Somerville Garden Club

Garden in the Woods Opens April 15

New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods opens its 2011 season April 15.

The theme for the 2011 season is People, Plants, and Pollinators. New interpretive signage explains the importance and role of native plants in New England and develops the horticulture and conservation messages of using native plants in different New England habitats and gardens. The Idea Garden has undergone a face lift with expanded ideas and conservation messaging presented. The Invasive Plant Jail has been moved to this location, providing a stronger location for the message to visitors about the problems arising in New England from the spread of these invaders and what can be done about them. Also, in the Idea Garden, an expanded edible garden and herb garden give visitors a fascinating view of native edible plants and medicinal herbs.

Last winter, a significant amount of tree work was performed in the Garden which opened up the canopy above many of the flower beds to more light. Trees had been allowed over the years to grow mightily from tiny specimens of the 1930s. By opening up the canopy, the Garden will be able to feature more native plant species and recognize its heritage from the 1930s and 1940s when the trees were much lower and not shading the area so much. The stock beds, which have not been used for many years, are being refurbished to allow the Society to grow many plants for sale which need this habitat.

The Garden’s season extends through October 31, 2011, Tuesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From April 15 through July 4, extended hours are scheduled on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to give the public a chance for an early morning walk or to catch the perfect light for photographing native plant species in bloom. Admission fees are $10 for Adults 18-64, $7 for Seniors 65+, and $5 for Youths 3-17. Last admissions are one-half hour before closing. Guided walking tours are offered free with paid admission when the Garden is open weekdays at 10 a.m. and weekends at 2 p.m.

Three exhibits are planned for the season;

  • June 15 – August 31: Native BUZZ: Creative Container Gardening for Pollinators
  • August 17 – September 21: People, Plants, & Pollinators Take 1-Photo Show of Historic Photos
  • September 21 – October 31: People, Plants, & Pollinators Take 2-Photo Show

This botanic paradise was begun in 1931 when Will C. Curtis purchased 30 acres to create his dream of a “big wildflower sanctuary in which plants will be grown, their likes and dislikes discovered, and the knowledge gained passed on in an effort to curb the wholesale destruction of our most beautiful natives.” Thirty-four years later Curtis and his partner Howard Stiles deeded the property to New England Wild Flower Society. The Garden was then expanded to 45 acres with new plantings along new trails and in extended habitats. The beauty and charm of the original Garden, with winding paths and a choice collection of rare and beautiful plants, are still hallmarks of the Garden today. With more than 1,000 native plant species and 100 rare and endangered species, the Garden is an ever-blooming place to visit spring, summer, and fall and learn about native plants and sustainable gardening.

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