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This Weekend – Go, Urban Wild!

Walking tour, photography exhibit explore historic Arnold Arboretum

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The Arnold Arboretum is home to thousands of plant species and serves as inspiration to area artists including Medford-based Maria Muller. Her hand-painted photographs of arboretum trees are currently on display. Image courtesy of Maria Muller

Plot your escape from construction barrels, T-tracks, and the rumble of work trucks this weekend with a leafy stroll through the Arnold Arboretum, just a few miles from campus.

On Sunday, June 1, the arboretum will offer a free two-hour walking tour called Ideas Behind the Design, detailing the park’s landscape design and 135-year history. The 265-acre arboretum is a “link” in the city’s Emerald Necklace, a collection of six parks designed by legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. Nestled in nearby Jamaica Plain, the arboretum is the nation’s oldest, and a leading center for plant study.

According to its website, “the living collections consists of some 7,082 accessioned plants representing 4,544 botanical and horticultural taxa, with particular emphasis on the woody species of North America and eastern Asia and an especially comprehensive representation of Fagus (beech), Lonicera (honeysuckle), Magnolia, Malus (crabapple), Quercus (oak), Rhododendron, and Syringa (lilac).”

And to prime your arbor pump, stop by the ongoing exhibit The Magnificence of Trees: Photographs by Maria Muller at the arboretum’s Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall. Muller’s hand-painted and black-and-white photographs are “studies of trees and their intricate arrangements of branches, buds, and blossoms as winter gives way to spring.” A reception with Muller takes place on Saturday, May 31, 1–3 p.m.

The Ideas Behind the Design walking tour will meet on Sunday, June 1, at 1 p.m. in front of the Hunnewell Building, located at the main entrance to the Arboretum, 125 Arborway. For further information, call: 617-566-1689. The grounds are open every day of the year, from sunrise to sunset. Parking is available outside the main gate, along the Arborway, and around the Arboretum’s perimeter.

Caleb Daniloff can be reached at cdanilof@bu.edu.

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