The Best Gardens to Explore in NH
As a new season of gardening begins, here are our picks for gardens to check out this month.
45 High Rd., Lee
Opening to the public on May 17, 2023; visit their website for 2023 visitation guidelines.
Bedrock Gardens is a 37-acre private garden that is open on weekdays and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The garden, which also houses a number of whimsical sculptures, has been carefully cultivated over the past 39 years. Stroll through the formal Parterre Garden, the Garish Garden, the Dark Woods and more while pausing to admire the Japanese teahouse, a gazebo, the 200-foot water works called the Wiggle Waggle and, of course, plant species from all over the world. There is a $15 suggested donation.
Also, check out the schedule of special events, from a visit by The Caterpillar Lab to a Fairy and Hobbit House Festival.
John Hay Estate at The Fells
465 Route 103A, Newbury
Opening on Memorial Day weekend (May 27, 2023).
This combination of gorgeous gardens, outdoor sculptures, nature trails and art gallery is located on a nearly 1,000-acre hillside overlooking Lake Sunapee. Discover the spectacular art of well-known New England sculptors as you explore the beautiful gardens and grounds of The Fells. Each piece is sited to seamlessly integrate into the surrounding gardens and natural landscape. Don’t miss the robust calendar of events for workshops, hikes, classes, concerts and more.
Spring hours: Starting Memorial Day weekend, open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Summer hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, June 15 through September 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When the main house is open, fees are $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and students; $4 for children ages 6-17; free for 5 and under; families of two adults and two or more children ages 6 or above, $25.
If the main house is closed, fees are $8 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $3 for children ages 6-17; free for 5 and under; families of two adults and two or more children ages 6 or above, $15.
10 Willow Ave., North Hampton
Open Mother’s Day through mid-October.
This turn-of-the-century estate is a nonprofit, public botanical garden that feels secluded and private. The gorgeous formal rose gardens, which were designed in the Colonial Revival style, were commissioned during the late 1920s by Massachusetts Governor Alvan T. Fuller at his summer estate. In addition to the show-stopping roses, you can also stroll through a Japanese garden and see the English perennial plantings.
Open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Fees range from $5-$10.
Wildflower trails, secret gardens and more
Looking for another fun outdoor activity to do this summer? Grab your friends and family and head to one of these gardens grown in public spaces, at historic sites and at living history museums.
Kirkwood Gardens of the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
900 Route 3, Holderness
Colorful plants in full bloom bring this informal garden to life, naturally attracting bees, butterflies and birds of many species. Free.
Rhododendron State Park
424 Rockwood Pond Rd., Fitzwilliam
This rhododendron garden produces fragrant clusters of pink blossoms at peak bloom time in mid-July. Free.
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
139 Saint Gaudens Rd., Cornish
The visitor center, Little Studio and galleries are open from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily from Memorial Day weekend to October 31. Aspet, the historic house, is open during the summer season daily from 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. and most days from 10 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. The grounds are open all year during daylight hours. Admission is $10 for adults, free for children.
Maple Hill Gardens at Beaver Brook Association
117 Ridge Rd., Hollis
Visit one of the 13 theme gardens, walk the wildflower trail, or get a demonstration at the compost court at these volunteer-run gardens. Free.
Botanical Gardens at Canterbury Shaker Village
288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury
For a historic garden, head to Canterbury Shaker Village and check out the botanical, herb and vegetable gardens. Self-guided outdoor tours are free. Fees apply for other admission and guided tours.
321 Salisbury Rd., Franklin
This is the destination for nature lovers, bird and butterfly watchers, photographers and artists, and, of course, for garden enthusiasts. Flowering trees, shrubs and perennials fill the English landscape style gardens creating a parade of new vistas. $8-$10.
Marcy Street, Portsmouth
Located within easy walking distance of Portsmouth, this park has large flowerbeds and demonstration gardens available to view as you enjoy other views of tugboats and fishing boats. Free.
Castle in the Clouds Garden Tours
455 Old Mountain Rd., Moultonborough
Held every Friday and the first and third Saturday from June 2-October 7. Pre-registration is required. Visit the website for more information.
Join head gardener Gretchen Large in touring both Lucknow’s historic and modern garden landscapes, and leave with some general gardening tips and tricks for you to use at home. Gretchen is excited to share her passion for gardening – displayed in the beautiful and thoughtfully designed outdoor spaces around the Castle – with you. She even has her own business, The Random Gardener.