Massachusetts gardens, arboretums, display plant life among beautiful paths

Discover a world of gardens at historic estates and living museums, in towns and cities, at wildlife sanctuaries and conservation areas. Stroll arboretums and greenhouses, along shoreline and in open fields and meadows, wooded areas and luxury resorts. You’ll find native, rare and exotic plants, flowers, shrubs and trees plus sweeping lawns, stunning color schemes, ornamental structures, and footpaths. There are secret gardens, tropical gardens, orchards and cottage gardens, vegetable and wildlife gardens, stone and hillside gardens and Japanese style gardens in stunning settings. The largest landscaped collection of native plants in the northeastern United States is here as is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the country. End your perambulations at a cozy bed-and-breakfast inn .
Polly HIll Arboretum
The Polly Hill Arboretum

795 State Rd West tisbury, MA Phone: 508-693-9426

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.
Gardens at Highfield Hall
Highfield Hall and Gardens

56 Highfield Drive Falmouth, MA Phone: 508-495-1878

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.
Mission House - Stockbridge, MA - Photo Credit Natasha Miller
Mission House

19 Main Street Stockbridge, MA, 01263 Phone: 413-298-3239

Stroll this historic home's courtyards and explore brick path Colonial gardens and a kitchen garden with over 100 medicinal and cooking plants.
Hours: Open for self-guided tours Thursday-Monday 10am - 4pm. Guided tours available. Gardens open daily.
Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum

396 County Street New Bedford, MA, 02740 Phone: 508-997-1401

This whaling merchant's mansion is surrounded by a beautiful property. The grounds encompass a full city block of gardens including a Wildflower Walk, a formal boxwood rose parterre garden, a cutting garden, a boxwood specimen garden and an historic wood lattice pergola. See full description or Rotch-Jones-Duff House.
Spohr Gardens - Falmouth, MA
Spohr Gardens

45 Fells Road Falmouth, MA, 02540 Phone:

This six-acre garden is on the shore of Oyster Pond. A walk on the paths and trails will take you close to beds of daffodils, rhododendrons, azaleas, lilies. There is a parking lot.
Ashintully Gardens - Tyringham, MA
Ashintully Gardens

Sodom Road at Main Road Tyringham, MA, 01264 Phone: 413-298-3239

Traditional and modern floral and landscape design meets creative perfection at Ashintully Gardens, the product of a composer. These gardens are alive with sights, smells, and sounds of blooming nature, from fountains to trellises to ponds on paths and back! A short trail will lead you to the ruins of the Marble Palace.
Lyman Estate Greenhouses in Waltham. MA
Lyman Estate and Greenhouses

185 Lyman Street Waltham, MA, 02452 Phone: 617-994-5913

The Lyman Estate Greenhouses is complex of four greenhouses consists of an 1804 grape house, 1820 camellia house, 1840 orchid house, and a 1930 sales greenhouse where visitors can purchase plants to take home. Rare orchids covered with exotic flowers bloom throughout the year. The expert horticultural staff offers advice and assistance with plant selection and culture. The greenhouse specializes in orchids, exotic house plants, citrus fruits, camellias, and herbs. Five large specialty plant sales are held during the year.
Maudslay State Park - Newburyport, MA
Maudslay State Park

74 Curzon Mill Road Newburyport, MA, 01950 Phone: 978-465-7223

Magnificent gardens of mountain laurel and, in May and June, rhododendron and azalea. - Trail Map (PDF)
Long Hill Gardens - Beverly, MA
Long Hill

572 Essex Street Beverly, MA, 01915 Phone: 978-921-1944

From 1916 to 1979, Long Hill was the summer home of author Ellery Sedgwick and his first wife, Mabel Cabot Sedgwick, an accomplished horticulturist and gardener. Five acres of cultivated grounds are laid out in a series of separate garden rooms and accented by garden ornaments, structures, and statuary. There is a pleasant but not long (1.2-mile loop trail) in the nearby woodlands, filled with spring pools and imposing boulders.
Rhododendrons - Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary - East Falmouth, MA - Photo Credit Winston O'Boogie
Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary

Ashumet Road East Falmouth, MA, 02536 Phone: 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.
Spring Apple Tree at Arnold Arboretum - Boston, MA
Arnold Arboretum

125 Arborway Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130 Phone: 617-524-1718

This 265-acre site is part of the emerald necklace of Boston parks designed in the late 1800s by Frederick Law Olmsted. The arboretum is a major center for plant research, with about 14,000 woody plants representing nearly 5,000 botanical classifications. The Visitor Center has maps and self-guided tour brochures; exhibits about the Arboretum and plants, and seasonal art exhibitions; a shop featuring books and educational items for children and adults; activities for children; and restrooms.
Rhododendrons - Lowell Holly Reservation - Mashpee, MA - Photo Credit Trustees of Reservations
Lowell Holly

South Sandwich Road Mashpee, MA, 02649 Phone: 508-636-4693

Groves of holly and some rhododendron on a lovely peninsula with two freshwater ponds and picnic areas with soothing views of the water.
Botanic Garden of Smith College

16 College Lane Northampton, MA, 01063 Phone: 413-585-2742

Get your oxygen here! Thousands of plants adorn these gardens, which include ancient and modern species and give off the fresh smell of nature. Check out separate greenhouses and specialty gardens on Smith College's scenic campus. Discover information about gardening and conservation of the environment. Major events include the two-week Spring Bulb Show and Fall Chrysanthemum Show.
Wildflower Garden - Green Briar Nature Center - East Sandwich, MA
Green Briar Nature Center and Thornton W. Burgess Society

6 Discovery Hill Road East Sandwich, MA, 02537 Phone: 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 wildflower garden and lots of nature activities for parents and children.
Hyacinths at Berkshire Botanical Garden - Stockbridge, MA
Berkshire Botanical Garden

5 West Stockbridge Road Stockbridge, MA, 01262 Phone: 413-298-3926

Both functional and ornamental, the Berkshire Botanical Garden is among the oldest in the United States. The collections emphasize plants that are indigenous to or thrive in the Berkshires; more than 3,000 species and varieties are represented. Classes, workshops, lectures and special events are offered year-round.
Major annual events include the Plant Sale, the Flower Show, the Fete des Fleurs Garden Party, the Harvest Festival and the Holiday Fair. The Harvest Festival was first held in 1934 as the Garden’s first fundraising event and has since become the Berkshires’ best-known community gathering.
Swan Boat at Boston Public Garden - Boston, MA - Photo Credit Swanboats
Boston Public Garden

Boylston, Arlington, Beacon and Charles Streets Boston, MA, 02116 Phone: 617-723-8144

The Boston Public Garden, located in the heart of Boston, is adjacent to the Boston Commons. Together, these two parks are the northern end of the Emerald Necklace, a long string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The Public Garden is bounded on the south by Boylston Street, on the west by Arlington Street, on the north by Beacon Street, and on the east by Charles Street, which divides the Public Garden from the Boston Common.
The Public Garden contains formal plantings and a four-acre lake where the Swan Boats, a famous Boston tourist attraction, operate. People can sit in the ornamental swan-shaped boats, which are pedaled around the lake by a guide. A famous feature of the Boston Public Gardens is a set of bronze statues based on the main characters from the children's story Make Way for Ducklings.
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill - Boylston, MA
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill

11 French Drive Boylston, MA, 01505 Phone: 508-869-6111

New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill is a nonprofit organization located in Boylston, Massachusetts. A regional destination, we are operated on 171 acres by the Worcester County Horticultural Society, one of the oldest of its kind in the country, and are open to the public for garden viewing, trail walking, activities, private events, educational classes, weddings, exhibitions, and more. We are an AAM-accredited museum that includes an irreplaceable collection of plants. We hope to engage you in our life-long passion for growing plants for their ornamental, economic, and ecological value. Learn all about New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill including its history, mission, and its staff, please visit our website by clicking the name above.
Mytoi - Martha's Vineyard, MA - Photo Credit Trustees of Reservations

