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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Visitor Stories

  • I have been enjoying the Arboretum for more than 60 years. I grew up on South St. in JP near the foot of the Arborway, just a few minutes walk from the Arboretum's Forest Hills Gate. My family went there frequently, in all 4 seasons. As I got older I also went there with friends, girlfriends, or alone. I've walked there, run there, played sports there (which I realize was against the rules!), read and wrote there, brought my own sons there, etc. My high school x-country team even used the Arboretum as one of our practice sites. My siblings and I collected leaves for school projects there, we went there on Lilac Sunday for years and years, we tobogganed down Bussey Hill, we skated on one of the Ponds, my father took photos of us there on Easter Sunday wearing our new Easter outfits. One of the treats I remember looking forward to as a child, besides Lilac Sunday, was the time of year when the Bonsai gardens would be open to the public. I live on the South Shore now but still visit the Arboretum several times a year, and plan to visit even more often, and the Bonsais are still one of my favorite things, along with the enormous cork trees, the white birch, the views from the tops of Bussey Hill and Peter's Hill, the tranquility of Hemlock Hill, the stone bench built into the side of the small knoll near the Bradley Rosaceous Gardens, and on and on. I have 60 years of memories from the Arnold Arboretum and I cherish them all.
    Brian Roake
  • Early Spring 2018 while jogging in the Arnold Arboretum, a snapping turtle blocked my path and changed my worldly direction there forward.
    Ally Monroe
  • After a spinal fusion back surgery, my access to the arboretum was my physical therapy…, a peaceful place to walk.
    Calvin Schmid
  • I’ve taken many wonderful walks through the Arboretum. When my daughter broke a leg at age 7 and was wheelchair bound for a while the Arboretum was was a salvation for her and her parents! I also have a number of fond memories in Lilac Sunday’s with family and friends.
    Deb Orzechowski
  • I was taken to Lilac Sunday as a passenger in a perambulator (member of the Pablum and Marching Club of Cleveland Circle) and have enjoyed visiting for over 70 years.
    Pam Chamberlain
  • I first learned about the Arb as a child visiting the science museum. They have a big map of Boston on the wall and a push-button board where you can light up the landmarks. I was really fascinated by the one that was really far away from all the others, so I asked what it was and was told it was a special garden for trees. I was so intrigued. I finally went there for my 18th birthday -- I had a picnic with my partner and it was truly amazing. Since then I have always loved visiting, and I treasured the Arb when I lived within easy walking distance. My partner and I called it 'the demesne', implying that it was our 'estate' and we walked there often after dinner. I miss it very much now that I have moved overseas.
  • The Arboretum was a perfect place to commune with nature during COVID. Watching the sun rise in the early mornings during the winter months brought hope that things would improve. We felt like we became compatriots with the hawks, cardinals and robins, even the coyotes on Peter's Hill. Watching the almost daily changes in the landscape during spring was truly amazing albeit a little sad to see one beauty fade as the next one was revealed to us. The Arboretum has been a true sanctuary for us during the pandemic.
    Deborah McDonald
  • My visit to see the original Acer griseum that was collected by Ernest (Chinese) Wilson. Something I will remember for the rest of my life!
  • Pandemic winter. Night. I have grown my first beard these months. A winter storm rages. I wander peters hill with icicles growing on my face (something i've always imagined but never experienced). My 24 year old son is with me. This scourge has brought us closer than ever. Nobody else in sight. No sounds or lights from the distant city. No footprints. No paths. No dogs. Just whiteness and sky and me and my boy. The magical silence of a blizzard. Snow swirling, gusting. I am warm and dry inside my layers. My boots fit well. We imagine we are deep in the Russian wilderness. We feign accents. We run and slide and cavort and wrestle. We scan the horizon for horses and carriages but do not spot any. COVID is far away, a dream. We talk about all things and about nothing in particular. There is no place I'd rather be and no one I'd rather be there with. We are right here right now and all is good in this tired broken world. We are at home in the arboretum.
    Joseph Lieber
  • I took a class with Sean Halloran on grafting apple trees. This lesson has proved to be my first success in grafting.
  • It was at a time when the concept of Shinrin Yoku -- forest bathing - was not yet well known. It was an early Sunday morning in late fall when I entered the Conifer section to seek out interesting fallen cones on the ground. I was struck by the feeling of solitude -- not a soul around and not a sound heard. At one point of being close to the pine-needled ground was when I felt total immersion in the space. The heady aroma of pine, the coolness of the morning breezes, the towering sight of these majestic trees, the morning light filtering through the limbs, and my own feeling of gratitude and overwhelming peace to be in that spot at that moment. A deep sense of wonder and awe.
  • I filmed a classmate's wedding on the grounds in 1975.
  • I'm a neighbor and became a docent because my friend and I were there ALOT!! It's a great program and the best volunteer program I have ever been part of.
    Michele Audet
  • I once wrote a children’s story about the Arboretum that I am happy to share with you. An additional brief story is that I was once working on a tree guide for children. The Arboretum was my laboratory and I visited often with my young son who is now 29. One day we were walking in Concord and stopped to look at a tree. I wondered what kind of tree it was. My son replied: “Just look at the sign!” He thought every tree came with a sign!
    Joan Rooney
  • I didn’t know much about trees. I decided to go to graduate school for landscape design so I did the summer internship program. Everyday day that spring and summer was so fun and I learned so much. Today I have a broad knowledge of trees and plant material. Plants are a very big part of my life. People(clients) trust me to share my love of plants with them through my design work. In the course of my professional life I have planted many, many trees.
    MaryEllen Sullivan
  • As I write this, I am looking out at a grove of Metasequoia glyptostroboides, most of which are nearing 20'; in height. All were purchased at Arboretum plant sale over the past 30+ years. At one of the last of the plant sales, I was leaving with my plants and crossed paths with a guy trying to balance his tray of Metsequoias on one arm while tending to a crying toddler. While I held the tray for him, I told him that I had a number of those trees in my yard, purchased when I had crying toddlers of my own. The trees, and the former toddlers, are all now taller than me.
    Richard Curtis
  • After many years of living near the Arboretum and walking there many times a week, I moved to Sherborn. Friends assured me I would find lovely walking trails in Sherborn. They didn’t understand how much the Arboretum means to me. My interactions with your staff, other visitors, the exhibits, and the lectures are irreplaceable. The Arnold Arboretum for me is a community of people who revere nature, plants, and our planet. It is a place of solace, learning, and wonder. What the remarkable Ned Friedman has brought to the Arboretum cannot be too highly praised. His enthusiasm and passion is visible throughout the Arboretum. Although I visit infrequently now, these Director's Lectures give me the opportunity once again to be inspired and succored by the spirit of my beloved Arnold Arboretum. Many thanks to all of you who work hard to bring these lectures to Arboretum lovers near and far.
    Maureen Richards
  • I didn't step foot in the Arboretum for the first year I lived in Jamaica Plain. Then one late spring day, in the midst of a pretty heavy mental funk, I decided to go for a walk. I've been back nearly every day since for the past 4 years. The Arboretum has offered more than I could possibly put into just a short blurb. People think of many different things when they think Boston, but to me, the first thing I see are the winding pathways through the trees that have truly became my home.
    PJ Ciacelli
  • I fell in love with Arboretum right away when I first visited it after I moved from CT to Boston around 5 years ago. I have a green "thumb", always enjoy the nature, love trees/plants more than anything else. The Arboretum provides me a new self-learning and much enjoyable environment with its well designed landscape and countless cultvated plants and tress. I used to visit the Arboretum with my daughter at most of the weekends. During the pandemic, I started to run through it in the early morning. It keeps me sane, clears and soothes my mind. For that, Thank you, Arboretum.
    Wenling Ma
  • I was an intern selected for the Isabella Welles Hunnewell Internship Program during the year of 2015. It was a very interesting experience, specially for me who was an exchange student from Brazil. I learned a lot about horticulture, english language and New England botany history.
    Giovani Almeida Camargo
  • We are very grateful to live close to the Arboretum and to be able to visit it so often. We feel as if it belongs to us (as it does to everyone). It has a special place of belonging that is hard to explain. We are very proud of the work you do and hope you will continue to lead in protecting our biodiversity in the challenging times ahead.
    Peter and Sonia Matthew
  • I've been visiting the Arboretum since the 1980s. I moved to Cambridge from Florida, and I fell in love with the Emerald Necklace and the expansive green space of the Arboretum. I love the dawn redwoods you got from China. I raised my children there, and we thought of it as our own backyard. We never miss the lilacs. These days I live in Winthrop, but I ride my bike to the Blue line and then switch to the Orange line toward Forest Hills. I ride around the Arboretum and do a lot of birdwatching, and then I ride my bike down the Greenway toward the Charles River and hop on the Blue Line towards home. There are trees that I have been hugging for 30 years. They feel like family.
