A Botanic Garden Like No Other
Discover the beauty of native plants in a naturally dramatic landscape
In a garden visitors often describe as magical, you’ll find beauty that changes with the seasons, a variety of habitats, and a plant collection that showcases New England native plants with complementary specimens from across the country. Garden in the Woods lies just west of Boston, on 45 acres sculpted by retreating glaciers into eskers, steep-sided valleys, and a kettle pond. A shaded brook and wetlands draw a panoply of animals and insects. Light filters through canopy trees onto spring flowers in the newly revived Curtis Woodland Garden, the gateway to a series of habitat displays that pay tribute to the larger New England landscape. Here you’ll find inspiration for your own garden and a new appreciation for the varied plant life of our region.
180 Hemenway Road
Framingham, MA 01701
Open daily, 10 a.m.—5 p.m.
April 14—October 15
- $14 Adults (18-64)
- $10 Seniors (65+)/Students with ID
- $6 Youth (5-17)
- Free for children under 5
- Active servicemen and women and their spouses admitted free with valid military ID Veterans receive 50 percent discount with proof of service.
- Members at the Individual with Garden Access level and higher admitted free
Not a member yet? Join now.
Looking for Nasami Farm, in western Massachusetts? Click here.
Cold and wet? Our native shrubs and wildflowers don't seem to mind.
While cool and wet weather dampens our enthusiasm for being outdoors this spring, the plants are soaking up every inch of rain, and Garden in the Woods is looking verdant and lush. Despite our Trillium Week celebration coming to an end, the trilliums are still putting on a show: Trillium grandiflorum, T. simile, T. sulcatum, T. cuneatum, and many others in full flower. The Woodland Garden, with its rich tapestry of colors and textures, is taking shape as Phlox divaricata, Phlox stolonoifera, and Tiarella cordifolia all start to spike and bloom.
Mid- to late May is also a great time to see our azalea and rhododendron collections in their prime. Pink-shell azalea (Rhododendron vaseyi), is flowering throughout the Woodland Garden, Laurel Bend, and surrounding the swamp, bog, and meadow gardens. Rhododendron carolinianum and R. minus add soft rose pinks to the landscape.
We shouldn't overlook our nonflowering plants: Abundant ferns are pushing delicate new fronds through the winter leaf litter. This stage of their lives is special and fleeting, as the newly emerged fronds are still tightly coiled or covered in dense hairs. Larger structural ferns like Matteuccia struthipoteris, Osmunda cinnamomea, and Osmunda claytoniana are emerging in the entry gardens and around the swamp and bog gardens, and the Lily Pond. Delicate ferns like Adiantum pedatum, Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Cystopteris tenuis and Pellea purpurea are also making their debuts for the season.
Overhead, Benthamidia florida and Cercis canadensis trees are in bloom, providing splashes of white and pink against the unfurling backdrop of red, black, and white oak leaves, yellow birch foliage, and the soft greens of white pine and hemlock.
—Uli Lorimer, Director of Horticulture
Some things to know before you visit
- Leave pets at home. Service dogs are welcome.
- Stay on the paths to preserve our living collections.
- Do not pick flowers, fruits, or plants.
- Do not smoke anywhere on the premises.
- Picnic only on the patio by the Education Building.
- Reserve in advance when visiting with a group of 10 or more.
- Come back to marvel at the changing seasonal beauty.
- We don't allow any commercial photography or group photo sessions for weddings, family portraits, engagements, celebrations, or similar gatherings. (If you're a member of the press, please call to make advance arrangements: 508-877-7630.)
- We know you'll be absorbed in capturing images, but please take care to stay on the paths—and don't even think about disturbing the plants to get a better effect.
- Please don't block the paths or stand in the way of other visitors.
- Want some tips for photographing plants? Download these suggestions from our ace photographer and research botanist, Arthur Haines.
For the safety of all visitors and the protection of plant collections and other natural resources, we do not allow bicycles, off-road vehicles, and vehicles or motorized devices used for mobility assistance (with the exception of wheelchairs) on the paths at Garden in the Woods or in our sanctuaries. The terrain is also too steep for most wheelchairs. If you have mobility issues, we welcome you to request a cart tour.
Library Patron Program
For public and school libraries, benefits your patrons will love!
For just $125 per year, your library will receive:
2 circulating visitor passes to Garden in the Woods for each day of the week during the 2019 season (a total of 14 passes) and a complementary subscription to our publications.
DETAILS: Adults (ages 18 and over) using a valid library pass receive a 50% discount on admission, and children ages 5-17 are admitted for $1. Children 4 and younger are always free when accompanied by an adult.
Want to renew your Library Patron subscription? Please call 508-877-7630 x3104. (Sorry, online renewal is not available.)
Book Our Meeting Space
Our fully outfitted classroom is available for rental during the week.
Does your garden club need a monthly meeting space? Looking for a completely equipped classroom to hold a workshop or board meeting for your land trust?
From June through March, we make the classroom in our education center available for organizational meetings and events for groups of up to 75 people. The approximately 785-square-foot space lies on the building's ground floor, is universally accessible (including bathrooms), and features a wall of windows overlooking the Garden.
- An adjoining kitchen is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, and oven. Your group can choose its preferred vendor for food and beverages, or bring self-serve lunches. We do not permit alcohol on the premises.
- The room is equipped with heat and air conditioning, tables, chairs, and an AV system and screen, all included in the rental.
- You can set up the room in a variety of ways, including dividing it into two separate spaces with a sound-proof partition.
- Depending on the season, your group may use the adjacent covered, open-air stone patio, outfitted with wooden picnic tables, for small outdoor sessions or picnics.
- Guests attending your event may also explore our 45-acre botanic garden, featuring the largest landscaped collection of wildflowers in the Northeast. (However, we do not rent space in the Garden for outdoor events.)
- FYI, we no longer rent our classroom for private social gatherings such as bridal showers, retirement and birthday parties, and so on.
Availability and Rates
The room is available to rent from June through March, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Rates depend on the number of people in your group:
1-25 people: $400 26-50 people: $600 51-75 people: $900
- Your rental fee includes admission to the Garden for your guests. If you are also hiring a Native Plant Trust speaker and/or booking a group tour (please see above), those fees are additional to the rental.
- Groups may pay by check made out to Native Plant Trust or by MasterCard/Visa.
- We require an additional $250 cleaning deposit, which we return to your group if you leave the room in good condition. If paying by check, please bring two checks, one for the rental and one for the cleaning deposit. If the room is in good condition when your group leaves, we will return your deposit check on the way out. If the group pays for rental with a credit card, we would charge the cleaning deposit to the card used to pay for the rental, if warranted.
- For more detailed information, download our rental info packet and rental agreement.
Schedule a Rental
To book a rental or ask questions, contact Public Programs Coordinator Lindsey Schreier: lschreier@NativePlantTrust.org; 508-877-7630 x3303.