VI. Arboreta, Gardens & Greenhouses, Labyrinths, Trees & Plants

I like trees. And gardens. And plants. I’m not sure how many (if any) of the tree walks around the state I’ll do, but I will check out some of the cooler and more unique ones (there are a lot more than you think).

And why not labyrinths. There are actually a ton of these labyrinth things here in Connecticut and I have no desire to visit them all – especially since most are barely even discernible. But I’ll get to a few of the better ones.

Jump to:
Arboretums and Pinetums
Gardens & Greenhouses

If you are interested in Connecticut’s 8 National Natural Landmarks, go here.
If you landed here looking for farms, go here.

Hoang and Damian at the wondrous Granby Oak


Arboreta and Pinetums

Yes, “arboreta” is as accepted as “arboretums” and I wanted to conserve as much space in the title as possible. Pinetums are evergreen arboretums. We have several scattered around the state – and some of them are historically important. Most of these places offer tours as well. So there you go.

Colonel C.S. Wadsworth Arbortetum, Middltown

Bartlett Arbortetum and Gardens, Stamford
Connecticut College Arboretum, New London
Cos Cob Pinetum (Info)
Dinosaur State Park Pinetum, Rocky Hill
Highstead Arboretum, Redding
New Canaan Nature Center Arboretum, New Canaan


Gardens & Greenhouses

Not just any ol’ gardens and greenhouses, but the big ones. The important and historic ones. Heck, someone has even created a collective of Connecticut’s Historic Gardens (see below) for me to have another list to work my way through. Almost all of these places I’ve considered museums or are part of museums. So they’ll be some repetition here, but that’s okay. You don’t care.

Damian in late October 2009, by the Dahlia gardens and greenhouses at Elizabeth Park

Connecticut’s Historic Gardens: This is a collection of 14 gardens around the state, all of which have relatively cool story to boot. Here’s the official site – And here are my reports on my visits. Eh, here they are here too:

1. Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Garden, Wethersfield
2. Thankful Arnold House Garden, Haddam
3. Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Garden, Hartford
4. Harkness Memorial State Park Gardens, Waterford
5. Bellamy-Ferriday Garden, Bethlehem
6. Glebe House Museum Garden, Woodbury

Other Gardens & Greenhouse Visits:

Elizabeth Park Garden History Tour, Hartford, Many Visits
UConn Greenhouses, Storrs, 2/25/2009
Marsh Gardens and Greenhouses, New Haven, 8/4/2010
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Hamden, 8/4/2010
Shoyoan Teien (Japanese Garden) at Wesleyan, Middletown, 5/15/2011

Garden of Ideas, Ridgefield (info)
Steve Silk’s Tropical Garden, Farmington Info
Sundial gardens, Higganum
Hollister House Garden, Washington (Info)
Greenbrier Greenhouse and Crosby Conservatory at Edgerton Park, New Haven

Some more Connecticut Gardens, most of which I won’t be visiting.
Commerical CT Gardens Trail (I certainly won’t be doing this one)



I don’t think we have any of those cool hedgerow labyrinths like in “The Shining,” but we certainly do have some rather interesting ones around.

Holy Family Retreat Labyrinth, Farmington, 4/10/2009
Wisdom House Retreat Center Labyrinth, Litchfield. 12/4/2010

Quintessential Gardens Labyrinth, Thompson (Info)

Labyrinths around Connecticut



Herein you’ll find one of my favorite lists on this entire massive website. We have six National Champion trees here in Connecticut and I will find them all. You’ll also find CTMQ’s very first page which also happens to be one of the most visited over the years (The Pinchot Sycamore.) I’ll also be doing a few of the better Tree Walks around the state. I know there are tons of these things, and I don’t plan on doing them all either.

2012 Update: As anyone in northern CT knows, we had a devastating snowstorm on Halloween weekend in 2011. With the leaves still on the trees, and the snow being the heavy/wet variety, tens of thousands of trees snapped – taking down power lines. 830,000 people lost power. We lost ours for 7 days in West Hartford. Worse things have happened to many more people, but know this: it was not fun around here for that week. FEMA was called in and I never would ever have thought I’d see FEMA trucks on my street. Here’s a video from some guy which is cool because he captures what it was like outside the night trees started snapping and transformers started blowing up.

But we survived, wholly intact. Many of our historic and champion trees did not. And that bums me out. I’ll put updates on the trees’ pages as to which were destroyed and which are probably doomed.

McLean Game Refuge woods in Autumn

I don’t know if it’s because my last name is Wood, but I have an affinity for trees. And really, you should too.

National Champion Trees of Connecticut – You really (really) should go to my main page about the Champions but if you’re lazy, here they are:

1. Quercus ilicifolia, Bear Oak, Windsor
2. Quercus velutina, Black Oak, East Granby
3. Crataegus monogyna, Oneseed Hawthorn, Old Saybrook
4. Betula papyrifera, Paper Birch, Hartford
5. Prunus persica, Peach, Madison
6. Amelanchier arborea, Serviceberry, Glastonbury

Other Trees

Connecticut’s Biggest Tree, The Pinchot Sycamore, Simsbury, 9/8/2006 (The very first page written for CTMQ!)
Connecticut’s Coolest Tree, The Granby Oak, Granby, 9/23/2007
Site of The Charter Oak, Connecticut’s Most Historic Tree, Hartford
111-Yr-Old (and counting) Lemon Tree, Danielson (Info)
Site of The Washington Oak, Gaylordsville/New Milford

First Christmas Tree in the US, Windsor Locks (Info)
Colonial Pine, Colebrook – Info
Auncient Oak, Bethlehem (Auncient Oak Drive)
Bushnell Park Tree Walk, Hartford
Institute of Living Tree Walk, Hartford
UConn Tree Walk, Storrs
Elizabeth Park Tree Walk, West Hartford
Cathedral Pines, Cornwall

Notable trees in CT


I expect to happen upon a few wacky or interesting plants in my travels. Here they are:

Prickly Pear Cacti growing wild in Connecticut, along the Metacomet Trail, Plainville
Perfect pink ladyslipper, Jericho Trail, Watertown

Pond Meadow Natural Area (Cranberry Bog), Killingworth (Info)


One response to “VI. Arboreta, Gardens & Greenhouses, Labyrinths, Trees & Plants”

  1. derek defonce says:

    I was wondering if you had any info on the Large Oak tree on auncient oak dr. in bethlehem, and why no one is taking care of it, it is a shame

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