Succulent display in The Limonaia
That silly groundhog doesn’t know anything. February may be short but it is still winter, and March is usually a big tease. If you’re like me, you must be tired from being cooped up and could use a green escape, perhaps to see and smell something verdant.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to travel very far. I grabbed my camera, hopped in the car and within an hour and 15 minutes, I was at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, which is located in central Massachusetts just northeast of Worcester. What a tonic for the senses.
As you enter the Stoddard Visitor Center, you are greeted with many options: a book/gift shop to browse, a cafe where you can refuel, a series of glass windows and doors which offer views and access to the newly installed winter garden, and immediately to your right, the beautiful Limonaia, a cathedral like conservatory featuring succulents, camellias, bromeliads, palms and you bet, citrus in bud and fruit.
It just so happened that on the day of my visit, The Worcester Horticultural Society’s annual event Flora in Winter was taking place at both Tower Hill and the Worcester Art Museum (so I made a date with an old friend and caught that show too, but I won’t digress further!) On display throughout the visitor center were exotic floral arrangements by both professional and amateur designers.
But enough talk for a moment, let me show you what I saw.
Billbergia nutans, an epiphytic bromeliad
Camellia ‘Mabel Bayard Thayer’
Another species of Acacia
Abutilon megapotamicum, aka Chinese Lanterns
Asparagus densiflorus, Foxtail Asparagus Fern… Love, again
Flora in Winter Arrangement Detail
Winter Flame Dogwood, and a chilly statue overlooking the Winter Garden
A corner view of the Winter Garden
It is amazing to see the evolution that has transpired at Tower Hill since its inception some 26 years ago. The first planted area was the Harrington Apple Orchard, a collection of heirloom varieties that would someday be lost if it were not for the stewardship here. Numerous new garden areas have been created over the years, and the latest, the Winter Garden, was opened to the public in November of 2010. The bones are in place and already the plantings are taking shape. Come visit for ideas on which hardy plants will add winter color and form to your landscape.
Tower Hill is open year round, Tuesday through Sunday, 9-5 (Closed Mondays). Admission is free with membership, otherwise, $12 per adult (seniors $9).
For much more information, including upcoming events visit: http://www.towerhillbg.org
or call: 508.869.6111