Pliny’s Allée is a regal row of oak trees (Quercus sp.) next to the Systematic Garden. The oaks are underplanted with shrubs of outstanding autumn beauty: oak leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenia), Virginia sweetspire ‘Henry’s Garnet’ (Itea virginica) and our native Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). Although brilliant in the fall, these shrubs also produce fragrant white flowers in the spring and summer.
The Allée is named for three historical figures: George Pliny Allen (brother of Barbara Allen Booth, a Worcester County Horticultural Society trustee) and Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger, early Roman horticulturists.
The Allée features several architectural components of note: at the end of Pliny’s Allée is Pliny’s Fountain, an antique stone wellhead that erupts with a burst of water every 30 minutes, and two busts of Janus – the Roman deity who represents beginnings and endings, and from which we get the name “January.”