Recent News

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.

Read more... Magnolia 'Elizabeth'

Read more... Read more...



Dogwood Days 2021: It’s Happening!

Friday, 01 May 2020 10:35

It's Happening!
Dogwood Days 2021: June 5-20

Dogwoods Days at the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum is the annual celebration of the blooming legacy of Polly Wakefield’s collection of over 300 dogwood trees. This year’s Dogwood Days will take place over two weeks, and will feature smaller, more intimate events designed to showcase the spectacular late-spring bloom and appeal to all ages, including garden yoga and meditation, horticultural events and guided tours, sheep shearing, dogs and dogwoods “shows,” garden music and three special events for members.

The Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum is located at 1465 Brush Hill Road in Milton, MA 02186.

Please click here or see BELOW the daily schedule and brief summary of the events planned during Dogwood Days. The arboretum is open to visitors every day during Dogwood Days - $5 entrance fee; please note open hours as they may change from day to day. For those events where space is limited or membership required, there is a link for more information and to pre-register and purchase a ticket or membership.

Dogwood Days 2021 Online Auction is now on!
Final winning bids due by 8:00 pm on Sunday, June 20

This year's Dogwood Days would not be complete without our annual silent auction! While there is no garden party this year, our silent auction is happening ONLINE, and bidding is now live. Right now, you can bid on some amazing auction items from your home computer or via an auctria app on your phone at this link.

There are currently over 35 fantastic items up for bid that appeal to every age, interest, and budget. It's easy to bid — simply click on an item and you can register as a bidder with your email.
Final bids need to be placed by 8:00 pm on Sunday, June 20. Top bidders will be notified and given instructions how to pick up their items here at the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum.
Bid high and bid often if you want to win some of this year's terrific items including:
Fantastic Red Sox box seats
Stunning Framed Artwork
$200 Wegman's Gift Card
A Honey Share from our Beekeeper
A Lovely Waterford Frame
Honey Locust Handled Santoku Knife
A Craft Beer Basket
One of Polly's Dogwoods planted by us
A handmade Hungry Caterpillar crib quilt
Lobster Rolls for 6 on a Nahant Terrace
2 Dozen of our Hen's Fresh Eggs
Italian Liqueur Sampler
A Kid's Party with our Animals
Themed Baskets including: "All Things Llama", "Who Let The Dogs Out?!", "Pamper Yourself" and "Movie Night"

To bid on these and other fantastic items, register HERE.

For more information call 617-333-0924 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Here's the remaining schedule for Dogwood Days:

MONDAY JUNE 14: Open Hours 9:00am - 3:00pm

1:00pm - Guide Tour - See description above.

TUESDAY JUNE 15: Open Hours 9:00am - 3:00 pm

1:00pm- Guided Tour - See description above.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 16: Open Hours 9:00am - 3:00pm

1:00pm - Guided Tour - See description above.

5:00pm - Special Tour: Polly’s Dogwoods - Register here.

Join us for a fascinating educational tour to learn how Polly Wakefield got started in horticulture, and how and where her interest in kousa dogwoods began. Space is limited. After the tour, enjoy Garden Music at 6:00pm.

6:00pm - Garden Music - Register here.

Join your friends to enjoy the enchanting light of the late afternoon with our popular Garden Music event. Singer and songwriter extraordinaire Eric Martin will play some of his bluesy repertoire. $10 per person. Space is limited. Rain date: Thursday, June 17.

THURSDAY JUNE 17: Open Hours 9:00am - 3:00pm

1:00pm - Guided Tour - See description above.

FRIDAY JUNE 18: Open Hours 9:00am - 3:00pm

1:00pm - Guided Tour - See description above.

SATURDAY JUNE 19: Open Hours 9:00am - 12:00pm

2:00pm - Members’ Dogwood Beer Garden - (Admission free with your membership; Membership required - purchase your membership here) Register here.

Join your friends and neighbors for an afternoon beer garden surrounded by the beauty of the arboretum with activities for the whole family. Enjoy live music, kids activities, farm animals and delicious locally crafted draft beer. Space is limited and membership required.

SUNDAY JUNE 20: Open Hours 9:00am - 12:00pm

1:00 - 4:00pm - Summer Solstice Boxed Picnic - (Admission free with your membership; Membership required - purchase your membership here) Register here.

Become a member to be our guest and enjoy a boxed picnic here at the arboretum to celebrate the summer solstice - the longest day of the year and the first official day of summer. It's also a terrific way to celebrate Father's Day together again! Bring the family and a blanket and enjoy the beautiful grounds surrounded by flowering kousa dogwoods.

8:00 PM Dogwood Days Online Auction ends! Get your bids in before it closes! View the auction and bid here.


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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