rhododendrons beneath the birches
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

. . . including open gardens, public and private, as well as other noteworthy landscape- and garden-related events open to the public in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

The Corona virus is forcing many postponements, cancellations, and other changes. It’s always a good idea to confirm opening dates and times.

Gardens/Events Listed

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

Seal Harbor, Me., Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday, July 11-September 19

Asticou Azalea Garden

Northeast Harbor, Me., daily, May-October

Asticou Terraces

Northeast Harbor, Me., daily, year round

Bedrock Gardens

Lee, N.H., Tuesday-Friday and first and third weekends of each month, May 17-October 9

The Birchwood

Montgomery Center, Vt.,  first public opening June 9-11

Blaine House

Augusta, Me., tours Wednesday-Friday, year round. 

Cady’s Falls Botanical Garden

Morrisville, Vt., daily, spring-fall

Camden Garden Club Tour

Camden, Me., July 20

Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour

Cape Elizabeth, Me., July 15

Castine Inn Garden

Castine, Me., daily, year round

Celia Thaxter’s Garden Tours

off Portsmouth, N. H., July-August 

Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden

Southwest Harbor, Me., daily, mid-May—mid-October

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Boothbay, Me., daily, May 1-October 23

College of the Atlantic

Bar Harbor, Me., daily, year round


Goffstown, N.H., June 3-5. This year’s opening cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Fells

Newbury, N.H., daily, year round

Fort Williams Park

Cape Elizabeth, Me., daily, year round

Fuller Gardens

North Hampton, N.H., daily, mid-May—mid-October

Garden at Tracy Library

New London, N.H., daily, year round

Garland Farm

Bar Harbor, Me., Thursdays, June 24-September 23

Governor John Langdon House & Gardens

Portsmouth, N.H., Friday-Sunday, June 1-October 15

Hamilton House

Berwick, Me., Saturday-Sunday, June 4-October 16


Manchester, Vt., daily, year round

Kirkwood Gardens

Holderness, N.H., daily, May 1-November 1

Longfellow House

Portland, Me., daily, May-October

Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamental Trials Garden

Orono, Me., daily, year round

Maple Hill Gardens

Hollis, N.H., daily, year round

McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

South Paris, Me., daily, May 7-October 31

Merryspring Nature Center

Camden, Me., daily, year round

Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden

Portsmouth, N.H., Friday-Monday, June 1 – mid-October

New Castle Village Walk & Garden Tour

New Castle, N.H., June 13. This year’s tour cancelled due to Covid-19.

Northern New England Open Days

York, Me.; Peterborough, N.H.; Temple, N.H.; and Westminster West Vt.,  June 25-26

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Ogunquit, Me., daily, May 1-October 31

Old Stone House Museum

Brownington, Vt., daily, mid-May—mid-October

Open Garden Day

Northeast Harbor, Me., July 30

Palace Theatre Garden Tour

Manchester, N.H., June 18

Pickity Place

Mason, N.H., daily, year round

Pineland Farms

New Gloucester, Me., daily, spring-fall

Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth Tour

Portsmouth, N. H., June 24-25

Prescott Park

Portsmouth, N.H., daily, year round

Rhododendron State Park

Fitzwilliam, N.H., daily, year round but best in mid-July

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

Cornish, N.H., daily, year round

‘The Sea Around Us’ garden tour

Boothbay, Me., region, July 15.

Shelburne Farms

Shelburne, Vt., daily, year round

Shelburne Museum

Shelburne, Vt., Wednesday-Sunday, beginning June 2

Shin-boku Nursery

Wentworth, N.H., daily, year round

Strawberry Banke

Portsmouth, N.H., daily, June 19-October 17

Thuya Garden

Northeast Harbor, Me., Wednesday-Sunday, June 22-October 2

University of Maine Gardens at Tidewater Farm

Falmouth, Me., daily, year round

University of Vermont Horticultural Farm

South Burlington, Vt., April-November

Viles Arboretum

Augusta, Me., daily, year round

Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion

Portsmouth, N.H., daily, year round but best in late May

Wild Gardens of Acadia

Bar Harbor, Me., daily, year round

Woodlawn Museum

Ellsworth, Me., daily, year round

Please e-mail listings, preferably in the format below, to: evergreenfoundationnh@gmail.com.


