Posted by Boston Globe gardening editor Carol Stocker, who will be on line live to answer your gardening questions this Thursday at 1 p.m.
Ten botanic gardens located across the state have joined forces to make it easier for tourists to discover them. With the support of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, and several regional tourist councils, the gardens have created a new website, massbotanicgardens.org, that provides descriptions, photos, and directions to each of these horticultural gems. The site was designed by Davis Advertising of Worcester, Mass.
In the western part of the state, the Berkshire Botanical Garden presents meticulously groomed grounds, greenhouses, and special events, and the Smith College Botanic Garden offers its Victorian Conservatory and exhibitions plus the 125-acre campus arboretum. In Worcester County, Tower Hill Botanic Garden offers year-round beauty with two spectacular greenhouses and several distinctive outdoor gardens. East of Route 495, five gardens showcase native plants, annual trial gardens, mature specimen trees and shrubs, and much more. These include Garden in the Woods, with the largest collection of plants native to New England and a certified Trillium collection; Wellesley College Botanic Gardens, which includes a dwarf conifer garden and an Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden; the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Gardens at Elm Bank, an historic estate by the Charles River with formal gardens and a “Blooms of Bressingham” border; Mount Auburn Cemetery—dating to 1831, the nation’s first example of a garden cemetery and an essential stop for birds and their admirers during spring and fall migration; and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, a historic landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to showcase trees and shrubs from around the world. Heading to Cape Cod and the Islands? You will find public gardens there, too, including the Heritage Museums and Gardens, which includes the Dexter rhododendron collection and a children’s outdoor discovery area, and the Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha’s Vineyard, which holds an extensive collection of woody plants, many not hardy elsewhere in the state.