Plants of Longfellow Garden

Identification Guide

Longfellow Garden

An Urban Oasis

History of the Longfellow Garden

Maine Historical Society

The Longfellow Garden is a secluded Colonial Revival style garden that is an oasis of green and quiet in the heart of downtown Portland. Located behind the historic Wadsworth-Longfellow House, it was originally the domestic farmyard for the family.

In 1924, the Longfellow Garden Club began the restoration of the garden, bringing in many plants suggested by Anne Longfellow Pierce, niece of the poet, from her own memories of the garden.  The garden was dismantled in 2007 during the expansion of the Maine Historical Society Library, and plant materials, including a lilac dating to Anne Longfellow Pierce’s time, were carefully removed. By 2009, the lilac was replanted and the garden completely rehabilitated following preservation standards and replicating the original landscape design.  

The Longfellow Garden Club continues to nurture and maintain the Longfellow Garden which is free and open for the enjoyment of residents and visitors from May through October.  Group tours of the Garden may be arranged by contacting the Longfellow Garden Club. For those who prefer a self-guided tour—or who just want to know the name of that spectacular plant along the walkway—the Club developed a comprehensive Plant Identification Guide which includes a landscape plan of the garden and documentation of all plant materials used.  

The Garden hosts frequent events, including poetry readings, author talks, weddings, First Friday Art Walk, a Pokemon hunt, and even ‘Beer in the Garden’.  For details about holding your special event in the Garden, please contact the Maine Historical Society at