The Native Plant Collection contains a number of smaller collections and gardens which are of particular horticultural and aesthetic interest.
The Nancy Moss Fine Native Azalea Garden
Established in 1978 in memory of Nancy Moss Fine '51. About 15 species and natural hybrid azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) native from Florida to Connecticut are featured here. At least one species can be found in bloom from early May through mid-August. This special garden is located to the right (north) of the main entrance and Laurel Walk.
The Josephine Hooker Shain Mountain Laurel Garden
Established in 1985. Cultivated varieties of the Connecticut state flower, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), comprise this June blooming collection. Located to the left (south) of the main entrance. Many of these cultivars are the work of Dr. Richard Jaynes of Cheshire, Connecticut.
The Lincoln and Lillian Dauby Gries Conifer Collection
Established in 1988 in memory of Lillian Dauby Gries '27. This 3-acre garden area contains conifers (firs, spruces, hemlocks, junipers, pines, etc.) and a variety of native shrubs as companion plantings. This collection is located on the east side of the pond.
The Edgerton and Stengel Wildflower Garden
This woodland wildflower garden is located on a west-facing slope south of the Laurel Walk. Most plants bloom in spring before the trees leaf out; many species of ferns are conspicuous all summer. A three-year renovation project culminated in the planting of nearly 1,000 wildflowers in the spring of 1996. The garden includes trillium (Trillium spp.), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), turtlehead (Chelone spp.) and many other species of interest.