Year Round

Photo by Blaine House

Blaine House Gardens

Wednesday & Friday, YEAR ROUND, 9:30-11, 2-3

Blaine House, State and Capitol Streets, Augusta, Me.  Maine’s 19th-century governor’s mansion, surrounded by broad lawns edged with annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees.  Free.  Admission on guided tours only; make reservations at mainestatemuseum.org/learn or 207-287-6634 at least 3 days in advance.

Currently closed due to Covid-19.

Photo by Castine Inn

Castine Inn Garden

Daily, YEAR ROUND, any time

Castine Inn Garden, 33 Main Street, Castine, Me. A small (7,500-square-foot) garden, mainly mature perennials and shrubs, adjacent to the inn and nicely screened from the street by its taller plants. Free.

Turrets Seaside Gardens, College of the Atlantic

Photos by College of the Atlantic

Turrets Seaside Gardens, Beatrix Farrand Garden and Sunken Garden at College of the Atlantic


College of the Atlantic, Route 3, Bar Harbor, Me.  A formal perennial garden, the vestige of terraces designed by Beatrix Farrand, and other small gardens on the college’s 38-acre campus, once the site of three oceanside estates.  Free.

Photo by Jennifer Steele

Fort Williams Park

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Fort Williams Park, 1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, Me.  Naturalistic cliff-top gardens on a former military reservation overlooking the ocean, now owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth.  In an ongoing restoration program led by the Friends of Fort Williams Park (sponsor of the Annual Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour), thickets of Japanese knotweed and other invasive exotic plants have been removed, thereby revealing native plants and picturesque ledges and opening up dramatic views of Casco Bay and Portland Head Lighthouse. Graceful plantings of native trees, shrubs, perennials, and ground covers are being added. Free.

Photo by Littlefield Garden

Trees in bloom at the Littlefield Garden

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden, University of Maine, Orono, Me.  4 acres of perennials and shrubs in formal and informal groupings. Free.

Photo by Merryspring Nature Center

Poppies and other perennials at Merryspring Nature Center

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Merryspring Nature Center, 30 Conway Road, Camden, Me. The 66-acre site features a daylily garden, herb garden, hosta garden, rock garden, and rose garden, plus annual and perennial beds and an arboretum. The office is open Tuesday-Friday, 9-2. Free but donations encouraged.

Photo by Pamela Hargest

Perennial displays at Tidewater Farms

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

University of Maine Gardens at Tidewater Farm, Farm Gate Road, Falmouth, Me.: Large plots of vegetables and perennials, including All America selections, plus orchards and wildflower gardens, with views of the Presumpscott River.  Free but donations welcome.
800-287-1471 (in Maine), 207-781-6099

Photo by Viles Arboretum

Sycamore trees at Viles Arboretum

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Viles Arboretum, 3 Hospital Street, Augusta, Me. The 224-acre site includes the largest public hosta garden in Maine, with more than 200 varieties; a rock garden with nearly 50 species; large collections of lilacs, conifers, chestnuts, sycamores, apples, and other trees; and the state’s largest permanent outdoor art collection, all accessed on 6 miles of trails. Many plants are labeled. The Visitor Center is open 10:30-4:30, Wednesday-Saturday. Free but donations welcome.


Wild Gardens of Acadia, Route 3, Acadia National Park, about 2 miles south of Bar Harbor.  Three-quarter-acre collection of 400 plant species, mainly perennials, all native to Mount Desert, labeled and arranged in 12 distinctive habitats (mountain, meadow, bog, brookside, etc.); maintained by volunteers. Free.
800-625-0321; 207-288-3340

Photo by Woodlawn Museum

Black House with gardens, Woodlawn Museum

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Woodlawn Museum, Route 172, Ellsworth, Me.  Beautiful brick Federal mansion with tall, elegant 18-pane windows (the Black House) on 180 acres with large old trees, perennial gardens, and a formal garden enclosed by a lilac hedge. Grounds free; house tours $12, May-October.

