You don't have to wait until summer to enjoy nature. Take advantage of our lovely October weather as you marvel at the natural beauty of The Gardens at Elm Bank in the fall of 2015.The gardens' name dates back to the 17th century, when Colonel John Jones took ownership of the land and planted elms alongside the Charles River. The parcel was purchased by numerous owners over the years, including Benjamin Pierce Cheney, a founder of what would become American Express. Cheney's daughter, Alice, and her husband, Dr. William Hewson Baltzell, inherited the property upon his death in 1895. The Wellesley couple had a neo-Georgian manor house built and enlisted the famous Olmsted Brothers firm to design equally magnificent gardens.
After Mrs. Baltzell's passing, the land was occupied by numerous organizations. At one time, it became a seminary housing the Stigmatine Fathers. Later, it was home to the Quinobin Regional Technical School. After landing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, the site came under the ownership of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MassHort leased the land in 1996 as part of an agreement to restore Elm Bank so it could be enjoyed by all -- in 2015 and well beyond.
The Gardens include the following:
- Bressingham Garden
- Garden to Table Garden
- Italianate Garden
- Jim Crockett Memorial Garden
- New England Trial Garden
- The Welcome Garden
- Weezie's Garden
- Other gardens maintained by horticultural groups
Visitors in 2015 can find information in the four-season Welcome Garden. Adrian Bloom designed Bressingham Garden, which shares a name with gardens designed by Bloom in England. The Olmsted Brothers-designed Italianate Garden is just one of two publicly accessible Italianate-style gardens in the Commonwealth.
Children will love Weezie's Garden, where they can explore acres of garden delights, as well as plenty of trails. Youth educators are on hand to optimize the experience. The Garden to Table Garden supplies area food banks with fresh produce, promotes sustainable gardening and educates visitors on gardening and cooking practices. Come to the Jim Crockett Memorial Garden and celebrate the life of its namesake, an author and local TV host. The New England Trial Garden displays new and award-winning varieties of plants. Vote for your favorite this October! Children of all ages delight in the natural wonders of the Gardens at Elm Bank. Join the other Wellesley residents and visitors enjoying this unique attraction in Autumn 2015.