  • Lilac Sunday visits with now deceased family members are wonderful memories. Having a reason to go out and see the witch hazels in February when nothing else is in bloom.
    Margery Gann
  • I grew up in a rural area but am raising my daughter here in Roslindale. When she started walking, everything in the city felt like a danger, whether it be falling on the concrete and hitting her head or running into traffic. To keep her safe, I felt like we were always in a place of restricting her or saying "no" or "be careful." The Arboretum became the place where she could explore, unleashed and in charge of her movement and direction. It was a place for her to develop courage and confidence in her body and to feel empowered to make her own decisions, as much as a toddler can. Even to this day, now that she is 6, the Arboretum is a place for her to explore and push boundaries by wading through the creek or climbing up the rock faces. It will be a place in her memory, helping to shape her childhood, just as the woods of Pennsylvania did for me.
    Wendy Skelton
  • The annual plant sale was the beginning of my bamboo collection.
    Emilie de Brigard
  • The members sticker shows a beautiful dawn redwood. I have always wanted one in my garden. They became available through the members plant sale and I now have a beautiful mature tree of my own.
  • I miss the plant sales at the Case Estate. They were a wonderful opportunity to interact with AA staff and other members, plus a place to get many wonderful plants. I think I may have gotten my first yellow clivia there, and I definitely have one from the AA in 2002 that is still going strong and from which I have raised a number of seedlings. There's so much more, like China...
    Frank S. Streeter
  • As an Iranian-American I have and continue to use the Arboretum as a refuge when there is turmoil between the U.S. and Iran which is out of my hands but has affected my entire life and that of my generation and also my parents generation. A simple walk, jog or simply lying down somewhere in the Arboretum has helped me to deal with the stress of being an Iranian...when I walk back I do feel relieved, regaining my balance and much less burdened from the news cycle of that day. Even if it is just for a day. I feel blessed that whatever arises the next day, I will have the gift to take another stroll or meditate under another tree and do the self-care that is in my hands.
    Mandana Moshtaghi
  • I would bring my aging dog, Caesar, when he was 14/15 for short strolls in flat areas. He would enjoy being outdoors here and take in the fresh air, sniff about. It brought me joy to watch him enjoy the beautiful environment that he could only smell and feel at that time, as his vision has become very poor. Whenever I go to the arboretum now with my new rescue, Iggy, I fondly recall my moments with Caesar, and shed a tear or two of joy from the happiness he brought me when we were there together. The arboretum is a happy place for me, and brings me joy. I'm grateful you allow your patrons to bring their pets with them to this gorgeous space.
  • A highpoint in a memorable visit to the USA.
    David Ball
  • A place to forget you’re in the city.
  • I never visited Arnold Arb., but have seen often trees which have been sent by Sargent or Rehder to Berlin and other locations still growing there - a connection between these scientific collections worldwide!
    Eike Jablonski
  • Came as a child with my grandparents
  • When I was a student at the Landscape Institute, I took several classes at the Arboretum in tree identification. We walked the site and knew each tree intimately; the leaves, the bark, the canopy and the roots, and its location within the Arboretum. Like the forest in Suzanne Simard's book, The Mother Tree, the Arboretum creates a "forest". The trees of the Arboretum are an inter-connected, living, breathing health providing green space that in its own small way helps helps cure our planet of toxins that infect us. The Arboretum is a place where man and nature create a partnership of trust and where our sentient being is made better by this brush with nature.
    Elizabeth Westling
  • I have been drawn to the Arboretum by the women in my life. It has at one time or another been at the center of the one or another of the most important relationships in my life.
  • One day, I went to the Arboretum with my girlfriend and her family. We were 14 or 15, and though by then, I had visited the Arboretum many times, this day stands out in my memory. We managed to wander off from her parents and climbed a small, wooded hillock to reach an open rocky place in the sun. We were lying there, enjoying the warm and peaceful afternoon, and I was almost asleep, when we were startled by the loud snort of a horse, and its metal shoes clicking on the rock. We leapt up. A policeman on horseback, helmeted and wearing reflective sunglasses, was looking down at us, sternly--or so we imagined. He said nothing, and neither did we, and he rode off. We quickly found her parents and told them what had happened, to their amusement. It occurs to me only now that it may very well have been her father who sent the mounty to find us!
  • One of my first dates with my now husband was at the Arboretum. I remember everything - what we talked about, where we were, and even remember the bagpipe player practicing in the distance.
  • I have only visited remotely. But the Arnold's reputation in public BGA's is stellar. I love the "Notes from the Collection".
    Jeffery L. Johnson
  • A friend invited me to the Arboretum. We walked through it on the pavement. When I discovered the different bark paths, I was hooked!
    Dorothy Mohr
  • I'm a runner, and I love the arboretum for its gorgeous, rolling roads and trails. I was first introduced to the arboretum when I moved to Jamaica Plain from New Hampshire. I deeply missed the inspiring landscapes that were part of my everyday rural runs up north. Boston, in comparison, had no topography! When I discovered the arboretum, I found the quad-burning hills, sweeping views, and long, stoplight free stretches that my heart and soul craved. It's not the same as the remote dirt roads or solitary trails of New Hampshire, but by making nature present in the city, it made Boston feel more like home to me.
    Carrie Rosenblum
  • I started going every day for walks when Covid suddenly hit. It was a pease of heaven on earth when the world around us was closing down! I walk for hours everyday with our dogs Teddy and Sampo, who love that peaceful place so much. I even started to take my camera and took good photos of the nature around us in the Arboretum. It has been a perfect escape of the mind and exercise for the body. Thank you Harvard.
  • When we first moved to JP, it was just as the school year was starting. and also around our son and daughter’s birthdays. We didn’t know anyone in our new neighborhood, and our kids were about to start 2nd and 4th grade at a new school. It was a crazy busy time for us, so the birthday party that occurred to us was to invite a couple of kids from our former neighborhood and go to the Arboretum for a walk and bike ride. It was perfect.
    Darcy Salinger
  • When my daughter was around four years old we climbed to the top of Hemlock Hill ( or as my daughter called it The Big Mountain). We sat down on the ground to eat an apple. Some of the seeds fell on the ground as we ate. "Can those seeds make a new apple tree?" my daughter asked. "Yes," I said "they could if they stay here in the ground. But it will take a long time. Ever since that day my daughter believed that an apple tree was growing on top of Hemlock Hill, and that he had caused it to grow by spilling apple seeds on the ground. She would find a tiny stalk and say that it would be her apple tree.
    Marietje Halbertsma
  • My parents had a lilac bush in their backyard of our family home. I had occasion to bring my mom to the Arboretum to enjoy the clusters of bushes & their fragrance while also commemorating Lilac Sunday, Mother’s Day and her birthday (5/25).
    Lillian Andruszkiewicz
  • My grandson learned to ride his bicycle there.
    Charlotte Sanford Mason
  • It is a beautiful and fascinating place I would like to explore, over the years I would try 2-3 times a year to find a place to park. This year was the first time I was successful
  • I moved to Brookline 8 months ago, discovered the Arboretum, met Ned and became hooked.
    Pamela Grossman
  • I have always loved visiting the Arboretum, but my level of appreciation for all it has to offer has increased since I moved to Jamaica Plain and then became a docent. Being so close to the Arnold has made it possible to visit it more often. And being able to visit during the pandemic has been a blessing! Being a docent allowed me to meet several of the staff and to get better acquainted with the collections and the work that goes into maintaining and making available to us this wonderful public space. It also allowed me to make friends with some of the staff and with fellow docents which that has been great! I love being part of the Arnold Arboretum community and I'm very grateful for it.
    Cristina Squeff
  • During the early days of the pandemic, my parents were homebound in NYC due to my mother's health vulnerabilities. We began to do a daily "virtual" walk together on FaceTime to help them feel connected to the outside. The Arboretum was a frequent destination, particularly to visit turtles in the ponds, which brought great enjoyment to them!
    Cara Herbitter
  • About fifteen years ago, following a recent diagnosis of breast cancer, I was drawn to the arboretum for a winter walk after a beautiful snowfall. The conifers were stately as always, standing tall against the bright blue sky, but also alive with sunlight as it danced off their snow laden branches. I spontaneously bowed my head in gratitude for the beauty of the earth, and in my mind's eye saw not the forest surrounding me but the individuals in the circle of support that at the time was my cancer support group. I will never forget this spiritual experience.
