NE conservatories & greenhouses to visit in Winter?

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)January 5, 2009

Bleak midwinter is upon us, and the need is great to stroll around green trees and plants indoors. Are there any arboretums, tropical plant greenhouses, conservatories with palm trees etc. in New England?


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One of my favorite places in the Boston area is the delightful and enchanting Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Its central courtyard is a wondrous indoor garden, surrounded on all sides by the four stories of this Venetian palazzo.

The horticultural displays change with the seasons, tho my favorite is the extraordinary trailing nasturtiums, featured in April. Not sure what's on now but the Gardner is always a treat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 4:03PM
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mskee(z6 MA)

Their website is quite dull compared to what an actual visit is like, but I would recommend Logee's Greenhouses:

I go there every year, to stroll through their greenhouses...and, inevitably buy something. But, you don't have to purchase anything--the greenhouses are quite the experience.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:10PM
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Here are a few; I have not been to any of them but they're all on my short list.

The Lyman Estate in Waltham has (or, has had, not sure) a great display of (tender) camellias

Tower Hill is a botanic garden in Worcester with an orangerie. Half price admission through January.

Smith College Northhampton has exhibits in their greenhouse - also called Lyman (the Lymans must have been horticulturally inclined philanthropists?)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:11PM
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sedum37(Z5 MA)

Definitely can recommend the Lyman Estate in Waltham. I visited a few years ago and the camelias, orchids, tropical plants are excellent in winter as DTD above recommended also. Plus visiting this greenhouse is inexpensive (I think $3 suggested donation) and the plant sales support the Historic New England non profit. The lady that works in the plant sale area is very knowledgeable and they have some interesting plants for sale. I believe end of Jan to end of Feb is peak bloom time for the Camelias.

Here is a link that might be useful: My photos of Lyman Estate Greenhouses

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 2:58PM
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sedum37(Z5 MA)

I see also that DTD mentioned Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston. This is another great place to go. In addition to the half price admission I believe if you are a AAA member or WGBH member there is 2 for 1 admission. Also many public libraries have passes for Tower Hill so check out your library.

If in the Providence RI area, another neat indoor botanical garden is Roger Williams Botanical Garden center. I also visited there in 2008. If you want to see some photos to inspire you check them out at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roger Williams Botanical Garden -- Providence RI

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 3:08PM
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cloud_9(z5 CT)

There is a new Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park in Providence, RI that opened in 2007. It looks interesting in the pictures I've seen and have been meaning to check it out when life permits.

Here is a link that might be useful: RWP Botanical Center

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 3:09PM
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Wow, I will have to stop in Providence sometime when I'm whizzing down rt 95.

I found the link to the Smith College conservatory. They have a Titan Arum, but sadly it bloomed last July so we won't get to see it again for a few years. The photos of it are pretty swell.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lyman Conservatory at Smith

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 6:53PM
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There are no museum, college, or botanic garden greenhouses in central NH that I know of, so I usually visit the greenhouses of local florists or garden centers. I may not buy anything on winter days when I visit (though I sometimes do), but I do business there at other times of the year, so don't feel in the slightest guilty about just wandering around in the dead of winter to appreciate the plants. No one has ever seemed to mind.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 6:44AM
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Yes, I agree, an excellent nursery greenhouse is a wonderful place to visit this time of year--tho I can never resist buying something.

I like Lake St. nursery in Windham NH. They have long been growers for various exhibits in the New England Spring Flower Show. It just occurred to me the other day that they and others like them will be hard hit by the lack of a show this year.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 10:16AM
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Not sure if this deserves its own thread, so I'll plop it here. This is a pretty big show, if you like orchids. I usually go for a few hours, and I'm not an orchid person.

Save the Date!

The 2009 CAIOS Annual Orchid Show
January 24 & 25, 2009 at the Sea Crest Resort
North Falmouth, MA

Here is a link that might be useful: cape and islands orchid society show

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 2:20PM
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bostongardens(z6 MA)

There was a similar thread last year? Maybe we can find it.

The greenhouses at Wellesley College are also wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 7:07PM
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