Discover the Fairy Gardens at Roger Williams Botanical Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Imagine 12,000 square feet of indoor gardens, exploding with lush foliage and spectacular colors. Now imagine your surprise when you discover a wee house or garden tucked amongst the hundreds of plant varieties growing in four greenhouses.
The month of April is your chance to experience Fairy Garden Days at the Roger Williams Botanical Center. The exhibit runs from April 15 – 30 every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are most welcome.
Roger Williams Botanical Center
1000 Elmwood Avenue
Providence, RI 02905
Why fairy gardens? One of the volunteer staff explained that it’s easy to scan a garden and not really see it. “We’re encouraging visitors to look closer to see the wonder of the hidden treasures and, in the process, really notice the plants,” she said.
Over 100 original creations have been cleverly installed in the gardens and they do, indeed, cause one to slow down and look. Your first view is at the entrance to the main conservatory where an adorable hut floats on the pond. Once inside the building, you’ll need a moment to absorb the magnificent palms and tropical plants filling the room and reaching to the glass roof. Bring your camera for an experience you’ll want to share.
The large reflecting pond in the center of the main room is adorned with fairy boats and bridges, but that’s only the beginning. Every greenhouse is filled with both botanical beauty and the charm of these fairy creations.
After a fine winter’s rest, the tropicals and cacti are bursting with bloom. They’ve enjoyed every scrap of sun the season provided, plus warmth and humidity, and tender loving care by volunteers who make this place a joy to visit.
The Roger Williams Botanical Center is the largest public indoor-display garden in New England, and has been open since 2007. The four greenhouses are the Conservatory, the Mediterranean Room, and two additional rooms which hold cacti, succulents, tropical plants, and fruiting trees like bananas and lemons.
Now that spring is officially here, once you’ve oohed and ahhed over the fairy gardens, step outside and wander through the perennial gardens. As the month progresses, more and more beautiful plants, shrubs, and trees will put on a show.
Bring a picnic and sit by the lake. Other attractions at the park include the zoo, a museum, casino, a planetarium, and a carousel.
But the Botanical Center has fairies!
This article and photographs were provided by Toni Leland, a Connecticut freelance writer and Master Gardener in southeastern Connecticut. She is available for assignment on a wide range of subjects: travel, history, nature, gardening, wildlife, cooking, writing, horses, and outdoor living to name a few.
Toni’s writing has appeared in several regional and national magazines and newspapers, and she also writes fiction. She is a member of the American Horticultural Society, the American Community Gardening Association, Connecticut Master Gardeners Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association.