Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!  Today, we attended Lilac Sunday, an annual event, at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston.  Although lilacs are not a native plant, they have been grown in North America since colonial times.  The Arnold Arboretum has over 375 lilac plants of over 175 varieties.  The event was from 10am to 3pm, but we arrived a bit earlier as it was predicted to rain.  We still didn’t beat the rain which started coming down around 10:30am, but we did manage to see some of the lilacs as well as experience their wonderful fragrance.  Below are pictures of some lilacs we saw.  Unfortunately, some of the lilacs haven’t flowered yet (possibly due to the funny weather we’ve been experiencing alternating between surprise warm days and sudden cold days), so there are some pictures of lilac buds too!

Getting to Wellesley without a car

This past Saturday, Dave and I visited Wellesley College.  We specifically went to see the botanic garden and greenhouses, but also explored the campus and downtown area as well.  As the greenhouses are closed on the weekends during the summer months, this was the last weekend we would be able to visit for a while.  Despite having lived in the Boston area for 5 and 10 years respectively, neither Dave nor I had been to Wellesley College.  One of the reasons we had never ventured to Wellesley was neither of us owned a car.  However, Wellesley is accessible for those without a car, via the Framingham/Worcester commuter rail line or the Senate Bus on weekends.

We decided to try the Senate Bus which runs between Harvard/MIT and Wellesley on the weekends since it is more economical and runs every hour, providing more flexibility in our schedule.  We bought tickets for the bus at LaVerde’s Market in the Stratton Student Center at MIT.  One ticket is good for a one-way trip and costed $3.50.   The commuter rail would have costed $7.00 for a one-way trip and runs roughly every 2 hours.

We boarded the bus at the stop on the corner of Commonwealth and Mass Ave. at 10am and arrived on Wellesley campus at 10:26am.

Wellesley College

The Wellesley College campus has some very beautiful nature trails.  Walking along the trails amongst the trees and bushes, listening to the chirping of birds, and watching the squirrels playing was peaceful and relaxing.  We even saw a family of geese!

Mama Goose and the goslings

Mama Goose and the goslings

The goslings!

The goslings!

There’s even an arboretum tucked away in a small shallow valley. Here’s a view from within the arboretum.

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Greenhouse Plants

Wellesley has a lot of greenhouses that are linked together like a maze. Each greenhouse is set to a different temperature and humidity level suitable to the plants it houses. For example, there was a desert greenhouse and the tropical greenhouse. Below are some pictures of greenhouse plants.

There was one plant with a label I hope I don’t have to use for any plants in my garden this summer.

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Downtown

Right next to the Wellesley College campus is a small strip of shops. We got subs from Tutto Italiano, ducked into a shop selling art to checkout their ceramics, and looked at a bookstore before we ended our visit to Wellesley and boarded the bus back to Boston.

Overall, our visit to Wellesley was a nice way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city for a few hours.

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