Blithewold's Autumn Splendor
Celebrate the Season with All Your Senses

Each year Mother Nature rewards us with one of her greatest gifts - September and October in New England. Butterflies fill the air and flowers rejoice in the season's cool days, giving us one final flourish of color just as autumn begins to paint the trees with its own rich palette.
Inside the Mansion the colors continue with a special exhibit of watercolor paintings by Blithewold's own Marjorie VanWickle Lyon. And, for some not-so-local color, Ireland's premier horticulturist and garden writer, Helen Dillon will join us for Tea and a Talk on Monday, September 19th at 10:30 a.m. As a bonus, each week our Friday afternoon Tea will include a floral
design demonstration!
Autumn Splendor celebrates the season with a variety of programs and workshops that offer ample opportunity to spend time at Blithewold during this splendid season. Join us as during this
3-week festival filled with activities for the whole family and for all the senses.

Autumn Splendor - September 17th - October 10th

Autumn Splendor Events:


Saturday, September 17 : : 10 am - 4 pm

Bristol residents, come be our guests! We would like to recognize Bristol town residents for their continued support of Blithewold. We're kicking off Autumn Splendor, with free admission for residents. Spend the day at Blithewold and enjoy the last days of warm weather in lovely surroundings. And bring a picnic!

Blithewold's Curator Margaret Whitehead will lead a special behind-the-scenes Mansion tour at 1pm. There will be a children's story hour at 11 am-we'll be reading Wangari's Trees of Peace and other stories. Garden Docents will be available in the Display Garden by the Greenhouse to answer any gardening questions

GARDENING WITH GAIL: The Highlights of Autumn
Saturday, September 17 : : 9:30 - 11 am

Join Gardens Manager Gail Read for a walk through our vibrant September garden as she points out the highlights - from spectacular dahlias to tender perennials.
Location: Display Garden Fee: $7, Members $5

A One-Day Retreat Offering Yoga, Creative Expression, and Movement
Saturday, September 18 : : 10 am- 3 pm

Join us for a full day of yoga, meditation, reflection, and retreat experienced instructor Christine Reed of the Bristol Yoga Studio will introduce Hatha yoga styles, using a warm and welcoming approach.
Location: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
Fee: $85, Members $80 (w/lunch, add $10) (Advance registration is required)

with an Informal Tea and Book Signing
Monday, September 19 : : 10:30 am - 1 pm

Revered worldwide as one of the most skilled and perceptive gardeners of our time; Helen Dillon is a gardener, garden writer, and world traveler based in Dublin, Ireland. Much sought after as an author, broadcaster, and garden consultant, Helen is making a special one-stop trip from Ireland to Blithewold.
Location: Mansion Living Room and Dining Room Fee: $30, Members $20 (Advance registration is required.)

Thursday, September 22 : : 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

Rain gardens are a smart and attractive way for homeowners and businesses to reduce polluted run-off.
Join Jim Riordan, Senior Project Manager for Fuss & O'Neill (, and learn just how easy it can be to add a rain garden to your property.
Location: TBD Fee: $10, Members $7 (Advance registration is required.)

Fridays, September 23 - October 7 : : 2 pm

Savor afternoon tea in Blithewold's elegant Dining Room and then enjoy a floral design demonstration.
Location: Mansion Dining Room
Fee: Adults $22, 6-17 yrs old $14, under 5yrs old $12 Members $12

The One Day It's Okay to Play with Your Food!
Sunday, September 25 : : 11 am - 3 pm

Join us for the most fabulous fall family food festival in the state! There will be music by The Honky Tonk Knights, storytelling, gourd bowling, real "Mr. Potato Head" making, veggie juggling, a pumpkin toss, and grow-your-own-food gardening tips. Kids will learn how to make veggie sushi and grilled garden-fresh pizza.
Location: Vegetable Garden Fee: Included with admission; Members free.

A WALK IN THE WOODS with Dan Christina
Sunday, September 25 : : 2 pm - 3 pm

Blithewold is a wonderful place to walk and learn! Join Assistant Grounds Manager and Certified Horticulturist Dan Christina as he explores the Deciduous Trees of New England
Location: Carriage House Fee: $7, Members $5

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum is a landscaped historic public garden and Rhode Island's only recognized arboretum. Situated on Bristol Harbor with sweeping views overlooking Narragansett Bay, the 33 acres of trees, lawns, flowers and gardens also features a forty-five room mansion filled with original antiques and artwork. It is the mission of Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum to preserve New England's finest garden estate through excellence in horticulture and historic preservation, and by our example to teach and inspire others.