We offer free group tours of the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens led by trained volunteer docents.
A minimum of two weeks' notice is needed to schedule a tour, which is generally given between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday -- Friday. All tours start in the Visitor Center, adjacent to the greenhouses.
Most groups tour the Ferguson Greenhouses, whose 15 houses contain over 1000 specimens. The collection emphasizes the diversity and adaptations of desert, tropical, and semi-tropical species. Some popular features of the greenhouses are the desert and rainforest biomes, the fern room, the water-loving species of the hydrophyte house, and the tropical pitcher plants.
Greenhouse tours are not scheduled during the summer months, as the temperature inside the greenhouses can reach well over 100 degrees. Many of the specimens are moved outdoors for the summer.
During the spring, summer and fall, groups can choose to tour the gardens in addition to or instead of the greenhouses. The Alexandra Botanic Garden and Hunnewell Arboretum offer more than 500 species of woody plants set in a 22-acre Olmsted-inspired landscape. Scattered amongst towering specimen trees are distinctive species and cultivars of azaleas, lilacs, viburnums, Japanese maples and rhododendrons, providing displays of spring bloom and bold autumn foliage.
Tours of the Ferguson Greenhouses typically take an hour. Arboretum tours usually last an hour and a half. Tour lengths are flexible, depending upon the attention span and stamina of the group.