Saturday, May 16, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, and Sunday, May 17, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Trade Secrets

Welcome to Trade Secrets – the two-day garden event that includes a rare plant and garden antique sale on Saturday, May 16, and a four-garden tour on Sunday, May 17. We are excited this year to be celebrating the 15th Anniversary of Trade Secrets, dubbed by many to be the northeast region’s garden event of the year!

Founded by Bunny Williams, Trade Secrets is the signature fundraiser for Women’s Support Services (WSS) of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. The WSS mission is to create a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education by offering free, confidential, client-centered services focused on safety, support advocacy and community outreach.

This year many beloved vendors are returning (along with a few new additions we know you will love!) for Saturday’s rare plant and garden antique sale at LionRock Farm in Sharon, CT (pictured below.) We have four lovely Connecticut gardens on the Sunday garden tour – including the Trade Secrets’ signature garden of Bunny Williams and John Rosselli – always a treat.  Tickets are available online at

Through May 31 – Art of the Heirloom

The Hudson Valley Seed Library is a small, farm-based seed company celebrating heirloom and open-pollinated garden seeds and garden-themed contemporary art.  Each year artists are commissioned to create designs for the seed packets.  The original art for the 2015 packets was first exhibited at the New York Botanical Garden and profiled in The New York Times, and now continues on to Tower Hill Botanic Garden.  Hudson Valley Seed Library packets are available for purchase at the Shop at Tower Hill.  Exhibit free with admission to the Garden.  For directions visit Below: Blue Jade Sweet Corn, by Daniel Baxter,  credit Hudson Valley Seed Library Catalog/Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden.

Saturday, May 9, 7:00 am – 9:00 am – Walnut Hills Cemetery Bird Walk

Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with a National Park Service bird walk suitable for beginners and novices at Brookline’s Walnut Hills Cemetery. This public cemetery is also the burial place of architect H.H. Richardson, landscape architect John Charles Olmsted, and Arnold Arboretum founding director Charles Sprague Sargent. Time permitting, we will try and visit these grave sites as well as a burial plot that was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm. Bring binoculars and a field guide and be prepared for occasional uneven terrain. Meets inside the cemetery entrance, 96 Grove Street, Brookline. (Co-sponsored by the Brookline Bird Club)  For more information visit

Saturday, May 9, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Landscape Photography

In this intermediate level Tower Hill Botanic Garden photography class on Saturday, May 9, from 10 – 2, Steve McGrath will show the various camera settings appropriate for Landscape Photography, utilizing your Shutter and Aperture settings for the best exposure. The class will also cover composition, focal length, depth of field, filters and the use of natural light. Tripods are a plus but not mandatory. After a presentation, we will head out into the Gardens to photograph and end the class with a critique of your work.

Steve McGrath is a professional freelance photographer and photography teacher who has been creating images for 20 years. Steve first began by shooting sports photography for local high schools, then weddings, and stock agencies. Then his love of the outdoors led him to focusing more on his true passion, “nature photography”. Steve was an active member of the Gateway Camera Club for many years, and has won many ribbons and awards at fairs and competitions through the group and on his own. Several of his images have been published in school text books. His favorite places to shoot are Acadia National Park in Maine, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the Cape Cod National Seashore. $40 for THBG members, $50 for nonmembers. Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Saturday, May 2, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Beyond the Honey Bee: Conserving Our Native Pollinators

The Hubbardston-Ware River Nature Club and the East Quabbin Land Trust will sponsor a day long seminar Beyond the Honey Bee: Conserving Our Native Pollinators, on Saturday, May 2 from 8 – 4:30 at the Harvard Forest in Petersham. The purpose of this event is to increase awareness and provide information and resources to people who want to manage their properties to benefit native pollinators. It is designed for small landowners, public lands managers, small farmers, backyard gardeners, and others who want to manage open space with native pollinator needs in mind. Speakers include Dr. Rob Gegear of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, naturalists Gail Howe Trenholm and Charley Eiseman, Dr. Anne Averill of UMass-Amherst, Tom Sullivan (pictured below – thank you of, and author and garden coach Ellen Sousa. Schedule and registration information visit:

Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 – Plant Show Weekend at Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Plant societies strut their stuff on Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts.  See judged shows, hear talks, and buy specimens for your collections.  The schedule is as follows:


Primrose Show 10-5.

