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 Monday-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 2-4. ​

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 22-September 21

Governor John Langdon House & Gardens

Portsmouth, N.H., grounds open year round 

Hamilton House

Berwick, Me., grounds open year round


Manchester, Vt., Thursday-Monday, year round

Kirkwood Gardens

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

Longfellow House

Portland, Me., daily, May-October

Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden

Orono, Me., daily, year round

Maple Hill Gardens

Hollis, N.H., daily, year round

McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

South Paris, Me., daily, May 14-October 31, dawn to dusk

Merryspring Nature Center

Camden, Me., daily, year round

Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden

Portsmouth, N.H., daily, June 1 – October 31

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Ogunquit, Me., daily, April 29-November 12

Old Stone House Museum

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

Palace Theatre Garden Tour

Manchester, N.H., July 15

Pickity Place

Mason, N.H., daily, year round

Pineland Farms

New Gloucester, Me., daily, spring-fall

Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth Tour

Portsmouth, N. H., September 8-9

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 21

Shelburne Farms

Shelburne, Vt., daily, year round

Shelburne Museum

Shelburne, Vt., May 13-October 22

Shin-boku Nursery

Wentworth, N.H., daily, year round

Strawberry Banke

Portsmouth, N.H., daily, May 1-October 31

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.

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

Photo by Eileen Oktavec

Asticou Terraces

Daily, YEAR ROUND, 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.

Photo by Blaine House

Blaine House Gardens

Monday-​Friday, YEAR ROUND, tours at 10, 10:30, 11, 2, 2:30

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.

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, shrubs, and trees 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 Farm

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 and 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 $15, Wednesday-Sunday, June-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, dawn to dusk​

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. Main house and shop open weekends, spring and fall; Wednesday-Sunday in the summer.

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

Daily, YEAR ROUND, gardens open dawn to dusk; hourly house tours Friday-Sunday, June 2-October 15

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

Daily, YEAR ROUND, gardens open dawn to dusk; hourly house tours Friday-Sunday, June 2-October 15

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. Gardens free. House tours $15.

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

Pink aliums in the gardens 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.


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.
603-764-9993; best to call ahead

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

Thursday-Monday ​YEAR ROUND (except Easter, Thanksgiving, and December 24-26),  10-4:30

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 at Shelburne Farms

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. Free but donation requested.

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 allée 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.

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 Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Garden at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Daily, APRIL 29-NOVEMBER 12​, 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. $15.

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.

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 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 2, 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.

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.

Photos by Strawbery Banke

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

Daily, MAY 1-OCTOBER 31, 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.

Photos by Shelburne Museum

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

Tuesday-Sunday, May 13-October 22, 10-5

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/gardens-and-landscape; the “museum from above” video is a graceful aerial tour of the museum’s 45-acre campus.

Rhododendrons at McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

Photo by McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

Rhododendrons in the McLaughlin Garden

Daily, MAY 14 – 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. $10.

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.

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

Photos by Bedrock Gardens

Parterre garden and the 200 foot-long Wiggle Waggle with lotuses at Bedrock Gardens

MAY 17 – OCTOBER 9, Tuesday-Friday and first and 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. $15 suggested donation.

Photo by Brian Jones

Braveboat Harbor Farm

Saturday-Sunday, MAY 20-21, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Days. The Conservancy opens exceptional private gardens to the public in its annual Open Days program. The Conservancy seeks to preserve America’s outstanding gardens and open them permanently, usually as non-profit organizations. 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. There are a total of 19 Open Gardens in Northern New England this year.

Admission is by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org. $10 per person per garden.

   * Braveboat Harbor Farms, York, Me. 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.  Also open July 22-23

Sunday, MAY 21, 3 openings: 10-2, 12-2 & 2-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day 

   * Home of Robin & Larry Turnbaugh, Chesterfield, N. H. A linear infinity pool both points to and borrows its aerial view of Spofford Lake and Mount Monadnock to create a stunning mountain-and-water vista. It’s one of several Monadnock views. This exceptional garden includes more than 100 rhododendrons, some rare, which bloom from April to June. A large naturalistic woodland garden displays both exotic and native plants, including rhododendrons, mountain laurel, and carpets of moss and evergreen partridgeberry (Mitchella repens). Spring bulbs and annual and perennial beds provide color from spring through fall. Admission is by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

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.

