I’ve missed out on all my favorite garden-related visits this spring — the Beacon Hill Garden Tour, the Art in Bloom exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Kelleher Rose Garden in Back Bay’s Fens area, all canceled or closed due to COVID-19 concerns. But there are still flowers and spring beauty to be seen out there in the world, this much I know. But how to do so without rubbing elbows during these socially distant times?
I’ve put a few common-sense practices into action to help me get out and about while staying socially distant. The tricks are to get moving early, stay off the beaten path, and and find the wide-open spaces. In my search for serenity in an outdoors setting I’ve found destinations that are far less crowded than the obvious popular hot spots. Let others embrace spoiled walks on crowded paths as they glare at those without masks and draw back in horror at the approach of others, later posting bitter complaints on social media. To them, I cede the trail.
If you’re looking for a more tranquil experience, try out Arnold Arboretum in Boston, 13 miles from Natick Center. A recent Saturday morning visit left me refreshed and vowing to return to the 281-acre National Historic Landmark, owned by Harvard University. Parking can be found at various small lots around the perimeter of the property. I arrived at 9am and found a spot in the lot at the corner of Walter and Bussey Streets. When I came back to my car a little before noon, there were still spaces available. The Arboretum suggests that the savvy work around the peak hours of visitation of 4pm – 7pm on weekdays and 2pm – 7pm on weekends. The Arboretum is open dawn to dusk.
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