Plan your visit to Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens
Admission & Fees
Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens is open sunrise to sunset and is FREE to the public. Check out the event’s page for more information on upcoming activities.
Printed trail maps are distributed free from the bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out. We recommend that you download a trail map before you visit.
Getting Here & Directions
787 Shawmut Avenue
New Bedford, MA 02746
From Rt. 24 South, take Exit 12 for Rt. 140 South toward New Bedford. Follow for 17 mi. At Exit 3 for Hathaway Rd., take the ramp right. Turn left on Hathaway Rd., then, after 0.4 mi., turn right onto Shawmut Ave. The park is on your right.
Before You Go
We encourage you to visit as many Trustees properties as you can.
Wherever your travels take you, please observe all posted regulations, follow special instructions from property staff, and keep in mind the Stewardship Code:
- Protect wildlife and plants.
- Guard against all risk of fire.
- Help keep air and water clean.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Use marked footpaths and bridle paths.
- Leave livestock, crops, and machinery alone.
- Respect the privacy of neighboring land.
- Enjoy and share the landscape with others.
Click on links below for further visitor information:
Allen Clifton Haskell
May 11, 1935 – December 7, 2004
Allen C. Haskell has been described as “a nurseryman with an artist’s eye.” He symbolizes the best of New Bedford – grit, determination, ingenuity and an outward vision that once brought New Bedford whalers to every corner of the globe and later won international acclaim for Haskell as everyone from European royalty to local do-it-yourself gardeners made pilgrimages to his fabled Shawmut Avenue nursery described as “heaven on earth.”
Haskell created an 6-acre urban paradise – a touch of Old World restrained elegance with meandering cobblestone paths, ivy-covered stone buildings, strutting peacocks and rare plant specimens like the European hornbeam hedge rising over a stone wall and a 250-year old American dogwood – in a humble, working-class neighborhood on busy Shawmut Avenue. The Boston Globe described Haskell’s nursery as glowing with “the patina that graces the best old gardens.”
He was noted for his world-famous hosta collection with over 47 varieties cultivated and grown working with hosta hybrid specialist Mildred Seever of Dedham, his cultivation of 40 varieties of ivies and his excellence in English, French and Japanese gardening styles.
Haskell won international acclaim for his genius that attracted the attention of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who asked him to help with her daughter Caroline’s wedding in Hyannisport, and Martha Stewart was also a frequent visitor and he often appeared on her show.
Haskell was named a Great American Gardener by the American Horticultural Society and received a rare tribute in being inducted as a permanent member of the Smithsonian Institution. He was called “the king of topiary,” “an epic figure in American gardening” and “an American treasure,” according to Yankee magazine.
In a New York Times obituary, Tom Strangfeld, director of horticulture at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, said: “There was Allen, and then there was everybody else. I’ll never forget a crabapple he forced into bloom and surrounded with this enormous collection of azaleas. It was like a painting at the Museum of Fine Arts.”
Archival material related to the Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens is available to researchers at the Archives & Research Center in Sharon, Massachusetts.
Allen C. Haskell Papers (6.0 linear feet)
Regarding Allen C. Haskell and his New Bedford based horticultural business. The majority of the materials focus on the daily business of the nursery from 1990 to 2002.
The Archives & Research Center welcomes donations of documents, manuscripts, records, photographs, maps and memorabilia that pertain to a particular property. Please contact us at 781.784.8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.