Enjoy this special state-wide celebration of Connecticut’s stunning historic gardens. Member sites host special events and activities celebrating their gardens. Choose the gardens in your own backyard, or plan a daytrip to see those further afield.
Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden
Stroll through the circa 1915 formal garden and landscaped grounds of the Ferriday Garden. Guides will be on hand to share informative and often amusing excerpts from Caroline Ferriday’s garden notebooks that illustrate her interests and concerns about the plants she chose for the garden and their care. Check out the plants for sale and the art exhibit featured in the visitor center where iced tea will be available as well. Grounds admission is free; regular admission applies for historic house tour.
Florence Griswold Museum
At the Florence Griswold Museum, outdoor activities are free from 12 to 4pm. Visitors are invited to enjoy light refreshments as they stroll through “Miss Florence’s” historic gardens and down to the Lieutenant River. Painting materials will be supplied so that visitors can try their hand at creating their own masterpieces. Museum admission applies to House and galleries.
Harkness Memorial State Park
Garden tours and talks about the history and Beatrix Farrand design of the Harkness gardens will be provided free of charge by Friends of Harkness volunteers and Park Staff. In addition to the garden tours, take a tour of the mansion from 10am to 2pm and enjoy spectacular views of Long Island Sound. Also on June 22, Historic Garden Day will be celebrated at 13 other historical sites throughout CT.
Enjoy cookies and lemonade in the Sunken Garden at Hill-Stead Museum. Learn about the Walking Garden on the property: a talk will be given at 1:00 pm by Garden Manager Lea Anne Moran. Volunteers have been working on this one-acre garden for a few seasons, clearing the area, studying the century-old plantings that have sprung through the clearing, and planning the next steps. Come learn a little about the past and the present, while you enjoy a pleasant afternoon in the 1920s Sunken Garden, designed by Beatrix Farrand, America’s first female landscape architect. Bring your children: drawing and coloring materials will be provided.
Promisek at Three Rivers Farm
Enjoy a brief lecture on the Beatrix Farrand-designed garden and the history of the land.
Enjoy a guided tour of the formal boxwood parterre garden at Roseland Cottage. Learn the history, significance, and theory behind the garden layout and design. Visitors are also invited to test their skill at croquet. Representatives of the US Croquet Association will be on hand to assist with the traditional game played by the Bowen family during their summer sojourns in Woodstock. Enjoy the gardens and play the game that nearly destroyed the presidency of Roseland guest Rutherford B. Hayes! Free guided garden tours on the hour. Free house tours to those dressed in white.
Haddam Historical Society and Thankful Arnold House Museum
Visitors will learn how herbs, vegetables and plants were used by the Widow Thankful Arnold in the early 19thcentury. The Wilhelmina Ann Arnold Barnhart Memorial Garden features over 50 varieties of herbs including those used in cooking, dyeing, fragrance and medicine.
This year’s acitivity for both adults and children will be making a small magical grapevine wreath with dried flowers, herbs and ribbons. Light refreshments will also be served including our famous rhubarb tea. Free admission and craft all afternoon. For further information visit www.haddamhistory.org or call 860-345-2400.