Horticulture at Sanborn Mills Farm
Plants are an integral part of Sanborn Mills Farm. From the site-grown fresh vegetables, to the willow coppice, to the ornate terraced gardens, there is always something to admire and learn from during your visit.
Explore the links below to learn more about the unique gardens we care for across the property.
We welcome visitors to explore the gardens during our seasonal open hours, Wednesday – Saturdays 10AM-3PM.
Our first open day in 2024 will be Wednesday, April 4rd, along with our first classes of the season.
Sanborn Garden History
The gardens have changed quite a bit since the Sanborn family’s first settlement in 1770.
A beautiful formal garden featuring terraced dry-laid rock walls, alpine plant beds, and a variety of flower borders featuring both native and non-native perennials.
The Meadow Garden is a long sloping field that leads down to the Sanborn Pond from the house above. It is planted with a variety of spring bulbs and native perennials to provide pollinators and other creatures with food and habitat throughout the season.
Named after the Latin word for willow, Salix, which is anglicized as Sally, The Sally Garden consists of three hedgerows containing seven varieties of basket willow. Each spring we harvest the long willow rods using a technique called coppicing and store them for use in future classes.
Dye Plants have always been of interest at Sanborn Mills and were some of the first plants grown on the property. When the new Dye Studio was opened in the spring of 2022 the garden also expanded to include more species and grow a larger amount of materials.
The Teaching Garden is a ½ acre plot where we grow vegetables and herbs for use throughout the farm. It also provides an isolated space for our seed saving program. The plants grown here are maintained by our draft animal workshops where students plow, furrow, and cultivate the space throughout the season.
We grow a variety of annual flowers for yearly events and our cut flower CSA program. Farm Fresh Bouquets are available for sale every Friday in the summer and fall as the season allows.
The Sanborn Kitchen Garden consists of slightly raised garden beds between grass paths in a geometric pattern. Colin and Paula believe the exercise they get while tending the garden is extremely important for both physical and mental health. The Kitchen Garden provides fresh herbs and greens for the kitchen and dining room that look over it.
Our 100 year old Glass House was moved from its original home in Brookline, MA where it was slated for demolition. It has been repainted and restored and is now home to farm and garden displays throughout the season.