Howard County Conservancy Native Honors Garden

  • 10520 Old Frederick Road
  • Woodstock, MD 21163

The Howard County Conservancy’s Honors Garden offers a calming, colorful respite where visitors can connect with nature. The 1.36-acre garden is bursting with native trees, shrubs and perennials that offer food and shelter to hundreds of species of birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Start under the arbor gate dripping with native honeysuckle, and take the winding, ADA-accessible path through the garden past two water features (complete with frogs). Visitors will see native flowers in three seasons, and specimen trees that offer shade on the warmest day. Interpretive signs help budding gardeners learn the benefits of native plants and particulars about each species. Native plants and native plant cultivars are selected based on sustainability at each planting site. Here, plants are the stars of the show: coneflowers, baptisia, chokeberry, redbud trees, coreopsis, columbine. Our garden puts on an evolving show throughout the seasons and offers practical ideas to homeowners interested in native plant gardening. While the garden mostly sleeps in winter, its landscape, shrubs and trees still offer respite. The pervious paver stone pathway, funded by the state of Maryland, allows visitors of all mobility levels to visit the garden while also permitting rainwater to infiltrate the ground. Anyone may purchase engraved paver stones to sponsor a commemorative message. The garden, which opened in the spring of 2006, honors individuals and organizations in a natural setting. State Sen. James Clark, Jr., a founding member of the Conservancy, dedicated the Honors Garden in memory of his late brother, John L. Clark. Recognition plaques are dotted throughout the gardens to memorialize loved ones. Gifts for the Honors Garden will be accepted in honor of, in memorial, or in celebration of individuals or organizations. Options start at $600 and include shrubs, perennial beds, and engraved paver stones and stepping stones. The cost covers the planting, a recognition plaque, engraving, and maintenance. It may take up to one year for new features to be installed. Occasionally special events are held in this garden. If you would like to check the schedule, please contact our office. If you are interested in dedicating a garden element or have questions, please contact Tabby Fique for further information. The John L. Clark Honors Garden is just one component of the arboretum at the Conservancy, which also includes the gardens and plantings around the historic house, outbuildings and demonstration gardens.