Houghton Garden


This wild garden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its gracious paths, overhung by azalea and rhododendron, wind around a stream and lagoon-like pond. Water features were designed by Warren Manning, who formerly worked for the Olmsted studio. Uncommon migrating birds are seen here.

The alpine rock garden on a ledge overlooking Houghton Pond was one of the first of its kind. Especially lovely are the climbing hydrangea, the naturalized lily of the valley, the wood hyacinth, the umbrella pine, and other exotic evergreens.


Size: 10 acres    Longest Walk: 0.4 miles    Acquired: 1968

Longer Walks that include this property:
Waban to Chestnut Hill



Scan this code using the camera or QR code app on your smartphone for quick access to maps and other information on the property.

Get here by MBTA: a 0.5 mile walk from Chestnut Hill Station, Green Line

Other maps and aerial photos:

Bing Maps bird’s-eye view

Newton Assessor

Connects to: Webster Conservation Area

Trail Map

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GPS Enabled Trail Map

Access City of Newton GIS Map

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Owner & Administrator Websites

Photo Gallery



Garden started by Mrs. Clement S. Houghton, who lived in the Spanish mission style house at 152 Suffolk Road.  Read a history of the land written from the perspective of Edwin Webster, a neighbor of Houghton.


Garden was taken by eminent domain by Newton, after Chestnut Hill Neighborhood Association fought off an eminent-domain bid to develop the property for an art school.


Garden listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


City of Newton rehabilitated the garden using funds from Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Department of Environmental Management.


Accessible Trails, Birding, Conservation Area, Cross Country Skiing, Farm or Garden, Historic Site, MBTA Green Line, Pond, Vernal Pool, Woods Trail

Additional Information

Newton Assessor’s Map ID: 63016 0008A

Advocates & Caretakers:

Friends of Houghton Garden, c/o Michele Hanss,   m.hanss@comcast.net

Chestnut Hill Garden Club PO Box 67442 Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Chestnut Hill Association

Related Information:

Newton’s Secret Garden

Houghton Garden website

Discover Historic Chestnut Hill brochure

Discover Historic Houghton Garden brochure

An unusual rock?

Birding reports

Photos by Daniel Jackson