We are very excited to share with you the new Zacharis Shade Garden. It’s a place where visitors can experience the peace of Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s woodlands and the inspiration of beautiful plants that thrive in conditions where full sun does not exist.
The new garden was made possible by a generous gift from Marillyn Zacharis that funded both the construction and the ongoing maintenance of about three fourths of an acre that rests between the Pan statue and the Moss Steps on the eastern side of the property.

From left to right: WCHS President Jim Karadimos, generous donor Marillyn Zacharis, horticulture director Mark Richardson, and CEO Grace Elton at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.

At the Shade Garden’s dedication ceremony in September 2019, Marilyn said she first began thinking about contributing toward the project years ago in conversations with Executive Director Emeritus John Trexler.
The garden, designed by Warren Leach, began to take shape in the spring of 2019 as Tower Hill’s horticulture team selected plants and decided where they would be placed. Staff worked diligently to clear sections of brush and dig planting holes in the rocky New England soil.
The end result is a long island of shade tolerant shrubs, trees, and perennials resting below the canopy of tall trees above. The new gravel pathways encourage exploration from all sides. Spending time in this serene section of the property evokes the Latin phrase adorning the exterior of the Orangerie: “If there be heaven on earth, this is it, joy everlasting.”