The Garden

An aerial photo of Tower Hill Botanic Garden shows how the Garden is designed along a North-South axis on the spine of the hill. See more aerial photos.

Welcome to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, the headquarters of the Worcester County Horticultural Society [WCHS]. The third oldest active horticultural society in the U.S., WCHS was incorporated in 1842 as a non-profit "educational organization for the purpose of advancing the science and encouraging and improving the practice of horticulture." For nearly 150 years this was accomplished through a busy schedule of flower shows and educational programs based in downtown Worcester. The Society purchased Tower Hill Farm in 1986 with the belief that the Society could best fulfill its goals by developing a garden open to the public.

Two years of collaboration with Environmental Planning and Design of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, produced a 50-year Master Plan for the Tower Hill Botanic Garden (seen at left). The plan is also on display in the Stoddard Education & Visitors Center. The plan provides a 50-year vision for the property, showing what Tower Hill Botanic Garden might look like in 2038, with both current and future features (designated in light green on the plan).

Click one of the existing garden areas listed below to see a description.

Pliny's Allée

A formal allée of Oak trees alongside the Systematic Garden.

The Apple Orchard

Flanking the entry drive, the Frank L. Harrington Sr. Orchard displays the Davenport Collection of heirloom apples: 238 trees and 119 pre-20th century varieties. Apple tastings in the fall at Tower Hill's "Shades of Autumn" harvest celebration offer visitors an opportunity to sample these rare and unusual varieties.

The Cottage Garden

The Cottage Garden was the first garden developed at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Originally planned as a temporary space for public enjoyment and education, its popularity prompted the decision to include it as a permanent part of the Master Plan.

The Entry Garden

The E. Stanley and Alice M. Wright Entry Garden and Thomas Smith-W. Robert Mill Entry Court are your portal to the Tower Hill Experience. Here, you'll find information about the Worcester County Horticultural Society's rich past and exciting future plans. Plans representative of Tower Hill's diversity are attractively displayed. Interpretive signs explain the types of collections present and the planting philosophy.

The Field of Daffodils

Tower Hill's signature field of more than 25,000 daffodils generally comes into bloom in late April and early May. It is a spectacular sight in the spring.

The Inner Park

The Inner Park was a 5-acre field that has become a secondary woodland of mixed hardwood trees. Landscape parks of this type were popular during the 18th and 19th centuries, reflecting the romantic ideal of the Greco-Roman epoch. Classic revival style architectural features include the whimsical Folly, the Pope Urn and the Temple of Peace.

The Lawn Garden

Tower Hill's Lawn Garden is a collection of more than 350 species of trees and shrubs, arranged around an expansive oval of grass, with islands and pockets of woody and herbaceous plantings.

The Limonaia

The Limonaia, or Lemon House, creates the southern border of the Winter Garden. The cathedral-like interior of the Limonaia expands the display of non-hardy plants, augmenting those in the existing Orangerie. The Limonaia will feature the Garden's collection of camellias and citrus plants as well as many other varieties.

The Moss Steps

The Moss Steps are a recreation of a feature in a local private garden designed by famed landscape architect Fletcher Steele.

The Orangerie

The Orangerie, an 18th century style greenhouse, provides a 4,000 square foot environment to outstanding plants for winter display. A gallery with a northern exposure features ferns. A potting shed, growing house and pit house support this structure as a four-season growing space. Tower Hill Botanic Garden has become a year-round horticultural center for the education and enjoyment of the visitor.

The Secret Garden

An enclosed oval garden with a Ram's Head fountain as a focal point, the Secret Garden contains borders of herbaceous perennials with an emphasis on fragrance and texture.

The Systematic Garden

The Systematic Garden is a one-of-a-kind educational experience where you'll discover plants arranged "systematically" or according to our current scientific understanding of their evolutionary relationships. Designed in an Italianate style, this garden presents 26 distinct plant families, making it a vitual encyclopedia of the Plant Kingdom.

The Vegetable Garden

An imaginative display of heirloom vegetable varieties and a cutting garden, designed with a different theme each year.

The Wildlife Garden

Formerly the farm dump, this area has been converted to a haven for birds, bats, and butterflies.

The Wildlife Refuge Pond

The half-acre Wildlife Refuge Pond, along with 3 miles of woodland trails, provide ample opportunity for visitors to observe and contemplate the natural world.

The Winter Garden

Shielded from wind and extreme temperatures, the Winter Garden is a showcase for plants that are at their best during the winter months.