Dike Road on Chappaquiddick Island Martha’s Vineyard, MA, 02539 Phone: 508-627-7689

You'll want to stay forever in this Japanese-style garden set within an open pine forest. The flora includes mixed plantings of native and exotic trees and shrubs, some rare. The garden’s signature feature is a small pond with an island that is reached by walking over an arched bridge. Winding footpaths take visitors through a birch walk, camellia dell, stone garden, and hillside garden. A rustic meditation shelter offers broad views of the garden and landscape.
Heritage Museums and Gardens - Sandwich, MA - Photo Credit MOTT
Heritage Museums & Gardens

67 Grove Street Sandwich, MA, 02563 Phone: 508-888-3300

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.
The Gardens at Elm Bank - Wellesley, MA  - Photo Credt Mass. Horticultural Society
The Garden at Elm Bank - Massachusetts Horticultural Society

900 Washington Street Wellesley, MA, 02482 Phone: 617-933-4900

The Gardens at Elm Bank are located on Massachusetts Horticultural Society's 36 acres on the Elm Bank Reservation. The site includes open fields and meadows, streams and pools, wooded areas and formal gardens. The Charles River nearby surrounds the property. The grounds and gardens of Elm Bank are handicap-accessible. The several different gardens include a Children’s Garden, Vegetable Garden, The Italianate Garden, and gardens of day lilies, rhododendrons, herbs, and daffodils. - Garden Map (PDF)
Hours: Open daily from April thru October, Mon-Thurs 10am - 7pm, Fri/Sat 10am - 4pm, closed Sundays. Admission is $10 for non-members.
Acton Arboretum - Acton, MA
Acton Arboretum

2 Taylor Road Acton, MA, 01720 Phone:

This public conservation area has a many gardens and a trail system through meadows, woodland ponds, and through a bog. The herb garden, butterfly garden, hosta garden, daylily garden, rhododendron garden, lilac fragrance garden, and a pond planting are wheelchair-accessible. There are three major trails at the Acton Arboretum has three major trails, with many interconnected paths. The trails are the Orchard Loop, Wildflower Loop, and the Highland/Bog Loop. A trail connects to the Arboretum from the Town Green, traveling parallel to Taylor Road.
Wildflower Gardens of Massachusetts
Garden in the Woods

180 Hemenway Road Framingham, MA, 01701 Phone: 508-877-7630

The New England Wild Flower Society maintains this garden, the largest landscaped collection of native plants in the northeastern United States. New England’s premier wildflower garden has more than 1,000 native plant species, with many rare specimens, as well as the unique New England Rare Plant Garden.
Blue steps at Naumkeag - Stockbridge, MA - Photo Credit R. Cheek and Trustees of Reservations

5 Prospect Hill Road Stockbridge, MA, 01262 Phone: 413-298-8138

Three decades of dedicated planting and landscaping gave New England this stunning cottage garden. Climb heavy fountain steps among white birch trees, and check out all the special gardens here, from Roses to Evergreens.
Wellesley College Botanic Garden - Wellesley, MA - Photo Credit Wellesley College
Wellesley College Botanic Garden

106 Central Street Wellesley, MA, 02481 Phone: 781-283-3049

The Wellesley College Botanic Gardens include thousands of plants from more than 150 plant families. The greenhouses accommodate plants from a variety of habitats around the world. The outdoor spaces of the gardens are open daily, dawn to dusk. The Ferguson Greenhouses are open daily, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. except during the summer. The greenhouses are closed on Saturday and Sunday from mid-June to late August. To bring a large group to the greenhouses, please email or call to arrange your visit.