Because Connecticut is a very small state, we sometimes lack the space and resources to support the types of attractions common in bigger states. Case in point: botanical gardens. There’s nothing in Connecticut to rival the vast botanical gardens I’ve visited in states like Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, and Arizona. However, we almost always make up for our deficiencies by offering surprising alternatives, and because our versions are different and unexpected, they often turn out to be more memorable in the end. And so, while we don’t have a sprawling botanical garden, we do have quite the array of unique greenhouses and garden stores, mostly located in less-touristy rural towns, hiding their visual splendor in plain sight.
Logee’s in Danielson is one of the most impressive of these, and there’s a long history behind its spectacular displays of unusual flora. William D. Logee began selling cut flowers in this Quiet Corner town in 1892, before becoming interested in rare and tropical plants. His descendants still run the business, and though it’s now known nationwide for its mail order catalog, people still travel from far and wide to experience it in person.
Unassuming on the outside, the interior is so extensive that the store provides maps for visitors to use as they navigate the narrow aisles. Logee’s is divided into six greenhouses and a retail shop. You’ll want to take your time as you wander from Big House, home to cacti and succulents, to the Long House and the Potting House, both full of rare and colorful blooms. The Fern House is the oldest of the structures, dating back to Logee’s early days in the 19th century, and the Herb House is as fragrant as its name suggests. In the Lemon Tree House, you’ll find a cornucopia of citrus, including a “famous” Ponderosa Lemon tree that’s over 100 years old. The retail store sells gardening tools, supplies, gifts, and a selection of pretty pots. So the next time you want to go someplace that is both very Connecticut and very much another world, keep this botanical treasure trove in mind.
141 North Street, Danielson, CT