Recent News

More Garden Visits Scheduled for September

Tuesday, 01 September 2020 09:44

More relaxing (and social distanced) garden visits are scheduled for September due to the positive response from our visitors. This month, we offer a contemplative visit to the labyrinth, evening garden stroll, and/or family visit with the animals. Admission limited to 15. Reservations and masks required. $10. Please RSVP by calling 617-333-0924 or reserve your spot through the links below. These events are weather dependent and will be postponed in the event of rain.
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What's blooming? Hydrangeas! and they are a "hive" of activity

Thursday, 09 July 2020 13:04

What's blooming? Hydrangeas! and they are a "hive" of activity, attracting a variety of native bees as well as honeybees, moths and butterflies and of course, hummingbirds.

Enjoy this photo album of the wide variety of hydrangeas now in bloom at the estate.

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Stay connected with us through Virtual Programs

Wednesday, 01 July 2020 14:30

Enjoy some of our programs virtually! We are developing an array of online programs for all ages and interests. To attend any future virtual events on our calendar, 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 that we've hosted so far:

Jr. Naturalist program - a virtual summer camp for kids (of all ages!)
Program and Educational Director Erica Max hosted a series of virtual educational experiences exploring the natural world here at the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum. We will searched for salamanders in the woods, caught cray fish in the pond for an up-close view, and visited with the variety of animals who live here. You can enjoy these short "virtual" field trips through a set a video links listed below and on Youtube. Get even closer to the animals and nature than you could during a real visit!

Garden Workhop Session: What's growing in your yard?
This in-depth gardening sessions to "dug deeper" into your gardening knowledge. 
This class 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. You can view this session via this link.

We will be host a new garden workshop each month in October, November, and December. To learn more, click here.

In addition, our staff has created a wide array of fascinating short videos you can access via the links below, via the video tab of our Facebook page.

Garden Highlights

Enjoy this virtual Dogwood Days stroll.

A Virtual Visit to the Dwarf Conifer Collection, a beguiling batch of quirky and delightful plants - slide show.

A series of videos about our Magnolia Collection

Kobus Magnolia and their fuzzy buds

A visit with magnificen Magnolia 'Elizabeth'

Celebrating our magnificent magnolias, part 2: the Cucumber Magnolia

Celebrating the Bigleaf Magnolia

Wow! a variegated magnolia! Highlighting fabulous Magnolia x 'Fran Smith'

Other fun "virtual visits"

Enjoy this virtual Dogwood Days stroll.

Celebrating our insects and pollinators

Fireflies! Enjoy.

Honeybees love hydrangeas!




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.

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