Mrs. Clement S. Houghton first started work on Houghton Gardens in 1906. The garden was restored in 1956 after her death and the city gained official ownership in 1968. Mr. and Mrs. Houghton were members of the Chestnut Hill Garden Club and gave a section of their estate to the City of Newton. Located in Chestnut Hill near Hammond Pond, the 9.80-acre parcel is accessible from Suffolk Road. Just beyond the rear entrance to Houghton Garden is a pedestrian crossing for the MBTA Green Line that connects to a meandering path through the Webster (East) Conservation Area. This trail also connects with one on DCR land that leads to the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center parking lot around the west side of Hammond Pond.
Bird species observed here include herons, hawks, doves, woodpeckers, swallows, gulls, thrushes, warblers, finches, and sparrows. Houghton Gardens consists of several separate gardens, including a Rock Garden, an Alpine Garden, a Conifer Garden, the Botanical Gardens, Houghton Pond, and a bridge over Hammond Brook. There are three color-coded trails, with markers and labels on much of the vegetation.