Victorian-era gardens on glorious display at Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
At the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, interesting things to look at are found outside as well as inside. Inside the center, exhibits inform visitors about the life of the famous activist, abolitionist and author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Outside, the gardens are instructive about the author’s knowledge of and appreciation for Victorian-era flowers and plantings. The gardens, one of Connecticut’s Historic Gardens, include a woodland garden, a wildflower meadow, a high Victorian texture garden, heritage roses and and formal color-coordinated gardens. The property also includes the state’s largest magnolia tree and a dogwood that is more than 100 years old.
211 Main StreetWethersfield, CTPhone: 860-529-0612
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum is conposed of four historic homes from the 18th century. Tours and special events take place all year. The Webb House garden was a prototypical of Colonial Revival gardens dating from the 1920s. It was created by landscape designer Amy Cogswell.
Hours: May 1-October 31, daily except Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; April and November, open weekends only; special tours by appointment.
59 Hidden Lake RoadHigganum, CT, 06441Phone: 860-345-4290
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.
Hayden Hill Road, off Route 154Haddam, CT, 06438Phone: 860-345-2400
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 1830. Most of the garden is now devoted to herbs used for cooking, medicine, dyeing, fragrance and other household uses. 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 AvenueHartford, CTPhone: 860-231-9443
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.
1329 West Middle TurnpikeManchester, CT, 06040Phone: 860-528-0856
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