Massachusetts Gardens Are Blooming Good

BOSTON – February 27, 2014 – If you find yourself channeling your inner-botanist, look no further than the gardens of Massachusetts. With a rich tradition of gardening and horticulture, the Commonwealth’s vast array of florals and forests is anything but common. The gardens featured below are sure to inspire and more information can be found at

Greater Boston

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Boston

Occupying 281 acres, the Arboretum’s living collection of trees, shrubs, and woody vines is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and best documented of its kind in the world. Free and open to the public every day of the year, the Arboretum is a safe and accessible community resource that is utilized by thousands of visitors each year. Established in 1872 and planned and designed in collaboration with Frederick Law Olmsted, the Arnold Arboretum is a National Historic Landmark and one of the best preserved of Olmsted’s landscapes.

Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, Canton

Stroll through elegant gardens complementing a stately country house then explore surrounding fields, pastures, and woodlands that echo the property’s agricultural past. This 90-acre country retreat sits only a short distance from hectic Rt. 128, yet it will transport you back 100 years to a bucolic world of majestic homes, elegant gardens, carriage rides, fields and woodlands – all the amenities of gracious, turn-of-the-century living in the Neponset River Valley.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society Gardens at Elm Bank, Wellesley

Enjoy a visit to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Gardens at Elm Bank. Located on 36 acres in the Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley/Dover, MA, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Twelve display gardens, including a historic Italianate Garden designed by the Olmsted Brothers, The Bressingham Garden, a magnificent four-season perennial garden displaying a mixture of perennials, trees, and shrubs, and the magical Weezie’s Children’s and butterfly garden. Don’t forget to bring an afternoon picnic on the grounds. The gardens and Carriage House are available for weddings and functions.

North of Boston

Long Hill, Beverly

This former family retreat in Beverly has been renowned for its gardens for almost a century. Explore cultivated gardens, an extraordinary woody plant collection, an apple orchard and meadow, a network of woodland trails, a children’s garden, chickens, and an organic farm!

The Butterfly Place, Westford

What’s more magical than a giant garden-full of butterflies? At The Butterfly Place, you’ll see tropical species from all over the world, along with some local favorites. Walk along a winding pathway and watch butterflies sip from flowers, bask in the sunshine, and fly freely in a natural habitat. And no visit is complete without checking out the koi fish and quail birds that live among the butterflies.

Cape and Islands

Heritage Museums & Gardens, Sandwich

Located on 100 acres of gardens and nature trails, Heritage holds a significant collection of specialty gardens, water features, and sculpture. Hidden Hollow, an interactive family-friendly area, allows for exploration of the natural world and learning about the environment. Heritage boasts three gallery buildings housing automobiles, American folk art, historical artifacts, a vintage carousel, and special exhibitions.

South Shore

Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum, New Bedford

Built in 1834, this National Landmark Greek Revival mansion is the best example of the “brave houses and flowery gardens” described by Herman Melville in Moby-Dick. The property encompasses a full city block of gardens, which include a boxwood parterre rose garden, a boxwood specimen garden, a woodland garden and a cutting garden. It is the only whaling mansion open to the public in New England that retains its original configuration of grounds and outbuildings. Open year-round.

Central Massachusetts

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston

Tower Hill features 132 acres of hilltop garden paradise and a panoramic view of Mt. Wachusett. Distinctive sections include the Lawn Garden with more than 350 varieties of trees and shrubs, the Secret Garden with fragrant and textured perennials, and the one-of-a-kind educational experience of The Systematic Garden, arranged according to our current scientific understanding of their evolutionary relationships.

Skyfields Arboretum, Athol

The historic Willis farmstead at Skyfields, with its beautiful stonewalls, is now the home of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and a showcase of native plant species that serve the needs of wildlife. Ten acres of open fields laced with loop trails teem with birds, butterflies, and dragonflies, and the woodland fringe connects to the much larger (440-acre) Lawton State Forest, itself a treasure house of woodlands and ponds. Across Old Keene Rd. another 30 acres of Skyfields serves as a demonstration of the methods and values of forest stewardship.

Western MA

The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, Lenox

Edith Wharton was an authority on European landscape design as well as a passionate gardener. She envisioned her gardens as an elegant series of outdoor rooms and created unique architectural compositions planned in concert with the house and the surrounding natural landscape. Three acres of formal gardens surround the house. To date, more than $3 million has been invested in the preservation and restoration of The Mount’s gardens and grounds, including restoring the hardscape and replanting approximately 5,000 trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.

Botanic Garden of Smith College, Northampton
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley

The Botanic Garden of Smith College is set on a 125-acre campus landscape, sitting on the edge of Paradise Pond with nearby mountains providing a distant view. The garden encompasses the 12,000-square foot Lyman Conservatory and the Campus Arboretum with a variety of specialty gardens. Visitors are treated to an extraordinary array of rare and unusual plants and garden displays, including a systematics garden, woodland and wildflower garden, Japanese garden, and a rock garden.

Mount Holyoke College boasts an exceptional botanic garden that doubles as an outdoor teaching laboratory. Between Smith and Mount Holyoke College, there are 15 separately designed garden spaces and fully designated arboretums. The Talcott Greenhouse at Mount Holyoke is perfect for the winter months. Each college hosts a spring flower show in early March in the greenhouses, the perfect cure for any lingering winter blues.

Look Park in Northampton, Northampton

Look Park, consisting of over 150 acres, is full of charming spaces for outdoor events, from the idyllic wedding overlooking the park’s pond to the annual family picnic complete with field games. The park was a gift to Northampton from Mrs. Fannie Burr Look, who provided the land, funds for its development, and a trust for its upkeep.

Northampton Garden Tours, Northampton

Every June for the past 20 years, Friends of the Forbes Library hosts the Northampton Garden Tour, featuring six residential gardens not typically open to the public.  From old-fashioned cottage gardens to dramatic hardscapes, the selected gardens offer samplings of both secluded and dramatic spaces. 2014 marks the Friends of the Forbes 21st year hosting the annual Northampton Garden Tour.

About MOTT:

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1 billion in state and local taxes and $16.9 billion in travel related expenditures, supporting 124,700 in-state jobs.


For more information, contact:

Lisa Simmons, Director of Communications

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism


[email protected]


Molly Kravitz, Public Relations Manager

Connelly Partners

Mobile # 317-919-5252 ~ Office # 617-521-5431

[email protected]