Field Trips in CT

To assist you with club activities, we prepared this list of nearby parks, gardens and historic locations that might be of interest to club members.  To print or download Field Trips in CT, click here.
Denotes Historic designation.

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Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden
9 Main Street North
Bethlehem, CT 06751
(203) 266-7596

The home, built in two stages between 1754 and 1767, was originally owned by Reverend Joseph Bellamy, an 18th century evangelical preacher. The property was purchased in 1912 by the Ferriday family of New York, who updated it with heat, plumbing and electricity, intending it to be used as a summer home. Mrs. Ferriday and her daughter Caroline designed their gardens for their summer enjoyment. Visitors today will find historic roses, peonies, lilacs, and fragrant trees and shrubs.


Beardsley Zoo Volunteer Association
1875 Noble Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06610
(203) 394-6565

Did you know that volunteers perform an integral part of maintaining this popular zoo? Volunteer duties are varied and may include greeting and/or educating guests, maintaining the greenhouse collection or becoming a zoo docent. While visiting the Zoo, observe the work of the volunteers and consider becoming one yourself.


Promisek at Three Rivers Farm
694 Skyline Ridge Road
Bridgewater, CT 06752
(860) 350-822

Originally designed by Beatrix Farrand, the garden fell into disrepair over time. A local garden historian rediscovered Farrand’s plan, and volunteers now maintain the beds while respecting the original design. A pink, blue, purple, red and white color scheme predominates.


American Clock and Watch Museum
100 Maple Street Bristol,
CT 06010 (860)

An authentically restored colonial flower and herb garden is enclosed by a white picket fence centered with a sundial located next to the American Clock and Watch Museum. The garden, appropriate to a small townhouse built in 1801, was designed by Rudy Favretti in 1973 and has been modified keeping the integrity of the materials by the Bristol Garden Club and is maintained by the membership.


Roaring Brook Nature Center
70 Gracey Road
Canton, CT 06019
(203) 693-0263

With a mission to increase awareness, appreciation and knowledge of the natural world, the Nature Center offers dioramas, live animals, 6 miles of trails and outdoor gardens. In addition, a variety of presentation topics are available for clubs.


Greenwich Botanical Center
130 Bible Street
Cos Cob, CT 06807
(203) 869-9242

The Greenwich Botanical center is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting conservation, horticulture and the arts through educational programs, outreach activities and special events. Located on 61 acres, the Center includes walking trails, a horticulture building and library, gift shops, and offers a full program of speakers and workshops as well as a May Gardener’s Market.


Osborne Homestead Museum &
Kellogg Environmental Center
500 Hawthorne Avenue
Derby, CT 06418
(203) 734-2513

Frances Eliza Osborne Kellogg, a businesswoman and conservationist, deeded her 350-acre property to the State of Connecticut to preserve the land for future generations. Today, the State Park’s Museum grounds feature formal flower gardens, ornamental shrubs and flowering trees. The Environmental Center continues to be the site of several FGCCT schools, which include Environmental School, Flower Show School, Gardening School and Landscape Design School.


Gillette Castle State Park
67 River Road
Haddam, CT 06423
(860) 526-2336

The 190 acre property overlooking the Connecticut River features the stone “castle”, a medieval-inspired mansion constructed by actor William Gillette. In addition, a Visitor Center, picnic areas and hiking trails leading to the River includes the Gillette Castle State Park Tree Walk created by the East Haddam Garden Club.


  • Greenfield Hill Dogwood Festival
    c/o Congregational Church
    1045 Academy Road
    Fairfield, CT 06430
    (203) 259-559

    A celebration timed around the blooming of the pink and white dogwood trees in the area. The village is designated an Historic Site by the National Park Service. Call for dates.

  • Ogden House and Gardens
    1520 Bronson Road
    Fairfield CT 06430
    (203) 259-1598

    The 1750 saltbox home built for the farming family of David and Jane Sturges Ogden was one of the few buildings to survive the 1779 burning of Fairfield. The property also includes an 18th century kitchen garden designed and maintained by the Fairfield Garden Club. Special tours are available by appointment.