  • As a young child I lived a few blocks from the Arboretum in Roslindale. My father would take me and my siblings to the Arboretum frequently. That's when my lifelong love story with the Arboretum started. I remember watching fireworks from the hill. They gave out Hoodsie cups back then! Now I return whenever I can, especially in May to see the lilacs. The Arboretum will always be one of my most special places.
    Deborah Andrade
  • Answering other visitor’s questions about plants.
  • I chose my garden trees with your help - and located a source for them.
    An Sokolovska
  • I was mesmerized by the docent education at the Arnold Arboretum. I so much appreciated our instructor who addressed the exclusive nature of science with wonderful humor. I appreciated the beautiful art work on the walls, and I was amazed how that actually influenced how I look at the details of the forest. A most captivating moment that I cherish to this day was standing under the Metasequoia glyptostroboides. The docent group gathered around underneath the tree. I noticed a complete transformation of the eyes of these human beings. At this very profound moment, I realized the power of standing on the earth next to the life giving energy of the tree. Upon my arrival in Portland, Oregon, I brought the spirit of the Arnold Arboretum to this region, and led tours in their outside museum here. I was fascinated to learn that in the autumn of 1952, the Hoyt's Arboretum's Dawn Redwood became the first in the Western hemisphere to produce cones in about 6 million years. The seed from this very tree was sent from the Arnold Arboretum (and to every other state), after the discovery of the "extinct" species in China.
    Sean Waters
  • I remember my first impression while walking in the Arboretum. I was and am always appreciative of the incomparable collection of trees and shrubs. I so appreciate the Arboretum as a place of peace and comfort in nature year round. My first walk was in 1976!
    Louis Iandoli-D'Elia
  • Arnold Arboretum has conducted horticultural research programs, varietal selection, and horticultural science outreach for many decades. This work has served to inspire and educate generations of horticulturists, plant scientists, and gardeners. The Arnold Arboretum is much more than a strolling park. The Arboretum is a leading horticultural institution.
    John Archer
  • The flame azalias.
  • I like the occasion visits of wildlife such as a Blue Heron, a doe, a large male deer. as well as the resident turtles. Their visits is a sign of approval, and recognition of the worthiness of the Arboretum.
  • For many years, a group of qi gong practitioners has been meeting weekly in a spot in the cconifers, drawing energy from the dawn redwood. I’ve joined for the past 5 years, and find the energy sharing quite palpable. During the first few months of COVID we ramped up our practice, often meeting up in the grove several times a week. I am convinced that my sanity was saved!
    Ginny Zanger
  • On Mother's Day for years my children and I would go to the Arboretum on Lilac Sunday and have a picnic. The beautiful varieties and fragrance of the Lilacs were a powerful memory.
    Gail Gordon
  • When I was a child, in the 1940-50s, I loved visiting the Arboretum, especially the tree known as “Corky.” When my daughter was young, in the 1990s, she loved visiting the Arboretum, especially Corky! When she was in kindergarten and had to write and illustrate a “book,” the title of hers was “I Want To The Arboredum!” with drawings of stick people visiting the Arboretum!
    Clara Lennox
  • My husband and I were married at the Arboretum. My daughters have performed with their Isadora Duncan dance troupe on many a Lilac Sunday. Our family made a contribution to the Arboretum to honor my mother when she passed away. I was part of an initiative to form “ The Arboretum Community Charter School” when. On Cook was the director. Jointly we submitted an application to the state and competed with several other proposed Charter Schools. I walk almost every day from the Walter Strert gate or Peter’s Hill.
    Judy Flam
  • The Arboretum is my favorite place in Boston, for walking, thinking, listening and seeing. I adore trees, but I also love the idea of their invisible symbiotic relationships with fungi and mycelia interacting beneath my feet. I’m fascinated by the subliminal workings of my senses and the underlying structures of all living things. John Berger emphasized that "the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled." Trees hold time and time represents memory; so the Arboretum’s trees have "seen," "heard" and "felt" deep time. When wandering around the park, I feel time and space compressed into the living collection; I imagine the flow of chemicals and nutrients, the "heartbeats" of solid arboreal shapes, the birds and insects that inhabit and visit them, the relationships between micro and macro patterns across living systems, similar to our own bodies and the symbiotic "beingness" of ourselves in relational reciprocity with trees, and theirs with their mycorrhizal networks.
    Jo-Anne Green
  • The day I went in search of the owl family on conifer path-I heard it yet did not see it but in the process got wonderfully lost amongst these majestic evergreens on a winter's day and was inspired to take some photos by viewing Ned's fabulous images. Never knew there was such diversity and beauty in cones.
    Anne Serrell
  • When my children were small, I would put them and our dog in the car, drive the children to school, and then walk around the Arboretum with the dog. As we walked, I studied the trees and landscapes in the different seasons. (To give you an idea of time, this was so long ago that even the Bonsai collection was available opening another whole avenue of understanding of plants.) After an hour in the Arboretum, the dog was walked and I would move on to the requirements of the day. The rest of the day was improved because of the outdoor time, the mental stimulation and the simple joy given by being on the site. In the pursuing years, I have been to many lectures and even a few propagation workshops. I have deepened my understanding and knowledge which has lead to even greater respect for the work undertaken at the Arnold Arboretum. It is during Covid that the world at large refocused on an appreciation of nature, access to nature, and interest in stewardship of our precious resources. I have seen these values internalized across the board at the Arboretum.
    Abby Coffin
  • Lived in JP. Celebrated our son’s first birthday and our first Mother’s Day there. Try to go back every Mother’s Day over the past 45 years.
  • Being a volunteer with the school program run by Nancy Sabeleski and Annamaria Caballero has enriched my life by learning about nature, the Arboretum and turning on Boston School children to nature.
    Steve Glickel
  • My first encounter with the Arnold Arboretum was fate. I saw it advertised on a paper poster hung on campus at my undergrad university. I happened to walk by this covered bulletin board in the hall on a Sunday. I stopped to tie my shoe and when I looked up I saw the poster advertising the Summer Intern program. I applied and was accepted. While I was waiting to see if I was an intern candidate, I asked a well known gardener for one of Salt Lake’s busiest tourist destinations if he thought the expense of living back east was worth the experience. He told me that visiting the Arnold was every gardeners journey to Mecca, and encouraged me to do everything possible to get there if I was accepted. I took his advice and sold my car and quit my job. Looking back, I’ve made that pilgrimage back to the Arnold several times for the sheer joy of the experience. Sometimes, the trip was made with limited funds but the sacrifices made were always worth the experience. Something about being in the presence of greatness and the splendid old friends growing in the collection gave me the perspective of 4 Dimensional design over time. Some of my favorite haunts are the Maples, the Oaks, the Rose Collection (spent a lot of sweat equity weeding there), Lilac Hill, Crabapple Meadow and Peter’s Hill. My favorite is visiting the Lars Anderson Bonsai collection. I had the fun of watering it personally. Those plants have more personality than a Vegas Show Headliner. I’ve been able to share the Arnold with friends and family occasionally over the last twenty years. Recently, I visited the Hunwell Building in March of 2020 for the conference on Women in Horticulture. I was able to reconnect with a friend and we went together. The conference was just the boost I needed to get back into the landscape/horticulture industry after raising a young family as a stay at home gardener. Listening to the presenters reminded me that I had valuable skills and knowledge amplified by life experience, which made my transition back to the paid work place less intimidating. The Arboretum and it’s programs are an invaluable asset to the world and community. I share my experiences there often as a Master Gardener adjunct lecturer, Garden Tour Docent and Landscape Designer. It’s truly a place that invokes a better understanding of time and place and one’s connection of self and soul in the natural world.
    Virginia Harding Hooper
  • I took my wife to the Arboretum on our 2nd or 3rd date. It was a beautiful day and we sat by the ponds, only to be driven off by an aggressively bad bagpipe player! Walking through the landscape together was a glimpse into our shared love of nature and being outside.
    Mitchell Dickerman
  • Was so happy to see the meadow area near beech trees included lots of milk weed. That will hopefully attract and support monarch butterflies in the area.
  • Born in Boston in 1944, the Arboretum has been a part of my life. I remember bicycling frequently when I moved to JP in 1976. I am trying to find out what has happened to the extensive bonsai area that I recall. I went yesterday to find the area closed and only the Pavilion seems to be intact. What is going on there?
  • I enjoy visiting the Arboretum during all the different seasons as a step away from the bustle of daily life here in the city. Walking along the paths and hearing the birds in the trees or the sound of the brook running by is quite relaxing and makes it easier to slow down and relax.
    Andrew Wyllie
  • The Path Taken-I was lucky enough to be offered an exhibition time.The Pandemic closed my Show prematurely but able to do a virtual Show.I am a Docent and have enjoyed being able to share my love of this facility with others.Originally I used this space to improve my health but upon meeting staff and everyday folks fell in love.I count myself lucky to be able to walk and chat with folks.I consider the Arboretum my second Home.
