Click on Programs to see full listing of events.
For a full listing check our calendar-at-a-glance.
Propagating Trees & Shrubs from Cuttings, Saturday, June 18, 9am – noon
Succulent Love, Thursday, June 23, 10-11am
Succulent Wreath Workshop, Thursday, June 23, 1-3pm SOLD OUT
When Pretty Isn’t Enough: Plant Evaluations, Wednesday, June 29, 7:30pm
Ever consider that ferns might have made a meal for a hungry Triceratops? Or rotting ginkgo fruits, a tasty dinosaur snack? This summer take our new family-friendly, self-guided Dinosaur Plant Tour to discover how plants evolved during the age of the dinosaurs. A special map will guide you to labeled plants color-coded to indicate origins in the Triassic, Jurassic, or Cretaceous periods within the Mesozoic Era. In addition fossils, a timeline, and other facts of interest will be on display at our Visitor Center.
You will learn that plants like dawn redwood, monkey puzzle tree, gingko, and magnolia were here when dinosaurs roamed Earth more than 200 million years ago. Many of these “dinosaur plants” plants can be found at the Polly Hill Arboretum today. Although the dinosaurs met their demise in a dramatic mass extinction, plants persisted. Many evolved in new ways, but other plants remained much the same. These prehistoric plants fascinate us with their beauty, resilience, and more than ancient roots.
Thanks to a generous matching grant from the Cedar Tree Foundation, (the family foundation of Dr. David H. Smith) and generous contributions from our friends; the construction of our much anticipated Education Center & Botany Lab is well underway. This science facility embodies our mission to the fullest extent. The building will provide the space and equipment to advance our plant research and the climate-controlled indoor environment to extend our education programming year-round. Completing the building also honors the spirit of Polly Hill and David Smith, both who sought to share knowledge about plants through education, research, and plant conservation.
We are pleased to announce our listing in the National Register of Historic Places! This formal recognition of the Arboretum’s significance based on national standards honors the exceptional importance of our historic property as well as our preservation efforts, and Polly’s vision for her property.
Read more about our listing here!
PHA staff travel the world in search of seed! This year Curator Tom Clark, Executive Director Tim Boland, and Horticulturist Ian Jochems embarked on botanical road trips in the U.S.A.
In October Tom was on the road in the Carolinas and Georgia focused on locating, documenting, and collecting seed of deciduous azalea species (a particular interest of Polly Hill’s). The trip was underwritten by a $2,500 grant from the American Rhododendron Society Research Foundation awarded to PHA to fund Tom’s proposal. His collection efforts focused on increasing the genetic diversity in cultivation of three rhododendron species threatened in their native habitat: Rhododendron eastmanii, flammeum and vaseyi. 47 collections were made on his trip including some valuable “off-mission” seed of mountain stewartia as well as other rhododendrons. Tom was accompanied by Harold Sweetman, director of the Jenkins Arboretum in Devon, Pennsylvania. This collaborative trip forms the foundation for future trips to continue conservation work in meeting international goals set forth by the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.
Also in October (prime month for seed collection) Tim and Ian participated in a seed collection trip to the Ozark Mountain Region of Arkansas. They collected 34 different taxa of plants ranging from trees to herbaceous plants. A few great finds were maple-leaved oak (Quercus acerifolia) and the Ozark witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis). The maple-leaved oak is listed as a threatened species with only about 200 known living trees. In addition to Tom and Ian, the botanical team for the Ozark trip included Anthony Aiello, director of horticulture and curator at the Morris Arboretum, and Michael Dosmann, curator of living collections at the Arnold Arboretum.
The results of both these collecting trips help us to grow a stronger wild origin plant collection at PHA while helping to preserve wild plant taxa both in fulfilment of our mission. Look for the rest of the story next summer when Tom, Tim, and Ian present their botanical adventures in an evening lecture.
Plants of Winter Interest, Martha’s Vineyard Magazine
The Science of Fall Color, Vineyard Gazette
15 Years and Growing Strong, Read about us in a recent Vineyard Gazette
From Polly’s Garden This is a series of articles written for the Vineyard Gazette for the 2012 summer Tuesday editions of the paper. Tim Boland writes on a variety of plant related topics.
Massachusetts Botanical Gardens
We have recently collaborated with other Massachusetts Botanical Gardens to create a website to promote garden visitation in the state.
Check it out to discover the diversity of gardens in our state!
August may seem like an unlikely time to appreciate azaleas, but that is precisely when the white, pink and fiery orange-red flowers of several deciduous azaleas (technically rhododendrons) brighten our mostly green landscape. Last August PHA staff took advantage of this floral wealth to introduce interns to the science and practice of creating hybrids by controlled, hand pollination. Polly Hill commented that she wasn’t a pollen pusher, but we find no shame in playing the role of match maker! The seedling shown here are each genetically unique and are the results of our efforts. These tiny seedlings will grow quickly with supplemental light, warmth and regular fertilization, but it will take several years to evaluate their horticultural merit. Who knows, but our hope is that a couple will prove to be worthy of naming and introducing…stay tuned!
We have been awarded a Level IV Accreditation through the Morton Arboretum’s Register of Arboreta and Accreditation Program, ArbNet. The purpose of the Register is to identify all of the organizations that collect and display trees, shrubs, and other woody plants for the benefit of the public, science, and conservation. Organizations listed on the register are accredited at different levels depending on degrees of development, capacity, and professionalism. The Polly Hill Arboretum is now recognized amongst other national and international professional public gardens with the highest level of ArbNet accreditation. Level IV Accredited Arboreta have met the highest levels of arboretum standards, including those specified for Level I, II, and III and demonstrate additional institutional capacity to collaborate on scientific and conservation activities related to trees. For more information about the program go to www.arbnet.org