  • Connecticut Audubon Birdcraft Museum
    314 Unquowa Road
    Fairfield, CT 06430
    (203) 259-0416

    The grounds of CABM include the Sanctuary, Museum (original headquarters of the Connecticut Audubon Society) and the Caretaker’s Cottage. Much of the Sanctuary has been restored and is maintained by the Sasqua Garden Club. Call for a changing calendar of programs and events.
    In addition to the Birdcraft Museum, Connecticut Audubon also maintains 6 centers and 20 sanctuaries throughout the state, providing a glimpse into a variety of ecosystems.


  • Hill-Stead Museum
    35 Mountain Road
    Farmington, CT 06032
    (860) 677-4787

    Hill-Stead was the first architectural project of Theodate Pope Riddle, one of the first licensed female architects of the U.S. The home which was built for her parents houses their collection of notable paintings by Monet, Manet, Cassatt, Degas and Whistler. The grounds of the 152- acre National Historic Landmark include stone walls, stately trees and the Sunken Garden designed by Beatrix Farrand. The Pollinator Garden is a new addition, providing food and shelter for bees, butterflies and birds through its native plantings.

  • Stanley-Whitman House
    37 High Street
    Farmington, CT 06032
    (860) 677-9222

    The circa 1720 National Historical Landmark house is furnished to reflect Colonial life, and is surrounded by period gardens, an apple orchard and heritage stone walls.

  • Shade Swamp Sanctuary
    Route 6 W near intersection of New Britain Avenue
    Farmington, CT 06032

    The Sanctuary features self-guiding trails through forest, swamp and ponds in its 800 acres. A 1930’s era shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and abandoned “cages” from the wildlife rehabilitation center still exist. The White Trail (2.5 miles) and the Blue Trail (1.3 miles) are marked with blazes. A Blue Trail map can be found here.


  • The Bruce Museum
    1 Museum Drive
    Greenwich, CT 06830
    (203) 869-0376

    The community-based museum highlights art, science and natural history through a dozen or more changing exhibits each year. Originally built as a private home in 1853, it is now a center for educational programs for schools, families and other visitors via its exhibitions, collections, blogs and special events. The adjacent Bruce Park features hiking, picnicking, and outdoor sports.

  • Greenwich Botanical Center
    113 Bible Street
    Cos Cob, CT 06807
    (203) 869-9242

    The Greenwich Botanical center is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting conservation, horticulture and the arts through educational programs, outreach activities and special events. Located on 61 acres, the Center includes walking trails, a horticulture building and library, gift shops, and offers a full program of speakers and workshops as well as a May Gardener’s Market.

  • Greenwich Audubon Center
    613 Riversville Road
    Greenwich, CT 06831
    (203) 869-5272

    The Main Sanctuary and Kimberlin Nature Education Center are located on 285 acres which include 7 miles of both rustic and accessible trails. An ever-changing calendar of events includes nature programs and activities for children, families and adults. The Nature Store offers environmentally-inspired merchandise.


Ebenezer Avery House
54 Fort Street
Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park
Groton, CT 06340
(860) 446-9257

On-site gardens were established by the former Groton Garden Club, and now the Trillium Garden Club maintains the herb and colonial-style gardens. Cuttings from the gardens are used to decorate the historic house during the summer months.


Thankful Arnold House Museum
14 Hayden Hill Road
Haddam, CT 06438
(860 345-2400

Renovated in the late 1980’s to reflect the Colonial Revival style, the gardens were also researched by the CT Herb Society Research Group to select herbs and other plants that would have been found in home gardens in the 1830’s. Most of the garden is now devoted to herbs used for cooking, medicine, dyeing, fragrance and other household uses. The gardens are tended by devoted volunteers from spring through fall. Guided tours may be arranged by appointment.


  • Butler-McCook House & Garden
    396 Main Street
    Hartford, CT 06103
    (860) 247-8996 ext. 11

    Behind the 1782 period home you will find restored Victorian era ornamental gardens, first designed in 1865.