    Lawrence Mullings
  • I well remember the first time I walked up to the top of Peters Hill. The view was breathtaking!
  • I wanted to plant a tree in my front yard. Given limited space, I could really only plant one and wanted to select something appropriate that would thrive, look nice and last a long time. I began going to the Arboretum to look at trees over the seasons and in the process I realized how little I knew about trees and how poor I was at identification. Now I'm the resident tree expert in my friend and family group and can't help point out each tree we come across of note. At this point I am leaning towards planting a self-pollinating cultivar of American Persimmon so as to have a shade tree that is also an edible native fruit tree.
  • The fog sculptures were amazing but in general the place is wonderful no matter what.
  • When I bought my first house in 1993 after living in apartments all my life, I had always longed to have a yard and garden, but had no first-hand knowledge of plants. I took several classes and went on several field trips offered by Arnold Arboretum, which gave me a wonderful foundation to build upon.
    Corinne Boudreau
  • One would think that it gets old, taking the same paths through the Arboretum each week during the pandemic. But it never really got old, was always new and the wonder of these magnificent trees and shrubs will always evoke awe, respect and gratitude. Walking through the Arboretum each week, reminded me that I/We belong to the planet Earth. We are a part of something so wondrous, so complex, and so breathtaking, that to be immersed in it is food for the soul. I tended to forget how interconnected we are with the planet and the universe while working remotely from my apartment. My weekly pilgrimage to the Arboretum showed me that I wasn't alone. I was one with life on Earth. Those treks gave me peace of mind and joy.
    Laurie DesJardins Ferhani
  • The programs with Peter Del Tredici were always wonderfully informative and enjoyable.
  • The Arnold encouraged me to live close by in Jamaica Plain for over 15 years, providing a great quality of life with my friends and dog! Long live the Arnold!
  • The Arboretum keeps me grounded during the stress of everyday life and the unusual stress of the pandemic. It has been the single major benefactor of my family’s health (in addition to Jamaica Pond) since 1986.
  • With the International Dendrology Society, I visited the Arboretum in Fall 2009. As we arrived in our bus, we prepared to get out but were told we had to travel on to an appointed debarkation spot. I can assure you that it is true TORTURE for a dendrologist to be driven through the Arnold Arboretum and not allowed to stop!!! (Of course we did have a wonderful visit once we were allowed off the bus!)
    Harriet Tupper, former Chairman, IDS
  • We moved to Roslindale in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Our family of four was packed into a two-bedroom in the South End during the lockdown; our new home by the Mendem gate of the Arboretum gave us space to breathe, both literally and figuratively. When we moved, our eldest daughter began outdoor preschool in the Arboretum. Her younger sister has since joined. Rain or shine, all year round, they explore the park, learning in and with the stunning nature around them. Some of my most cherished memories are from our ritualized walks to school, by scooter, stroller and sometimes even by sled. Our takeaway: you don’t have to wait for perfect conditions to enjoy your world. The paths throughout the park are a constant in my life; I have run them weekly, I waddled them when I became pregnant with our third child, and slowly walked them while my newborn son slept in a carrier on my chest. The Arboretum has proven to be a respite from our busy lives; a place where not only trees, but its visitors flourish and grow.
    Kate Zeitler
  • When I volunteered at the Arboretum (the School program), being the conduit to open children's eyes to ALL that the Arboretum offered was one of the highlights of my life. I had no doubt that this first visit would lead to more, dragging their parents back on a weekend no doubt. I was truly enriched by this experience.
    Karen Barnett
  • Enjoy the stories about John S Sargent, Olmsted, Rehder and others almost as much as studies and monographs on plants & trees ...... a trip to the Arnold is a vacation for me
    Stephen Gale
  • Walking frequently in the Arboretum during this pandemic time, I am bolstered by passing different walls of flowers: witch hazel, bulbs, lilacs, rhododendron, mountain laurel -- that's just since January this year!
    Jane Bowers
  • I feel fortunate I live close enough to visit the Arboretum from time to time.
  • The Arboretum helped my mother pass on her passion for gardening as a plantsman to me and where I grew my passion for landscape design with her. It is a family place.
    Sierra Bright
  • I am repeatedly struck by the happiness that exudes from Arboretum staff members when they speak about their jobs and the plant and animal communities they serve. The happiness is contagious!
  • Around 1990, I became a student in what was then the Certificate in Gardening Arts program. Around that time, I also was a summer intern at the Case Estates in Weston. 30 years later, I am still involved in landscape and horticulture and these two programs remain the majority of formal education in the field. I still feel that the certificate program was exceptional and proudly hang the framed certificate.
    Matt Giroux
  • My husband and I lived on Colgate Rd. as newlyweds while he was finishing school and I was working in Boston. The Arboretum was at our doorstep, a delightful, welcoming landscape for weekend walks in every season. While I would later come to appreciate the scholarship that made it possible, it was the beauty of those days, available to students at no fee, that made me love the Arboretum.
    Jane O'Sullivan
  • Tears come to my eyes in blossom time. The Elizabeth magnolia, the beauty bush. The mountain laurels, the rhododendrons…the new pine comes! It’s like heavenly music. Tree mobs another favorite, turtles, owls and more.
  • My children were five, two and less than one when I first visited the Arboretum in 1969. We I fell in love with it. My small boys discovered a tree whose branches touched the earth, creating a leafy bower big enough for them to hide in. One year we happened upon the sand pear on Bussey Hill in full bloom. We all agreed it was our favorite and tried to catch it in its glory every April. I am now an Arboretum docent and love every inch of it, but the sand pear still holds its special place.
    Rhoda Kubrick
  • Source of Pyrus research.
  • During the pandemic, the Arboretum provided a safe, beautiful, inspiring respite. I enjoyed walking the 'off-road' paths to avoid others and observe the plants over the changing seasons. I saw so many trees and shrubs I'd never noticed before! Thank you for being there and for being OPEN during the pandemic.
    Nancy Kressin
  • Fell in love with my future husband walking through its grounds for the first time in 1968.
  • As the pandemic intensified in spring 2020, I stopped running around Jamaica Pond since it was more crowded and the path narrower. I started running at the Arboretum instead, and lengthened my route since I wasn’t bike-commuting to the office anymore. Running at the Arboretum was often the only time I would leave the house. I started recognizing other regulars, even behind masks, and we’d say hello. I pushed myself up ‘lilac hill,’ and marveled at the spring flowers. In the summer, I saw turkeys with their poults, and bees in the linden tree blossoms. In the fall, I lengthened my route again in anticipation of seeing the evergreens in the snow. Running on a sunny morning after a snowfall is magical, but seeing snow falling among the evergreens may be even more so. This spring, I detoured to find the blooming buckeyes and horse chestnuts, and wandered the rhododendron path. Later, I stared at the intricate mountain laurel flowers. The Arboretum was my therapy during the worst of the pandemic, and has become a more cherished friend.
  • I don't really have a story. I just enjoy the beauty of each season at the Arboretum.
    Ann McNamara
  • Where do I even begin?! There are so many stories. I’ll briefly sum up a few: 1. My all time favorite activity is visiting the arboretum daily in the spring to watch everything come to life. During spring 2020 this was especially important for me as we were dealing with the beginning of the pandemic and it seemed like everything was uncertain. What was certain through, is that the flowers would bloom, many birds would return/visit, the streams would flow, and nature would be my most important reminder that everything was going to be okay. 2. In the winter, taking a magical walk through hemlock hill while snow began to fall. Initially looking for owl sightings, but instead ended up basking in the beauty of the gently falling snow while sitting underneath a big pine. It felt like we were in an actual snow globe — magical! 3. I’ll never forget the first time I stumbled into the cove of yew trees. I am not a religious person, but instantly felt like it was my version of church. I now take anyone I can to bask in its peaceful and protected glory. Once, I was walking with a dear friend and was so excited to show her. As we approached, I heard music. Then, noticed that there was a wedding ceremony taking place. It was so beautiful to see that clearly this place is special for so many others too. The couple, their family and friends, and a cellist filled up the space with the same reverence I feel being there alone. It was really special.
  • Just memories from the early 1970's.
    Prof. Buckland Abbey
  • Years ago I took tree ID courses as part of the Landscape Design program with Radcliffe. Our instructor used the Arboretum as our classroom. It was an unforgettable experience. We traversed the landscape studying trees and learning their attributes. It was a year filled with wonder, and I am forever grateful to have had the experience. I am today a member of our local Trees and Public Greenery Committee, which I credit to my time spent at the Arboretum.
