Wednesday, October 4, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Charles River Clean Up Boat Benefit

One of the Garden Club of the Back Bay’s favorite not for profit organizations, The Charles River Clean Up Boat, is holding a fund raiser Wednesday, October 4 from 6 – 8 pm. Boston Duck Tours will depart at the lagoon behind the Cambridgeside Galleria at 6 pm. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvre, beer and wine while motoring on the Charles River. $95 per ticket. For more information call 617-450-0068, or email  If you wish to write a check, make it payable to Charles Riverboat Company and mail to Boston Duck Tours, 4 Copley Place #4155, Boston, MA 02116.  The event is sponsored by Charles River Riverboat Company, Boston Duck Tours, and The Museum of Science.

Thursdays, October 5 – October 19 and November 2 – November 16, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm – Portrait of a Plant in Watercolor

Learn to capture a plant in its environment by painting botanical shapes and forms in watercolors with an emphasis on design and composition. This New England Wild Flower Society step-by-step instruction class will introduce you to the spontaneity of the medium as you create textures, highlights, glazes, and the final artwork. Artist Cecilia Sharma will lead the six session event at Garden in the Woods in Framingham on Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19, November 2, 9 and 16 from 10 – 12:30. $200 for NEWFS members, $230 for nonmembers. Materials not included. Register at

Friday, October 13, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm – The Telling and Selling at Blithewold Gardens

Join The Association for Garden Communicators (GWA) on Friday, October 13 from 9 – 3:30 at Blithewold Gardens in Bristol, Rhode Island, for a day long seminar and garden tour to help develop a better marketing plan for yourself, your business, your not for profit, or horticulture at large. Speakers include Angela Treadwell-Palmer and C.L. Fornari, plus a tour of the Blithewold Gardens and Greenhouse with Gail Read, Garden Manager. Additional tour opportunities on Thursday, October 12 and Saturday, October 14 include trips to Green Animals Topiary Garden, Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Samuel Whitehorn House, and the Farmers Daughter Nursery. Registration prices range from $50 – $95, online at

Sunday, October 1, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Autumn Leaves in Colored Pencil

On Sunday, October 1 from 10 – 4 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, celebrate fall by drawing a single autumn leaf in all its glory. Instruction will cover a technique of drawing in layers using colored pencils and watercolor pencils to achieve rich color, correct values, and fine detail. Helen Byers’ demo and personalized instruction will include tips for all levels. To see examples of Helen’s work and slideshows from her courses, visit

Helen Byers is an artist, writer, editor, and educator with a background in literary and educational publishing. Her drawings and paintings have been exhibited in solo and group shows in the West and East and are held in various private collections. Her illustration credits include six children’s books and six literary book covers. Her teaching of art has included courses and workshops in botanical drawing and painting, watercolor painting, figure sketching, still-life drawing, and field sketching. $70 for Tower Hill members, $80 for nonmembers. Register online at—botanical-art-autumn-leaves-in-colored-pencil

Thursday, April 5 – Sunday, April 13 – Tulip River Cruise

Travel to the Netherlands and Belgium for a relaxing 9 day river cruise April 5 – 13 with Tower Hill Botanic Garden. Highlights include Amsterdam, Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Kinderdijk Windmills, and more than seven million tulips and other flowers on exhibit at Keukenhof Gardens. Prices begin at $3,569 per person. For more information and an itinerary, please visit:

Volunteer Opportunity – Counting on Ginkgos for Climate Change

Ginkgo trees evolved before the dinosaurs, survived three mass extinctions, and one species is still living today. The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History staff are researching how the cells of leaves on ginkgos have changed over time, and whether we can use them to learn about the ancient atmosphere of the Earth. We want to create a record of how the atmosphere has changed through time by calculating the ratio of two different types of leaf cell (stomatal and epidermal) for many leaves, from the present and the geological past. It is important for us to understand what effect climate change might have on life on our planet in the long term.

One way we can understand the effect of climate change is to look at the geological past – millions of years ago – and the fossil record, to see what happened to organisms during periods of time in Earth history when there were similar changes in the atmosphere and climate. If we want to build an accurate picture of these past changes, we need to know what the atmosphere was like back then.

Our planet’s atmosphere is composed of many different gasses, one of which is carbon-dioxide (CO2). Through extensive research we now know that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has a very important influence on Earth’s climate. There are several ways researchers try to reconstruct past climates; we call these climate proxies. One proxy for CO2 concentration comes from plants, and is known as stomatal index. This is a measure of the number of gas-exchange holes on the surface of a leaf, relative to the number of normal cells. Count cells of modern and fossil leaves and help them track climate change over millions of years. You will count oval-shaped stomata in highly magnified images of both fossilized and living ginkgo leaves. Learn how to do it at

Saturday, September 23, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Rockin’ With Raptors Festival

Join Boston Nature Center for its free annual Rockin’ with Raptors Festival and the 15th Anniversary of the George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center in Mattapan, on Saturday, September 23 from 1 – 4, rain or shine.