  • Connecticut Science Center
    250 Columbus Boulevard
    Hartford, CT 06103
    (860) 724-3623

    The Center offers educational exhibits for kids, including over 165 hands-on activities. Also on-site are a state of the art 3D digital theatre and changing daily programs and events. See the new Butterfly Encounter and visit the rooftop garden, a portion of which was donated by the FGCCT.

  • Elizabeth Park
    1561 Asylum Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06117
    (860) 231-9443

    Elizabeth Park is the oldest municipal rose garden in the US, with over 100 acres of park land which includes 15000 plants, 800 varieties and a 2.5 acre rose garden. In addition to its heritage rose garden, an annual garden, perennial garden, rock garden, iris garden, herb garden as well as the University of St. Joseph Pharmacy garden accompany a large collection of trees and shrubs. The Garden is open dawn to dusk 365 days per year and is free and open to the public. The Friends of Elizabeth Park help maintain this park.

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Center77 Forest Street
    Hartford, CT 06105
    (860) 522-9258

    An enthusiastic flower gardener, Harriet Beecher Stowe planted material typical of the Victorian era. Eight gardens highlight a variety of plantings including woodland and wildflower gardens, an antique rose garden and a Victorian texture garden. The property is also home to the state’s largest magnolia tree and grafts from a pink dogwood tree believed to have been planted during Stowe’s gardening days.


White Memorial Conservation Center
80 Whitehall Road
Litchfield, CT 06759
(860) 567-0857

WMCC is the State’s largest nature center which includes a museum, 4000 acres of woodlands and 35 miles of trails. In addition to its several ponds, wetland habitats may be viewed from boardwalks. Maps are available. Nature programs are available for all age groups. A “Virtual Vault” of past programs can be viewed on line.


Allis-Bushnell Historical Home
835 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
(203) 245-4567

The Garden Club of Madison has maintained the front garden and herb garden, a Bicentennial gift to the town of Madison, since 1975. Recently, a new design has been planned for the herb garden, which will be completed during the 2020-2021 timeframe. The house is open on occasion for tours and special exhibits.


Wickham Park
1329 Middle Turnpike West
Manchester, CT 06040
(860) 528-0856

Within the 250 acre park, gardens total almost 11 acres and include an Oriental Garden, a Lotus Garden, an Italian Shrine, an English Garden, a Scottish Garden, a Wetlands Garden, a Sensory Garden and a Cabin Garden. A great location for garden club events, the park offers extensive perennial plantings and walking trails. A map of the park is available here.


  • Mystic Seaport Museum
    75 Greenmanville Avenue
    Mystic, CT 06355

    Connecticut is home to America’s largest maritime museum with the Seaport. The Museum includes numerous nineteenth century exhibits, seasonally interpreted gardens and perennial gardens throughout the grounds. Tours by special arrangement are available as well as a large array of programs and workshops for all age groups.

  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center
    109 Pequotsepos Road
    Mystic, CT 06355
    (860) 536-1216

    The DPNC facility includes a 200 acre sanctuary, covering woodland, wetland and meadow habitats. Natural history exhibits feature live animals and plenty of opportunities for interactive education. Picnic facilities and a unique gift store are also on-site. Year-round environmental education programs include classes for children, slide presentations, summer camp, birding trips and special events.


  • Olive and George Lee Memorial Gardens
    89 Chichester Road
    New Canaan, CT 06840
    (203) 972-3410

    Plant collector George Lee began planting his property in 1940 with the intention to create “a peaceful place where plants can reveal their characteristic beauty in a natural setting.” Under a canopy of oaks, tulip trees, maples and dogwood, reside an extensive display of 175 varieties of azaleas, 200 varieties of rhododendron as well as wildflowers, groundcovers and bulbs. Guided walking tours for groups no larger than 10 can be arranged for the April-June peak display.

  • Helen and Alice Bristow Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve
    47 Old Stamford Road
    New Canaan, CT 06840
    (203) 594-3070

    The 17-acre preserve has documented 100 bird species since its founding in 1924. Wildlife trails, ponds and brooks provide habitat for threatened species. Parking is available at the adjoining Mead Park.

