When the weather gets cold, it can take a bit more motivation to go outside and explore nature. Fortunately, Wellesley College offers a warm and interesting excursion for plant lovers! I trekked out to the campus last week and had a great time wandering through their expansive greenhouses (16 in total, comprising 7,200 square feet under glass).
The campus houses the Alexandra Botanic Garden, the Hunnewell Arboreteum and the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses (named after a former professor of botany at the college.), all on 22 acres of land. I’m looking forward to visiting the outdoor spaces (in nicer weather), but last week the warm greenhouses were more inviting.
From there I walked through the Seasonal Display House and Alcove to get a glimpse of a large Camellia on display, the last of four that were owned in the early 1900’s by the founders of the College. The space was full of colorful hibiscus, bougainvilla, plumbago, and other plants native to warmer climates.
These fun, sculptural plants which are members of the Bromeliad family, grow attached to other plants rather than in soil.
|Plant tags help you identify what’s growing|
|A gorgeous white orchid|
|The Tropic House|
One of the next (and largest) greenhouses is the Tropic House. As you can imagine, this space is warm and humid. An enormous fiddle leaf fig tree greets you as you enter, and in walking around you can find cocoa, banana, ginger and all sorts of palm trees and tropical plants.
|Great signage provides information|
|The flower of a ginger plant|
|View through the Cryptogam House|
|Pitcher plants in the Hydrophyte House|