Chatham inn boasts gardens that are a delight to see – and to walk through
The lovingly tended gardens at Pleasant Bay Village, a resort in the quaint seaside town of Chatham, are more than beautifully landscaped: They are made to be walked through. Inn guests can stroll down paths through flowering trees and shrubs, intricate rock gardens and past colorful blooms, whimsical statuary – even waterfalls. A pleasant pond features waterlilies and colorful koi. Many of the resort’s rooms overlook a serene Asian-themed garden, which Frommer’s New England called “a playful Zen paradise.” The gardens, which can be viewed from many of the resort’s rooms and suites, are filled with places for wanderers to sit and contemplate, read a book or have a quiet conversation.
Highfield Hall & Gardens is the magnificently restored 1878 estate of the Beebe family and is one of the few remaining examples of Stick-style Queen Anne architecture in the Northeast. From 2011 to 2013, the property’s two magnificent gardens underwent restoration. The mansion and gardens are open to the public for visiting daily from April 15 to October 31. Estate walks are offered on the first and third Sundays of the month from April through October, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., weather permitting. Pre-scheduled docent led tours of Highfield Hall & Gardens are available year-round for group tours of 5 people or more for a fee of $10 per person. Admission is $5.
The Polly Hill Arboretum is a unique Martha's Vineyard landscape. Crisscrossed by old stonewalls surrounding open meadows, this living museum is home to a collection of more than 1600 woody plants that Polly Hill began planting from seed in 1958. At any season the Arboretum offers beauty, tranquility and abounds with horticultural and botanical rarities!
Admission: $5 suggested donation; free to children under age 12
Hours: Grounds open every day from sunrise to sunset. Visitor Center is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Heritage Museums & Gardens
67 Grove StreetSandwich, MA, 02563Phone: 508-888-3300
Historic families and noble enterprises meet in the Garden
Here are 100 spectacular acres of trees, shrubs, beautiful flowers and sweeping lawns. This extraordinary environment offers unmatched horticulture, garden design, outdoor discovery, the exhibition of great collections and a year-round blaze of vibrant color. The region’s moderate temperatures and rainfall mean happy plants totaling more than 500 cultivars spread over Heritage in the Labyrinth, the Hart Family Garden Maze, Hidden Hollow, Flume Fountain, the Parade Field, the Wicked Plants Garden, and the Windmill Garden where some of the most spectacular blooms can be found. Enjoy garden-related workshops, lectures, and activities throughout the year. Three gallery buildings house special and permanent exhibitions. Plan a special event or group tour and be sure to visit the Shop at Heritage.
6 Discovery Hill RoadEast Sandwich, MAPhone: 508-888-6870
This nature center, library, and gardens is a remembrance of the works of Thornton Burgess, a popular children’s write of the early 1900s. Visitors can enjoy a wild flower garden and lots of nature activities for parents and children. See full description of the Green Briar Nature Center along with a full calendar of nature activities.
South Sandwich RoadMashpee & Sandwich, MA, 02563Phone: 508-636-4693
Extensive walking trails among holly and rhododendron gardens; two ponds stocked with fish
Groves of holly and some rhododendron on a lovely peninsula with two freshwater ponds and picnic areas with soothing views of the water.
Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary
Off Nathan Ellis Hwy.East Falmouth, MA, 02536Phone: 508-362-7475
Ashumet’s most spectacular feature is Grassy Pond, a globally rare ecosystem characterized by the species of rare wildflowers that bloom along its sandy shores during low water in late summer and early fall; the pink Plymouth gentian is particularly beautiful. As its name suggests, Ashumet Holly is well known for its 65 varieties of holly trees planted throughout the sanctuary. Self-guided trails take visitors through the sanctuary.
Admission: Adults, $3; children age 2-12, $2