  • New Canaan Nature Center
    144 Oenoke Ridge
    New Canaan, CT 06840
    (203) 966-9577

    The 40-acre site features many unusual and diverse habitats, including wet and dry meadows, two ponds, wet and dry woodlands, dense thickets, and old orchard and a cattail marsh. Two miles of trails crisscross the site (including a 350-foot boardwalk across the marsh) and two observation towers overlook the wetlands and cattail marsh. A live birds of prey exhibit and a greenhouse in addition to the Visitor’s Center are also on site. Both children’s and adult programs can be booked.


  • Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
    123 Huntington Street
    New Haven, CT 06504
    (203) 974-8500

    In addition to its extensive diagnostic laboratories, the CAES grounds and gardens display many interesting plant materials. Tours may be arranged. A substantial speakers list and publications provide additional expert resources.

  • Edgerton Park
    75 Cliff Street
    New Haven, CT 06511
    (203) 777-1886

    Surrounded by a high stone wall, the former Frederick Brewster Estate encompasses 25 acres originally owned by Eli Whitney. While the home was demolished per directions in Brewster’s will, the greenhouses, carriage house, gatehouse and bridge still remain. Educational and horticultural programs are offered through the greenhouse, and the Sarah T. Crosby Conservatory houses a collection of plants from around the world. Docent lead tours (203) 624-8941) are available. The Conservatory is wheelchair accessible.

  • Pardee Rose Garden
    180 Park Road
    New Haven, CT 06504
    (203) 946-8142

    Over 50 varieties of roses as well as annuals, perennials and herbs bloom from April through October, with a peak in June and July. The park is open from dawn until dusk.

  • West Rock Nature Center
    1080 Wintergreen Avenue
    Hamden, CT 06514
    (203) 946-6559

    While the entry of the park is in Hamden, the West Rock Nature Center sits amidst 40 acres of woodland trails and meadows in New Haven, and is listed on the State Register of Historic Places by The Connecticut Historical Commission. Strategically located interpretive trails allow location of many of the 300 plant species identified in the park as well as traveling along the Wintergreen Brook, with its waterfall and gorge. The park is a popular birding site.


  • Connecticut College Arboretum270 Mohegan Avenue
    New London, CT 06320
    (860) 439-5020

    The Arboretum consists of a diverse 750 acres which include the landscape of the College campus as well as the surrounding plant collections and natural areas. Docent-led tours are available of the Native Plant Collection, the Caroline Black Garden and the Campus landscape. Interactive maps allow for self-guided tours.

  • Shaw-Perkins Mansion
    11 Blinman Street
    New London, CT 06320
    (860) 443-1209

    Steeped in early Connecticut history with mentions of George Washington and Benedict Arnold, the Shaw-Perkins Mansion exists today as the home of the New London County Historical Society. On-line exhibits may be enjoyed from afar and the extensive southeast Connecticut genealogy archive may be viewed by appointment.


Florence Griswold Museum
96 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, CT 06371
(860) 434-5542

Florence Griswold opened her family home to artists of the time, establishing an art colony which came to be known as the Lyme Art Colony, the center of the American Impressionism movement. Many of the artists painted Miss Griswold’s extensive gardens during their stays. She, like us, continued to search out new and unusual plants for her gardens which were located close to the house. Today, a dedicated group known as the Garden Gang meets often to tend the gardens.


General William Hart House
350 Main Street
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
(860) 395-1635

The historic House, built in 1767, is currently the home of the Old Saybrook Historical Society. Notable are the Public Heritage gardens located behind the House. Medicinal, culinary and fragrant herbs, old roses and a wildflower section are maintained by volunteers. The Stevenson Archives include maps, family records, diaries and cemetery records which may be viewed with an appointment.


  • Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art.
    258 Main Street
    Ridgefield, CT 06877
    (203) 438-4519

    Located behind the new Museum is the 2-acre sculpture garden which is open to the public. In addition to changing exhibits during the year, educational programs for all age groups are offered.

