It’s spring. Time to put away the shovels and get out the garden tools. If you need some inspiration to get you ready for digging in the dirt, visit the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Some of New England’s finest garden are found here. Stroll the extensive grounds of Newport-style mansions, discover the ruins of a marble palace, or wander the colonial garden of an historic home. It’s easy to find a quiet spot to in which to breath deeply and admire the labor of love that created these stunning gardens. Plan a spring getaway to the Berkshires to visit these five lovely gardens.
Naumkeag, Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA, 413-298-3239
Built as a summer retreat, Naumkeag became a National Historic Landmark when bequeathed by the Choate family in 1958 and opened to the public in 1960. You can tour the historic home and walk the landscaped grounds admiring the views of Monument Mountain. Celebrate the arrival of spring at the annual Daffodil and Tulip Festival. More than 80,000 bulbs are planted throughout the garden, promising a riot of color. Festival hours are 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday through Sunday, from April 23 through May 17.
The Mount, 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA, 413-551-5111
The architectural composition of the gardens at The Mount echo the philosophy of Edith Wharton, who created elegant outdoor rooms to blend with the natural environment of her estate. Wander the sunken Italian Garden, the French Flower Garden, and the Rock Garden, each with its own unique feature. The Mount is open daily from May through October, but you can tour the grounds for free in March and April.
Berkshire Botanical Garden, Routes 102 and 183 Stockbridge, MA, 413-298-3926
Among the oldest gardens in America, the Berkshire Botanical Garden showcases plants indigenous to the Berkshires in a collection of unique garden areas that sprawl across the 24-acre property. In addition to the display gardens, dozens of workshops and classes are held on site, where you can learn everything from how to cultivate mushrooms at home to the basics behind building a dry stone wall. The gardens are open daily from May 1 through Columbus Day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Ashintully Gardens, Sodem and Main RoadsTyringham, MA, 413-298-3239
Picture a babbling brook, a verdant valley, and a trail that leads to the ruins of a Georgian mansion and you’ll grasp the tranquility that awaits you at Ashintully Gardens. A series of foot paths, foot bridges, and stone steps link the individual garden areas. Scattered among the terraced grassy expanses, a collection of outdoor sculptures adorn the garden. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays only from 1:00 to 5:00 PM beginning June 1st and ending on the second Saturday of October.
Mission House Gardens, 19 Main St., Stockbridge, MA, 413-298-3239
Situated on a small lot in downtown Stockbridge, the Mission House Garden reflects the vision of celebrated landscape designer, Fletcher Steele, of what a colonial-style garden may have contained. Though the house itself is rarely open to the public, the gardens are open for self-guided tours daily. Guided tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August.
Come visit the gardens of the Berkshires this spring and take advantage of our “Spring Special” at the Staveleigh House Bed and Breakfast in Sheffield, MA. Save 20% off the regular room rate when you stay 2 or more consecutive nights in April and May. Holiday weekends are excluded.