Events

    The Art of Botanical Prose

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    All writers must contend with translation. A poet translates the movement of a dancing figure into a brief couplet, and an essayist translates the noise and commotion of the city where she lives into a single paragraph. The three-dimensional world filters into text, and when done especially well—the realm of literature and art—readers often forget that translation has even occurred.

    In this talk, Jonathan Damery, the associate editor for Arnoldia, will provide a readerly tour through horticultural and botanical reference books, encouraging readers to see the artistic endeavor...

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    Get Your Hands Dirty!—Soil Science

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Lawn, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This is part of the new Science in Our Park Series. Come to the Arnold Arboretum and be a scientist! Get your hands onto scientific tools, use your observation skills and share your findings with others.

    Get Your Hands Dirty will allow you to stick your hands into the soil and really get to know it. You will have a chance to use digital probes, collect data, and then share that data with other scientists for a day.

    One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages five and up.

    ...

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    In the Groves: A Summer Solstice Journey

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building and Arboretum Landscape, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join us for an enchanting evening of Tree Myths, Songs and Summer Solstice Legends. Attendees will hear tales of the human connection with trees and the deep meaning we have assigned to them through the ages. This unique performance, designed specifically for the Arnold Arboretum, travels through the Arboretum with story and music. Each story is told under a different tree or among a unique collection of Arboretum plants, culminating with the haunting Czech legend “The Wild Woman of the Birch Grove” told amid the birches at sunset. Appropriate for adults and for children twelve years and...

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    Peters Hill: Discover the Other End of the Arboretum

    Location: 

    Peters Hill Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join our docent for a tour of the other end of the Arnold Arboretum, the southern end. Peters Hill became part of the Arboretum in 1894 and continues to charm with its special character, collections, and history. In summer, the amazing view from the summit takes in the Boston skyline and a rich and textured landscape spreading out below you. Learn the history of the land, along with information on the woody plants located here.

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    Guided Tour: Medicinal Plants at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    The Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden contains a multitude of cultivated plants with culturally significant medicinal properties. However, on a casual stroll along Linden Path to the Leventritt, you will pass dozens of other plants that are often looked upon as simple weeds. Many of these plants have rich ethnobotanical histories of their own that tie us closer to our environment. Your guides will explain how these "weedy" plants came to colonize this area while touching on cultural contexts and botanical identification of these wild species—as well as the cultivated medicinal species in...

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    Walking Postscript: Revisiting Plants from the Bulletin of Popular Information

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    In 1911, Charles Sprague Sargent, the founding director of the Arnold Arboretum, began writing a serialized pamphlet titled the Bulletin of Popular Information, in which he described flowering and fruiting displays at the Arboretum. Because Sargent often focused on plants newly arrived from expeditions to Asia and elsewhere, many of his descriptions provided the first horticultural comparisons between species that had never been grown in the same garden.

    On this tour, Jonathan Damery will revisit plants mentioned throughout Charles Sprague Sargent's sixteen years with...

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    Growing Woody Plants from Softwood Cuttings

    Location: 

    Dana Greenhouse, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Hydrangea and Cherry and Willow, oh my! Join Manager of Plant Production Tiffany Enzenbacher to learn how to propagate woody plants from summer cuttings. Students will collect and stick cuttings of several landscape plants. Cuttings will be rooted at the greenhouse to be retrieved later for transplanting into the registrant’s garden or potted up into small containers. Fee for all materials is included in the cost of the class. Students should bring their own pruners and dress for the weather.

    Cost: $36 for members; $45 for nonmembers.

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    Rose Family in Bloom

    Location: 

    Bradley Rosaceous Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    The rose family (Rosaceae) contains over 3,000 species of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Roses, spireas, mountain ash, and many more are at peak bloom in June.

    You will be surprised by the beauty, breadth, and depth of the Bradley Rosaceous Collection (BRC), and the Arboretum's role in discovering and disseminating understanding of this large family of plants.