  • The Keeler Tavern Museum
    152 Main Street
    Ridgefield, Ct 06877
    (203) 438-5485

    The museum has enjoyed many lives, as a farmhouse, a tavern, a post office, a stagecoach stop and a hotel for travelers. It was also the home of architect Cass Gilbert, who built the Garden House for his wife and designed the circa 1910 “Charleston Garden”.


Connecticut Forest & Park Association
16 Meriden Road
Rockfall, CT 06481
(860) 346-TREE

The CFPA, the first nonprofit conservation organization in Connecticut, endeavors to unite the public with the land in order to promote preservation of forests, trails and open space for future generations. The State’s well-known Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System is complete with an interactive map.


Dinosaur State Park
400 West Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 529-8423

In addition to the early Jurassic era dinosaur tracks for which the Park is known, visitors may tour the Arboretum which was established to showcase plants having a link to those growing during the Age of Dinosaurs. The “Arboretum of Evolution” includes more than 200 varieties of conifers. A map of the collection is available.


Audubon-Sharon Audubon Center
325 Cornwall Bridge Road
Sharon, CT 06069
(860) 364-0520

Situated on 1147 acres of mostly forested land, the Sharon Audubon center is noted for 11 miles of trails, a Visitor Center and Nature Store and a Children’s Adventure Center. Raptor aviaries, a butterfly house, a pollinator garden, a working sugarhouse and a Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic manned by naturalists are also found on site. Programs suited for all ages and the opportunity to participate in citizen scientist projects can be found on the website.


The Phelps Homestead
(Owned/operated by Simsbury Historical Society)
800 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070
(860) 658-2500

The museum complex includes more than a dozen historic buildings and gardens on a two-acre site in the heart of Simsbury. The Gardeners of Simsbury and the Simsbury Garden club maintain the varied gardens, and a self-guided tour is found here.


  • Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens
    151 Brookdale Road
    Stamford, CT 06903
    (203) 322-6971

    It is a difficult challenge to describe the offerings of the 93-acre arboretum. Plant collections, both recently planted and some planted 50-100 years ago accompany walking trails. Educational opportunities cross many interests both in-person and remotely. Special events are posted regularly. Bartlett CEO Jane von Trapp was recognized in 2020 with the FGCCT Bronze Medal, its highest award.

  • Stamford Museum and Nature Center
    39 Scofieldtown Road (Main entrance)
    151 Scofieldtown Road (Farmhouse entrance)
    Stamford, CT 06903
    (203) 977-6521

    A working farm with animals and gardens accompany the 80 acres of hiking trails, Nature Center and Planetarium. In addition, seasonal displays in the Museum and programs ( youth programs) for all ages fill out the event calendar.


University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT  06269
Multiple locations on Storrs campus

While Yale University was Connecticut’s first land grant university, the designation was removed and transferred to the property that is today UCONN. The University has much to offer the plant lover, with its Plant Biodiversity Conservatory and Research Core and its extensive array of greenhouses and plant collections, the Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Facilities and the Sid Waxman Conifer collection just down the road from campus. From home, you may also explore the Plant Database while researching for future acquisitions for your landscape.


Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden55 South Main Street
Suffield, CT 06078
(860) 668-0055

The 1761 center chimney home enjoys an extensive colonial history, and a tour will exhibit the substantial antique furniture collection housed there. The formal parterre garden designed by Mary Wells Edwards, flowering shrubs and an herb garden are today maintained by the Suffield Garden Club.


Hollister House Garden
300 Nettleton Hollow Road
Washington, CT 06793
(860) 868-2200

Nestled on 25 acres in Litchfield County, Hollister House Gardens blends both formal and informal in its uniquely American interpretation of the great gardens of the United Kingdom. Both hardscaping and green material form a series of rooms to wander. The gardens provide inspiration for not only gardeners, but also for artists and photographers. Lectures and other special events entertain and educate.


Harkness Memorial State Park
275 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385
(860) 443-5725

The property owned by Edward and Mary Harkness included the mansion (their summer home) ‘Eolia’, and 200 acres of working farmland. Between the years of 1918 and 1929, Beatrix Farrand redesigned the West Garden and created the East Garden, the Boxwood Parterre and the Alpine Rock Garden. The property was left to the State of Connecticut in 1950, with the gardens being restored and replanted respecting the original landscape plans.