The house may be closed due to Covid-19.

The Fells Historic Estate and Gardens

Photos by The Fells

Historic estate with perennial border, Rhododendron maximum , and the heather bed at The Fells

Daily, YEAR ROUND, 9-4

The Fells, Route 103A, Newbury, N.H. Historic summer home of John Hay, secretary of state under presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt; extensive gardens created by Hay’s son Clarence and Clarence’s wife, Alice, including a large hillside rock garden, walled gardens, perennial borders, and woodland gardens on 83 acres on lake Sunapee. $5-10.

Photos by Beaver Brook Association

Shade and Fragrance Gardens at Maple Hill Gardens

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Maple Hill Gardens, 117 Ridge Road, Hollis, N. H. 13 “theme” gardens, both formal and informal, with more than 350 shade-tolerant or sun-loving species, mainly perennials, planted around the Beaver Brook Association’s headquarters buildings.  Free.


Photos by Pickety Place

Gardens and Aliums at Pickety Place

Daily, YEAR ROUND, 10-5, April-December; 10-4, January-March

Pickity Place, 248 Nutting Hill Road, Mason, N.H. An adorable 18th-century Cape surrounded by vast, well-established garden beds, mainly perennials and herbs. The herbs are served in the restaurant’s 5-course lunches.

Photo by Prescott Park

Lush flower beds at Prescott Park


Prescott Park, Marcy Street, Portsmouth, N.H. City-owned waterfront park with three fountains and well-designed flower gardens: Brick paths curve around billowing beds of (mainly) annuals, each variety planted in a large stunning sweep.  Free.

Photos by New Hampshire State Parks

Rhododendron maximum in bloom at Rhododendron State Park

Daily, YEAR ROUND, but best in mid-July

Rhododendron State Park, 424 Rockwood Pond Road, Fitzwilliam, N. H. A National Natural Landmark, named for its 16-acre grove of Rhododendron maximum, the largest colony of wild rhododendrons in northern New England. The huge, centuries-old broadleaf evergreen shrubs—also known as rosebays or great laurel—are viewed from a nearly level, handicapped-accessible .6-mile trail. Rosebays are less showy than other rhodies—their white blossoms tend to be sparse—so try to visit only during their peak bloom period: mid-July. The adjacent .1-mile Laurel Trail curves through eponymous mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), another native broadleaf evergreen shrub with shiny leathery leaves; its exquisite white flowers bloom in June. The Wildflower Trail passes herbaceous perennials. $4 on summer weekends; otherwise free, but donations are welcome.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpture and formal gardens.

Photo by Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpture and formal gardens

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, Saint-Gaudens Road, Cornish, N.H. Historic home and studios of noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  Grounds include his sculptures and formal gardens with fountains and pools, enclosed by tall clipped evergreen hedges. Buildings open Memorial Day weekend – October 31. $10.

Some buildings may be closed due to Covid-19.


Shin-boku Nursery, 230 Beech Hill, Wentworth, N. H., specializes in Japanese-style shin-boku: large, old needle-evergreen trees and shrubs carefully pruned—rather like giant bonsai—into beautiful picturesque shapes.  Some of these specimens are planted in the nursery’s exquisite “dry garden,” a classic Japanese landscape composition in which a large, irregular bed of pebbles represents a pond or other water body, handsome boulders represent islands or even mountains, the “water” is edged with graceful earth mounds, moss-covered rocks, evergreen shrubs, and stone sculpture and lanterns—which represent the higher landscape around the pond—and the entire composition is accessed by graceful bridges, each consisting of a single large piece of stone. (The Asticou Azalea Garden has a similar feature.) Free.

