Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens
Discover rare trees, exotic flowers, and peaceful public green space in New Bedford’s urban North End at Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens. With six acres of beautifully landscaped historic gardens and one of the city’s oldest homes, this former nursery, protected by The Trustees, celebrates its previous owner’s dedication to horticulture.
For over 30 years, lifelong New Bedford resident Allen C. Haskell cared for this property as a successful nursery. Haskell was so known for his horticultural talents that celebrities like Martha Stewart and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis were among his fans. After Haskell’s passing, The Trustees saved the property in 2012 to protect this unique urban garden from development.
Today, the Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens feature six acres of carefully designed gardens, greenhouses, and one of the oldest houses in New Bedford, all arranged around a wide green common space — perfect for a sunlit picnic or to explore with a camera. Pick up some bulbs, plants, and seeds at the visitor’s center, or learn a new gardening skill at one of the horticultural workshops Haskell Gardens hosts throughout the year.
Flat, wide paths meander through Haskell Gardens and around the central commons, guiding you past some of the property’s interesting historical features. (Download property map)
On the north side of the commons, the path leads past the Hathaway House, built in 1725 (now a private residence), and the chicken coops where Allen Haskell used to keep his beloved exotic fowl. Follow the path around the commons to view an old stone cattle run and rotating exhibits created by local artists. Tables, chairs, and benches along the paths offer numerous nooks to stop and relax with a book, enjoy a quiet lunch, or simply watch birds and butterflies flit by.
Habitats & Wildlife
The Haskell Gardens are a great place to view rare and unusual plants, such as the endangered dawn redwood tree or the seven-son flower, which is native to China. In the spring, the gardens are bright with blossoming flowers, and the greenhouses fill with exotic blooms from around the world; in the fall, Japanese maples burst with fiery colors.
These grounds also serve as a green oasis for wildlife within this urban residential neighborhood. Flowers attract a variety of local pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Songbirds roost in the trees in the spring and summer, providing a lovely soundtrack for a picnic.
The Trustees preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.