And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. -Rilke


Saturday, January 21st, 4:30PM -7:00PM

Winterfire combines lightscape with landscape to highlight several of the estate's signature trees and garden ornaments against a deep mid-winter sky, and features a welcoming fire in the Front Garden to warm yourself with some hot chocolate and roasted hotdogs over the open flame. So bundle up and come out to enjoy a refreshing and unique visit to the arboretum. This event is subject to cancellation due to weather. For more information, call 617-333-0924. Dress warmly and bring a friend! While this event is free, donations are appreciated.  

Stone Soup: Conservation at Work in the Davenport Mansion

Thursday, January 26th, 6:00PM

On the walls of Isaac Davenport Mansion dining room still hangs the mid-19th century French panoramic wallpaper Les Vues d’Écosse, manufactured by Zuber paper company. The historic process of woodblock printing in seven shades of grisaille distemper paint was used to create this depiction of The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott. It exemplifies the 19th century vogue of scenic wallpaper at the peak of technical virtuosity and may be the only example of its kind remaining in the United States. Over the decades the wallpaper deteriorated significantly, prompting the Trust’s decision to carefully and diligently conserve the rare, historic paper. Conservators will discuss the decoration of the dining room in the general context of wallpaper history, the techniques employed in its creation and the on-going efforts to preserve this unique artifact.

Our popular Stone Soup and Speaker series, which occurs monthly during the winter season, provides fascinating and in-depth presentations on a diverse set of aspects related to the history and landscape of the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum. The Stone Soup sessions begin with homemade soup followed by a presentation. Events are subject to cancellation due to weather. While this event is free, donations are appreciated. 

Seats are limited; pre-registration is required. Register here.

Floral arranging class and wreath making sessions a big success!

Lisa Ahern, superintendent of Milton Cemetery and floral arranger, created beautiful natural arrangements for a sold out class in the Davenport Mansion. Thank you Lisa for your expertise and support of the Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum.

This year we held two wreath making sessions. Thank you to Master Gardeners for helping in the greens collection and sorting.


Bring a coffee or a tea,

We’re open daily nine to three.

Take a loop through rolling hills 

or sit on piazza and ponder still.

Enjoy the vista canopy,

each week we plant a young tree

who’s shape one day,

our friends will see.

-Mathew Noiseux

New Year's note:

Over the past year we have had the wonderful opportunity to work in this magical place with supportive trustees, colleagues, volunteers and students. Changes like the seasons are inevitable. Erica Max, our longtime colleague retired and is missed and Mathew Noiseux joined our staff. Mathew’s favorite daily phrase is “I’m happy, I get to work here” and we agree. At the close of 2022 we feel a deep gratitude for the opportunity to share this unique place, preserved by Polly Wakefield, with the wider community. This is a place at the intersection of history and landscape, of wonder and beauty, of discovery and learning, and of reverence and awe. It is a place to know and to build a connection with; it is a place to know in different seasons. It is a place for you. In 2023 we explore the ever changing landscape and as we like to say: “Come next week, it will look different.” Have a happy and healthy New Year! 

-Debbie Merriam, Matthew Noiseux, Mark Smith

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at a glance:

January 21: Winterfire

January 26:Stone Soup

Plan a visit soon!

We hope you will schedule a visit this winter to enjoy seeing the landscape evolve throughout the season.

The Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum is open weekdays (except holidays) during regular business hours by appointment.

To schedule a visit, call 617-333-0924 or email:

Enjoy these moments captured from the past month:

Images by Debbie Merriam, Mark Smith and Mathew Noiseux.

Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum
1465 Brush Hill Road,
Milton, MA 02186
(617) 333-0924
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