Photo by Tracy Library

Garden at Tracy Library


Garden at Tracy Library, 304 Main Street, New London, N. H. The quadrilaterally symmetrical garden behind the public library, designed in 1926 by the Olmsted Brothers, features a square pool, with a bronze fountain, surrounded by lush perennial beds in neat parterres. Free.

Elaborate formal gardens at Hildene

Photo by Hildene

Elaborate formal gardens at Hildene

Daily, YEAR ROUND (except Easter, Thanksgiving, and December 24-26),  9:30-4:30

Hildene, Route 7A, Manchester, Vt.  A stunning Georgian Revival mansion built by Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of Abraham Lincoln to live to adulthood. In the broad terrace in front of the home, a tapestry of perennial beds is framed by an elaborate formal network of privet hedges. $23.

Photo by Shelburne Farms

Symmetrical terrace gardens overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains

Daily, YEAR ROUND, dawn to dusk

Shelburne Farms, 1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne, Vt.  Gilded Age estate of the Webb family, now a large non-profit working farm and opulent inn and restaurant with restored formal gardens: symmetrical terraces, supported by elegant balustraded brick and stone walls, on a slope on the edge of Lake Champlain. The long, narrow terraces are planted with neat groups of (mainly) perennials. Like a villa on Lake Como, the view from the lawn above the terraces is an extraordinary use of “borrowed” lake-and-mountain scenery.  A long balustrade is the base of a stunning view: a vast expanse of the region’s largest lake, with the Adirondacks—the highest mountains in New York State—rising to the horizon on the far side. All buildings closed due to Covid-19, but visitors are welcome to walk the grounds. Free but donation requested.

Photos by Shelburne Museum

Spring blossoms, day lilies, and perennial beds at Shelburne Museum

Wednesday-Sunday, 10-4, beginning June 2

Shelburne Museum, 6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, Vt. 22 small gardens, mostly perennials, plus many lilacs and mature trees decorate one of New England’s largest collections of historic buildings and other artifacts. 2-day admission: $25 from May 1 to October 31 ($15 for Vermont residents), $10 from November 1 to April 30.
www.shelburnemuseum.org; the “museum from above” video is a graceful aerial tour of the museum’s 45-acre campus.


Photos by Pineland Farms

Gardens at Pineland Farms

Daily, SPRING-FALL, 8 am-dusk

Pineland Farms, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester, Me.  Formerly a state hospital for the mentally disabled, now owned by the non-profit Libra Foundation, the posh, well-groomed 5,000-acre complex includes a garden with 34 varieties of lilacs; a “Great Lawn” with water features, sweeps of daffodils and tulips, large annual beds, and distant views of the White Mountains; and a 1-acre garden with 6,000 annuals, 130 varieties of perennials, herb and vegetable gardens, conifer and blueberry beds, and an allee of 20 apple trees, all accessed on a quarter-mile of paved walkways.  Free.

Photo by Cady’s Falls Botanical Garden

Rock garden at Cady’s Falls Botanical Garden

Daily, SPRING-FALL, 10-5

Cady’s Falls Botanical Garden, 6637 Duhamel Road, Morrisville, Vt.  For decades Cady’s Falls Nursery was distinguished by its extensive selection of home-grown trees, shrubs, and perennials, many of them rare, and by its lush, graceful naturalistic display gardens.  Don and Lela Avery no longer sell plants, but their gardens remain open by donation.

April – November

Photo by Vermont Horticultural Farm

Giant rhododendrons at the Vermont Horticultural Farm

Monday-Friday, APRIL-NOVEMBER, 8-4

University of Vermont Horticultural Farm, 65 Green Mountain Road, South Burlington, Vt. Large collections of mature ornamental plants, including more than 15 species of rhododendrons and native azaleas, which bloom in late May/early June; more than 100 lilacs, including 46 different varieties, which bloom in May; rare conifers and other shrubs; plus large perennial beds. A free map identifies the collections, which include some of the largest specimens in Vermont. Free.


