You’ve got through Sunday, December 9 to check out the annual Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Festival of Trees. On paper, there are 69 decorated-to-the-hilt trees this year, but I did get into a lively discussion with one of the volunteers about what counts as a tree. The bicycle strung with white twinkle lights, with goodies in its handlebars basket? Turns out that’s a tree. The two bedecked topiaries on a single pedestal? That’s one tree. As long as your comfortable with metaphors, it’s all good.
Semantics aside, joining in the fun at the Festival of Trees is a great way to get inspiration for your own decorating. Try your luck at the raffle and maybe you’ll win one of the trees, decorations on it, presents under it and all. That would be an nice windfall kind of way to get your decorating done with. The raffle takes place on the last day of the Festival, and you will be contacted if you’re a winner.
Don’t forget to stop by the Education Building to see the Snow Village, an enchanted exhibit of holiday villages and trains. Its creator, Bill Meagher of Needham, continues to add more intricate figures to the display, where model trains wind through Dicken’s Village; Fenway Park; Beacon Hill; Downton Abbey; an amusement park with a Ferris Wheel and Spin Ride; Santa climbing the North Pole; and more.
Visitors can also warm up by the fire pit, enjoy the decorated buildings, and stroll the grounds at Elm Bank. On the weekend there are horse-drawn wagon rides and Santa comes to visit. Kudos to Festival of Trees Chair Gretel Anspach and her committee members Penni Jenkins and Holly Perry. They’ve got running this thing down to a science, and they’re the first to say that they couldn’t do it without the tireless efforts of the Mass Hort staff and volunteers.
Admission to the Festival is $15 for adults, and kids 12 and under are free. The Festival of Trees runs through December 9 at Mass Hort’s Elm Bank property, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02482.
Here are a few fun pictures from my visit to the event. Wellesley was well-represented with residents and business contributing their time and talents to the Festival.
Other Wellesley groups and families who decorated trees:
House & Garden Club of Wellesley (Their tree, “A Vineyard Fantasy” includes many, many wine bottle corks, which we can only assume originated from actual Vineyard parties gone by.)
Mass Hort Functions (The Functions Department is heavy on weddings, and very romantic, thus the “Sparkles and Love” theme of their tree.)
The Coats Family (It’s an adorable house, but it counts as a tree. Just go see it. It’s perfect.)
Waterstone of Wellesley (Their tree is titled “A Toast to the Golden Years” and includes champagne. Our town’s retirees really do suffer down there in Wellesley Hills on the Charles River.)
Overseers of Mass Hort (Gotta love their river creatures theme.)
Hannah, Mary-Jane, Tom, and Samantha Traggis (Nature themed — think adorable woodland creatures and pine cones.)