Thursday, May 24, 2007

Not about knitting!

And not because I'm not knitting - I totally am - but because I can't stop talking about, thinking about The Arnold Arboretum. I was just there twice in as many weeks for work and it is SPECTACULAR. If you live nearby and have never visited, go! go! go! Its even worth braving that Boston traffic and weird lights (whats up with the blinking yellow instead of green?) and those wacky "rotaries".
The Arnold really must be one of the most amazing horticultural sites in the US. They have at least two specimens that were the first of their species ever brought to America (Davidia, the dove tree, and Metasequoia, dawn redwood). The arboretum was founded in 1872 so many of the trees are mature to say the least. Better yet, the siting of these trees in the landscape is so dreamy and romantic. My favorite spots: the Aesculus (horse-chestnut) collection - which will probably be close to peak this weekend, so is going to be glorious (and crowded. People ruin everything!); the birch collection (don't get mired in the lilac collection as you pass - just smell them as you walk by and continue to those big, shady birches, so beautifully sited); and finally, and best of all: the spruce collection.
I'm not specifically a spruce fan - in fact, I'm rather indifferent about them on the whole. But the Arnold's collection defies description. Its like something from Lord of the Rings, which is to say, its like something from New Zealand. The silhouettes of the trees are so dramatic, and there are so many cultivars grouped together, and they are so tall, that it really feels like somewhere far, far away. Somewhere exotic. Like a fairyland, really.
So, bring a lunch, bring your sweetie, wear your walking shoes and spend the day exploring. If I lived in Boston, I would!

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