Elizabeth Park
1561 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
(860) 231-9443

Elizabeth Park is the oldest municipal rose garden in the US, with over 100 acres of park land which includes 15000 plants, 800 varieties and a 2.5 acre rose garden. In addition to its heritage rose garden, an annual garden, perennial garden, rock garden, iris garden, herb garden as well as the University of St. Joseph Pharmacy garden accompany a large collection of trees and shrubs. The Garden is open dawn to dusk 365 days per year and is free and open to the public. The Friends of Elizabeth Park help maintain this park.


Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center
10 Woodside Lane
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 557-4400

Earthplace, also known as the Westport Nature Center was founded in 1958. Sixty-two acres of open space include miles of walking trails accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. In addition to the variety of natural habitats, a Birds of Prey Exhibit and an indoor Animal Hall provide close-up views of a variety of animal ambassadors. Educational programs span pre-school through adult interests.


Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
211 Main Street
Wethersfield, CT 06109
(860) 529-0612

The Museum is composed of three 18th century homes and their grounds located in the center of Connecticut’s largest historic district. The Webb House Colonial Revival Garden was designed by landscape designer Amy Cogswell in 1921. Over the years, the garden evolved until it retained little of the character of its original design. Cogswell’s original designs were discovered in archives in the mid-1990’s and by decade’s end the gardens had been restored to reflect much of the original plans. The gardens are maintained by volunteers.


  • Weir Farm National Historic Site
    735 Nod Hill Road
    Wilton, CT 06897
    (203) 834-1896

    The 60-acre property, once owned by three generations of the artistic Weir family, includes the Weir House, Weir and Young Studios, barns, gardens, and Weir Pond. A colonial revival Sunken Garden and the Weir Garden (created in 1915) which includes a fountain, sundial and rustic cedar fence are preserved and maintained by local garden clubs and other volunteers. Their goal is to present the property as it appeared to Weir and the other artists who lived and painted there.

  • Woodcock Nature Center
    56 Deer Run Road
    Wilton, CT 06897
    (203) 762-7280

    The Preserve on 149 acres of state-protected land includes a pond, wetlands and 3 miles of publicly accessible woodland trails. It is also home to home to a variety of living local and exotic creatures including snakes, frogs and lizards, and houses a handful of injured birds of prey. Special events and programs for all ages are listed on their website.


  • Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust
    596 Flanders Road
    Woodbury, CT 06768
    (203) 263-3711

    The Flanders Land Trust holds in trust more than 2100 acres of open space in the towns of Woodbury, Bethlehem, Southbury and Middlebury, and includes seven nature preserves and sanctuaries. The Nature Center found at the corner of Flanders and Church Hill Roads serves as the main teaching campus of Flanders. Seasonal programs for all ages and school programs are listed on the website. The several protected properties across the towns provide ample opportunity for hiking, with maps available. The award-winning Botany Trail at the Van Vleck Farm and Nature Sanctuary was developed in 1965 by members of the Pomperaug Valley Garden Club of Woodbury, who continue to maintain and improve it.

  • Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden
    49 Hollow Road
    Woodbury, CT 06798
    (203) 263-2855

    This simple 18th century farmhouse was restored and opened to the public in 1925. The following year, Gertrude Jekyll was commissioned to design an appropriate garden to enhance the new museum. Mysteriously, her garden plans were never fully installed in the 1920’s, and the garden plans lay undiscovered until the late 1970’s. Today, 300 feet of foundation plantings and English-style mixed borders exist according to her original plans.


Roseland Cottage
556 Route 169
Woodstock, CT 06281
(860) 928-4074

Henry Bowen, a successful New York businessman, returned to his hometown in 1846 to establish a retreat where he entertained friends and others which included four U.S. presidents. The boxwood-edged parterre gardens planted in the 1850’s still exist as do other features of the property including an icehouse, an aviary and Connecticut’s oldest surviving indoor bowling alley.