Montgomery Park

Bible Street
Greenwich, CT 06836

To reach Montgomery Park and Pinetum, go north on Orchard Street from the Post Road in Cos Cob. Bear right onto Bible Street and continue .7 mile. The entrance is on the west side directly opposite Clover Place. Follow the driveway to the right to park for the Pinetum and Park.

On the east side of Bible St. is a short dirt road with a chain across the entrance. Proceeding on foot, you are now entering unmarked, 30 acre Montgomery Park. Informal footpaths skirt low wetland areas and ridges with large Oaks and Maples predominately in the better-drained portions of the property. Appropriate clothing is advised for coping with thicket and underbrush.

Returning to the parking area to visit the Pinetum, you will immediately notice a large stone walled greenhouse. This is operated by the Town for propagating thousands of seedlings and plants for local parks, traffic circles and public buildings. The adjacent white-framed building, being a portion of the original Montgomery home, is now the Greenwich Garden Center where horticultural classes and a library are available to the community. The small greenhouse is operated by the Greenwich Garden Center for educational purposes.

In the 1920's when the Montgomery's purchased their Cos Cob estate known as "Wild Acres", the colonel has already enjoyed a distinguished career as a certified public accountant, soldier of two wars, university professor and writer. As recounted in his biography, he next sought a hobby, which would be educational, would create beauty and would render social service. From this tall order came the idea of starting a "Pinetum", pronounced pie-NEE-tum), or collection of pines. From contacts through the world, Colonel Montgomery sought to obtain one or more specimens of every procurable variety of conifer, or cone-bearing plant, to add to the already existing hemlock forest on his Cos Cob estate. In 1945, the Colonel donated 200 of his most choice specimens to New York Botanical Garden; almost 80 specimens remain, however, on the property. On the occasion of the presentation of the conifer collection, a new dwarf spruce, Picea Pungens Glauca R.H. Montgomery, was christened. A fine example is now located near the garden center building in recognition of Colonel Montgomery's 1953 gift to the Town of his property "Wild Acres".

Armed with map and tree guide, available from Garden Center office, you may choose to begin exploring the Pinetum from the flagstone terrace where the vista to the south of the manicured lawns ending at the reflecting pond is particularly beautiful. In spring, the display of massed Tulips, Daffodils and early azaleas frames the view in glorious color. At the foot of the terrace to your left, note the tall Sargent's weeping hemlock. During sudden showers, walkers have been known to shelter under its wide reach. Further below on the lawn on the far side of the driveway is an exceptionally handsome green Japanese threadleaf Maple. When in leaf, the waves of branches seem to mirror the gentle hillocks of the spacious lawn. Arriving at the edge of the reflecting pond and perhaps pausing on a summer's day to admire the water lilies or count the juvenile frogs on the lily pads, you will see a trail
sign for a short tree identification walk around the perimeter of the pond and meadow beyond.

For those with more time to spend discovering the rich variety of terrain and trees in the Pinetum, return to the paved driveway which leads in a northerly direction virtually bisecting the property until it exits at Montgomery Lane off Stanwich Road. The drive follows the contours of the woodland, which in this section of Greenwich rain from low wetlands to high rock outcrops. A favorite sight in May is the dazzling display of Primroses near the edge of the drive where the stream passes beneath the roadway. Trail signs to the west direct the more adventurous through hemlock forest and on to a climb up the Joseph Hartman Outlook, named in honor of a Greenwich resident with a life-long love for the New-England out-of-doors. Trails along the northeastern perimeter of the property tend to be gentler in grade.

Hours:
The Park is open daily throughout the year from 8:00 am to sunset except Sundays through November 15 to March 15.

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