This free community celebration is a great opportunity to explore Mass Audubon’s urban sanctuary, located just outside of Boston and home to two miles of trails, a nature play area, plenty of wildlife, and a thriving community garden. For more information visit

Saturday, September 23, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm – Asters and Goldenrods

In late summer and early fall, asters and goldenrods come into their own. The September 23 morning discussion with Ted Elliman at Garden in the Woods will include a presentation of the many asters and goldenrods in our region, focusing on their ecology and identification features. We will also examine specimens from the New England Wild Flower Society’s herbarium. Later we’ll visit a nearby natural area to identify the asters and goldenrods growing in the fields, woodlands, and wetlands. In the field, we’ll look carefully at the differences that characterize these species, Bring a hand lens and a bag lunch. The session, cosponsored with the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, begins at 9:30 am and is $85 for members of the sponsoring organizations, $104 for nonmembers. Register at

Friday, September 22 – Sunday, October 1 – Nature

The Trustees of Reservations announces that it will present TigerLion Arts’ critically acclaimed outdoor walking play Nature at the Old Manse in Concord September 22 through October 1. The Old Manse is a National Historic Landmark and popular destination for tourists and literary enthusiasts situated on the banks of the Concord River next to the Old North Bridge and Minuteman National Park. It was built by Patriot Minister William Emerson in 1770, grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nature is an original work collaboratively written and created by Tyson Forbes, a direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson who also plays the role of Emerson, and his wife, Markell Kiefer, who serves as the director. The play explores humankind’s relationship to nature through the eyes of two of America’s greatest environmental voices and friends, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, who is celebrating his bicentennial birthday this year.

Emerson lived and wrote some of his most famous works at The Old Manse, including the first draft of his famed essay, “Nature.” The Manse also served as a focal point of America’s political, literary, and social revolutions. Thoreau was a frequent visitor and guest. Through a series of 11 performances starting September 22, 2017 and running through October 1, 2017, audiences will experience a playful and deeply moving outdoor “journey” among the Old Manse’s grassy meadows and native trees and plantings as scenes unfold through a combination of music, story, and song. The 90-minute family-friendly performance will be presented by an award-winning ensemble of professional traveling actors, including a local chorus led by The First Parish Church of Concord’s Music Director, Beth Norton and child cast member from the Concord community. This is Nature’s first performance on the East Coast after a successful season touring multiple sites in the Midwest in 2015 and 2016.

Producer and actor Tyson Forbes has always felt honored to be an Emerson descendent and developed Nature to help fulfill a sense of responsibility to share his ancestor’s spirit and teachings with a broader audience. He has long hoped that one day the play would be presented in Concord where their friendship and many works were first incubated. “Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were authors, friends, and radicals of their time, calling on their peers to think for themselves, live more deeply, and be agents of change,” adds Forbes. “I believe their words and ideas are as relevant and necessary now as they were then and I am thrilled to be able to share this story of their friendship and history in Concord, where it all began, for the first time.”

The professional ensemble cast features Michael Wieser (Williamstown, Jungle Theater, Classic Stage Company, Manhattan Arts Center) as Thoreau; Tyson Forbes (Guthrie Theater, Ordway, Jungle Theater and multiple TigerLion Arts productions) as Emerson; Norah Long (Guthrie Theater, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Skylark Opera, Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Nautilus Music-Theater) as Mother Nature, Emily Gunyou Halaas (Guthrie Theater, Jungle Theater, Park Square) as Mary Moody, Aeysha Kinnunen as Margaret Fuller, Shana Berg as Lydian Jackson, Tony Sarnicki, Matt Sciple, Nathan Gebhard and Andrew Forbes, as well as a volunteer community chorus led by Beth Norton, Music Director at the Concord First Parish Church who will be joined by singers from the church and other members of the community. Addison Boger, great niece of past Garden Club of the Back Bay President Francine Crawford, will play the role of Elly, Emerson’s daughter.  Bagpipes, ancient flutes, drums and rich choral arrangements are intricately woven into the script with compositions by Dick Hensold (2006 Bush Artist Fellow).

Tickets  can be purchased by visiting Trustees members: adults $20, children $10; Nonmembers: adults $25, children $15. The Trustees are working with multiple local community partners to present educational programming related to the play such as post show discussions and a family theatre workshop, including: The Thoreau Society; Thoreau Farm Trust; The Walden Woods Project; the Concord Museum; and Minute Man National Historical Park. For more information visit

Nature begins near the apple orchard at the Old Manse located at 269 Monument Street, Concord, MA. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early to visit the grounds. Picnic meals are welcome and can be enjoyed during the pre-show bagpiping and choral arrangements performed by local community members 30 minutes before the performance begins. Guests of all ages are encouraged to come as the show has somethings for everyone. Guests should dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water bottles.  Run time is approximately 90 minutes without intermission. During the play, the audience will walk short distances between four different locations. Portable lawn chairs or blankets are recommended for seating, as there are a limited number of chairs, which will be reserved for those who need them most. The Trustees will also provide transportation for people with limited mobility. In the event of rain, ticket holders may come back for any subsequent performance.


Thursday, September 28, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Putting the Garden to Bed

On Thursday, September 28 at 7 pm in the Parkman Room of The Gardens at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, join Garden Lecturer Suzanne Mahler for a presentation covering fall gardening activities, including transplanting, lawn care, bulbs, preparing new gardens, and tips for preparing gardens for winter weather. Mass Hort Members: $12; General Admission: $20. Register online at  Image from