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

Massed rhododendrons create vast sweeps of color

Photo by Eileen Oktavec

Massed Catawba rhododendrons at Evergreen

Friday-Sunday,  JUNE 2-4​, 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.

Sunday, JUNE 4, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day, Hinesburg, Vt.   

   * The Hidden Gardens of Lewis Creek Road.  An immense collection of shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses, and other plants on two levels, connected by a cascading stream with stone bridges.  The garden includes pools, two ponds, and extensive stone work.

   * Lincoln Hill Botanical Gardens.  More than 100 varieties of mature rhododendrons, azaleas, and mountain laurel—one of the largest collections in Vermont—grown by the landscape designer Paul Wieczoreck, plus many conifers and other specimen trees and shrubs, and extensive alpine rock gardens.  The rock-and-plant compositions around the residence are exceptional.

Admission to both gardens by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo by Eileen Oktavec

Sweeps of Catawba rhododendrons in bloom at the Birchwood

Friday-Sunday, JUNE 9-11, 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.

Gardens of Gordon and Mary Hayward

Sunday, JUNE 17, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day

   * Little Brook Farm, Jaffrey, N. H., open 10-4.  Mowed fields with informal gardens of shrubs, annuals, and perennials—especially peonies—often arranged along the remains of old stone walls.  There’s also a small swimming pond.

   * Gardens of Ellen & Bruce Clement, Westmoreland, N. H., open 10-4.  A rock garden, conifer garden, shade garden, a teahouse overlooking a small pond, and a stream with a lovely red arched bridge are among the features of this 20-acre hillside.  There are many pleasing compositions of large, mature plants.

   * Garden of Gordon and Mary Hayward, Westminster West, Vt., open 10-3.  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.

Admission to the gardens by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Thuya Garden

Photo by the Land & Garden Preserve

Thuya Garden

Wednesday-Sunday, JUNE 17-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.  Suggested donation: $5.

Photo by Patrick Chassé

Heather Garden at Garland Farm

Thursdays, JUNE 22 – SEPTEMBER 21, 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.

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

Fridays, Saturdays, JUNE 23, 30, JULY 7, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30, AUGUST 4; 9-3:30​

Celia Thaxter’s Garden Tours. 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 $120.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

The Accidental Garden

Saturday, JUNE 24, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day

   * Beckett Castle Rose Garden, Cape Elizabeth, Me.: 70 varieties of heirloom roses beside a 19th-century stone mansion with a 3-story tower on the edge of the Atlantic.  It’s now a non-profit performing arts center (www.hogfish.org).

   * The Accidental Garden, Nashua, N. H.  A lawn is slowly being replaced by perennials, ornamental grasses, and trees and shrubs with colorful foliage, including purple beeches, Japanese maples, ninebarks, and redbuds.

Admission to the gardens by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

The Big Little Garden

   * The Big Little Garden, Nashua, N. H.  Like the Accidental Garden (above), the lawn on a 1/4-acre lot is slowly being replaced, in this garden by a large, diverse collection of native and non-native perennials, ornamental grasses, and shrubs.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Garden by the Pond

   * Garden by the Pond, Brookline, N. H.  This property borrows pretty views of a small pond with a waterfall and a fetching low-arched Monet bridge, all surrounded by mature woods,.  The garden includes 3 bridges over a small stream, a rose garden, a fern garden, a gazebo, and a greenhouse.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Gardens of Yvonne Casimir

   * Gardens of Yvonne Casimir, Milford, N. H.  A large, lush 2-acre collection of mature perennials and shrubs, including a rock garden, rose garden, hydrangea garden, and hosta garden with more than 100 varieties.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Peace on Earth

   * Peace on Earth, Goffstown, N. H.  According to the owner: “Two acres of beautiful lawn, trees, perennials, stone walls, pergola with grape vines, barn, fenced-in blueberry patch, vegetable garden, gazebo, and more.”