Photos by Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion

Lilacs in bloom at the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion

Daily, LATE MAY, dawn to dusk

Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, 375 Little Harbor Road, Portsmouth, N. H.  Common lilacs (Syringa vulgaris), planted in the mid-1700s by the colonial governor Benning Wentworth, are at peak bloom.  Free.

May – October

Photos by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Giles Rhododendron & Perennial Garden and Lerner Garden of the Five Senses at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Daily, May 1 – OCTOBER 17, 9-5

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, off Route 27, Boothbay, Me.  One of northern New England’s newest public gardens, but already its largest and most elaborate—and getting more extensive every year. It already includes vast display gardens and a large woodland rhododendron collection surrounding an impressive waterfall. $22. Advance admission tickets required.

Some buildings closed. Services reduced.

Photo by Longfellow Garden Club

Longfellow House Garden

Daily, MAY-OCTOBER, 10-5

Longfellow House, 489 Congress Street, Portland, Me. Long, narrow garden of perennials, shrubs, and deciduous trees beside an early-19th-century brick townhouse that was the childhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and is now the headquarters of the Maine Historical Society. The garden is maintained by the Longfellow Garden Club. Free.

Photos by Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Garden at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Daily, MAY 1-OCTOBER 31, 10-5

Ogunquit Museum of American Art, 543 Shore Road, Ogunquit, Me. A collection of outdoor sculpture is displayed in a 3-acre seaside garden of mixed perennials, shrubs, and trees. $12.

The Asticou Azalea Garden was created in 1957 by Charles K. Savage

Photo by the Land & Garden Preserve

Asticou Azalea Garden


Asticou Azalea Garden, intersection of Routes 3 and 198, Northeast Harbor, Me. Serene, naturalistic 2.3-acre Japanese-inspired garden created by the amateur landscape designer Charles K. Savage; mainly evergreen trees and shrubs, including rhododendrons and azaleas taken from Reef Point, the former estate of the noted landscape architect Beatrix Farrand in Bar Harbor. Many of the plants are arranged along a stream and around two ponds. There’s also a Japanese-style raked-sand “pond” garden with rock “islands.” Peak azalea bloom is late June; rhododendrons and mountain laurel are most colorful in July. Suggested donation: $5.

The Asticou Terraces in Northeast Harbor, Me., are suburb naturalistic design

Photo by Eileen Oktavec

Asticou Terraces

Daily, MAY-OCTOBER, dawn to dusk

Asticou Terraces, Route 3, Northeast Harbor, Me.  Superb naturalistic landscape created by Boston landscape architect Joseph Henry Curtis at his former summer residence: A smooth half-mile path gently ascends a forested hillside, past handsome wood-and-stone gazebos with views of Northeast Harbor. The presence of only indigenous materials (granite, spruce trees, mosses, sheep laurel, and blueberry bushes) erases the line between the human-made and the natural. The path ends at the Thuya Lodge, Curtis’ summer home, and the Thuya Garden, described below.  The Terraces are described at greater length, and illustrated with two color photographs, in The Woodland Garden.  Donation requested.

Lotuses in the 200 foot-long Wiggle Waggle at Bedrock Gardens

Photos by Bedrock Gardens

Parterre garden and Lotuses in the 200 foot-long Wiggle Waggle at Bedrock Gardens

MAY 12 – OCTOBER 11, Tuesday-Friday & first & third weekends of each month, 10-4 

Bedrock Gardens, 19 High Road, Lee, N.H.  A large, lively collection of plants, garden follies, and contemporary sculpture by garden co-creator Jill Nooney arranged across 30 acres of a former dairy farm. $10 suggested donation.

Rhododendrons at McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

Photo by McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

Rhododendrons in McLaughlin Garden

Daily, MAY 7 – OCTOBER 31, dawn to dusk

McLaughlin Garden & Homestead, 97 Main Street (Route 26), South Paris, Me. A 3½-acre collection of perennials, trees, and shrubs—especially lilacs—planted by the late Bernard McLaughlin at his former home. Buildings closed Mondays.  $5 suggested donation.

