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July 14, 2008

We went to the Garden in the Woods on Saturday.

Owned and maintained by the New England Wildflower Society, it’s a botanical garden that’s mostly (as the name implies) pretty shady; there are something like 1,500 different species of plants on the property.  It was a warm day, so we were thankful to be in the shade, but the downside to being in the woods is that bugs like the shade, too.  Luckily I had packed the Natrapel, and we were okay.

We’d never been there, and driving into the parking lot, we were a little worried:  there was only one empty space, and from what we could see of the visitor’s center, it was mobbed.  Turns out they had a new art installation premiering on Saturday; who knew?

Thankfully, once you got through the admissions process and out of the visitor’s center area (the gift shop, nursery shop, and admissions are all processed through the same register – a tactical error if you ask me), the crowd thinned out considerably, and for the most part we walked and looked at our own pace.

The featured sculptures were spread out across a trail that was just about a mile long, and there are plenty of other side trails that loop in and out of the main path.  Some of them are a little steep, and some have steps, but the trails are well-marked, and there were nearly always a detour sign offering an alternate, step-free path.  Perfect for us, since the Peep was in the stroller.

So we walked the loop, and took a side trail to see the ‘rare plants’ section.  We also spent a bit of time lingering by a little pond loaded with turtles and frogs.

All in all It was a nice day for a walk, and the few plants that were in bloom were really nice – it probably would be better to go earlier in spring.  We got some ideas for things to plant in our yard (some day).

We ended up back at the nursery, and got a couple of Bee Balm plants for the front yard, and two pots of switchgrass for the backyard.  Switchgrass looks like tall grass, so I didn’t bother to take a photo, but once we got home I did get a nice one of one of the bee balm flowers for ya:

After the stowed the plants in the car, the Peep was getting restless; he’d been in the stroller for better than an hour by then.  So we put the stroller in the car, too, and we walked the loop in reverse for a bit – he liked the spider and the ant sculptures best, so we walked as far as those, just about halfway back.

All in all we were there for almost two hours, which was in line with my time-distance policy.  Have I ever mentioned this rule here?  My feeling is that, any driving trip we take – whether to visit friends, or go shopping, or to do/see something – the time we spend at the actual destination has to exceed the time we spend in the car getting there and coming home.   Since the Garden in the Woods is a 30-minute drive from our house, we were well within the limits.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 14, 2008 11:12 am

    Dear Peep and family,

    Thanks so much for coming out to see BIG BUGS, on view at Garden in the Woods through October 31 and featuring a new bug at each theme weekend. If you’d like to share your beautiful photos at the online community gallery send them along to

    At Garden in the Woods, the New England Wild Flower Society headquarters, all purchases, memberships,and admission support the plant conservation programs of the Society. Try the build-a-bug park, and a bug-venture activity sheet, available at the BUGMOBILE.

    Thanks again for coming. Check out the peak of meadow bloom beginning mid-August with spectacular meadow plants each covered with butterflies at the Butterfly Festival. See you there-Deb

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