A mature collection of ornamental trees and shrubs from around the world

Established in the 1920s, this five-acre garden offers over 226 different taxa represented by 170 trees, 423 shrubs, and 4 vines. This mature collection of native and exotic ornamental woody plants includes the crimson queen Japanese maple, the Japanese stewartia, fragrant viburnum, the weeping cherry, and many other specimens of beauty.

Explore the plants of the Caroline Black Garden with our interactive map.

You can search the Arboretum's living collections database by entering one or more words from the scientific or common name (e.g. "hydrangea").

History of the Garden

A bench in the Caroline Black Garden.

Professor Black was the first chairperson of the botany department, a respected scholar, teacher, campus leader and community member. Caroline Black came to Connecticut College in 1917 to teach botany. From the beginning, she was involved with the landscaping of the entire campus because she felt that good landscaping “created a sense of place.” In 1928 Black started the garden, which was primarily a perennial garden used as a teaching tool. After her untimely death in 1930, the Connecticut College Board of Trustees voted to name the garden in her memory.

Gate of the Caroline Black Garden.

The Caroline Black Garden has expanded, grown and changed dramatically over the last 70 years to the five-acre garden it is today. What we enjoy today is the physical manifestation of continuity in vision, spirit, love and hard work by a small group of individuals in the College’s botany department who continued the work begun by Dr. Black.

On May 4, 2001, The Caroline Black Garden was dedicated as a member garden in the international organization Gardens for Peace. This not-for-profit organization seeks to promote and achieve peace in the world "through the universal language of gardens."