Photo by Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden.

Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden.

Daily, MID-MAYMID-OCTOBER, dawn to dusk

Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden, Route 102, Southwest Harbor, Me.  Lush, well-maintained one-acre seaside garden, mainly of annuals and perennials (including milkweed) that attract monarchs and other butterflies. $5 suggested donation per family.

Photo by Fuller Gardens

Roses at Fuller Gardens

Daily, MID-MAYMID-OCTOBER, 10-5:30

Fuller Gardens, 10 Willow Avenue, off Ocean Boulevard (Route 1A), North Hampton, N.H.  Early-20th-century ocean-side Olmsted-designed estate gardens created by businessman, philanthropist, and former Massachusetts governor Alvan T. Fuller, with rose gardens, conservatory, annual displays, small Japanese garden, and walled perennial garden. $9.

Wednesday-Sunday, MID-MAYMID-OCTOBER, 11-4

Old Stone House Museum. The lovely historic hamlet of Brownington, Vt., is a collection of attractive early 19th-century buildings and a 25-by-50-foot formal garden of perennials and herbs popular in the 1800s. $10.

May – November

Kirkwood Gardens

Photo by Kirkwood Gardens

Kirkwood Gardens

Daily, MAY 1-NOVEMBER 1, dawn to dusk

Kirkwood Gardens, Route 3, just north of Route 113, Holderness, N. H. Informal 1-acre garden, now owned by the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, with graceful plantings of both sun-loving and shade-tolerant annuals, perennials, and shrubs; plus fountains, sculpture, and signs describing the plants. Free.


Massed rhododendrons create vast sweeps of color

Photo by Eileen Oktavec

Massed Catawba rhododendrons at Evergreen

Friday-Sunday,  JUNE 3-5, 10-5 

Evergreen, 42 Summer Street, Goffstown, N.H.  The one-acre woodland garden’s annual public opening is always on the first weekend in June, when its sweeps of 220 Catawba rhododendrons are at or near peak bloom.  Free.

This year’s opening cancelled due to Covid-19.

Photo by Eileen Oktavec

Sweeps of Catawba rhododendrons in bloom at the Birchwood

Friday-Sunday, JUNE 9-11, 2023, 10-5 

The Birchwood, 3217 Hazen’s Notch Road, Montgomery Center, Vt. The second major woodland garden created by landscape designer Robert Gillmore opens for the first time when nearly 700 of its more than 1,200 rhododendrons are in bloom. $7, to benefit the Friends of the Montgomery Library.

Due to Covid-19, the Birchwood’s first public opening has been postponed to June 9-11, 2023.

New Castle Village Walk
Seaside garden on the New Castle Village Walk & Garden Tour

Sunday, JUNE 13, 1-4:30

New Castle Village Walk & Garden Tour. Self-guided tour of 9 private gardens in one of New Hampshire’s oldest towns.  Begins at the Coast Guard station on Wentworth Road, off Route 1B.  $25; $20 if tickets are bought before the tour date.

Due to Covid-19, this year’s tour is cancelled.

Palace Theatre Garden Tour
Palace Theatre Garden Tour

Saturday, JUNE 18, 10-3

Palace Theatre’s 3rd Annual Garden Tour, Manchester, N.H. 9 private residential gardens in New Hampshire’s largest city. $30; $25 if tickets are bought before the tour date.

Friday, JUNE 24, 5-8; Saturday, JUNE 25, 9-3

33rd Annual Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth Tour. 10 private gardens in Portsmouth, N.H., including those of the 18th-century Georgian South Church.  $25; $20 if tickets are bought before the tour weekend.


JUNE 26-27, JULY 10

Northern New England Open Days. 9 exceptional private gardens—1 in York, Me.,  4 in the Monadnock Region of southwestern New Hampshireand 4 in the Upper Connecticut Valley of eastern Vermont—open to the public in the Garden Conservancy’s annual Open Days program. The Conservancy seeks to preserve America’s outstanding gardens and open them to the public, usually as non-profit organizations (see www.gardenconservancy.org). The Fells was one of its first preservation projects. Evergreen, now a non-profit public garden, was an Open Days garden from 2010 to 2017.
$10 per person per garden. Admission by pre-registration only at www.garden conservancy.org. The open gardens are all described below.

