Evergreen, the woodland garden in
southern New Hampshire with more than 400 mature rhododendrons, opens to the
public without charge May 31 through June 2.
Evergreen is always open on the first weekend of June because that's when its
220 Rhododendron catawbiense are at or near peak bloom.
The one-acre garden also includes sweeps of 175 Rhododendron maximum,
which bloom in July.
Located in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Evergreen boasts one of the largest
collections of rhododendrons in northern New England.
Many of the shrubs are more than 25 years old, so they're enormous—some are
ten feet high—and they've grown into huge masses. When they're in bloom, they're
Photos and detailed descriptions of Evergreen, including directions to the
garden, are at
extensive website of the non-profit Evergreen Foundation, which owns and manages
Many of Evergreen's rhododendrons are
mass-planted on nearly 400 feet of berms, some of which are 10 feet high. These
artificial but natural-looking ridges create privacy by screening the property
from neighboring houses and other development.
The garden is shaded by mature white pines - some are two to three feet thick
at the base - and it's planted mainly with sweeps of low-maintenance,
shade-tolerant, broad-leaf evergreen shrubs and ground covers.
Evergreen shows how typical homeowners can create the extensive and secluded
gardens normally found only on much bigger properties.
The garden also has a seasonal cascading brook and several large outdoor
rooms defined by large granite boulders and rhododendron-planted berms.
The White Room is named for the blossoms of its R. maximum, its
cast-iron bench and cherub sculpture - all are white - and for its variegated
euonymus and hosta, both of which sport large white splotches in their foliage.
The Gold Room is named for its large sweeps of 'Emerald 'n Gold' euonymus and
Vinca minor 'Illumination'; both produce leaves with heavy yellow
variegation. The space is partly bounded by the two biggest granite boulders in
the garden: the largest is 12 feet high and 20 feet wide.
Created by landscape designer Robert
Gillmore, Evergreen has been open to the public without charge since 1994.
It has been featured in many newspapers and magazines, including Fine
Gardening and New Hampshire Home, as well as in Gillmore's two
landscaping books: The Woodland Garden and Beauty All Around You: How
to Create Large Private Low-Maintenance Gardens, Even on Small Lots and Small
Evergreen will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It will be described in a free brochure keyed to numbered posts along its
quarter-mile of paths.
Because plants along the paths can be easily damaged, pets and children
younger than 12 years old cannot be admitted.
Evergreen is not wheelchair accessible but its paths are gently graded.
To reach the garden, take Route 114 to Goffstown village and turn onto Summer
Street (next to Sully's Superette). Evergreen's Garden Cottage is at 42 Summer
Street, the eighth house on the right. Visitors are asked to park on the garden
side of the street.
Dedicated to landscape information and
education, the Landscape Lyceum page of the Evergreen Foundation website also
► A calendar listing more than 80 gardens, both public and private, open
to the public in Northern New England;
► A free residential landscaping minicourse, "How to Create Large, Lush,
Private, Low-Maintenance Landscapes";
► Descriptions of great landscape designs; and
► Proposals to create natural parks and other public landscapes in New