Massachusetts: Wakefield Estate and Arboretum

1465 Brush Hill Road, Milton, MA 02186

Mary (Polly) Wakefield created the gardens and the arboretum of the Wakefield Estate over a 40 year period. When Polly passed away in 2004, she left her 22-acre property in a private trust to be used for education and community enjoyment. A trained landscape designer and horticulturalist, Polly created formal gardens, plant nurseries, woodland trails, and planted wetlands, growing much of the plant material from seed or cuttings. She worked closely with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University to develop her collection. The gardens most important feature is more than 300 Cornus kousa dogwoods, all originating from the same seed source at the Arnold Arboretum. Polly also planted many varieties of maples, magnolias, and conifers.

In 2017, the Wakefield Estate became an Arbnet Class II certified arboretum and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens have been lovingly restored with careful pruning, the addition of new plant material, and unique hardscape features.

The dwarf conifer garden was added to the collection in the summer of 2018. This garden currently boasts more than 30 dwarf conifer varieties surrounded by many gardens with a broad range of full-size conifers planted with other species. The dwarf conifers were selected for hardiness and year-round display. Polly Wakefield worked with Arnold Arboretum plant propagator Al Fordham, a pioneer in work with dwarf conifers and began experimenting with dwarf species herself in the late 1970's and later creating her “witches garden with dragon gate”. Several of her dwarf conifers remain in the gardens today.

Open hours: The Wakefield Estate welcomes visitors to tour the property during regular business hours (9-4 Mon-Fri). In addition, the estate is open on weekends for special events or by appointment (see our website: wakefieldtrust.org for event listings). Suggested donation is $5. To arrange "by appointment" visits please call 617-333-0924 x22.