City Parks & Greenery Department Offers Free Public Prescott Park Garden Tours on Fridays

July 3, 2024

The seasonal gardens of Prescott Park are in their prime, following weeks of planting, weeding, and cultivation. The City of Portsmouth Parks & Greenery Department is inviting the public to join members of the gardening team for free weekly tours of the formal gardens. 

The garden tours are offered on Fridays at 11 am and 1 pm, July 5 through August 23. The one-hour tour starts at the Liberty Pole on Marcy Street and explores the extensive garden beds of the South Lawn and the formal garden planted around the anchor sculpture. While discussing the plants and the care necessary to maintain the gardens, the Parks & Greenery staff will answer questions and identify plants. The tours are led by four horticulture interns: Olivia Buzzell, Carolyn Yates, Erin Finkel, and Talia Monroe. 

The gardens at Prescott Park were created when sisters Mary and Josie Prescott purchased the waterfront acreage in the 1930s and willed it to the City in 1954 for public enjoyment. In 1975, at the suggestion of then-Park Supervisor Michael Warhurst, the Trustees of the park agreed to invite the University of New Hampshire to move its All-American Selections Program trial gardens from Madbury to Prescott Park and created 40 formal garden beds on the South Lawn. While the formal association with the All-American Selections Program ended ten years ago, the City continues to plant annuals purchased locally by the City and maintained by Parks & Greenery with help from seasonal staff.

“The gardens of Prescott Park serve the purpose of being both beautiful and educational,” said Corin Hallowell, Parks & Greenery Foreman for the City of Portsmouth. “We are happy to identify the plants and flowers so visitors who might want to choose something similar for their own gardens know what they are; and we are always happy to share more information. The Friday tours are an ideal way for residents and visitors to get answers to their questions about the gardens in the Park.”

Prescott Park gardens.