By Katherine Gianni, photo by Ray Ewing
Tucked away in the woods of West Tisbury, the Polly Hill Arboretum has served as a not-so-secret garden since 1958 — officially opening as a public garden in 1998 when founder botanist Polly Hill was still alive.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary as a public garden, the arboretum is offering a Twenty Iconic Trees Tour, a series of walking tours that teaches visitors about some of the most intriguing trees on the property.
Executive director Tim Boland selected the trees to be included on the tours, keeping four different factors in mind.
“Seasonality, connection to our history, connection to people, and our mission,” Mr. Boland said during a recent walk through the arboretum.
For a property that spans 72 acres and includes over 437 different species, picking 20 to showcase may seem like a difficult undertaking. But Mr. Boland said it only took him an hour to decide which species to incorporate, a testament to his 16 years at the arboretum.
Two of the four tours have already been held. Each one includes five trees, with the next tour taking place on Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m.
One of the iconic trees is the David Hybrid Magnolia, dubbed the Magnolia David for the arboretum’s co-founder Dr. David H. Smith.