    Patricia Bagley
  • As a master gardener, I have attended several lectures both in person and via zoom. I don't get to the arboretum as often as I'd like but my new resolution is to go more often!!
    Diane Ciuffetti Geis
  • I have a lot of memory at there with my children. We saw a deer, I had first seen the trillium flowers.
  • Coming to the Arboretum during the beginning of the pandemic gave out family some much needed joy. We came to see and smell the lilacs and it was stunning!
  • It was a beautiful morning and I was in the doldrums. I stared out the window for an unspecified amount of time, picked up my charcoal, pen and drawing pad, caught the “T” to Forrest Hills. Found a secluded spot near the top of Bussey Hill. Settled under the shade of the tree, to absorb all nature had to offer: from the bicycle riders on the path below to the lichens on the trees nearby, from the butterfly in the air above to the creatures on the ground. Soothed by the play of the sun and shadow, the lovely color of the flowering plants nearby, I took up my pen and began to draw and write: A wisp of grass Began to wiggle A light breeze Or an insect The bird let me know Breakfast.
    Miriam Allman
  • Went with my mom, family and friends over the years, recently became member for educational opportunity.
    Theresa McQuade
  • I don’t have an amazing Arb story or specific memory, but we do have a couple of trees on our property that came from yearly plant giveaway which are admired and have changed the progression of the gardens around the house.
    Bill Manley
  • I learned a lot in my first class in 1975. Some classes were given at the Arboretum, and others at the instructor's residence in Newton. Later that year I was stunned to receive in the mail a French lilac, as a Member Benefit. When I moved away from the Boston area I considered which of my friends had the most stable marriage. I root-pruned the lilac, and in the fall gave it to those friends in Lincoln, MA. It thrives to this day.
    Margot Deck
  • Since we introduced our sons to the Arboretum when they were very young, now 45 years old and 40 years old, they still go to the Arboretum often with their friends and our grandchild. The boys know the Arboretum inside and out. Everyday after school when they were young and did not want to do homework after school they knew what they wanted to do and that was load their bikes into the van and off we would go to the Arboretum. It was their time to chill out and let the excess energy of sitting in a classroom all day get tossed to the wind. And they loved it.
    Judy Ulman
  • During my first visit in the 1980s we collected a Cedrus libani cone, grew some seedlings and there is now a large tree on a college campus from that collection.
    Glenn D Dreyer
  • Wonderful sunday morning strolls.
    Stephen Napolitano
  • Back in the 1950's and 60's I lived in Roslindale a few blocks from the arboretum. My father used to bring us there for walks and to see the fireworks on July 4th. I remember the Hoodsie cups!
    Deborah Andrade
  • The very first time we visited the Arboretum, I was delighted to watch a young mother teaching her young child how to roll down a hill! And every time it snowed, my dog and I would look at each other...and head without question to the Arboretum to enjoy the open space and beauty in the snow.
    Ruth Schechter
  • Each time I visit I am reminded of the sharing that is possible between countries and continents and learn something new of the history of the sharing that is possible between increasingly different cultures.
    Victoria K
  • I was raised on a farm and so was always surrounded by nature. When I was looking for a senior community, the proximity to the Arboretum made Springhouse an easy choice. I come to the Arboretum every day and enjoy the many wonderful trees and flowers and when really lucky, the visiting blue heron or egret. When asked why I go on rainy days, I say, 'oh, but the smells are so enhanced and lovely when different trees and different earth and wood chips are wet and the sound of rain dripping off of leaves is so soothing. I also am a rising photographer and always find something worthy of a close-up! The Arb is such a special part of my life and I thank all who answer my questions and provide such a wonderful and well-kept haven.
    Patricia J. Burns
  • I have been coming to the Arboretum for over 30 years. I first started coming when I was in college and my boyfriend brought me here (he lived in JP). Later we got married and our first apartment was on nearby street. Soon we moved to Roslindale. We started a family and some of the first outings our babies had were at the Arboretum. Our teens have grown up loving and appreciating the beauty of this green space in the city. Each year we bring friends and family to see the lilacs, or the Rhododendron Path, the peonies, or the magnolias in bloom. I love that we each have our own favorite places and favorite trees that we visit during different seasons. Its a place of calming beauty for each of us.
    Annie Spitz
  • College at Emerson in Boston. Met wife there and had some adventures in the Arboretum. Thought our marriage would happen there. Then reality struck. To far for parents to travel, cost of rooms, etc. Always consider it a missed opportunity.
    Ken B
  • On July 29th ,2012 I planned a community guided tour outing for ten individuals who are differently abled, Some members missed this opportunity due to persona needs barriers ,the ones who attended were all first time visitors. We were greeted by two of the most delightful and knowledgeable Docents. This experience lead to a quality of life enjoyment reminiscing ,taking pictures ,sharing the pictures a new found connection to being outside in nature again ,due to COVID-19 we have all missed socialization with others and nature this was was prefect day. Every person that attended can't wait until I plan another visit. We are all so grateful that we live in Boston and can visit again.
    Glory Wideman-Hughes
  • I used to live nearby, in Roslindale. I was there almost every week. It was a sanctuary for me from the craziness of the city.
  • I remember one time going for a particularly long walk in the Arboretum and discovering parts of it I had never seen before. It was magical! It felt like I was in the English countryside and I had this vast expanse mostly to myself with just the occasional passerby. And to think I could experience this beauty and splendor every day! Thank you!
    Taz Hussein
  • I love the lectures,tree mobs ,publications,being a tr ee spotter and a nest watcher. The conifer collection gives me great comfort
    Joan LeBel
  • On one of my walks around Peter's Hill I heard a lot of cawing and turned around and saw 3 crows chasing a hawk. They were only about 10 feet behind the hawk and almost the same size. This happened only about 10 feet from me.
    Cheryl Studley-Straut
  • My wife and I grew up in JP. We dated here, over 40 years ago. Today, we still visit regularly and take our kids and grandkids here. Living in the City and having this beautiful property close by for our family to enjoy, observe and discuss the changing Seasons is priceless.
    Alan Coakley
  • Are use the Arnold Arboretum for walking meditation and it simply open my mind looking at the beauty of nature.
  • It was really easy organizing a university alumni event at the Arboretum. The docent was very friendly and knowledgeable, too. Despite the event getting rained on causing it to end early, what we were able to experience was a lot of fun and a great time of bonding. Ending the event indoors where folks could enjoy the little museum/history was great, too, as not everyone stops in the main building for that piece.
  • I used to live on Fairview, close to the Mendum street gates and have walked the arboretum for the past 25 plus years. During the pandemic when I went remote, I got up every morning, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and walked for at least an hour. I never walked in the Arb(I'm a Rozzident of 16 years lol) in the Winter/cold weather nor did I do a sunrise walk, because I was always commuting to Harvard Sq. I love the nature, sounds, trees, birds, little animals that come and go through the seasons. The Arb gave me peace when the world was literally crazy, politically, environmentally and health-wise. I see all the early morning regulars and we greet each other and have a little chat. I loved seeing the ponds getting cleaned and hearing the frogs and turtles squawking again. I'd love to take an official tour sometime, just to hear the history and the plans for the years ahead.
    Meg Kelly
  • We have been ardent Tree Spotters for the past six years. By doing this, we have grown to "know" closely over a dozen trees, as well as opened our eyes to the amazing ways that trees grow and develop.
    Beth and Kevin Mahar
  • Since we moved to the Boston area in 1985, I have always enjoyed the arboretum and to be honest, rather taken it for granted. Now, over the years, there have been so many connections that have been meaningful. When our 19 year old son died in 1997, we created a memorial garden at his high school. I went to the Arboretum to ask for advice on where to look for Japanese maples. Later I inquired about camellias, and was so pleased to find the Arboretum had a few. When my grandchildren were born, we often celebrated Mother’s Day on Lilac Sunday. And now an arboretum lilac, from one of those Sundays when I gave my son a membership, included a small lilac that is in their yard. But it is really during the Pandemic, that I have felt so connected when we made our way over to experience the Arboretum. And I found the programs with the Harvard Art Museum with the Painting Edo exhibit outstanding. I sent all the links to friends and family. Also loved the directors lecture series on pecan trees and sent those links on too.
    Rosalie Bookston
  • In early December I moved my beloved wife who was nearing the end of a long haul with early-onset Alzheimer’s to a memory care unit at Springhouse where I could also live in an apartment in independent living. Both before she mercifully died in late January and ever since I have walked 2 hrs daily in the arboretum after breakfast usually just after sunrise. Simply put, these walks have been my salvation. I shall always be grateful. I felt honored to make a sizable donation to the Arnold Arboretum a few months ago. I hope to do some volunteer work at the arboretum in the near future as a way of giving back.
