The Garden Guide

Butler McCook Garden

An eighteenth century house with a Victorian ornamental garden.

Head Gardener's Comment

"The garden is a lovely discovery, this narrow yet deep one-acre lot, a historic green space surrounded by modern buildings." (Betsy Wittemann, HM 08/07)

Photograph © Karl Gercens
Photograph © Karl Gercens
Photograph © Karl Gercens
Photograph © Connecticut Landmarks


The garden we see today was created in the 1850s during the Victorian era. Hartford at that time was a successful manufacturing city. Among the city's leading entrepreneurs was Samual Colt.
Jacob Weidemann created a design for Eliza Butler-McCook and her half sister Mary Sheldon in 1865. Weidemann had recently finished desiging Hartford's Bushnell Park and was considered one of the prominent landscape architects of this time. Other work that can be seen in Hartford today are Cedar Hill Cemetery and the grounds of the Institute of Living, which Weidemann did with his mentor Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York's Central Park.

Plants of note

The Lady Banks rose, planted in 1853, sprouts from the roof of the pit greenhouse, but can't be counted on to show its pale yellow blooms every year.
Old roses with names like Betty Prior, Queen Elizabeth, Theresa Bugnet. Also in the garden are swaths of pink and white phlox, Black-eyed Susans, bee balm and tall red canna lilies.

396 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut, USA, CT 06103

Garden open all year, best time for viewing is May-August.

Garden is free. House is $7.00 adults, $6.00 Seniors, Teachers, AAA. Children 6-18 $4.00, 5 and under Free.

Visit the Butler McCook Garden website

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