A small winter Oasis awaits you in Waltham Massachusetts
Between the first Tuesday of February and the first Tuesday of March (yeah, I’ve gone enough times to have figured out the blossom schedule) Historic New England showcases their world-famous Lyman Estate Greenhouses display of blossoming Camellias.
The greenhouses themselves (the oldest in the United States) are worth the drive to Waltham to visit.
Camellias were long ago cultivated in ancient Chinese gardens and also in Japan before coming to Europe and ultimately to the United States in the days of early American trading with the Far East.
By the mid-1800s the flower of the small tree was fashioned as the flower of luxury.
The complex includes an 1804 grape house, an 1820 camellia house, a 1930 orchid house, and an 1840s sales greenhouse where you can buy plants to take home.
- Keep in mind the greenhouses are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
- There is a suggested donation of $5 per person as of 2023 (money goes to preservation).
- If you come before (or after) the above dates, you’ll still be treated to some flowering Camelia’s as some species blossom earlier or later than others = as well as hundreds of other tropic and interesting plants.
- The greenhouses are warm and humid except the Camellia House (in the back) is cooler.
- Save some time for breakfast at In-A-Pickle or lunch at the iconic Wilson Diner.
- At close to 500 feet Prospect Hill offers a nice post-meal calorie burn with rewarding views of the Boston skyline.