Best Garden Tours in Massachusetts

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Massachusetts offers a variety of beautiful garden tours showcasing the state’s rich horticultural heritage.

Here are some noteworthy garden tours in Massachusetts:

The Gardens at Elm Bank (Wellesley):

Website: www.masshort.org/the-garden-at-elm-bank

Located within the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s headquarters, Elm Bank features twelve display gardens, including a children’s garden, Italianate Garden, and a New England Trial Garden.

The Gardens at Elm Bank serve as a hub for plant enthusiasts, gardeners, and those seeking a peaceful and visually stunning environment. The property is not only a showcase for horticulture but also a place for education, community engagement, and appreciation of the natural world.

Elm Bank is also home to several historic buildings, adding to the overall charm of the property. The buildings, including the Cheney-Baltzell Mansion, contribute to the rich history of the site.

Visitors to Elm Bank can enjoy a diverse range of gardens that cater to different tastes and interests, making it a delightful destination for individuals and families alike.

Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge):

Website: www.mountauburn.org

While primarily a cemetery, Mount Auburn is renowned for its stunning landscapes and collections of plants. Guided tours often focus on the cemetery’s historical and horticultural aspects.

Mount Auburn Cemetery is not only a place of remembrance but also a living testament to the intersection of history, nature, and culture.

Its carefully planned landscape and historical significance make it a unique destination that attracts visitors seeking tranquility, natural beauty, and a connection to the past.

Whether exploring its winding paths, attending educational programs, or appreciating the diverse plant life, visitors to Mount Auburn experience a cemetery that transcends traditional notions and offers a sanctuary for reflection and appreciation of life.

Naumkeag (Stockbridge):

Website: thetrustees.org/place/naumkeag

Naumkeag, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is a historic estate that boasts a stunning landscape and gardens.

Designed by noted landscape architect Fletcher Steele in collaboration with Mabel Choate, Naumkeag is renowned for its exceptional gardens, architectural features, and the blend of artistic and horticultural elements.

This Gilded Age estate features stunning terraced gardens, a Chinese Temple Garden, and the famous Blue Steps. Visitors can explore the gardens and learn about the property’s history.

Visitors to Naumkeag can explore the estate, stroll through the gardens, and appreciate the harmonious integration of art and nature. The property is not only a testament to the vision of its creators but also a living landscape that continues to inspire and captivate visitors with its beauty and historical significance.

The Gardens at Crane Estate (Ipswich):

Website: thetrustees.org/place/castle-hill-on-the-crane-estate

Part of the larger Crane Estate, the gardens feature a stunning Grand Allée, a sunken Italian garden, and a Rose Garden. The estate offers guided tours that delve into the history of the property and its gardens.

The Gardens at Crane Estate are situated around the Castle Hill Mansion, a grand 59-room Stuart-style mansion built in 1928. The mansion serves as a stunning focal point and provides a historical context for the gardens.

Whether exploring the manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, or participating in educational programs, visitors to the Gardens at Crane Estate experience a harmonious combination of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden (Boylston):

Website: nebg.org

Tower Hill is a year-round botanic garden with diverse landscapes, including a Systematic Garden, Cottage Garden, and a wildlife-friendly Meadow Garden. Guided tours and seasonal events showcase the garden’s beauty.

The garden is managed by the Worcester County Horticultural Society and is known for its diverse plant collections, thematic gardens, and educational programs.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden offers a delightful combination of horticultural beauty, educational opportunities, and a commitment to environmental stewardship.

Whether visitors are plant enthusiasts, gardeners, or nature lovers, Tower Hill provides a serene and inspiring setting to explore the world of plants and gardening.

Heritage Museums & Gardens (Sandwich):

Website: heritagemuseumsandgardens.org

Known for its expansive gardens and collections, Heritage Museums & Gardens offers guided tours that explore various themed gardens, including a labyrinth and a rhododendron display. The 100-acre property offers visitors a unique blend of horticulture, art, history, and family-friendly activities.

Heritage Museums & Gardens provides a rich and immersive experience for visitors, offering a harmonious blend of natural beauty, cultural exploration, and educational opportunities.

Whether strolling through the gardens, exploring the automobile collection, or participating in family activities, visitors can enjoy a diverse range of experiences within this vibrant cultural destination.

Boston Public Garden (Boston):

Website: www.boston.gov/parks/public-garden

As one of the oldest public botanical gardens in the United States, the Boston Public Garden is famous for its swan boats and stunning floral displays. While it’s not a formal tour, exploring the garden is a must for visitors to Boston.

The garden is renowned for its meticulously planned and maintained floral displays. Seasonal flowerbeds showcase a variety of plants, including tulips in spring, vibrant annuals in summer, and chrysanthemums in fall.

The Public Garden includes formal garden beds with carefully arranged plantings, providing a visually appealing and harmonious landscape. The design incorporates elements of both Victorian and contemporary horticulture.

The Boston Public Garden stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to green spaces and public recreation. Its well-manicured landscapes, iconic features, and historical significance make it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, providing a peaceful oasis in the midst of the bustling city.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston):

Website: www.gardnermuseum.org

While primarily an art museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum features a beautiful courtyard garden inspired by Venetian design. Visitors can explore the museum and its unique garden setting.

The Monk’s Garden is an enclosed courtyard situated at the heart of the museum. It provides a tranquil and contemplative space that contrasts with the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of the galleries.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Ma

The Monk’s Garden is adorned with seasonal plantings, including flowers and greenery that change throughout the year. The carefully chosen plants add color and fragrance to the courtyard, enhancing the overall experience for visitors.

The Monk’s Garden at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is not only a botanical delight but also a carefully crafted work of art. It reflects the founder’s passion for aesthetics, history, and culture, inviting visitors to step into a timeless and enchanting oasis within the heart of the museum.

Smith College Botanic Garden (Northampton):

Website: garden.smith.edu

The Botanic Garden at Smith College includes several specialty gardens, such as the Systematic Garden, Rock Garden, and Lyman Conservatory. Educational programs and guided tours are available for visitors.

Smith College Botanic Garden comprises several specialty gardens, each designed to showcase specific plant collections or themes. These include a Systematic Garden, Rock Garden, Japanese Garden, and various themed gardens.

The botanic garden plays a crucial role in supporting the academic mission of Smith College. It provides a living laboratory for students studying botany, ecology, and environmental science.

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum (Bristol):

Website: www.blithewold.org

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum is a historic estate located in Bristol, Rhode Island. It is known for its beautifully landscaped gardens, historic mansion, and its role as a cultural and educational destination.

Blithewold offers guided tours of its historic mansion and 33 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, including a Rose Garden and Water Garden.

The estate features 33 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The gardens at Blithewold are designed in a variety of styles, including formal gardens, water features, and naturalistic landscapes. Notable gardens include the Rose Garden, Rock Garden, and the Enclosed Garden.

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum offers a delightful blend of history, horticulture, and natural beauty. Whether exploring the mansion, strolling through the gardens, or participating in educational programs, visitors to Blithewold can experience the charm of a historic estate surrounded by lush landscapes.

Before planning your visit, inquire about seasonal events or special tours that may enhance your garden exploration experience.

Have you been on any of these garden tours? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it!

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. In addition to his website, William has contributed travel stories and articles to various travel publications, and his work has been featured in several magazines and online platforms. He also collaborates with tourism boards and travel companies to promote sustainable and responsible travel practices. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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