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Wednesday, JULY 1, 10-4

Annual Granite VNA and Hospice Home and Garden Tour. 4 properties in the Wolfeboro-Tuftonboro, N.H., area. $20.
800-924-8620, 603-230-5664

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

Photo by the Land & Garden Preserve

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden

Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday, JULY 11 – SEPTEMBER 19, 12-4

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 half-hour tours, by reservation only. $15.

Seaside garden on Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour

Photo by Friends of Fort Williams Park

Seaside garden on the Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour

Saturday, JULY 15, 9-4

12th 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.

Palace Theatre Garden Tour
Palace Theatre Garden Tour

Saturday, JULY 15, 10-3

Palace Theatre’s 4th Annual Garden Tour, Manchester, N.H. 8 private residential gardens in New Hampshire’s largest city. $30; $25 if tickets are bought before the tour date.


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

Seaside garden on the Garden & House Tour

Photo by the Camden Garden Club

Oceanfront garden on Camden Garden Club Tour

Thursday, JULY 20, 9:30-4

75th Camden Garden Club Tour. 6 private gardens in Camden, Me. $40; $35 if tickets are bought before the tour date.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Duck Soup

Saturday, AUGUST 12, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day

      * Pondfield, York, Me. Well-groomed, well-designed slope-side perennial gardens frame a view of a tidal pond and the York River.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Friday, JULY 21, 9:30-4:30

‘The Sea Around Us.’ Tour of 4 homes and 2 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

Saturday, JULY 22, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day

   * A Cape Neddick Garden, Cape Neddick, Me.  A huge, sprawling ocean-side mansion landscaped with shrub-and-perennial beds, ponds, and a handsome rock-bound cascading stream crossed with stone bridges. greenhouse.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo by Brian Jones

Braveboat Harbor Farm

Saturday-Sunday, JULY 22-23, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day

      * Braveboat Harbor Farms, York, Me. 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.  Also open May 20-21

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Friday, SEPTEMBER 8, 4:30-7:30; Saturday, SEPTEMBER 9, 10-4

34th Annual Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth Tour. 9 private gardens in Portsmouth, N.H., $25; $20 if tickets are bought before the tour weekend.

Saturday, SEPTEMBER 23, 10-4

Garden Conservancy Open Day

   * Duck Soup, Harrisville, N. H.  Large, old, informal perennial gardens surrounded by forest, with many stone walls and other rock work and a view of Mount Monadnock.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Garden of Amy & Tim Riley

   * Garden of Amy & Tim Riley, Peterborough, N. H.  A semicircular peastone terrace overlooks a sloping meadow planted with ornamental trees and perennial beds and surrounded by woods.  The 1.5 acre gardens include three sculptures by local artists.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Garden of Michael and Betsy Gordon

* Garden of Michael and Betsy Gordon, Peterborough, N. H.  This super collector’s garden is chock-full of, in the words of their creators, a “mixture of unusual trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, annuals, and bulbs…selected primarily for interesting form, foliage, and texture.”  It’s laid out on three terraces next to their village home. For pictures see: instagram.com/thegardenerseye.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Monadnock Vistas

Monadnock Vistas, Peterborough, N. H.  This 65-acre ridge-top property has views of both Monadnock and Pack Monadnock mountains.  The lawn around the Cape-style residence has been replaced by sweeps of perennials, ornamental grasses, and low shrubs.  These and other plantings create blossom color from spring through fall.  The extensive grounds include a vegetable garden, orchard, grape arbor, pond, and swimming pool.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Photo courtesy of The Garden Conservancy

Skatutakee Farm

* Skatutakee Farm, Hancock, N. H.  Surrounding Hancock’s first dwelling—a farmhouse built in 1776—the garden includes a 48-foot-long koi pond, extensive perennial beds, a vegetable garden, a woodland border, and a bog garden.

Admission to the garden by pre-registration only at www.gardenconservancy.org.

Seaside Gardens on Open Garden Day Tour

Photo by the Land & Garden Preserve

Asticou Azalea Garden