Photo by Brian Jones

Braveboat Harbor Farm

JUNE 26 & 27, 10-4

York, Me., Open Days: Braveboat Harbor Farm. Extensive formal and informal perennial gardens, a woodland garden, two ponds, an orchard, a vegetable garden, espaliered apple and pear trees, and collections of rhododendrons, magnolias, and other flowering trees and shrubs, all surrounding a Georgian stone house with views of the Atlantic Ocean.

JUNE 25, 10-4​

The Gardens of Beachwood Farm, Temple, N. H.  On a former dairy farm on the slope of Temple Mountain, the gardens offer vistas across open fields to ponds and other water features.

Photo by Maude Odgers

Gardens of Maude and John Odgers

The Gardens of Maude & John Odgers, Peterborough, N. H.  Large collections of perennials and shrubs in curvilinear beds linked by turf.

Gardens of Gordon and Mary Hayward

Gordon & Mary Hayward in Westminster West, Vt., The lush 1½-acre landscape surrounds a restored late 18th-century farmhouse and includes informal collections of perennials, trees, and shrubs planted within formal parterres. The gardens also offer charming naturalistic rooms and other vignettes, picturesque furniture and sculpture, and views of surrounding meadows. The landscape is featured in one of the Haywards’ books, The Intimate Garden, and on their website, www.haywardgardens.com.

June – August

Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden
Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden


Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden. Poppies, hollyhocks and other venerable perennials first planted by the romantic poet Celia Thaxter at her family’s summer hotel on Appledore Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off the New Hampshire coast.  Thaxter described her 15-foot-by-50-foot garden in An Island Garden, published in 1893 and illustrated by the impressionist painter Childe Hassam—one of Thaxter’s many distinguished guests, who included such 19th-century literati as Emerson, Hawthorne, and Longfellow.  The island’s Shoals Marine Laboratory offers day cruises from New Castle, N.H., including a guided tour and “gourmet” lunch, for $100.

June – September

Photo by Patrick Chasse’

Heather Garden at Garland Farm

Thursdays, JUNE 24 – SEPTEMBER 23, 1-4

Garland Farm, 475 Bay View Drive (off Route 3), Bar Harbor, Me. Home and gardens of noted landscape architect Beatrix Farrand (designer of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden and other gardens on Mount Desert Island). Mainly perennial beds in symmetrical parterres, including heather, heath, and lavender gardens.  $5 suggested donation.

June – October

Friday-Sunday, JUNE 1-OCTOBER 15, 11-5

Governor John Langdon House & Gardens, 143 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth, N.H.  Enclosed by thick hedges, the expansive lawn of this elaborate late-18th-century Georgian mansion includes lilacs, perennial borders, and—most notably—a 100-foot-long arbor covered with grape vines and climbing roses. When the roses bloom, the arbor is a 10-foot-high, 10-foot-wide tunnel of blossoms. Hourly house tours are $15.

Gardens at Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine. Taken during September 2015 Arts and Crafts Festival.
Hamilton House

Saturday-Sunday, JUNE 4 – OCTOBER 6, 11-3

Hamilton House, 40 Vaughan’s Lane, South Berwick, Me.  Impressive 1785 Georgian mansion overlooking the Salmon Falls River with formal perennial gardens and fountains.   $15.

