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Taking a stroll outside is always a good way for you to give yourself some down time.
With green shoots popping up around us and flowers just beginning to blossom, the next few months will present the perfect opportunity to explore Massachusetts’ various verdant gardens.
For Mother’s Day or any other day, from Beverly to the Berkshires, here are seven spots where you can smell the roses (or a few other flowers, at least) and let your mind unwind. Enjoy!
If you’re taking a trip to Martha’s Vineyard in the near future, be sure to immerse yourself in Mytoi, a truly mesmerizing Japanese-style garden with delightful pathways, inviting views and a quaint footbridge that leads to a private island.
Photo: Footbridge in Mytoi Garden
Just a 15-minute drive from Worcester, Tower Hill Botanic Garden offers elegant views of native perennials spread across 132 pristine acres. This year-round spot, known to many as a “living museum of plants,” is especially lovely outdoors during the warmer months. Nearby, you can enjoy casual fare at O’Connor’s Restaurant & Bar or extend your day of fresh air at the Tougas Family Farm. If you’re spending a few days in the area, the Beechwood Hotel will keep you comfy.
Photo: Tower Hill Botanic Garden Mountain Laurel
This Berkshires haven not only educates its visitors on the value of conservationism and environmentalism, but also serves as a peaceful escape for the avid nature lover. Stockbridge’s best-known botanical garden is a standout in a region that counts many scenic vistas, and it’s also a location that consistently hosts special events, which are always good to check before any visit.
Photo: Berkshire Botanical Garden in spring
Home to more than 176 varieties of lilacs, Arnold Arboretum is one of Massachusetts’ most historic natural sites. Since its founding in 1872, this nationally recognized landmark and research facility has preserved hundreds of acres of diverse floral plants, trees, vines, and much more.
Photo: Arnold Arboretum landscape
For a day filled with the arts, consider adding a customized private art tour with My Art Boston. If you’re in the area during mid-July, you can also enjoy a nearby concert at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. And of course, a trip to Jamaica Plain is never complete without a stop at the original JP Licks (more food options here)! To rest your head in a similarly pastoral setting, consider a stay at The Taylor House Bed & Breakfast, which has some delightful gardens of its own.
Formerly an early 20th-century summertime family retreat, this North Shore spot showcases an impressive collection of rare tree and shrub species. Each garden, or “room,” surrounds the Federal-style estate, a spectacle in itself for those with an appreciation for New England’s rich architectural history.
An apple orchard, peaceful meadow, organic farm, children’s garden and scenic loop trail are among the other features that make Long Hill a springtime favorite for many. For more attractions in the area, click here, and for a list of suitable lodgings, just click here.
Photo: Flowers in Long Hill Arboretum
Much like other great sites, the Ashintully Gardens weren’t built in a day. This serene landscape, which is accompanied by a rushing stream and tranquil meadows, is the culmination of 30 years of work by contemporary composer John McLennan and is a true a springtime treat.
Photo: Ashintully Fountain
Open to the public starting on the first Wednesday in June 2014, visitors can relax by strolling the winding footpaths, taking in the delightful terraces and scaling the stone stairs. To complete your nature-inspired escape, opt for an overnight at the Cobble View B&B or the Tollgate Inn.
A popular and romantic wedding destination, this authentic 20th-century formal perennial garden is tucked away in the area’s living history museum, right along the South Shore. Spending a few minutes in the garden makes for some nice down time in between activities at Plimoth Plantation, where there’s always plenty to see and do. To spend more time around Plymouth, try a night or two at the Bramhall Cottage, Above the Bay at Thornton Adam’s House B&B, or any of these additional lodging areas.
Photo: Hornblower Garden at Plimoth Plantation
What’s one nature spot you like to visit each year in Massachusetts? Let us know in the comments!