The following locations are participating in the 2018 Connecticut Historic Gardens Day. This day is set aside each year to showcase some of Connecticut’s most beautiful gardens, estates and houses. Visit each location’s website for full details, address and directions.
Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem, Connecticut
Discover the treasures of the Bellamy-Ferriday estate. Stroll through the formal parterre garden designed 1915-1918 by Eliza Mitchell Ferriday. Grounds admission is free; regular admission applies for historic house tour. Garden Tours at 1 and 3 pm.
Butler-McCook House & Garden, Hartford
Walk through the historic Jacob Weidenmann Garden that was installed by Eliza Butler McCook and her sister Mary in 1865. Today the garden is lovingly maintained by the West Hartford Garden Club. Grounds admission is free; regular admission applies for historic house tour.
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme
Visit the gardens and landscape that inspired a generation of artists. Enjoy refreshments on Miss Florence’s porch. Get creative and pick up all the painting supplies necessary to make your own masterpiece in the garden or down by the river. Discover more about the landscape using one of the Museum’s “Explorer Kits.” Have lunch at Café Flo. Grounds admission is free; regular admission applies for historic house and art gallery. This year’s summer exhibition, Art and the New England Farm, will be of particular interest to garden and landscape lovers!
Glebe House Museum and The Gertrude Jekyll Garden, Woodbury
The Glebe house will offer guided garden tours where you will learn about their Jekyll Garden Restoration Project, and enjoy light refreshments. There will be a drawing for a signed and framed Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day poster. The historic Glebe House (first floor) will be open free of charge during the event.
Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford
Tours of the Harkness Memorial State Park gardens which were designed by America’s first female landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand and the history of the Harkness Estate, EOLIA, will be presented free of charge from 12pm to 4pm by Park Staff and Friends of Harkness volunteers at Harkness Memorial State Park, on Great Neck Road, in Waterford. Also, tours of the Harkness mansion will be available from 10am until 2pm for a suggested donation. After your garden and mansion tours, visit the Gift Shop at the Carriage House, open from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Bring a picnic and after your tours enjoy the spectacular views of Long Island Sound from the Great Lawn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford
Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center historic gardens featuring shade-loving perennials, colorful annuals, shrubs, meadow flowers, exotic elephant ears, castor bean plants, and stately roses. On Connecticut Historic Gardens Day, try your hand at painting en plein air.
With ticketed admission, visitors can tour Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1871 home, a National Historic Landmark. On the interactive, conversational tour, visitors will learn about the life and impact of the author of the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, connect the past to the present, and see the beautifully preserved Victorian Gothic Cottage where Stowe lived for 23 years. Stowe’s life and work show how one person can make a difference. Visitors will leave feeling inspired that they too can create positive change.
Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington
Visitors to Hill-Stead’s famous Sunken Garden will encounter a living example of landscape architect Beatrix Farrand’s creative vision for one family’s estate. Built in a natural depression in the landscape, the garden occupies nearly an acre of perennials, annuals and shrubs nestled in thirty-six beds in the original site of the Pope family’s garden. Enjoy informal garden tours of the Sunken Garden and the Pollinator Garden, newly planted in the stone foundation of an historic greenhouse. Learn about pollinator-friendly plants in both gardens. Enjoy refreshments in the garden on a Sunday afternoon.
The museum is open for tours from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Regular admission applies to the museum, but is free with membership. A special exhibition, “Diamonds in the Rough: Golfing at Hill-Stead” will be on view for museum visitors as well.
Osborne Homestead Museum, Derby
The Osborne Homestead Museum will provide guided tours of the museum and its gardens. Visitors can enjoy tours of the lovely Colonial Revival gardens and go to a potpourri station to make scented sachets. All materials will be supplied, and there will be no fee. After strolling through the gardens, visitors can tour the historic house museum where they will learn about Frances Osborne Kellogg’s love of flowers and land conservation. Complimentary museum and garden tours will be offered every half hour beginning at noon.
Promisek at Three Rivers Farm, Bridgewater
Promisek gardeners will be on hand from noon to 4pm to answer questions about the Beatrix Farrand-designed garden and the history of the land. We encourage those who wish to sketch, draw or paint to bring their materials.
Roseland Cottage, Woodstock
Roseland Cottage’s gardener will lead tours of the formal boxwood parterre garden at Roseland Cottage. Learn the history, significance, and theory behind the garden layout and design. Jana Milbocker will be present to sign her recently-published The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast and answer questions. Roseland Cottage and several other of Connecticut’s Historic Gardens are featured in the book. Tours on the hour.
Stanley-Whitman House, Farmington
Stanley-Whitman House costumed interpreters will be dying cloth and fiber in the 18th-century Dooryard Gardens from 12-4 pm on Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day. Admission is free. Visitors will watch and interact with interpreters as they process a selection of these plants and dye fibers on Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day. Dooryard gardens were areas of active seasonal work, such as laundry, soap- and candle-making, butchering, and dying. Far from formal beautiful spaces, these garden areas served functions that were messy, smelly and often crowded with people, animals and equipment.
Thankful Arnold House Museum, Haddam Historical Society, Haddam
Haddam Historical Society and Thankful Arnold House Museum garden tour is open from 12 noon to 4 pm. Free admission, light refreshments and crafts all afternoon. Visitors will learn how herbs, vegetables and plants were used by the Widow Thankful Arnold in the early 19th century. The Wilhelmina Ann Arnold Barnhart Memorial Garden features over 50 varieties of herbs including those used in cooking, dyeing, fragrance and medicine. The museum’s newly interpreted outhouse will also be on the tour.
This year’s activity for both adults and children will be making a small hedgehog or mouse from teasel plants grown in the garden or make a lavender sachet. Our newly published garden brochure will be featured and distributed throughout the afternoon. Light refreshments will also be served including our famous rhubarb tea.
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield
The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum garden will be open for this special event from 12 PM until 4 PM. We hope to see you in our garden.
Webb Deane Stevens museum will celebrate the day with special programs on our colonial revival garden designed in 1921 by landscape gardener Amy Cogswell. Admission to the garden is free and tours of the museum houses will be available for a fee.
Join us for discussion of the history of Colonial Revival era gardens with displays of the original garden plans before going outside for a guided tour of the garden. The will also have a brief slide show of the garden throughout the year and serve refreshments.
Guests will be able to enter a free raffle for a lovely framed poster featuring a print of a painting done by a Connecticut artist for the 2018 Connecticut Historic Gardens Day.
Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton
Celebrate Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day at Weir Farm National Historic Site, where gardens and art go hand-in-hand! On Sunday June 24, from 12:00 to 4:00 pm, park staff and Garden Gang volunteers will offer short informal talks in the Sunken Garden and Secret Garden about each garden’s history, flowers, restoration, and ongoing preservation. In addition to the talks, visitors can spend an afternoon painting en plein air in a landscape that has inspired artists for over 130 years using the park’s free-to-use watercolor supplies! This year’s Connecticut Garden’s Day Poster Contest Winner was a Weir Farm work by former Artist-in-Residence Bonnie Beers Johnson. There is no registration for this event – just stop by and smell the flowers!
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