    Rev. Dr. Gordon Postill
  • I worked there for five years and it is very dear to me.
  • My friend and I both live in JP and xc ski. During and after big snowstorms we often meet by the lilacs to enjoy these sometimes serene and sometimes intense outings, sometimes by day and sometimes by night and by moonlight. I’m incredibly grateful for these xc skis when, clothed in fresh snow, the Arboretum is as beautiful as any place in the world.
    Rob Fettig
  • In 2020 I began walking almost daily in the Arboretum and found myself exploring paths I had never walked on before. One of my favorites is the Hickory Path, accessed from the Conifer Path, because one passes through some unmanicured woods before emerging again in a more cultivated area. Eventually I discovered the Osage orange tree there, a tree I remembered from childhood, but one I had not seen in the northeast. Over weeks, I watched the tree fruit, saw the fruit mature (it is so weird), noticed when it fell from the tree, covering the ground with beautiful green balls, saw squirrels attacking the fruit and carrying it whole in their mouths, then demolishing the fruit until the ground was littered with pieces of it. Happiness, for the squirrels and for me.
    Helen P. Netos
  • I have loved bringing my children as they grow and seeing how different they see/experience the arboretum as the years pass.
  • I go with a friend at least once a year and we study something in particular. One year we were excited about hornbeams ("Muscular bark"), another year we focused on acorns and worked at distinguishing the shape and bark of different types of oak trees.
    Susan Falkoff
  • Halleluya!
  • I got to marry the man of my dreams surrounded by nature without breaking the bank. I look forward to visiting that spot and walking thr grounds every year to mark the passing of time and to look back on that special moment we got to share in a place that is so public yet so intimate.
    Mary Darling
  • The Arboretum is my happy place. This wonderful is changing all the time and it is full of surprises. I have no words to describe how magical this place has become to me and my children. It feels like home. We respect the no picnics rule and the no climbing trees rule and honestly it's just a place for free nature connection. I love it, my children love it and it has become not only a place for joy and walks but also a place for play and learn. It's our family school and it's my main connection to nature. I grew up in Mexico city and I did not have to much nature play during my childhood except for when I was spending my summers at my grandmothers. The arboretum bring me back to my outdoor biology trips and to my free-play childhood days. I try to offer that to my children when we go there. I am so grateful to live so near by and to have free access to this unique and wonderful public space.
  • Regrettably, I was not able to enjoy walks in the Arboretum during the COVID shut down because of the closed restrooms. The programs on line have been excellent, however.
    Katharine Howard
  • During the pandemic, the way I could connect with people, enjoy natural beauty, and try to stay fit was to walk in the Arboretum. I did that regularly, masked, with multiple friends and I’m so so grateful that the Arboretum is in my neighborhood and available to all at no cost. What a gift.
    Linda Jackson
  • There is so much to share. I'm just amazed at how I can continue to discover new things despite how many times I've come over the past two years. I often use the database to create maps for myself and locate specific trees on the campus using the GPS coordinates, to reinforce my learning and be able to make fine distinctions, such a the difference between Q. velutina and Q. rubra from the bark itself. On one occasion, after discovering the Paperbark Filbert by the Mendum Street gate, I learned, by searching it in the database, that there were four or five more right behind me! I have learned to look around and SEE what I'm looking at. It's quite possible to say that the Arboretum has saved my life by providing me a constructive outlet and a low-cost way to sate my curiosity and desire to learn -- a place to go when everything feels like it's out of control.
    Richard Smyth
  • I’m growing 300 dawn redwoods and bought an 8.5 acre lot to plant a grove. Visit your trees to get ideas.
    Jon Crowell
  • I love that we have a place to take our young son to enjoy natures and go exploring! It is such a beautiful resource and we are incredibly grateful. Also an amazing place to take a jog or bike ride when I want to exercise.
  • See my Tree Spotters story.
    Suzanne Mrozak
  • Every year I look forward to the lilacs You have such a beautiful extensive collection. I do not go on Lilac Sunday because it is too crowded, but I always make sure to go during the week before or after.
  • I took Jack Alexander's propagation class in 2010. Several plants grown from cuttings and seeds collected in that class are growing happily in my yard. I think of that class every time I look at these plants, ie every day.
    Lisa Brayton
  • I moved to JP about 30 years ago. I never really knew much about the Arboretum before then. Now I go to the Arboretum several times a week to see the seasonal shifts, learn about plants, look at birds and I look forward to volunteering with the school program. We are so lucky to live in walking distance since it is an incredible nature opportunity in the city.
    Sally Cheek
  • My (now 12 yo) one year-old finding hidden Easter eggs quite accidentally on an early morning Easter Sunday walk.
    Amy Coe
  • I first visited the Arboretum in the fall of 1969 as part of a dendrology class for first-year forestry students at UNH. I still have the brochure I received. It was a fantastic introduction to the subject. After my career in forestry and forest pathology, primarily in Maine, my daughter became a resident of Roslindale. I now have a great incentive to travel to and visit the Arboretum more frequently than I have.
    William D. Ostrofsky
  • In a year where I was separated from family and friends abroad, the arboretum was my refuge. I would walk a 5 mile loop and talk to loved ones at home while breathing in the beauty of nature and huffing and puffing my way up Peter’s Hill or wandering through the meadow where the birds nest. One day I came across a bird on the side of the pathway. It let me get too close and didn’t look well. As I was wondering what to do, I spied a park warden and was very happy to hear that you partner with a rescue center. I hope that I helped that little Bluejay. It felt a little as if I was giving something back to the environment that had sustained me through a difficult year. Exploring the pathways and landscapes of the Arnold arboretum was a wonderful respite. It’s hard to feel lonely when surrounded by beautiful nature. Thank you for all that you do!
    Emma Varsanyi
  • I can't pull any particular one out of my memory--there are so many visits over 30 years. I can say the area where the stream rushes downhill (often) between stands of rhododendrons reminds me very much of the western north carolina mountains where I grew up. I go there in spring and summer to feel that sense of home. Taking my mother who was visiting there years ago was sweet.
  • I've not been. I've heard about Arnoldia and fairly recently came across "Notes from the Collections", if I recall the name correctly. I think botanical gardens and arboreta are essential infrastructure and educational tools forwarding conservation efforts on many fronts, including the Doug Tallamy message of "Bringing Nature Home". It's not out there folks!
    Jeffery L. Johnson
  • I visited the new research facility when it first opened and was impressed with its commitment to the future.
    Clinton Heitman
  • Watching a single tree wake and sleep over the passing seasons, seeing it interact with its neighbors and the local birds and bees, enjoying its majesty, sitting in its shade, smelling its flowers, and taking in all of the innumerable acts of generosity this single tree provides. Returning home and reading about the mind-boggling complexity of its biology. The Arboretum is one of the most magical places urban places that I have ever been blessed to visit.
  • I understand the pull of the lilacs, but the peek of the crabapples blossoms on the easterly slope of Peters Hill are truly majestic. They deserve their own "day".
  • My husband and I moved to WR in 1974 and have been walking in the Arboretum for over 45 years. Our daughter took her 1st steps on Meadow Road. Now we are sharing our love for the Arboretum with her children as we explore new paths with our grandchildren.
    Doris Corbo
  • Toured the bonsai collection. What a jewel. Loves the lilacs.
    Gayle Rosenfeld
  • After 9/11 I came to the Arboretum for solace.
  • My first time ever setting foot in New England was the weekend that I arrived at the Arnold to begin my summer student internship. I immediately felt welcomed by both the Arboretum staff as well as my host family in Jamaica Plain (arranged through the Arnold). It only took a matter off minutes that very first day to realize that my internship was not going to be just an ordinary internship at an ordinary public garden. I was immersed in US horticultural history and engaged with many amazing contemporaries in botany and horticulture among the Arnold staff - persons that have been leaders and mentors for many public garden industry professionals like me.
    Paul Pfeifer
  • The arboretum has provided countless small moments of joy, from posing my infant son (now 28) on a tree branch for a picture, to teaching him to bike on the paths, to the plants we grow at home that the arboretum provided, to the deep joy I get from looking at the plants and trees singly and as a landscape. I grew up near Central Park and love that my connection to Olmsted's efforts continue throughout my life. My wife and I love our time together in the arboretum.
    Joshua Abrams
  • Love the beauty, diversity and that it is in the middle of an urban city.
  • I enjoy being with plants I propagated in Jacks class in the 1980s.
