by Patricia Grandjean
Jun 24, 2011
10:36 AM
Box Office

Connecticut Historic Gardens Day

Connecticut Historic Gardens Day

Michael Melford

Artists paint in the garden at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Take a time out from your own gardening chores this weekend, and return with renewed inspiration and enthusiasm for the task you love to hate.

On June 26, Connecticut Historic Gardens Day features tours of 14 exceptional historic properties all over the state. Special activities are planned at each site.

Gardens on display include the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, whose landscape inspired a generation of artists. Enjoy refreshments on Miss Florence’s porch or let your creative juices flow (with painting supplies provided by the museum) and create a masterpiece in the garden or down by the Lieutenant River. Grounds admission is free; regular admission applies for historic house and gallery.

A 1915 formal garden and landscaped grounds at the Bellamy-Ferriday House and Garden in Bethlehem. 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. An art exhibit, plant sale and tastings of switchel, a recipe Miss Ferriday copied from the Boston Herald. “There’s nothing like switchel to allay thirst and generate optimism.” Ice tea will also be on hand. Grounds admission is free; regular admission applies for historic house tour.

Garden tours are led by“Gertrude’s Gardeners” at Glebe House Museum and the Gertrude Jekyll Garden in
Woodbury. Enjoy lemonade and cookies and browse garden books, plants from the garden, and garden related items for sale. Enjoy a presentation about the discovery of the Jekyll Garden plans and how the garden came to be.

Garden tours and talks cover the history of the Beatrix Farrand designed gardens at Harkness Memorial State Park in
Waterford. Tours and talk are provided free of charge by park staff and Friends of Harkness volunteers. In addition, take a tour of the mansion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visit the gift shop and enjoy spectacular views of Long Island Sound.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford celebrates its bicentennial with tours of Stowe's charming Victorian Gothic revival home and ever-blooming gardens. Don’t miss a visit to the Stowe Center Museum Store for books and garden treasures. House and Garden tours offered every half hour. Find your favorite spot in the garden – watercolors, paper and brushes are on hand so you can tap into your inner artist and paint en plein air.

Roseland Cottage in Woodstock offers the history, significance and theory behind its garden layout and design. Investigate Historic New England’s ongoing boxwood restoration project.  Tours on the hour from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Other gardens included in the event include: Butler-McCook House & Garden in Hartford, the Sunken Garden at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, New London County Historical Society and Shaw Mansion in New London, Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, Promisek at Three Rivers Farm in Bridgewater, Thankful Arnold House Museum in Haddam, the Webb Deane Stevens Museum in Wethersfield and Weir Farm National Historic Site in Wilton.

For more information, visit 


Connecticut Historic Gardens Day

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Box Office is your guide to entertainment across Connecticut, courtesy of senior editor Pat Grandjean. If it's a chat with an actor or actress, previewing a new play at a regional theater, the latest on a state celebrity's new movie, or recommendations for seeing and doing, let Box Office be one of your hubs.

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