Photos by Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden

Moffatt-Ladd Garden

JUNE 1 – MID-OCTOBER, Friday-Monday, 11-4

Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden, 154 Market Street, Portsmouth, N.H. Elaborate 3-story colonial Georgian mansion with lush, terraced perennial gardens on the slope behind it, plus a gigantic horse chestnut tree—50-plus feet high and wide—planted by William Whipple after he signed the Declaration of Independence. $10 for house and gardens; $2 for gardens only.
603-436-8221, 603-430-7968

Thuya Garden

Photo by the Land & Garden Preserve

Thuya Garden

Wednesday-Sunday, JUNE 22-OCTOBER 2, 11-6 (11-5 SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER)

Thuya Garden, Route 3, Northeast Harbor, Me. Mostly formal, straight-sided beds of perennials and annuals surrounded by a rolling lawn, with informal groups of trees and shrubs at the edge of the forest, which surrounds the one-acre garden. Like the Asticou Azalea Garden, it was created by Charles K. Savage with plants taken from the former Bar Harbor estate of Beatrix Farrand.  Thuya, incidentally, is the phonetic spelling of Thuja, the scientific name for cedar (Thuja occidentalis), which thrives on Mount Desert Island and which was used to build the Thuya Lodge (above).  Suggested donation: $5.

Photos by Strawbery Banke

Ethnobotanical Herb Garden and Thomas Bailey Aldrich Memorial Garden at Strawbery Banke

Daily, JUNE 19-OCTOBER 17, 10-5

Strawbery Banke, 14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth, N.H. 37 historic houses and other buildings, many of them restored, spanning more than 3 centuries. The 10-acre site includes 9 small gardens, mostly herbs and perennials (including heirloom species), reflecting plants and garden styles popular in different eras; plus 3 heirloom orchards. $19.50 for 2 consecutive days.


Wednesday, JULY 8, 10-4

Annual Granite VNA and Hospice Home and Garden Tour. 4 properties in Wolfeboro, N.H. $40. Buffet lunch $20.

Due to Covid-19, this year’s tour has been cancelled.


Rhododendron State Park. The 16-acre grove of Rhododendron maximum is at peak bloom. See more here.

Friday, JULY 15, 9:30-4:30

‘The Sea Around Us.’ Tour of homes and gardens in Maine’s Boothbay Region, sponsored by the Boothbay Region Garden Club. $35; $30 if tickets are bought before the tour date.
207-633-7405, 207-633-5052


Seaside garden on the Garden & House Tour

Photo by the Camden Garden Club

Oceanfront garden on Camden Garden & House Tour

Thursday, JULY 21, 9:30-4

74th Camden Garden Club Tour. 6 private gardens in Camden, Me. $40; $35 if tickets are bought before the tour date.

Photo by Castine Historical Society

Private garden behind Castine’s Georgian town hall on the Castine House & Garden Tour

Friday, JULY 22, 10-4

Castine House & Garden Tour. 10 homes and 6 gardens in the pretty, historic seaside village of Castine, Me., sponsored by the Castine Historical Society. $50; $45 if tickets are bought before July 10.

Seaside garden on Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour

Photo by Friends of Fort Williams Park

Seaside garden on the Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour

Saturday, JULY 23, 9-4

11th Annual Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour. 10 private gardens on Cape Elizabeth and South Portland, Me. Sponsored by the Friends of Fort Williams Park. $40; $30 if tickets are bought before the tour date.

Seaside Gardens on Open Garden Day Tour Photos by Anne B. Green

Photos by Anne B. Green and the Garden Club of Mount Desert

Seaside gardens on the Open Garden Day tour

Saturday, JULY 30, 10-4

Open Garden Day. Tour of 6 private gardens in Northeast Harbor, Me., sponsored by the Garden Club of Mount Desert. $45; $40 if tickets are bought before the tour date.

July – September

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

Photo by the Land & Garden Preserve

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturday afternoons, JULY 14 – SEPTEMBER 12

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden. Designed by the wife of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the noted landscape architect Beatrix Farrand at the former Rockefeller estate in Seal Harbor, Me. Large perennial beds in curving, symmetrical parterres; extensive Asian statuary and moon gates; ocean views. Guided 2-hour tours by reservation only. $15.

Seaside Gardens on Open Garden Day Tour

Photo by the Land & Garden Preserve

Asticou Azalea Garden