Public Gardens Listing: Arnold Arboretum (Boston, MA)

Arnold Arboretum

While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.

If you live in or are visiting the Boston, Massachusetts, area, why not visit the Arnold Arboretum?

  • The Arnold Arboretum is National Historic Landmark and was established in 1872 as a private-public partnership between the city of Boston and Harvard University. In 1882, Harvard was issued a 1,000-year lease on the land.
  • The arboretum is 265 acres with more than 15,000 plants. It also includes a 43,000-square-foot research center and has 75 full-time staff members.
  • Take a free 60- to 90-minute guided tour or take a self-guided tour by printing a self-guided tour brochure before visiting the arboretum.
  • The Arnold Arboretum library has more than 100,000 volumes in two locations: the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library in Jamaica Plain and the Library of the Arnold Arboretum at the Harvard University Botany Libraries in Cambridge.
  • Picnicking is allowed on the grounds for only one day a year. The second Sunday of May every year for more than 100 years is called "Lilac Sunday"
  • There are many plant collections at the Arnold Arboretum, including the Azalea Border, Bradley Rosaceous Collection, Conifer collection, Crabapple Collection, Explorer’s Garden, Hemlock Hill, Larz Anderson Bonsai Garden, Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden, Lilac Collection, Maple Collection and Rhododendron Dell.

Arnold Arboretum Quick Info
(617) 524-1718
125 Arborway, Boston, Massachusetts 02130
FREE admission (donations are appreciated)
Gardens are open daily. Monday through Friday from 9am–4pm, Saturday from 10am–4pm and Sunday from 12–4pm.
The gardens are open daily, but the Visitors Center is closed on holidays (check website for details).



Additional information