Horticultural Gardens

The Conservancy collaborates with several horticultural groups who design, plant, and maintain gardens in the Park. These arrangements make for a great working relationship, as 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 on 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 Park, and hosts 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. For more information, visit the Connecticut Unit of the American Herb Society’s website.

Dahlia Display Garden

Since 1998, the Connecticut Dahlia Society (CDS) has been maintaining a display garden in Elizabeth Park for Park visitors to enjoy. Their members plant the dahlias each spring, and members maintain the beds weekly. 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 and open 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. For more information, visit the Connecticut Dahlia Society’s website.


2020 Dahlia Display Garden from Algis Kaupas on Vimeo.


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 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 and open 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. Garden tours of members’ gardens are also scheduled for iris bloom season. For more information, visit the Connecticut Iris Society’s website.

University of St. Joseph School of Pharmacy, Sara Knuth Medicine Garden

In 2014, Dr. Dayne Laskey founded the USJ School of Pharmacy Medicine Garden in Elizabeth Park, which features a variety of medicinal plants from cultures around the world, many of which are sources of modern pharmaceutical products. This garden has since been dedicated as the Sara Knuth M.D. Medicine Garden. Visit their Facebook page and Instagram account for more information.