Gardens & Grounds  
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     Perennial Garden
     Tulip and Annual Gardens
     Shade Garden
     Heritage Rose Garden
     Overlook and East Lawn
     Horticultural Gardens
Pond House
Farmstead and Buildings
Trees of Elizabeth Park
Ponds and Bridges
Horticultural Societies

The Conservancy collaborates with several horticultural groups who design, plant, and maintain gardens in the park. It is a great working relationship. We get a maintained garden, which we could not otherwise have, and the organization gets a public place to showcase their work. Their members maintain their gardens and are happy to answer questions about their organization and their gardens.

Herb Garden

The Connecticut Unit of the American Herb Society maintains this lovely, traditional herb garden with gravel paths, linear beds, and low stonewalls.. The herb garden was installed in 1998 and is a favorite of the public. Visitors will often sit in the benches and just admire the peacefulness of the garden. The garden is dedicated to Anne Pinto, former president of the Conservancy. The center statuary is possibly from the Pond estate and is the only item from the mansion that remains today. The Herb Society also holds a plant sale in the spring at Elizabeth Par and host a symposium. The Mission Statement of the Connecticut Unit of the American Herb Society is to promote the knowledge, use, and delight of herbs through educational programs, research, and sharing the experiences of the members with the community. The Connecticut Unit of the American Herb Society website:

Dahlia Display Garden

Since 1998, Connecticut Dahlia Society (CDS) has been maintaining a display garden in Elizabeth Park in Hartford for park visitors to enjoy. Their members plant the dahlias each spring, and members come in weekly to maintain the beds. The dahlias grow to about 3 to 4 feet tall and are in full bloom in late August and into September at a time of year when the other gardens are winding down.

The Annual Dahlia Show of the CDS is held on the fourth Saturday in August at the Pond House in Elizabeth Park. The show is free to the public. Exhibitors from many states and their members display their dahlia blooms at this show. The members hold a dahlia root sale in April at the park. The mission of the CDS is to stimulate interest in, and promote the culture and development of, the dahlia; to conduct and promote public exhibition of dahlias in Connecticut; to assist its members in learning the most effective ways of dahlia culture. The Connecticut Dahlia Society website:

Connecticut Iris Society Display Beds

The Connecticut Iris Society maintains several iris display beds in Elizabeth Park with award winning New England irises. One garden is on the north side of the main greenhouse in Elizabeth Park with bearded iris specimens that bloom from late April into early June. The society maintains the old cold frames on the south side of the greenhouses, which contain new bearded irises from Winterberry Gardens of Virginia. These hybridizers are noted for irises that re-bloom in late summer and fall.

Siberian and Species irises are located on the east side of the small greenhouse. Most of these irises come from Joe Pye Weed Garden in Massachusetts, one of the foremost Siberian hybridizers of today.

The society hosts an Annual Iris Exhibition at Elizabeth Park that is free to the public. This show is held in late May with the Rhododendron Society Exhibition show.

The Connecticut Iris Society meets on the third Saturday of February, April, September, and October in the Elizabeth Park Conservancy Cottage Information Center. Garden tours of members’ gardens are also scheduled for iris bloom season. The Connecticut Iris Society website:

For questions or information, please call: 860-231-9443, ext. 104
or email us:

Christine Doty
President and CEO

Kathy Kraczkowsky
Co-Director of Park Operations

Elizabeth Park Conservancy
1561 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford CT 06117
Map (directions)

Pond House Café
1555 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford CT 06117
860.231.8823 / phone
Map (directions)
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