The Hart House Garden is situated directly behind the historic General William Hart house. The public is invited to enjoy its peaceful beauty year-round.
When the Historical Society acquired the Hart house in 1974, twelve members envisioned creating an 18th century style garden in the overgrown backyard. The twelve women were experienced gardeners and members of the local garden club. They tackled the project undaunted by the mass of invasive vines, brush and bramble.
Dr. Rudy Favretti, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Connecticut, was consulted for advice on design and appropriate plantings. His knowledge of 17th & 18th century historic building landscapes and his on-site direction inspired authenticity to the project.
Shrubs, fruit trees, old garden roses, annual and perennial flowers and all sorts of herbs used during the colonial period were planted . An espalier pear tree was planted on the south-side of the Hart house. It still bears an abundance of (Williams) Bartlett pears every September.
Many talented volunteers assisted in developing the garden among them, Robert Carter, a Restoration Architect, who enhanced the design with brick pathways and rebuilt a crumbling granite back wall. He also created a new purpose for two large grinding stones from the Saybrook Gristmill. One became a place for outdoor sitting the other a doorway entrance, (to what is now the Exhibit Gallery).