CT's Historic Gardens Day 2024

June 23, 2024

Sunday / 12:00 - 4:00 pm 

Be sure to save the date for the next CT's Historic Gardens Day!

See below for all the information you need to plan your day.

Sites are in alphabetical order below. Addresses and website links are included in the information. 

Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden

Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden (9 Main Street North, Bethlehem, CT 06751): Roam the beautiful, landscaped areas of Bellamy-Ferriday’s 10-acre property. Marvel at Eliza’s breathtaking parterre garden, which dates to 1915, lovingly maintained and cared for first by her daughter Caroline Woolsey Ferriday and now by staff with the aid of the Watertown Garden Club. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Butler-McCook House & Garden

12 to 4 pm, tour the historic Jacob Weidenmann Garden at Butler-McCook House & Garden (396 Main Street, Hartford, CT 06103), installed by Eliza Butler McCook and her sister Mary in 1865 and maintained today by the West Hartford Garden Club. Staff will be available to answer questions. From 12-4 pm, artist Michelle Hawran (winner of this year's poster art contest) will be painting in the garden and meeting with visitors [the Aetna Gallery at the site will host a free exhibition of her work June 1 - October 5]. Enjoy House Tours hourly between 1 and 4 pm (last tour at 3 pm), focusing on the McCook family during the late 19th century and their artistic and intellectual interests. Advance reservations appreciated: visit https://ctlandmarks.org/event/connecticut-historic-gardens-day/.  The Garden is free and open to the public; House Tours are available for regular admission fees, free to CT Landmarks members. Off-street parking is available at 59 S. Prospect St., Hartford.

Florence Griswold Museum

At the Florence Griswold Museum (96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371), members of the Museum’s dedicated Garden Gang of volunteers will be on-site to answer questions and give impromptu garden tours on this special day. 

Glebe House Museum & The Gertrude Jekyll Garden

Glebe House Museum (49 Hollow Road, Woodbury, CT 06798) will have an Open House (Main Floor Open); there will be free admission to the Jekyll Garden, where Garden Committee volunteers will be on hand to give tours and focus their talks on the 5-year plan for restoration that is already in process.

Harkness Memorial State Park

Harkness (275 Great Neck Road, Waterford, CT 06385): Friends of Harkness will hold Mansion tours and Garden tours from 10:30 am to 1 pm (the mansion and grounds will be in use for a wedding after 1 pm).  Registration for tour time slots will be taken at the Mansion front door. Donations of $5 per person are requested. The park is open for visitors from 8 am to dusk.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (77 Forest Street, Hartford, CT 06105) is offering free access to its 11 themed gardens between 12 and 4pm. Dedicated volunteers will be on site to answer your questions. Come enjoy Stowe’s Victorian cottage-style beds and a new Sensory Garden during this special state-wide celebration. Tours of the Stowe House will have their normal fee.

Hill-Stead Museum

At Hill-Stead Museum (35 Mountain Road, Farmington, CT 06032), visitors can stop in the Museum Shop for a handout about the Sunken Garden and a trail guide. The garden and grounds will be open for self-guided exploration 10 am to 4 pm. Visitors can also walk the beautiful trails or meander down to the old farm to see the sheep from Clatter Ridge Farm! The Historic House will be open for guided tours on the hour, 10 am to 3 pm, for visitors to learn more about the Pope family and see the art collection; regular admission fees apply for house tours and can be paid in the Museum Shop. 

Mark Twain House & Museum

The gardens and Museum Center of the Mark Twain House & Museum (351 Farmington Ave., Hartford) will be free and open to the public 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, with gardeners and living history actors available for questions and interactions. The Historic House is shown by guided tour only and will have a tour charge. Due to limited capacity, purchasing tour tickets in advance is recommended: visit https://marktwainhouse.org/admission/#tours The grounds are open dawn to dusk year-round. Note: setting gps for 385 Farmington Ave., Hartford, will put visitors right at the driveway to the main parking lot. 

Osborne Homestead Museum & Kellogg Environmental Center

Osborne Homestead (500 Hawthorne Ave., Derby, CT 06418) will provide self-guided garden tours and self-guided museum tours 12 to 4 pm, and a performance of P.A.C. Show's Meanwhile at Longbourne: A Pride and Prejudice Adaptation. Events are free but a donation of $15 for the performance is suggested. Registration for the performance is required: visit https://portal.ct.gov/deep/education/kellogg/osborne-homestead-museum.

Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden

Phelps-Hatheway (55 South Main Street, Suffield, CT 06078) will be open 10 am to 4 pm, with staff members on hand to answer questions. Tours will be offered hourly from 1 to 4 pm. There will be a special, new Flower Pounding Workshop from 10 am to 12 pm, with a fee of $20/$25. Admission to the garden is free; regular admission fees apply for house tours. Free parking is available on the lawn adjacent to the property. Registration is available at https://www.ctlandmarks.org.

