Come to Highfield Hall and explore our gardens!
The Sunken Garden was restored in 2011 according to a design by noted landscape preservationist Lucinda Brockway. Utilizing documentary evidence of the Beebe family’s original “herbaceous garden,” as well as her own extensive knowledge of historic gardens and plants, Brockway created a garden that the Beebe’s would have recognized, but that offers more seasonal color and easier maintenance for our volunteer gardening staff.
Originally a cutting garden, the West Garden supplied fresh flowers for Highfield Hall all summer long. Franklin Beebe could often be found in this garden tending his favorite flower, the carnation, earning the garden the nickname “Franklin’s Park.” Today, larger trees and the encroaching woods present a slightly different landscape for a palette of both shade and sun-loving plants that follow the contours of original beds, while surrounding a new central gathering space. The garden, as restored in 2012, is based on a design by Lucinda Brockway, with alterations made by Falmouth landscape designer Heather Wright.
Beebe Woods is a 387 acre parcel of town-owned land in the heart of Falmouth. Foot trails and old carriage roads wind past ponds, stone walls and through quiet woods. The woods lie across the top of the glacial moraine that stretches from Woods Hole to just north of the Cape Cod Canal. The many large boulders and the irregular terrain with hills, swales and kettle holes indicate the glacial origin of this land 15,000 to 18,000 years ago at the close of the last Ice Age.
Beech Tree Path
In 2012, Historic Highfield installed the Beech Tree Path. This path meanders below the main parking area, allowing access to the heritage Beech trees planted by the Beebe family. The path also takes visitors past the location where an impressive greenhouse once stood. The greenhouse, abandoned and decayed, was documented and dismantled in 2006.
Interested in volunteering in the Gardens at Highfield Hall and Gardens?
On Tuesdays, April – October, from 10-11:30, Terry Soares, Landscape Director, works with the volunteers in the Gardens. Each week a different section or project is worked on. The Tuesday workday is a fun way to meet to new people, learn more about gardening and help make the Gardens beautiful!
To accommodate those who need flexibility in their volunteer time HH&G has an Adopt-a-Garden program. The West and Sunken Gardens have been divided into 20 sections. Each section can be adopted by an individual or group and maintenance of your section can be done around your schedule. Jobs include planting, dead-heading, light pruning, weeding clean-up in the fall. Sign up for a section by contacting Terry Soares, Landscape Director.
Have other ways you would like to help? E-mail Terry Soares – we are always happy to find a way for volunteers to help!
Watch this video to learn more about our gardens:
Art In The Gardens
The Spirits of the Garden by Alfred Glover
Located in the Sunken Garden
The life that inhabits the branches of the tree is protected and watched over by spiritual entities, fairies, angels, good doer. So the tree represents the portals and passageways between the spiritual, and the living. These sprites are represented by the glass inserts in some of the branches! These spirits often seek the cover of trees and wooded areas. They are sometimes mistaken for lightning bugs, or even shooting stars! They can be found wherever life exists!
Fragment House by Danielle Krcmar
Located in front of the mansion
Danielle currently serves as Artist in Residence at Babson College and has exhibited widely in the New England area. Her extraordinary sculpture, Fragment House, is the first interactive, environmental artwork that has graced the lawns of Highfield Hall & Gardens. It calls attention to Beebe Woods as the backdrop for Highfield Hall and the domestic components of Highfield’s archtecture and history.
A Wind in the Door by Angela Tanner
Located in the West Garden
A fairy tale gate that announces the presence of things unseen. When open, it allows humans and other earthly creatures to pass. When closed, fairies, spirits, and other wind-borne creatures can still move through it, and the sounds of the gate panels are the only evidence that they were here at all. The gate is not only inspired by things that dwell in Beebe Woods, but also by the fantastical creatures in some of the artist’s favorite childhood stories. Books are portals to the imagination, and their pages are passageways to other realms. The panels of this gate are filled with illustrations of benevolent creatures that have transported the storybook characters to other places or have transformed them in some way.