features herbs, vegetables, and flowers.
The house’s gardens were redesigned in the 1980s in the Colonial Revival style with granite-edged beds and gravel paths, using plants commonly grown in household gardens in the lower Connecticut River Valley in about 1830. Most of the garden is now devoted to herbs used for cooking, medicine, dyeing, fragrance and other household uses, with a small bed featuring vegetables common in gardens in the early 1800s and a few old-fashioned annuals. Over 50 varieties of herbs are planted in the garden, including many of the ones Thankful Arnold would have used.
Hours: Open year-round; Wednesday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Thursday, 2 -8 p.m.; Friday, noon-3 p.m.; also from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, Sundays, 1- 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $4; seniors, $3; children, $2.
Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens
Corner of Prospect Avenue and Asylum Avenue
The park’s world famous rose garden is the oldest municipally operated rose garden in the country. The two-and-a half-acre rose garden has 15,000 plants in about 800 varieties of roses. The park is also home to a rock garden and specialized gardens of annuals, herbs, and perennials.
Hours: Year-round, daily, dawn to dusk.
Hollow Road / P.O. Box 245
Woodbury, CT, 06798
Upon the museum's creation in 1926, English author and landscape designer Gertrude Jekyll started a traditional garden -- and in the 1970s, her plans were completed. Now, visitors marvel at the wholeness of this garden as they stroll through border plantings and a rose allee. See full description
of Glebe House and Gertrude Jekyll Garden
Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden
9 Main Street
Bethlehem, CT, 06751
Phone: 203-266-7596 for tours
This antique home features a formal parterre garden with chains of connected flowerbeds; roses, peonies, and lilacs. See full description
of Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden.
59 Hidden Lake Road
Higganum, CT, 06441
Formal gardens, tea and gift shop in the Higganum section of Haddam. Formal gardens include a Persian-style knot garden, an 18th-century style garden with geometric walkways, and a topiary garden with boxwood, roses and ivy garlands surrounding a fountain. These architectural gardens are carefully incorporated into the landscape around a restored 18th century farm house.
Hours: Tea shop and Christmas Shop open first three weekends in November, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After Thanksgiving Day, open every day except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Christmas Eve. Gardens Open: Year-round, Saturday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
75 Cliff Street at Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT, 06511
Once an experimental mulberry orchard, this stately public park was the home of Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin. Bought in 1906 by the Brewster family, the stately mansion stood near the great lawn of an estate designed to replicate an English landscape garden. Now a city park hosting many public cultural events.
Hours: Open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year. The conservatory is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day except major holidays.
180 Park Road
Hamden, CT, 06517
Pardee Rose Garden and Greenhouse is in bloom from early spring to fall, showcasing a glorious array of roses. Traditionally, many brides and grooms come here for wedding pictures. Open year-round.
55 South Main Street
Suffield, CT, 06078
Formal gardens and an ornate fence enhance the beauty of this house, a fine example of a prosperous 18th-century New England family. See full description
of Hatheway House.