Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tower Hill Botanic Garden

For Mother's Day, we went south to Worcester, Ma., to visit Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Although it rained later, the weather was perfect while we were there, and the gardens were gorgeous. First, we stepped out of the Visitor Center onto a little plaza, and saw Castor spitting water on his brother Pollux.

Pollux was returning the favor from across the pool.

Nearby was the Systematic Garden, a formal arrangement of plants by botanical classification. These were arranged by family, with information as to economic importance, medicinal use, etc. Some relationships are easy to see, but some were quite surprising. The information provided said they expect to be changing things around, as more DNA analysis of plants takes place.I think it may be jJust another way to confound gardeners trying to figure out what plant they have!

From there, we headed up a wooded trail to an overlook, with views of the nearby Wachusett Reservoir. Definitely worth the climb.

We then followed the trails around through the Inner Park area. This is former farmland that has been allowed to undergo reforestation. It is now being managed to make sure that what is growing up is a nice collection of native trees. The plants are discreetly labeled, and frequent small signs give more information about the plants and their management. Also sprinkled among all the winding side trails are a bunch of fun artifacts like this folly.

There are a number of large urns. I thought the decoration on this one was particularly beautiful.

We also came upon a Temple of Peace in a very quiet area of the woods.

Soon after that, the woods opened out onto a wildlife meadow and pond. Again, these are managed to encourage native plants and wildlife. Well, I guess the large field of daffodils at the top of the hill isn't native, but it is beautiful.

Probably because of the large number of people visiting that day (free admission for Mothers), we didn't see much wildlife here, except a very active flock of Red-winged Blackbird, and a bunch of chipmunks.  This one stared us down for quite awhile.

We went from the meadow area to a clearing set up with birdfeeders and a blind for watching the birds. This area was supervised by Pan. My daughter tried to conduct him as he played his pipes, but he didn't seem to be inteested in cooperating. 

This led in to the wildest area of the gardens. This is the only place where there were not frequent benches, and we seemed to be the only ones walking there. It wasn't worrisome till we got to the sign about bears and bobcats. We didn't see any of them, though.  Probably just as well.

We came out of the woods into one of the orchard areas of the garden. I think the sign said the apple tree collection stands at 119 different varieties, and is still growing.

This led us back to the Farmhouse area with vegetable gardens, and formal flower gardens. There is a soon-to-be Secret Garden (when the plants get big enough) that is absolutely stunning. Easy to see why brides like to have pictures in this area. On this busy Mother's Day, it was very crowded in these gardens, and I couldn't get photos without other peoples kids. I want to go back soon on a quieter day, with fresh camera batteries, a sketchbook, and maybe lunch (picnicing is allowed, but no pets, so Weasley won't be able to get at the veggie garden). I hope you enjoyed this visit to Tower Hill Botanic Garden.  If you happen to be in Central Massachusetts, check it out. It's even better in real life.


The Fab Furs said...

It sounds wonderful and also seemed to have taken into considerations different interests and abilities. Wouldn't Weasley fit nicely and quietly into a quilted bag and once transported to the veggie garden he could be taken for semi-native fauna?

Crafty Green Poet said...

wow, that looks like a wonderful Botanic Garden, such a large area with so many different elements to it!