Marta Macdowell and a volunteer work in Dickinson's garden

Spring Garden Days 2024
Friday, May 31 & Saturday, June 1


“New feet within my garden go –
New fingers stir the sod–


Come celebrate the beauty of spring during Garden Days at the Emily Dickinson Museum! As summer temperatures arrive in Amherst, Emily’s garden begs to be tended. Join master gardener Marta McDowell and a group of fellow volunteers to aid in the cultivation and growth of the historic Dickinson family landscape. Volunteers who have tended the gardens in the past and become part of a new generation of caretakers. During Garden Days, participants will help to weed, divide older perennials, plant new perennials and annuals, edge flower beds, and more! 

All are welcome; no gardening experience is required. Garden Days runs rain or shine!

Volunteers are encouraged to bring the following if they have them:

  • Gloves
  • Clean hand trowel and clippers
  • Bucket
  • Kneeling pad
  • Water bottle
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Sun protection
  • Small plant pot(s)
  • Lunch (if you are staying for the whole day)

Garden Days spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. This program is run over the course of two days, and participants may choose up to two of the following sessions:

Session 1: Friday, May 31, 9:30am – 12:30pm ET

Session 2: Friday, May 31,  1:30pm – 4:30pm ET

Session 3: Saturday, June 1, 9:30am – 12:30pm ET

Session 4: Saturday, June 1, 1:30pm – 4:30pm ET

Participants are encouraged to stay for the duration of their session.

This in-person program is free to attend. Registration is required. 


About Marta McDowell:
Marta Macdowell and a volunteer work in Dickinson's gardenMarta McDowell teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden and is a popular lecturer and writer. Her latest book is Gardening Can Be Murder, about the horticultural connections to crime fiction. Timber Press also published Unearthing The Secret Garden, Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, New York Times-bestselling All the Presidents’ Gardens, and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, now in its ninth printing. She was the 2019 recipient of the Garden Club of America’s Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for outstanding literary achievement.

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