    Nancy Weaver
  • This past 18 months the Arboretum has been our refuge from the pandemic, central to regaining emotional and physical strength. We have lived in JP for 40 years and marked the seasons of our lives there. Autumn leaves. Cross country’s skiing and great horned owls in winter. Trillium and dove tree in spring. This spring, coyotes at Bussey Brook Meadow and Pups yelping just as the rhododendrons and azaleas peaked across the road. Spectacular.
    Emily Achtenberg
  • When I worked at the Arboretum, I always took the longest, slowest possible route to my office in the Hunnewell Building. It lowered my blood pressure every time, no matter what else was happening in my life!
  • I love witch hazels. They lift my spirits so much by being in bloom so early! Since they are shrubs, you can see the flowers even if there is snow on the ground, unlike bulbs. I now have several of my own. But before that I used to make an annual pilgrimage to the Arboretum, to see the witch hazels in bloom. I went on President's Day, since my office had the day off. The records/maps of the Arboretum made it possible for me to find where there is a collection of several witch hazels.
    Mabel Liang
  • My Family & I have all taken many pleasurable walks in & around the many trails in the Arboretum. We have enjoyed visiting there for All of the 4 Seasons & have many beautiful photos of the changing of the landscapes. There is one tree that I'm most fond of & I was overjoyed to see that as the years have gone by & "My tree" has aged... there is another one beside it to perhaps continue it's beauty & fascination for someone else.
    Natalie Giannangelo
  • My first trip to the Arboretum was on June 14, 1999, two days after my husband and I were married. We'd had company in town all weekend, and were delaying our honeymoon until fall. We wanted to do something we'd never done before, and spent the day at the Arboretum.
    Ellen Todd
  • Japanese maple seedlings are now 20 years old trees in my garden ( sorry if I should not have taken / saved them from your land mower ; I can provide pictures) And one event with woodturners 3-4 years ago) inspired me to become a wood turner and turning a piece of wood from the arboretum is very special to me.
    François Huet
  • I have too many stories. I cannot choose just one. Maybe visiting Nikko in Japan a few weeks after reading an Arnoldia article about an early plant explorer's visit to Nikko and recognizing the trees in the landscape today from the photos taken a century ago. The blend of history, art, design, botany, ecology, geography, never fails to stimulate and delight.
    Patricia Suhrcke
  • I've been walking there with friends and family for over 50 years, and have also been there w/garden club for informative day sessions.
  • In the days I used to run I would try to include a trip through the Arboretum as there was always something to see and keep me going. One solitary morning as I ran from Bussey Hill I passed the Dove tree and a gentle breeze caused the flowers to flutter down all around me at once. It felt so incredible and magical, like nature calling out to me and letting me in on a secret. That memory is imprinted strongly in me so that each year around that time, I visit to try to witness the flowering of the Dove tree and whoever is with me gets the recounting of my run and the magical flowers!
  • Love the place and the staff, but can not visit you when I want to go.
    Alfonso E. Sierra
  • I have been visiting and the Arnold Arboretum since I arrived in Boston/Cambridge in 1958 to attend college. It has been a place of refuge and learning. I have especially cherished the plant sales and giveaways, and many of the favorite items in my garden come from Arboretum seedlings. As a long-time bonsai enthusiast I have always been drawn to the amazing Larz Anderson Bonsai collection at the Arboretum. I noticed that over the years the collection had languished and become somewhat static, so back in 2015 I made a dramatic contribution of ten of the finest bonsai from my own private collection along with some heirloom pots and a sizable collection of bonsai books and publications plus substantial donations ($5000 per tree) for the curation and maintenance of the collection. Some of these trees had been exhibited in the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, the Topsfield Fair and other venues. One had been featured on the cover of the Journal of the American Bonsai Society. I hope that in the future the collections will help the Arboretum to become a center of bonsai learning and appreciation.
    Martin Klein
  • COVID has multiplied the pivotal role of the Arboretum in our life. Based on this we have collected money to resurrect Mrs. Houghton and Mrs. Webster's other projects.
  • My friend and I went on a great tour of the Arboretum led by Bill Beizer. He told great stories and pointed out interesting facts, actively engaged all the participants, and taught us a lot about trees, plants, and the history of the Arboretum. Can't wait to do it again!
  • I am a longterm walker of the Arnold Arboretum and only recently have I had time to explore the collections and learn more about the background work that sustains the park.
    Marilyn Meuninck
  • Mom and Dad took us there when we were kids. Years later my Morris Dance Team performed at Mothers day celebrations. I dont get there very often but am thrilled to see on instagram and Email letters from Ned.
  • Years ago, being new to the city and wanting to see everything, I made my first visit to the Arboretum. I happening on a very informed and dedicated guide - Buzzy? -giving a talk all about the ginkgo tree near the entrance. I was sold, and what a wonderful way it was!
    Marcia K. Petersen
  • When I was considering moving to Boston, I specifically chose to live within walking distance of the arboretum because having access to a large and well maintained green space was an important priority for me and my family. As a result, we visit the arboretum every day, noting the subtle shifts in the plants and trees, and always discovering new little nooks and crannies. During the pandemic, the arboretum was one of the only ways we were able to safely get outside. It's hard to image living anywhere else.
    Daniel Harsha
  • I moved to the Peter's Hill neighborhood on a snowy, January day. As the sun was setting, I ventured through the Mendum Street gate and trekked up the hill just in time to see brilliant sunset colors forming a canopy over the Boston skyline.
    Ruth Kahn
  • Walking in deep, fresh snow among the conifers, noticing the silence, the stillness. Seeing how the snow lay upon the branches, sometimes bending them with it's weight. Everything was fresh and new.
    Maureen Finegan
  • I've been visiting the Arboretum since the 1970's while on family walks. I love living nearby to enjoy the incredible diversity of flora throughout the year.
    Sam McGraw
  • Being able to see and touch the artifacts in the library and see the library's historically significant book collection are remarkable experiences to have in the heart of a big city, and so accessible - with kind and enthusiastic staff who seem to feel the same intrigue being around those artifacts and books as I do.
    Cris Blackstone
  • After wandering the Arboretum for years, starting when my children were young, I had the honor of writing about this international treasure for the British garden quarterly HORTUS -- each of four installments focused on a woody plant that shines in that season and tells the Arboretum's story. A wonderful opportunity to delve into the past, present and future of this incomparable public and scholarly resource with Ned, Michael and all the brilliant staff.
    Sukie Amory
  • There are so many stories with the children. Just enjoying seeing the wonder in their faces and the discoveries they make on their own.....they see everything...many things we's magic to be with them in the landscape.
    Sara Driscoll
  • A desire to include me in the arboretum.
    Richard Churchill
  • Ned Friedman sends these wonderful email updates on things going on at the moment and suggests checking out. I do check them out and they are, indeed wonderful.
    Ora Gladstone
  • We relocated to Boston during pandemic to be near our grown daughters and grandchildren. We have been in proximity to the Arboratum and enjoy walking, exploring amazing plants and trees. During one such visit, accidentally, we met Mr. Ned Friedman who introduced himself as the director of the Arboratum and encouraged us to sign up to receive informational emails from him and the Arboratum. We received a very pleasant email from him shortly, became very interested in the programs Arboratum offers. By now, we have taken a few walking yours, explored web site, became a member and hoping to grow/ help others by becoming a docent this fall.
  • I remember coming as a child and enjoying the cork tree. Years later I brought my own children to see the cork trees.
    Betsy Pollock
  • Four years ago British Foresters visited your beautiful Arboretum.
  • The Arboretum was my only garden when we first moved to the Boston area in the early 1980's. Hubby took me to my first Lilac Sunday in 1983 and I became a member. I have been to lectures and classes and, of course, many Lilac Sundays. Even though I have moved away, I still keep my membership and try to get there whenever I get back for a visit. Keep up the good work.
    Martha Clouse
  • The Arboretum's grounds were neglected and poorly kept when I first visited in 1987. Today, the grounds keeping crews do a better job of maintaining the landscape than I've ever seen in my 34 years of visiting.
  • I value the opportunity to freely roam through the collections and learn by observing the plants. Here's a service you could consider providing: Make your digital archives available to researchers and/or members on line, something like the USDA GRIN website. I bet there are many people (like myself) who would like to learn more about the source of original plant material, discovery records, documented observations, narratives, etc. This could be a paid-for service. Allowing interesting persons access to that information would hugely increase the value of the arboretum.
    John Bunker
  • The "arbs" have been part of my life and a great place to be part of. I worked in the Arboretum as part of my JPHS agricultural courses back in 1966.
    Daniel B. Scanlan
  • Lilac Sundays remind me of my Mom who absolutely loved those amazing sights and smells!
  • I volunteered working every day in the greenhouse. Everything I learned that summer greatly enlarged my understanding of plants and horticulture and has been invaluable in cultivating my own garden.
