M. Victor and Frances Leventritt Garden
A collection of shrubs and vines
This three acre (one hectare) garden showcases 674 plants representing 401 taxa (kinds), 131 genera, and 55 families.
Since its dedication in 2002, the M. Victor and Frances Leventritt Garden has become a popular destination for visitors and gained recognition as a unique plant collection and horticultural display. Plants selected for the Leventritt Garden include specimens that exemplify Arboretum research and history, outstanding species and cultivars for southern New England gardens, and wild-collected accessions from the core collections.
Designed by the prize-winning landscape architecture firm of Reed|Hilderbrand Associates, in collaboration with Maryann Thompson Architects, the Leventritt Garden’s form was inspired by agricultural landscapes and is distinct from the adjoining historic landscape. Its features include linear planting beds, terrace walls constructed of New England fieldstone, and modular steel trellis systems for growing and training vines. An open-air pavilion provides a gathering place and additional surfaces for flowering vines.
The Arboretum’s collection of dwarf conifers, revitalized and including new additions, has been sited overlooking the garden near the bonsai house as a complementary planting to this exhibit. In 2006, construction of a new path through the Tilia (linden) collection created a gently winding passage for pedestrians between Meadow Road and the Leventritt Garden. A continually evolving collection, the garden was recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects with its 2007 Award of Excellence.
Construction of the garden has been made possible through the generosity of Frances Leventritt and her son, Daniel, in memory of M. Victor Leventritt, Harvard College Class of 1935.
The Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden may be reached via an eight-minute walk from the Arborway Gate; it lies about ten minutes from Forest Hills Gate and about twenty minutes from Bussey Street Gate. Walk to the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden from Linden Path (off Meadow Road), or from Bussey Hill Road (near the lilac collection). The shrub collection grows in the garden’s terraced beds, while the vine collection is sited in the top terraces along the garden’s southwestern border. Dwarf conifers are primarily on the slope above the stone wall at the southwestern border. If driving, park either at Centre Street Gate or along the Arborway.
The Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden includes slate, crushed stone, and grass paths that slope gently, with some stairs (paths provide wheelchair access to all levels). In winter, access may be limited by snow and ice; please use caution.
Seasonal signage (mid April through mid October) offers visitors insight on organizing themes that connect plantings to core elements of the Arboretum’s horticultural mission: plant exploration, plant introduction, and plant conservation. Stake labels identify individual plants. Download a tour brochure for each of the three featured areas to bring when you visit: shrubs [pdf], vines [pdf], and dwarf conifers [pdf].
Link to a tour of this collection on Arboretum Explorer application. Our new web application allows you to take self-guided tours of featured plants in our landscape. Follow this link and you will see colored leaf icons. Click/tap on an icon to get a plant name and image; click/tap the circled “i” on the right to get more detailed information. For more information on how to use the mobile application click/tap on “Help” in the menu.
How long should I explore?
Plan to spend at least a half hour strolling through the terraced beds. A shaded pavilion provides an ideal spot to take a break and to view the entire garden.
Plan your visit to the Arboretum.
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Search for related articles in Arnoldia, the magazine of the Arnold Arboretum.