The Eustis Estate located at 1424 Canton Ave., one of 37 historic sites owned and operated by Historic New England, launches the summer season with a variety of programs in May. The museum will be open Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a special holiday Monday opening on May 27 for Memorial Day.

On May 8, Historic New England welcomes Cindy Brockway, cultural resources program director at The Trustees of Reservation, for a talk in connection with the special exhibition, “Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard,” on view through May 27.

Learn about celebrated architect Fletcher Steele’s innovative, evocative, and exotic visions for private, residential landscapes. Steele believed that landscape architecture was an art form as important as painting or music and gardens were created for pleasure, a stage set for life’s theater.

Often brilliant, always original, Steele’s more than 700 private designs (many of them in Milton) have all but disappeared, but their design legacy shaped a 20th century movement. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a reception prior to the lecture that will start an hour later.

On Saturday, May 11, explore the grounds of the Eustis Estate and look for spring’s birds. May is the ideal time to spot a variety of migratory species, and the property is filled with features that birds like, including a pond, meadows, an orchard, tall trees, and chimneys. Learn about the interesting species that thrive in these unique habitats. Admission to the house is included so visitors are welcome to explore inside after the tour. The walk starts at 8:30 a.m.

On Saturday, May 18, come out for a day of retro backyard fun at the Eustis Estate in honor of the special exhibition, “Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard.“ Play lawn games, make pinwheels, go on a Story Walk, and enjoy live music outside from the Heavenly Fire Steel Band of Dorchester. Snacks will be available for purchase and picnics are encouraged. If needed, the rain date for this event will be May 19. All activities will be included with museum admission, which is free for Milton residents.

For more information, call 617-994-6600 or visit www.historicnewengland.org/eustis estate to purchase tickets for all the events.

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