Fuller Gardens is a Turn-of-the-Century Botanical Garden Estate located in North Hampton, New Hampshire. The lush, romantic gardens are nearly 100 years old and meticulously maintained without the use of mechanical tools.
Fuller Gardens began as a formal rose garden that was commissioned by Massachusetts Governor Alvan T. Fuller at his summer home in North Hampton, New Hampshire in 1927. The garden was designed in the Colonial Revival style by Arthur Shurtleff. The gardens were expanded in the 1930’s and, although were not used much by Governor Fuller or his wife, were designed as colorful show pieces that were able to be seen from the road as people drove by.
The estate was called Runnymede-by-the-sea and although this home was removed from the property in 1961, the carriage house remains. The gardens are still maintained under their Olmsted design that was installed by Cherry Hill Nurseries. A master plan was created by Presley Associates of Cambridge in 2001 to keep up with this design.
In 2005, the Lydia Fuller Bottomley Garden was added which features a gallery of statuary that was gifted to the gardens by the daughter of the late Governor Fuller. Fuller Gardens receives over 7,000 visitors a year and is open from mid-May through October.
Fuller Gardens has been under the current Garden Director, Jamie Colen since 1999. Jamie served as a staff member for 7 years prior to being appointed Director and insists on using period style hand tools and absolutely no machinery in the gardens. This makes for a quieter experience for visitors and gives better results for employees and plants.
Most of Fuller Gardens is handicap accessible and there are plenty of benches for seating throughout the landscaping. There are a few areas of the gardens where there are steps and all paths are more than 3 feet across.
The main entrance to Fuller Gardens is off Willow Avenue. The Union Chapel is located on the corner across from the entrance and the remnants of the Runnymede by the Sea Estate home that was removed in the 1960’s.
The Hosta Garden is part of the entrance to Fuller Gardens and borders one edge of the parking lot.
The Side Garden is full of rose beds, outlined by grass pathways and features an antique well head. This garden was installed by Cherry Hill Nurseries at the request of Governor Fuller to be colorful and fragrant. This garden was designed and is still maintained in the Olmsted design. The garden is surrounded by a hedge and cedar fence as well as apple trees. The roses are the main attraction with 1,700 bushes with 125 varieties to show off.
Lydia Fuller Bottomley Garden- One of the newer gardens, the Lydia Fuller Bottomley Garden showcases a generous gift of statuary from the late Governor Fuller’s daughter and features a reflecting pool in the center that is lined with rose bushes and an open field.
Dahlia Display Garden- This garden is on display between the conservatory and Propagation House.
Japanese Garden- The Japanese garden is a traditional style and part of the original garden and home design. The garden features a koi pond and is connected to the Front Garden.
Front Garden- Designed to be the true showpiece of the property by the Governor Alvan Fuller and his wife to be seen from the windows of the Runnymede by-the-sea Property, the Front Garden is across from the parking lot and features a sunken garden that has three steps down for access into the flower bed pathways.
Other areas of interest at Fuller Gardens include the Garden Shop and Propagation House. There is also a conservatory. The Gift Shop has natural, handmade soaps, gardening tools, jewelry, candles, collectible items, educational toys, gifts, accessories and more.
Fuller Gardens is a popular choice for private events such as weddings, bridal showers, and corporate events. There are also bookings available for photoshoots—amateur and professional. Fuller Gardens can accommodate up to 75 guests for events, private or public.
Fuller Gardens is committed to community and there are several annual events that the community looks forward to in the Botanic Gardens in addition to poetry readings, story hours, and other special events that happen throughout the year.
Annual Mother’s Day Weekend Plant Sale- 3 Day weekend featuring perennials, rose bushes and herbs all for sale to the public. Opening Weekend for Fuller Garden as well.
Annual Garden Party- Every summer, Fuller Gardens holds a party where food, live music, and art all come together to entertain the community in the garden. Local artists will paint, sculpt and draw live, as the blooms in the garden inspire them to create.
Reggae ‘n’ Roses- This Annual End of Summer party features live music from New England Reggae Band Jah Spirit. Appetizers and alcohol is served. Hosted by Friends of Fuller Gardens Committee.
10 Willow Avenue, North Hampton, New Hampshire, 03862, Phone: 603-964-5414, website