Surrounding the Bidwell House are terraced stone walls brimming with perennial beds. Installed
in the 20th century when the house was restored, these provide a fabulous setting for this gem of a Georgian saltbox. The remaining acreage is woodlands
laced with hiking trails and foot paths leading to historical landmarks throughout the property.
The Bidwell House gardens were featured in the 1998 Massachusetts Garden Club Federation Garden
Tour and the 2000 Lenox Garden Club Tour. In 2018 the Museum received a grant
from the Lenox Garden Club to create a native garden in front of the house
around the new accessible entrance. This work should be completed by the end of
the 2018 season. The gardens are open to the public, free of charge year round.
Beautiful in all seasons, strolling in the grounds and gardens is a pleasant
adjunct to a visit to the museum. Additionally, the Heritage Vegetable Garden demonstrates
the early colonial style and a variety of plantings that would have been common
at the time. An heirloom herb garden is located close to the house
outside the former Buttery door. There is also a pollinator garden in the lower
lawn area and the remains of an old orchard.
Touring the Heritage Gardens with Head Gardener Ruth Green
Featured in Book
A few years ago photographer Paul Rocheleau and author David Larkin
visited the museum and toured the gardens in search of
material for a new book. As a result, a stunning photo of the back of The
Bidwell House taken from the herb garden graces the front cover of a book
entitled Country Acres, published by Houghton Mifflin. In addition, a large photo of the interior
of the 1836-carriage barn, displaying herbs drying after harvest, has also been
included. And on the rear cover is the picture of produce from the heirloom
vegetable garden on the front porch.
Country Acres is about the history and culture of country life and is the second in a series of handsomely
illustrated books about country ways. Author David Larkin is also the editor-designer of the best selling Barn
and Shaker as well as the author of Farm, among many other illustrated books. Photographer Paul Rocheleau is noted for his excellent work
for Antiques Magazine.