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Local Gardens


Irwin Park and Gores Pavillon

848 Weed Street
New Canaan, CT. 06840

Irwin Park is a people sanctuary, with benches scattered around its vast orchards and fields, and trails that wind through the woods around the park. There’s no playground, but there’s often lots of quiet.

Opened in 2005, Irwin is New Canaan’s newest public park. Three quarters of a mile of flexible surface trails for jogging and walking were added in 2008.  Also, the Town’s Health Department and land use offices are housed at the park.

One of scores of modern buildings in New Canaan, the Gores Pavilion was designed by Landis Gores, of the famous Harvard Five group of modern architects. His clients were Jack Irwin, U.S. ambassador to France and an Undersecretary of State, and his wife, Jane Watson, whose father was the founder of IBM. Designed as a pool house and personal lodge for the Irwins, it is set about a hundred yards from the Irwins’ more conventional house, in New Canaan’s Irwin Park. When it was threatened with demolition in 2006, supporters of modern architecture, led by the Historical Society, rallied to protect it.

The Gores Pavilion now serves as a museum and cultural center highlighting the legacy of New Canaan’s modern architects and architecture. It offers exhibit and meeting space for artists, students, and town residents. It is also a symbol of the New Canaan Historical Society’s commitment to raising awareness of and protecting our Town’s extensive modern heritage.


New Canaan Nature Center

144 Oenoke Ridge
New Canaan, CT 06840
(203) 966-9577

The New Canaan Nature Center is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping people of all ages better understand, appreciate and care for the world of nature.

The New Canaan Nature Center features diverse habitats, including wet and dry meadows and woodlands, two ponds, dense thickets, an old orchard and a cattail marsh. Two miles of trails criss-cross the site that is one of the six largest tracks of open space in New Canaan. Our trails and grounds are open from dawn to dusk and admission is free to the public. In addition to our natural trails, visitors are welcome to enjoy an arboretum and a variety of gardens including the Sally Waters Herb Garden, James L. Crider Memorial Bird and Butterfly Garden, the Swallen Wildflower Garden, Susan B. Hanson Memorial Naturalists’ Garden, and Children’s Play Garden. 


Olive W. & George S. Lee Memorial Garden

89 Chichester Road
New Canaan, Connecticut 06840

Lee Memorial Garden is a wonderful little gem, tucked away in the woodland setting of New Canaan, Connecticut. Its narrow meandering paths are edged with spring blooming bulbs, ephemerals, ferns, herbaceous plants, an extensive collection of specimen azaleas and rhododendrons, and mature trees which provide dappled shade. Boulder drifts, rocky ledges and a seasonal stream add natural structure to the densely planted terrain.


Waveny Walled Garden

Waveny House
677 South Avenue
New Canaan, Connecticut 06840
(203) 594-3600

The Waveny Walled Garden is one of our largest on-going projects. This garden is located on the grounds of Waveny House and is a beautiful English-style garden with a brick pathway, center lawn and tea house. Designed, planted and maintained by NCGC members this is one of the town’s most treasured possessions. During the growing season you can find members working in the garden every week keeping it perfect for weekend weddings, parties, and theatrical evenings.

During the Spring and Summer months committee members tend to the chores of planting, weeding, pruning and general care. The garden is put to bed in late October/November. A beautiful garden any time of year, we suggest never missing an opportunity to enjoy its peacefulness whether working in it or simply enjoying a quiet afternoon amongst the flowers.


Links to other Connecticut Gardens open to the Public:

Public Gardens in Connecticut

Open Directory – Public Gardens in CT

Connecticut’s Historic Gardens

Connecticut Public Gardens and Walks – Garden Guides

I Love Gardens – Public and Private Gardens in Connecticut

Garden Visit – Gardens in Connecticut