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    Collections Up Close: Ginkgo Collection

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Celebrate plant diversity, natural history, and the work of public gardens by spotlighting plants and their families. Join us for tours, family activities and festivities in the ginkgo collection on Peters Hill. Most people can identify a ginkgo leaf – but what do you really know about the tree itself? Come learn more about this “living fossil” and explore a collection that reflects the greatest known genetic diversity of wild-collected ginkgos in North America.

    This is a free, drop-in activity. The event will be taking place in the ginkgo collection on Peters Hill. Street...

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    Dissection Dramatics! Flower Form

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Lawn, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This is part of the new Science in Our Park Series. Come to the Arnold Arboretum and be a scientist! Get your hands onto scientific tools, use your observation skills, and share your findings with others.

    Dissection Dramatics will give you ample opportunity to fiddle with microscopes, hand lenses and digital scopes. Discover the secrets contained in a flower as you pull it apart piece by piece. Then test your puzzle making abilities as you attempt to put it back together.

    One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages...

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    Ethnobotany at Harvard

    Location: 

    Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

    Historically, plants have provided humans with most of our drugs, fibers, food, dyes, perfumes, building materials, and even musical instruments. But how has this diverse and fascinating field been studied and what has been learned? In fact, for over 100 years, Harvard has played a pivotal role in the study of human-plant interactions, leading to the creation of the field of ethnobotany.

    In this interactive lecture we will explore the science and history of some of the most important Harvard botanists and explorers through their unique specimens—now housed in the Harvard...

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    How Birds Work: Eggs

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    How does an egg become an egg? Why do chickens continue to lay eggs day after day? What controls the shape of eggs? Why do eggs of different species of birds have different colors? And how strong are eggshells?

    In this talk which follows previous talks about bird flight, migration, and feathers, Lorna Gibson answers common questions about bird eggs.

    Learn more...

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    Lilac Therapy Walk

    Location: 

    Map Table by the Ponds, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Every May, visitors flock to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain to breathe in the fragrant lilac collection and witness the array of color. This flower has a history of medicinal use and if you have ever spent time inhaling this sweet fragrance you may have noticed a sense of calm and relaxation.

    May can be a time of unwinding as we transition into a new season under a warmer and brighter sun. Whether you've been visiting the lilac collection for years or have yet to experience them, this is an invitation to unplug, de-stress, and recharge on a guided lilac therapy walk....

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    Lilac Sunday

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Lilac Sunday has been celebrated at the Arnold Arboretum since 1908. The lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America and is singled out each year for a daylong celebration on May 12.

    Tours of the lilacs and family activities are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Sunday, May 12. Pack a picnic! Picnicking is permitted on this day only, but food must be brought in to the Arboretum. There will only be lemonade, slush, and ice cream available on site during event hours. The landscape is open from dawn until dusk...

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    Exhibition: Drawn to Paint: Paintings of Arboretum Trees

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Artist, Paul Olson, has been discovering the nuances of the Arnold Arboretum’s collections since he first passed through its gates in 2011. A landscape painter for decades, Olson explores the grounds with sketchbook in hand, typically in the early morning hours. His goal is to be unencumbered by any agenda and open to what the light of the day presents. In 2012, he had an exhibition at the Arboretum titled “Drawn to Woods.” The expressive ink drawings in that show were all completed en plein air—on-site in the open air.

    In this new exhibition, Olson brings his on-site...

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    Landscape Plant Selection, Planting, and Establishment

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Ensuring the long-term health of your landscape starts with healthy plants from the nursery, proper site selection and preparation, and sound planting and establishment. Andrew Gapinski will discuss professional standards and techniques, along with common issues and solutions for both balled-and-burlapped and containerized specimens. He will focus on landscape trees, shrubs, and perennials—ornamental annuals and vegetables will not be covered in this offering. Class will start indoors and then move outdoors to the Dana Greenhouse Nursery.

    Cost: $30 members, $...

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