Evidently, by "tomorrow" I really meant "next week". Sorry, I got distracted. Here's the rest of my vacation. It's long.
Tuesday morning, I drove out to Framingham, about half an hour from the northwestern suburb where my cousin lives. There I visited the beautiful Garden in the Woods. This is a lovely place run by the New England Wildflower Society, and is exactly what the name says it is. The plants are cultivated to appear wild; if it weren't for the information signs, you would think you were in a natural wood. Parts of it actually are completely natural, too. The primary goal is to preserve native species of plants that are in danger from habitat loss, over-harvesting, and invasive species. I got there just in time for a guided tour, which I hadn't been planning on but I'm glad I did.
As you can see, the terrain is quite hilly. This is partly due to glacial activity, and partly due to the railroads mining the gravel created by the glaciers. Having such a varied topography allows for a lot of different habitats in a relatively small space.
This place was interesting to me partly because I've never lived in that part of the country (or at least not since age 3), so a lot of the plants that are common in New England are unusual to me. Things as simple as anemones, trilliums, and bleeding hearts, for instance.
Then there were things I was familiar with having grown up in Georgia, but the growing season is of course very different.
At my parents' house the week before, the azaleas and dogwoods were already over, while here they were barely getting started. Not surprising, of course. But the thing that really made me do a double take was the magnolia.
In Georgia, the magnolias are evergreens. I grew up believing that they all were, but it turns out in northern latitudes they shed their leaves like other trees. It was actually a bit of a shock to me to see a perfectly healthy magnolia with no leaves.
In the lower parts of the garden are wetlands, some natural, some created.
A created lily pond...