    Judith Siporin
  • I love trees and the Arboretum's singular landscape and mission are appealing to any tree lover.
    Janet Stotsky
  • It's a wonderful beautiful place.
    Sue M. Rasala
  • During times of stress and anxiety, the Arboretum provided a space to step away, run, and end up with the strength and calm to carry on!
  • When I lived in Boston and later in Brookline, I brought my children to play, walk, explore, run, exhaust themselves, and climb on the cork tree. We would go to the Chinese handkerchief tree and make up stories about it. We looked at all the Bonsai, and then we went to Allandale farms for a treat for dinner. It was, along with Jamaica Pond, Allandale farm, the Brandige estate with the horses, and the cemetery , lush nature in the midst of the city and much safer than Franklin Park. The kids got messy and dirty, but had wonderful times and slowly learned the names of trees and bushes. A couple of years ago, my teenage grandson was with me on a hot day when water started spraying out all over the top of the hill. he was so excited.That was a miraculous art installation and the best one of several by the same Japanese artist, I think.
    Kyra Montagu
  • I was one of first two women employed as grounds department interns summer of 1974. Loved coworkers and work on collections.
    Elizabeth Howley
  • The arboretum is a destination for friends to meet in nature for informal picnicking and walking, brushing up on our tree i.d., and learning about new plants. We found spaces to meet off the marked paths and made them our home-base for the day. From there we could venture up to the top of a hill for a city view, or over to the Leventritt garden to see what was in bloom. I am always intrigued by what goes on behind the scenes and would like to have more opportunities to understand and learn about the ongoing operations and research efforts.
  • My father in law visited regularly as a boy with his father and brothers. his dad used to hide Hersey bars in the crotches of trees and challenge the boys to find them. A great form of exploring.
    Margie and Mark Hanson
  • As part of the IPPS conference a few years back, we took a tour of the Arboretum. I was greatly impressed by the mapping software and ability to create custom itineraries based on one's interest. It was also amazing to see the depth of data and biodiversity that is found within the landscape. In my professional role, we have worked with Arboretum staff to include appropriate herbaceous plant material in the understory, creating a more balanced plant community and enriching the Arboretum's ecology.
    Alexis Doshas
  • When the pandemic hit, the Arboretum became my family's happy place as well as my and my husband's gym. I've always been able to find peace of mind here. I decided, since the Arboretum had helped us through and still does today, that I would give my husband a membership for his birthday. It's been a great present!
    M. Groth
  • In my childhood, our family would visit the Arboretum most Sundays. When a new sister was born into the family, my parents suggested we find a young tree in the garden and name it for my sister,, who’s name is Ellen. One November day, many years ago, I visited the Arboretum with a friends and was amazed to find a Mongolian apricots in full bloom. Moments later we heard cries of anxiety and pain end it was at that moment that we learned that President Kennedy had been assassinated. It is one of the most poignant memories of my life. After my Harvard years I moved away, first to South America, then Europe and the Middle East. Now, living in New York, I am a regular at the New York and Brooklyn Botanical gardens, perhaps pale substitutes for the Arnold Arboretum. I can never really forget or replace those early recollections and never forget Lilac Sunday at the Arboretum, which I provided for in my will.
    J. Gregory Lynch
  • the single giant metasequoia is a particular joy in all seasons.
    Edward R. Wolpow
  • I first stumbled upon the Arnold Arboretum in 1998 when I moved into my very first apartment in Jamaica Plain in a brick building on South Street just around the corner from the Forest Hills Gate. I found my way into this magical place while exploring the area on my skateboard and I wandered up Bussey Hill and then rode my skateboard down. This became my regular afterwork routine, interspersed with resting on my back on the side of Bussey Hill amongst the various trees while watching the cloud float by and inhaling the aromas of whatever happened to be blooming. I didn't know it at the time, but I was taking care of myself with these regular visits and the Arnold Arboretum quickly became my escape, my safe place and a true comfort. As soon as I entered the gate, I felt myself soften, breathing deeper and more easily and I noticed that I simply felt better no matter what else was going on in my busy urban life. Fast forward to 2017 when I got trained and certified as a forest therapy guide, the Arnold Arboretum was very receptive when I proposed guiding forest bathing programs here and I have since guided dozens of programs. Over the past 22 years, the Arnold Arboretum has been the most constant and sturdy relationship I've had and it continues to blossom.
    Tam Willey
  • Peter Ashton was Director, the Nieman fellows were visiting and after Peter's welcome at the Hunnewell Building, I led half of the group on a tour of the Living Collection. There was great interest in seeing an endangered species. Franklinia alatamaha was the example I presented them with.
    Ethan Johnson
  • In early May this year I celebrated my 60th birthday. Over Covid, I had been deeply moved by books about trees, including Braiding Sweetgrass and The Overstory, and our book group had read both of them. Our group is made up of friends of a lifetime, from 42 years to just a few years ago. We hadn't seen each other in person as a group in 16 months or so, although we'd stayed connected through zoom. When I contemplated how to mark this milestone birthday, I came across an article about Forest Bathing. Having spent countless hours and walked countless miles in the Arboretum over Covid, I knew how healing being in nature was and began to envision a birthday celebration like none other. I reached out to a Forest Bathing guide and made a plan for a weekend afternoon in the Arboretum -- their favorite place to guide-- a few days after my birthday. I invited this special group of dear friends to join me---and they all said yes. When we met at the Bussey Gate, our guide was witness to each reunion of joy and tears, each first hug and greeting. We spent the next 3 hours deep in the heart of the Arboretum---sitting, walking, sensing, and sharing. It was a remarkable afternoon that I still hear about from my friends months later. The Arboretum was a perfect setting to ease back into being together, surrounded by mother trees and new growth, budding flowers and deep aromas of earth. I'm so grateful for this resource a mile away from my home.
    Sara Smolover
  • One of my fondest memories as a small child was going to the Arboretum with my family to see the lilacs and giant trees. As a child growing up in Dorchester it was like going on vacation!
    Patty Shaughnessy
  • My dearest cousin, who lived in Scotland, was a well known urban planner with a strong interest in gardening (Google: The Lost Garden, Roger Kelly). He encouraged me to read books about Patrick Geddes, Frederick Law Olmsted, and other visionary planners. I would tell him about the arboretum, my walks, and some of the events occurring there (just a few blocks from my house). During the pandemic, I began walking in the arboretum daily, usually in early evening, but occasionally in the mornings, too, taking lots of photos, which I would send to my cousin on What’s App with descriptions or a related anecdote. One morning, I posted a map of the arboretum shown at one of the information spots, along with some photos of the area by the two ponds; my cousin had always loved maps (he was responsible for the refurbishment of The Great Polish Map of Scotland), and we had a fun back-and-forth What’s App conversation about my exact location and what I could see/what he could visualize from looking at the map and my photos. Summer turned to Autumn; I documented the changing colors of the landscape and kept him up to date with the arboretum’s overall transformation. My return to the workplace meant that my walks became shorter in the evenings as the sun set earlier each night. Meanwhile, in Scotland, my cousin’s life was becoming more and more restricted; Covid rules there left him unable to venture beyond his house and garden (there is a wonderful photo of him in his greenhouse, reading an urban planning book I sent him), so he lived vicariously while I roamed at will over acres of carefully chosen and tended plant life. Sadly, he died the day after Thanksgiving after many years of living with kidney cancer, having never had the opportunity to visit the arboretum in person. When I walk there now, the beauty and peace of the arboretum are present as always, but the space holds memories of my beloved cousin as well—of the things he taught me about the historic figures who pioneered designs for community, the importance of dedicated public and green spaces and environmentally sound planning—most of all, the memory of daily shared joy in the loveliness of this spot, when I was unable to travel to Scotland and he was unable to venture beyond his garden gate. For that, I thank you.
    Sheila McAllister Scott
  • Walking my dog early in the morning we were passed by two coyotes - we were both super excited for different reasons, she didn’t pull on the leash (at first) as we simply watched the pair trot past.
  • Enjoyed running through the lilac gauntlet in full bloom in pouring rain in an empty Arboretum during COVID.
  • When free plants were given to members, I selected two yellow wood trees collected by one of Harvard's botanists. There are now 15 ft high and I am waiting for them to bloom one of these years. Too bad that program was stopped.
    Stephen C. Snyder
  • When we lived in Madison, Wi we enjoyed their lilac collection. When we moved here and learned about the Arboretum's collection and the celebration on Lilac Sunday we were hooked!
  • I’ve been ill and only working part time. Over the spring we started going to the Arboretum for a walk each week. Photographing trees and flowers got me outside and walking. New plants to see each week. What a joy!
    Deborah Jesurum