4 Indoor Gardens to Escape the New England Winter

By Yankee Magazine

May 03 2021


For “An Eye For Beauty,” (season 5, episode 5) Weekends with Yankee co-host Amy Traverso heads to Boylston, Massachusetts, home to New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, to tour the extensive grounds and the often-overlooked beauty of late fall’s native New England plants. Run by one of the oldest horticultural societies in America, Tower Hill is home to seventeen unique gardens – including two that are indoors. Along with Tower Hill, here are three additional spots where you can savor an indoor garden escape.

Best New England Indoor Gardens
New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, Massachusetts
Photo Credit : Tower Hill Botanic Garden/Mala Lam Photos

4 New England Indoor Garden Escapes

New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill
Boylston, Massachusetts

After you’ve strolled the outdoor Winter Garden at Tower Hill (even in the colder months there’s always something to see and admire), pop inside to warm up in The Orangerie, an 18th-century-style greenhouse, and enjoy the winter-blooming plants in the cathedral-like The Limonaia from October through May.

Dartmouth College Life Sciences Greenhouse
Hanover, New Hampshire

A dose of summer can be had every weekday at this handicapped-accessible teaching facility filled with 1,000 different orchids and 600 or so tropical, subtropical, and succulent plants. Every half dozen years or so, the greenhouse’s most famous inhabitant—a gargantuan corpse flower nicknamed “Morphy”—comes into bloom, and thousands turn up to experience its notorious stench. And if you like to linger, you can “picnic” in the foliage-filled multipurpose room.

Lyman Estate Greenhouses
Waltham, Massachusetts

The urge to shed layers will hit you almost as quickly as the perfume of jasmine, bougainvillea, and citrus as you close the door of one of America’s oldest greenhouse complexes behind you. Newly renovated for better accessibility, the four brick-and-glass structures burst with a variety of living oddities and heirlooms. Visit in March to see the 1820 Camellia House’s century-old specimens in radiant bloom.

Roger Williams Park Botanical Center
Providence, Rhode Island

New England’s largest indoor garden is a 23,000-square-foot terrarium that shows off plant life in its myriad forms, from delicate flowers to spiky cacti to pest-eating carnivorous species. Frequent public events include talks on gardening topics and opportunities to create in this inspiring space.