Recent News

Stay connected with us through Virtual Programs

Wednesday, 01 July 2020 14:30

This month, enjoy some of our programs virtually! We are developing an array of online programs for all ages and interests. To attend, register through the event link and the Zoom invite will be sent one day before the event.

Take a look at the exciting online programs below:

Jr. Naturalist program - a virtual summer camp for kids (of all ages!)
This summer, join Program and Educational Director Erica Max for a series of virtual educational experiences exploring the natural world here at the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum. We will search for salamanders in the woods, catch cray fish in the pond for an up-close view, and visit with the variety of animals who live here. Enjoy these short "virtual" field trips via Zoom video conference and get even closer to the animals and nature than you could during a real visit!  Sessions will be held at 11:00 a.m. every Wednesday in July starting July 8th. Sessions will last 30-45 minutes. The Jr. Naturalist program is free but pre-registration is required. To attend any of the sessions, register through this event link and the Zoom invite will be sent one day before the event.

Garden Work Shop Series
Join us for two in-depth gardening sessions to "dig deeper" into your gardening knowledge. To attend, register through the event links below and the Zoom invite will be sent one day before the event.

Wednesday, July 22, 6:00 pm: What's growing in your yard?
This class is about weeds and invasive species and consists of a 45-minute power point and discussion with participants about the impact of weeds and invasives in the landscape. We will talk about our efforts to manage some of these species without the use of chemicals. $15 per person; limited to 20 participants. To register for this event, click here.


Wednesday, July 29, 6:00 pm: What's going on in your yard?
Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.This class consists of a 45-minute power point and discussion on this fascinating subject. Participants will learn about the various lifecycles of plants and animals and how we can observe these changes anywhere we live. We will talk about how we are using our own Kousa dogwood collection to collect data and help scientists all over the world study this subject. $15 per person; limited to 20 participants. To register for this event, click here.

"Ask the Gardeners!" Your chance to pick our brains!
Thursdays in July at 10:00 a.m.
With everyone home more these days, folks are working in their gardens and gaining valuable knowledge about plants, soil, beneficial and problem insects and other animals. More time in the garden always produces more questions! Join us for a weekly "Ask the Gardeners" zoom series where you can get some answers to concerns and questions about your garden. Our "Ask the Gardener" series will take place virtually via Zoom each Thursday in July at 10 a.m. starting July 9th. To join the zoom call, email us and we will send you the link to the zoom video conference the day before. To attend, register here and the Zoom invite will be sent one day before event.
Feel free to submit your garden questions in advance of the session by email:


What's blooming? Magnificent Magnolias!

Monday, 04 May 2020 15:38

Magnolias are an especially fascinating genus of flowering plants. With over 200 species in the genus, the magnolia is thought to be one of the first flowering plants to evolve, even before bees! Coniferous species existed before flowering plants and it is easy to imagine that magnolias descended from conifers as the seed pods generally look a great deal like a pine cone. In fact, the evolution of flowers is still a mystery unsolved, but it is believed that in the case of magnolias, that the flowers evolved to attract and encourage pollination by beetles.

Magnolias are popular for their showy blossoms, early in spring. The genus is made up of a wide variety of species, both evergreen and deciduous. Specimen size also varies with some species like M. virginiana more like a shrub, and M. acumenata aka Cucumber magnolia which can grow to be a giant tree. Easily identified by its “fuzzy” buds in the off-season, magnolias are seldom browsed by deer who dislike the bud’s hairy fuzziness. The fruit or pods develop when the flowers are pollinated and can be seen beginning to form within the flower as the petals fade and drop off, their work of “attraction” now done. Horticulturalists have developed a stunning array of hybrids including several in the Wakefield Estate Arboretum’s collection. One particularly stunning cultivar is ‘Elizabeth,’ which boasts a spectacular display of yellow blooms in early May.

Read more... Magnolia 'Elizabeth'

Read more... Read more...



What's up with Dogwood Days this year?

Friday, 01 May 2020 10:35

While we are still uncertain whether we will be open for garden walks during this year's Dogwood Days in June, we plan to at least provide the opportunity for virtual visits to enable all of you to enjoy Polly's lasting legacy at its peak splendor. In addition, we've rescheduled our 8th Annual Dogwood Days Garden Party for Saturday, September 12, 2020.
We hope you will join us then for our annual celebration. The kousa dogwood blooms provide a stunning display in June, but the trees are also beautiful in the late summer sun as their berries ripen and turn yellow and red.
Stay tuned for more information!
Read more... 

Join us for 5/18 for "Walden Warming" Richard Primack's zoom lecture

Friday, 01 May 2020 10:31

Walden Warming
A Zoom lecture by Richard Primack
Monday, May 18, 7:00-8:30 pm
Please note:  This event will be conducted online.
Most people know Henry David Thoreau as a writer and botanist, but he was also a climate change scientist! And, more importantly, what would Thoreau tell us to do about global warming if he were alive today? Join us for a fascinating discussion with acclaimed author and Boston University Professor Richard Primack on the local impacts of climate change. For the past 17 years, Professor Primack and his team at BU have been using Thoreau's records from the 1850s and other Massachusetts data sources to document the earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier flight times of butterflies, and the more variable response of migratory birds. Most noteworthy, plants in Concord are also changing in abundance due to a warming climate. This work has received extensive media coverage as an example of the biological effects of climate change, and is now being extended to the neglected autumn season. As a primer for the May 18th lecture, Milton Library's executive director Will Adamczyk will lead an online discussion of Primack's book Walden Warming on Wednesday, May 13th at 7:00 pm. Pre-registration is required. To receive the link and log-in information for both the online May 13th book discussion and the May 18th lecture, register on the Milton Library's website: or call us at 617-333-0924.
Co-sponsored by the Milton Public Library and the Blue Hills Climate Action Coalition.


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