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Best of RI Gardens

Spring has sprung and it’s the ideal time to visit some of Rhode Island’s most beautiful gardens. Some are especially great at this time of the year since they feature great swathes of spring blooms. Don’t miss your chance to see at least a few.

Bristol

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum

Blithewold offers an updated version of a traditional Arts and Craft Garden. The huge 33-acre estate with views of grand views of Narragansett Bay almost guarantees you’ll see something in bloom.

April offers a stunning proliferation of tulips, daffodils, flowering fruit trees, and more. The arboretum includes approximately 2,000 trees and shrubs too. You may also want to visit the 45-room mansion filled with family heirlooms.

Linden Place

Linden Place’s grand Federal-style mansion usually steals the show. However, the sculpture-filled gardens are definitely worth a visit too.

You’ll find Greek bronzes, an 18th century gazebo, and spectacular magnolia trees in full bloom near the end of April. It’s not surprising this showy garden is a favorite location for spring weddings!

Kingston

URI Botanical Gardens and Horridge Conservatory

Visitors can see a diverse range of world plants in the conservatory. It is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The botanical gardens are free to visit and open every day from sunrise to sunset. This garden is used for research and teaching, and packed with interesting specimens. With over 200 medicinal plants and 500 ornamental plants, there is certainly plenty to see anytime of the year.

Kinney Azalea Gardens

This garden is just coming into its peak season when the many varieties of azalea are in full bloom. A profuse number of vibrant shrubs start showing off in April and continue through until June. There’s also rhododendrons, kalmia, lilies, honeysuckle, and roses in the garden.

Admission is free, but donations are always welcome. Visitors can also buy plants. They over 1,000 cultivars and species of rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as many other broadleaved evergreens, native trees and shrubs.

Newport

The Breakers

No visit to Newport would be complete without visiting the gardens of at least one mansion. The Breakers features many stunning trees, including the Blue Atlas Cedar and copper and weeping beeches.

There’s also a patterned south parterre garden, showy rhododendrons, and many other flowering shrubs on display. The gardens are open 10 am until one after the last tour admission at 4:00 pm.

Green Animals Topiary Garden

This well-loved garden opens on April 15th. It puts on a great show in the spring with thousands of daffodils, tulips, columbine, lupine and coral bells. On top of that, there’s also 80 topiaries and an overwhelming number of flowering perennials, annuals and shrubs.

North Kingstown

Smith’s Castle

Even though the castle is closed, the grounds and trails are open year-round. The University of Rhode Island has largely restored the original garden, typical of a wealthy 18th century landowner and with historically accurate plants.

They are also developing a colonial dye, medicinal and household use herb garden and a three sisters’ garden in the Native American planting tradition.

Providence

Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center is New England’s largest glasshouse display garden. It features an amazing array of plants under glass, outdoor perennials, and a fishpond.

It’s a great place for photographs and it’s free to Providence residents. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays) from 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Warwick

JAYCEE Riverwalk Corridor & Arboretum

This 400 linear foot nature path has over seventy-two shrub species, trees, ornamental bushes, and hundreds of annual flowers and bulbs. It connects to the breathtaking trails of the Senator Roch Riverwalk which spans another 1.3 miles.

Westerly

Wilcox Park

This 14-acre park includes an arboretum, open meadow, blossoming trees, a fish pond, monuments, and colorful perennial gardens. It’s free to visit and open from dawn to 9 pm. It is definitely worth a spring stroll.

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