A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. -Greek Proverb.
An Arboretum is a living museum of trees, shrubs, and vines. The Arnold Arboretum was established in 1872, in Boston, by Harvard University. It is the first public Arboretum in North America. In 1882, Harvard University gave the Arboretum to City of Boston and since that time leased it back for $1/year (for 281 acres! the rent in some places in Boston is real cheap!). In case, you are wondering what will happen in the year 2882, after the lease ends, don’t worry. Harvard University has an option of renewing the lease. May be the City of Boston will hike the rent to $2 in the year 2882.
The Arnold Arboretum is a 281-acre preserve, designed by American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted collaborated with Charles Sprague Sargent, a horticulturist who collected and placed thousands of specimens by their genus (family). The living collections at the Arboretum include 14,897 individual plants. The plant collections at the Arboretum were developed through nearly a century and a half of exploration and plant collection from natural habitats in North America and Asia (1876-2015).
I went to Arnold Arboretum twice. The first time was in July 2016 and the second time was in May 2017. When I went in July 2016, there were almost no flowering plants at the Arboretum. This year, I went to the Arboretum in May to catch the wonderful Spring in action. This time, the azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom. All the flowers and greenery, made the Arboretum look magical.
One of the best things about the Arnold Arboretum is that they provide free guided tours on the weekends. An elderly lady gave us the guided tour and introduced us to the trees and plants of the Arboretum. I was too occupied with taking the pictures of the colorful azaleas and lilacs so I partly heard what our guide was saying. In spite of her age, the guide was energetic and she walked fast, and we (my mom and I) had to catch up with her twice. The third time we gave up and separated our ways.
The walking tour started at Hunnewell visitor center and at the end of the walk, we successfully managed to return to the same location by ourselves. We sat there for some time and observed the people walking, cycling or just relaxing on the lawn. I was in the company of the Magnolias, Redwoods, and Tulip trees. As I sat there under the cool shade of these trees, I felt at that moment that my life was perfect as it was. There was nothing more that I wanted in my life at that moment. That is the magic of the Arnold Arboretum :).
More pics and videos below. Enjoy!