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Say it with Flowers: New England Spring Getaways for Couples

by Barbara Rogers

Apr 22, 2018

© Stillman Rogers


Spring may come later to New England, but that only makes its arrival more welcome. Days are longer, skies are bluer and even a rainy day seems moody and atmospheric instead of just plain gloomy. And after a long cold winter, there’s no more romantic way to celebrate spring than a weekend spent among flowers and blossoming trees. Here are some of our favorite New England gardens to visit on a romantic spring getaway.



Maine, Boothbay, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

© Stillman Rogers

The Arts and Crafts Blithewold mansion, in Bristol, R.I., is known for its gardens overlooking Narragansett Bay. And the gardens are especially known for daffodils. Across its 33 acres, more than 50,000 daffodils bloom for nearly a month each spring. Paths wind under the trees where the ground is carpeted in yellow and white blooms, with patches of bright blue squills and grape hyacinth. Magnolia trees create clouds of pink blossoms and, later in the spring, beds of tulips border the stone walls.


Daffodils on Nantucket    

Nantucket Island, off Cape Cod in Massachusetts, celebrates its annual Daffodil Festival. April 27–29, but all through the month, its roadsides are carpeted by more than 3 million blooming daffodils. While the festival is fun and filled with zany daffodil-themed events, for a more romantic getaway plan to bike along the daffodil-lined roads before or after the festival when the island is not so crowded.


Boston Public Garden

By the time the famed swan boats hit the pond in mid-April, Boston Public Garden is awash in tulips. Masses of blooms in every color from snowy white to black raspberry shades line its meandering walkways and reflect in the water. Tulips were first planted there in the mid-1800s and this year an estimated 23,000 of them fill the 24-acre park in the center of downtown Boston. Treat yourselves to a romantic swan boat ride to admire them at leisure. Settle into a beautifully decorated room overlooking the river at Gryphon House and stroll up Beacon Street to admire the magnolias and dooryard gardens.


Arnold Arboretum

Although it has thousands of other flowering plants, Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum is best known for its lilacs. The lilac collection, much you can see alongside Bussey Hill Road, is among the premier collections of these flowering shrubs in North America, with almost 400 plants in more than 150 varieties in every size and color. They bloom from late April through early June.


Maine, Boothbay, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Maine, Boothbay, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Photo: Stillman Rogers

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Atlantic Ocean has a moderating effect on temperatures, so even though it’s farther north, April still brings spring blooms at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, in Boothbay Harbor. The gardens open mid-April and quickly burst into color with early bulbs. By May its flowerbeds are a riot of reds and yellows as tulips fill the central gardens and bloom throughout the Arbor Garden and along the paths approaching the entrance. Woodland trails lead to the Giles Rhododendron Garden in a dell with a waterfall, and flowering trees and shrubs also include Magnolia and Rhododendron.


Innkeepers at nearby Brewster House in Freeport or Newcastle Inn in Newcastle can direct you to more Maine gardens, and Inns along the Coast can plan entire garden itineraries, stopping at romantic inns along the way.


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