Squam Lakes Natural Science Center - Nearer To Nature
Soical Links Trip Advisor Flickr Blog YouTube Twitter Facebook
You are here: Home » Visit » Kirkwood gardens

Kirkwood Gardens

Open to the Public
Free of Charge
Located on Route 3
For more information, call 603-968-7194 or email info@nhnature.org

Colorful plants in full bloom bring this informal garden to life, naturally attracting bees, butterflies, and birds of many species. Kirkwood Gardens is available for weddings and private functions that do not require a tent. Wander into the historic former Holderness Inn for a bite to eat at the Kirkwood Cafe or shop for quality craftsmanship and artwork showcased at the Squam Lake Artisans gallery.

Kirkwood GardensThe History of Kirkwood Gardens
“Sunny” Grace Kirkwood, who served on the Board of Trustees for the Science Center for six years, designed a one-acre garden on the grounds of the historic Holderness Inn. The garden includes both shade and sun beds planted with a wide variety of trees, shrubs, ferns, and flowers adapted to the northern New England climate. Plants that are attractive to birds, bees, and butterflies are central to the garden’s design.

Kirkwood GardensMore than 200 people attended the August 31, 1996 dedication of Kirkwood Gardens, none more excited than Sunny Kirkwood herself, to whom the gardens were dedicated. Sunny Kirkwood died peacefully at her home in North Sandwich on September 17, 1996.

Some highlights of Kirkwood Gardens include a 25 by 60 foot bluestone patio on the west side of the historic Holderness Inn provides a scenic view for pedestrians, a place to sit in the summer shade, and a teaching area for Science Center programs.

A series of granite steps lead visitors from the shaded upper garden to the sunny, informal lower garden. Visitors can sit in the shade under ancient sugar maples and view the large variety of ferns, hostas, azaleas, rhododendrons, and other shade-loving plants in the upper garden.

Daylily at Kirkwood GardensSun-loving shrubs, trees, and perennials thrive in the lower garden, where visitors can enjoy a lovely sculpture, set their clocks by the sundial, watch the hummingbirds from a circular bench under the old apple tree, or view birds and butterflies as they visit a central millstone fountain.

A beautiful wooden pergola covered with a variety of vines is located at the west end of the lower garden. A combination of cobbles, pavers and river stone provide the surface under the pergola and highlight a large lunaform pot in the planting bed beyond it.

Kirkwood Gardens are generously sponsored by:

The Holderness Inn