Families & Flower Pots at Emily Dickinson Museum Garden Days

Garden Days at Emily Dickinson Museum welcomes families to explore and connect with the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family

Next week, garden-loving families can get some historic dirt underneath their fingernails at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA. The museum’s annual Garden Days will be held this year from June 8th through 11th, and brings with them ample opportunities to learn, grow, and honor Emily Dickinson’s love of gardening – all while helping to maintain the museum’s beautiful and historic grounds.

Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst

To kick off Garden Days, the Emily Dickinson Museum will hold Family Day on Saturday, June 8th from 1-4pm. Gardeners and plant enthusiasts of all ages and abilities are welcome at the museum, and there will be a plethora of gardening activities that anyone can easily participate in. Additionally, Family Day will include a special kid-friendly garden tour at 1:30pm, as well as a historic garden tour (better for older students) at 2:30pm, which will be lead by Marta McDowell, author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: A Celebration of a Poet and Gardener.

After learning about the gardens and helping out with some projects around the museum’s grounds, families can take Emily Dickinson’s love of gardening home with them – supplies will be available for beginning your very own herbarium, which Emily herself did as a child. Starting an herbarium is a great way to help children learn more about plant identification and species diversity – combine specimens from your own garden with interesting plants that you find in a field or in the woods, and soon you’ll be a family filled with plant experts!

Families with older students are invited to calmly enjoy the gardens at an afternoon reflection, held from 1-4pm on Monday the 9th or Tuesday the 10th. Afternoon reflections offer visitors a chance to enjoy Emily’s gardens as a space for inspiration and creative thought – bring your own notebook or art supplies, and let the gardens take you for a creative journey!

Additionally, the Emily Dickinson Museum is hosting volunteer gardening days throughout the week in order to garner community support for the preservation of Emily’s gardens. Volunteers should come prepared to tackle a gardening task like weeding or planting, but will surely be able to learn about the museums gardens (and gardens in general) while helping to accomplish necessary tasks. If you’d like to lend a few hands in the garden, contact Lucy Abbott to sign up for a session (413-542-2034 or labbott@emilydickinsonmuseum.com).

If your family chooses to volunteer your time at the museum, don’t miss the thank you reception! Included in the museum’s Garden Celebration, the reception will be held alongside a pottery demonstration featuring master potter Guy Wolff. Fascinating for children interested in ceramics, visitors will be able to see the creative process Wolff uses in order to create historic flower pots.


About the Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum, located at 280 Main Street in Amherst, MA, and comprising the Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. Both properties are owned by the Trustees of Amherst College. The museum is overseen by a separate Board of Governors charged with raising its operating and capital funds. The Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson.

The Museum is open for guided tours and programs Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., through December 29 (closed December 25). Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Monday from June through August. For more information, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org.

Photo credit: (cc) MOTT

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