Arnold Arboretum, the oldest public arboretum in America, has been owned and maintained since 1872 by one of the country’s most well-known institutions: Harvard University. Every year on Mother’s Day for the past 100 years, one of the 2,200 species of woody plants that populate this urban paradise is chosen for a day-long homage that has come to be known as Lilac Sunday.
Due to the early spring this year (and remember, it’s “climate change”, not global warming!), many of the 180 varieties growing there have already bloomed, but there still will be many budding bloomers to admire come Sunday morning on Bussey Hill, the heart of the Arboretum’s lilac collection. From 10:00 ‘til 4:00, come and be part of the community-wide celebration that includes tours of the lilacs and other special plant collections, family fun, food vendors and live music. Highlights include traditional English folk dance performances, swing jazz, Taiko drumming and puppet storytelling. You can also enjoy the special pleasure of picnicking on the grass, not usually offered at any other time of the year out of respect for plants and wildlife. As always, the Arboretum will be open from dawn to dusk if you want to stay on either side of the super-busy time.
Many visitors (with or without their Moms) actually discover the Roslindale and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods for the first time by attending this event. Bussey Hill, the larger, more elaborate part of the park is in JP, and Peters Hill, its humbler but beautiful cousin, is just across South Street in Roslindale. An estimated 43,000 people attend Lilac Sunday every year and except for perhaps some parking frustration, the size of the Arboretum — 265 acres — allows us to never feel crowded.
For more upcoming programs, download this handy guide and make the Arboretum part of your family tradition!
Were I not working this Sunday, I would see you among the greenery. And if you happen to fall in love with Peters Hill, keep in touch as I will be putting two beautiful single-family homes on the market between now and mid-June — both just a stone’s throw to “The Arbs”!