Manomet's Garden for Wildlife

The garden at Manomet was originally planted over 100 years ago.  It was a lush, colorful oasis at the sea-side edge of windswept farmland on the Ernst family’s summer estate.


 For many years, the Ernst’s devoted gardener, Otto Andersen, tended the garden. Yet after he passed away, it was gradually overcome by invasive vegetation.  In 1984, Manomet made plans to rescue the “old garden” and restore some of its original charm. The idea was to preserve many of the early plantings, while at the same time create a sustainable “garden for wildlife”-- a garden that grew native plants that helped local wildlife and allowed the area's natural beauty to thrive.



The garden of today is nestled within 40 surrounding acres of diverse habitat – woodlands, vernal pools, ponds, cranberry bogs and open fields.  It is layered in three tiers, with the lower beds tucked inside a necklace of stone walls and flourishing with native perennials such as Echinacea, Coreopsis, and Lobelia.  A grand Hinoki Cypress majestically stands sentinel at the perimeter. 






Drifts of ferns border stone steps leading to the second tier of the garden where strands of native shrubs, such as viburnum and winterberry provide a mass of white flowers in spring and clusters of red berries in the fall. The third tier is a shady picnic area where Chinese Elms and maples, with their massive trunks, gnarled branches and knuckled feet, preside over Dogwood and Redbud reaching for the light.  Stone paths meander through the garden and lead to an open, sun-drenched grassy platform on the bluff with a sweeping view of the sea below.


In keeping with Manomet’s overall mission of creating a sustainable future, our intention is to demonstrate to the local community the appeal of gardening for wildlife and using eco-friendly landscaping practices.  With the increasing loss of native habitat to residential and commercial development, businesses and homeowners are encouraged to create sustainable habitat which supports the wildlife in their area.


To schedule individual or group tours of Manomet’s Garden for Wildlife, please call our Master Gardener, Kim Goggin at 508-224-6521.