Walter Hunnewell Arboretum
The Walter Hunnewell Arboretum is a 22 acres (8.9 ha) arboretum in Wellesley, Massachusetts, containing over 500 species of woody plants in 53 families. The former estate also contains the renowned and distinctive topiary garden, called the 'Italian Garden' by creator Horatio Hollis Hunnewell, with 140-year-old fanciful groups of intricate geometrically pruned native Eastern White Pine and Eastern Arborvitae. A collection of specialty greenhouses feature over 1000 plant species, including a grape house and peach house, and have been cared for by five generations of the Hunnewell family.
About 1843, Horatio Hollis Hunnewell (1810–1902) began the Arboretum at his new estate in Wellesley. Hunnewell took great interest in planting species of evergreens from around the world that had not previously been available in the United States, and from other regions of the country not tested in New England. By 1847 he had over 2,000 trees of over two dozen genera imported from England planted on the grounds. The Italianate residence was built later in 1852.
The Hunnewell rhododendrons may be the oldest cultivated specimens in the United States, as H. H. Hunnewell started importing and planting them in the 1850s and 1860s on the grounds. Some of these original plants are likely still alive. He staged the first exhibit of large rhododendrons in the U.S., on Boston Common in 1873, which helped to make them popular in American cultivation for gardens and parks.
Today's pinetum, begun in 1866, includes rare, mature specimens includes Torreya nucifera, a massive weeping European Beech in front of the 19th century Italianate mansion, and one of the oldest Dawn Redwoods in the United States. The collection of specimen trees and shrubs include towering American White and English Oaks, lindens, tulip trees, bald cypress, and Chinese Golden Larch, as well as different species and cultivars of azaleas, lilacs, viburnums, hollies, weeping cherries and rhododendrons.
- Wellesley College Botanic Gardens
The Walter Hunnewell Arboretum is not to be confused with the H. H. Hunnewell Arboretum in the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens at nearby Wellesley College, located across Lake Waban from the Hunnewell Estate. The latter arboretum is the namesake of Horatio Hollis Hunnewell.
- Hunnewell Estates Historic District
- Elm Bank Horticulture Center - Massachusetts Horticultural Society headquarters in Wellesley
- Arnold Arboretum - at Harvard University
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Norfolk County, Massachusetts
- Index: Arboreta in Massachusetts
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hunnewell Gardens and Arboretum.|
- Arnoldia Bulletin — "The Hunnewell Arboretum, 1852-1951" - article in the Harvard Arnold Arboretum bulletin.
- Arnoldia Bulletin — "Private Pleasures Derived From Tradition, The Hunnewell Estates Historic District"
- Flicker: all Hunnewell Arboretum images
- Wellesley College Botanic Gardens - virtual tour of 'Wellesley' Hunnewell Arboretum, Alexandra Botanic Garden, and Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses