Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A unique museum with a garden at its center

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum courtyard

Today Teresa Watkins is taking us to visit a very unusual garden.

After Christmas, I was in Massachusetts to interview garden author Jana Milbocker for my radio show Better Lawns and Gardens. During the interview, Jana told us that we needed to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum when we went into Boston. Despite the infamous Gardner Heist, a $600 million theft of art that occurred in 1990, I had never heard of the museum. I didn’t anticipate the incredible awe and intensity that I would feel walking through this landmark art museum. Seeing the massive collection of Mrs. Gardner, a wealthy Bohemian philanthropist who traveled the world in search of treasure, I went from room to room almost speechless. I don’t think I stopped gasping the entire time we were there. Although we arrived in the afternoon, we were able to enjoy strolling the courtyard with its exotic and lush tropical plants encased in the four-story, glass-roofed, all-season conservatory. Dusk arrives early in winter in Boston, so the lighting was dim, but I still enjoyed viewing the interior landscape with night lighting and was able to take over 300 photographs in three hours. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has something to impress everyone, from museum antiquities to interior lush landscaping. It’s a must-see stop for anyone visiting Boston.

looking down into the courtyardLooking down into the courtyard from one of the balconies surrounding it

closer look at the middle of courtyardIt’s hard to believe this is Boston in December; the setting transports you to another world.

Norfolk island pine in the middle of the courtyardThe interior is filled with beautiful plants, like this Norfolk island pine (Araucaria heterophylla).

glass roof that allows the plants to thrive insideLooking up shows the beautiful architecture and the glass roof that allows these plants to thrive.

Potted tropical slipper orchidsPotted tropical slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum) in bloom

Tall tree ferns in the conservatory.Tall tree ferns (probably the genus Dicksonia) grow in the conservatory.

As dusk falls, lighting transforms the courtyardAs dusk falls, lighting transforms the space.

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  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/28/2022

    Thank you for sharing this.

  2. User avater
    simplesue 01/28/2022 my wildest dreams I'd have an atrium garden with a greenhouse roof!
    I saved 3 of your photos- what an amazing garden, I never would have guessed it was Boston in the winter!
    Thanks for sharing this garden!

  3. mainer59 01/28/2022

    You should see this place in the spring when nasturtiums dangle from the balconies! Isabella herself started that tradition and it continues.

  4. btucker9675 01/28/2022

    This is an amazingly gorgeous place!

  5. user-5117752 01/29/2022

    Simply fabulous!!! Thank you for taking the time to share these beautiful photos with us!!!

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