Promisek at Three Rivers Farm

At Promisek (694 Skyline Ridge Road, Bridgewater, CT 06752), Master Gardener Irene Skrybailo will give tours of the garden 12 to 4 pm, and Waterbury Symphony concertmaster Alyce Bertz and her husband will play music on the porch 1 to 3 pm. Volunteers will be available throughout the day to assist visitors and answer questions. Garden tours are free, but donations are gladly accepted.

Roseland Cottage

Roseland Cottage (556 Route 169, Woodstock, CT 06281): Enjoy garden tours with Roseland Cottage's gardener, make a fairy garden in a teacup (bring your own or use one provided). Garden activities are free and run from 12 to 4 pm; house tours require admission, and run from 11 am to 4 pm, on the hour. House tours can be pre-purchased at https://my.historicnewengland.org/20078/20496.

Stanley-Whitman House

At Stanley-Whitman House (37 High Street, Farmington, CT 06032), visitors can watch Dennis Picard's Foodways Program, "Herbal Concoctions, Tonics, and Balms" from 12 to 3 pm. Artist Julia Einstein's exhibit will be on display. A craft table will be set up 12 to 4 pm with volunteer Miss Jan, where children, families, and individuals of any age can make their own pollinator bug out of art supplies the museum will provide. Tour registrations available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/connecticuts-historic-gardens-day-tickets-809045796757?aff=oddtdtcreator.

Thankful Arnold House Museum

At Thankful Arnold House Museum (14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam, CT 06438), 12 -4 pm, visitors will learn how herbs, vegetables, and plants were used by the Widow Thankful Arnold in the early 19th century. The Wilhelmina Ann Arnold Barnhart Memorial Garden features over 50 varieties of herbs including those used in cooking, dyeing, fragrance, and medicine. This year’s activity for both adults and children will be making a teasel craft and garden scavenger hunt. Light refreshments will also be served including our famous rhubarb tea. For further information visit haddamhistory.org or call 860-345-2400.

Webb Deane Stevens Museum

Join us at the Webb Deane Stevens Museum (211 Main Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109) 12-4pm for complimentary refreshments, guided tours of the Amy Cogswell Colonial Revival Garden, and a free garden talk with Webb Dean Stevens' Head Gardener Peter Winne at 1 pm. CT's Historic Gardens Day guests will save $1 off the price of regular museum admission for guided historic house tours and exhibitions in the Holcombe Education Center.

Weir Farm National Historical Park

Stop by Weir Farm (735 Nod Hill Road, Wilton, CT 06897) from 12 to 4 pm for short informal talks with expert Garden Crew Volunteers. Plant some seeds to take home, learn about pollinators and poison ivy, and participate in fun activities at the Friends of Weir Farm tent! No registration required -- just stop by and smell the flowers! Park open sunrise to sunset.

Photo Gallery

"Through the Rose Arch," acrylic painting by Michelle Hawran of Windsor, CT. 

2024 CT's Historic Gardens Day Poster Contest Winner

Connecticut’s Historic Gardens is pleased to announce artist Michelle Hawran of Windsor, CT as the winner of the 10th annual Historic Gardens Day Poster Art Contest.

Through the Rose Arch is a lush, vibrant view of the Butler-McCook House & Garden. This 11x17 acrylic painting is a recreation of what a visitor to the garden would feel while standing under the rose arch, surrounded by the many beautiful plants that Connecticut has to offer. Ms. Harwan states, “the image is a conglomeration of a photo from the Butler-McCook Facebook that I cropped and recomposed, as well as my own addition of what it would look like through the rose arch that is positioned in front of it but not in the photo.”

The CT Historic Gardens Poster Contest gives local and regional artists a chance to showcase their talents while advertising CT Historic Gardens Day, an important, statewide event. The group began the contest to encourage Connecticut artists to visit and capture these historically significant homes with beautiful gardens. They hope that these sites will provide inspiring subjects for their art.

Along with a cash prize, the winning artist receives widespread exposure – at each of the 16 Connecticut’s Historic Gardens throughout the year and at Connecticut’s Historic Gardens Day, an event that attracts garden lovers from throughout the state and beyond. This year’s Historic Gardens Day takes place on Sunday, June 23, 2024; visit cthistoricgardens.org for details on activities offered at each site.

Michelle Hawran is a visual artist born, raised, and based in Windsor, Connecticut. She is known for her vibrant acrylic and oil paintings depicting nostalgic memories of people and places, aiming to capture the joyful feeling of living in the moment. Since graduating with a BFA from the University of Connecticut in 2016, Michelle splits her time between creating dizzyingly colorful paintings of her own family’s past, crafting meaningful commissions for her clients of their own family memories, and teaching all mediums of art to adults at the Windsor Art Center."