Trees, Gardens and Students

Campus Lawns & Grand Trees
Campus Lawns & grand trees


It is fall and students have returned to college campuses across the nation.  I have a listing of the best college arboretums and botanical gardens and I plan my travel to visit as many as I can.  I’ve long appreciated the beauty of a college campus.  Just this week while traveling in the Northeast I’ve explored Wellesley, Smith and Amherst colleges.  Botany has long been an important field of study, though the education of a Naturalist has fallen out of favor. Micro-biology and genetics are programs with great appeal today and both continue to advance the science of horticulture and other areas of study.

We need horticulture and plant scientists, and college botanical gardens are teaching laboratories.  Wellesley has an outdoor classroom with granite benches under a shade tree. 

Outdoor classroom seating
Outdoor classroom seating honoring Elizabeth Anderson Fitzgerald ’60



Conservatory at Wellesley
Conservatory at Smith

Smith college has a conservatory, with a curved roof and great lines to house plant specimens. Perennial beds displaying great colors and native plants, a rock garden and conifer collection are there for study.  The massive trees around the campus were originally placed by Fredrick Law Olmsted.  As I walked across campus I looked at these young people and realized how much our future depends on their study, their choices and their discoveries about the planet we all share. Botany plant science studies are critical in the issues of sustainability and climate change.

It is quite possible many students miss the beauty of their campus as they walk from day to day yet this environment provides them a connection to nature. The study of the environment is essential to our survival.

Rock Garden
Rock Garden

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