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Celebrating Natives – Garden Tours

Sat, June 13 @ 12:00 pm EDT - 4:00 pm EDT

Public and Private Native Plant Gardens, Various - Garden addresses provided after registration is complete. + Google Map

Due to concerns about community transmission of COVID-19, we have cancelled the 2020 Celebrating Natives Garden Tours. Instead, we will feature the hosts and their gardens in the June 2020 ELA Newsletter

As gardeners and landscape professionals, many of us are playing our part in protecting and increasing biodiversity by creating gardens with a core of native plants. As native gardens mature, they become inspiration for others to incorporate native plants that provide food and habitat for birds, pollinating insects, butterflies, and more.

Join the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) as we Celebrate Native Plants at designer-guided and homeowner-guided tours of public and private gardens that celebrate the beauty and ecosystem value of native plants and ecological practices.

These ELA Eco-tours will:

  • Feature gardens designed entirely or primarily with native plants.
  • Educate attendees about the increasing options and applications for native plants.
  • Demonstrate that native plant gardens can be beautiful as well as functional.
  • Share insights into native plant combinations and gardening techniques.
  • Discuss strategies for transforming sections of lawn into a biodiverse landscape.
  • Promote native plant gardens as a safe haven for birds, butterflies, and native pollinators.
  • Answer questions about native plants and habitat restoration.

Thanks to generous homeowners, landscape designers, and area organizations, ELA invites you to join us for inspiration and education on these special tours to native plant gardens.

Pre-registration to each garden is required. All gardens have limited access this, so register early. Registration is at the bottom of this page beginning on April 15th.

Additional gardens are continually being added to the tour. Check back soon to  learn about new gardens and register for additional tour(s) of interest.


Calling all ecological designers:
Have a native plant project to share?
Contact to learn more and add your garden to the tour.

Needham, MA
Needham Native Gardens

The Native Plant Garden in Needham, MA was initiated by a collaboration between Needham’s Park and Forestry Division and local landscape designer, Marie Chieppo, to educate members of the community about the benefits and beauty of native plants. Located next to a commuter rail station provides opportunities to share this space with hundreds of daily commuters. The design included pollinator plants that bloom from spring through fall. Evergreens and native grasses were planted for winter interest.

Lincoln, MA
Private Gardens

Over thirty years in the making, this native plant enthusiast has created a series of home gardens that pay tribute to native plants. This landscape was lovingly created by a homeowner who is an accomplished gardener and volunteer at the Garden in the Woods. This beautiful, mature landscape includes mixed perennial borders, a large vegetable garden, and a delightful woodland garden that encompasses an acre of native plants. A visit to this garden will inspire even the seasoned gardener with surprises.

Wales, MA
Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary

The Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary is an oasis for wildlife and native plants encompassing over 8,000 acres of forests, meadows and wildlands in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The Sanctuary includes just under three miles of walking trails that traverse a variety of habitats and naturalistic wildflower gardens in the 75 acre Pocket Sanctuary, which represents the diversity that can be found at Tupper Hill. Plants grown here are native to the eastern seaboard, from the Carolinas to Canada.

Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary includes 14 gardens maintained in the various habitats. The gardens include hundreds of native plant species including more than 50 species of native ferns. A walk through the gardens can help you identify ferns and a wide variety of wildflowers for every garden situation.

Newton, MA
Woodland Walk at Coleman House

This native plant installation provides a welcome respite for residents and guests at the Coleman House. The quiet woodland walk through the lovely, tall pines links the bright annual plantings of the parking lot and Memorial Garden with the contrasting experience of an enhanced natural woodland and provides an opportunity for safe, gentle exercise in the open air for the elderly residents. Sitting areas provide an interlude along the trail for quiet enjoyment or conversation. Pre-existing plantings of rhododendron and hosta were augmented with native trees and shrubs along with a long list of wildflowers, ferns, and native grasses. Despite being showered with crushed stone from the path, many of these have been successful. The only non-native plantings are bulbs for early spring color.


Sat, June 13
12:00 pm EDT - 4:00 pm EDT
Event Categories:


Penny Lewis


Public and Private Native Plant Gardens
Various - Garden addresses provided after registration is complete. + Google Map