Rock Garden Show 10-5.

Art of Growing Food 10-11:30.

Garden Design Workshop 1-4.

Daffodil Show 1-5.


Daffodil Show 9-4.

Primrose Show 9-4.

Potted Herb Garden Workshop 1-3:30.

Garden Tour at 2 pm.

For complete information visit

Friday, June 5, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saturday, June 6, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Sunday, June 5, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – 7 – New England Botanical Club 120th Anniversary Research Conference

Come celebrate New England Botanical Club’s 120th anniversary at this historic free research conference, to be held at Smith College in Northampton Friday – Sunday, June 5 – 7.

Botanical societies and practicing scientists enliven and advance plant science. Academic biologists and citizen-scientists generate important new discoveries about the flora. They also inspire a new generation of students who continue to expand scientific knowledge and work to conserve plants and ecosystems.

Meetings, field trips, and conferences are vital ways to infuse all botanists with new energy and visions for the future. Botanists of northeastern North America will showcase their activities and research.  Botanical societies will brainstorm on opportunities for future research and collaboration.

The weekend kicks off Friday with a reception at the Smith College Greenhouses from 5 – 7.  Registration begins Saturday at 8, followed by a morning session with talks by botanical researchers and exhibit tables on display by botanical societies.  The keynote speaker will follow the buffet lunch.  Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Botany Dr. Pamela Diggle (pictured) will address the conference.  She is also Past President of the Botanical Society of America.  An afternoon session follows the speech.  Sunday at 9, at the MacLeish Field Station, there will be a brainstorm meeting: ensuring the future of botanical societies.  Then at 11:30, take a botanical foray of the 240 acre field station (bag lunch provided.) The weekend is co-sponsored by Smith College Department of Biological Sciences.  Register at

Saturday, September 26 – Moondance Gala

Save the date for The Moondance Gala on the banks of the Charles River, taking place Saturday, September 26.  This benefit for The Esplanade Association is making life better in the park, from the ground up.  Sip seasonal cocktails, dine on a delectable farm-to-table menu, dance the night away under the stars, and celebrate the restoration of the iconic Hatch Shell Lawn.  For sponsorship opportunities contact

Saturday, May 9, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Plantiful Propagation

Learn how to stretch your garden budget by taking advantage of nature’s generosity. Kristin Green, Blithewold horticulturist and author of Plantiful: Start Small, Grow Big with 150 Plants that Spread, Self-Sow, and Overwinter, will present a gardener’s guide to opportunism followed by a demonstration on how to root tip cuttings using a Forsythe pot—a propagation tool that is simpler than an expensive greenhouse mist system, more reliable than glasses of water on the windowsill, and can be easily made from stuff stashed in the potting shed. The event will take place Saturday, May 9, from 1 – 2 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston.

Kristin Green is an interpretive horticulturist at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, a 33 acre non-profit public garden on the Narragansett Bay shore in Bristol, RI. Working as a part of a small staff and with a group of 25-30 volunteers, she helps plan, design, propagate, plant and maintain their five main garden areas, and has been author and photographer of Blithewold’s garden blog since 2007. Kristin is also head-gardener and curator of plants for her own tiny estate in Bristol. She writes a regular column called Down to Earth for area newspapers, her own blog at, and has contributed articles and photographs to Fine Gardening and other magazines. Kristin will be available to sign her book, carried in Tower Hill’s gift shop, after the presentation.

Tower Hill members – $20, non-members – $35. Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Wednesday, May 13, 6:00 pm – The Taste of Germany – Exploring a Nation Through its Food History

Defying popular perception of the meat and potatoes diet, Ursula Heinzelmann’s book Beyond Bratwurst delves into the history of German cuisine and reveals the country’s long history of culinary innovation. Heinzelmann’s May 13 talk, part of the Pepin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastromony, will discuss German food history, particularly the late and rapid industrialization as it is defined through cheese production. There will be German Alpine cheeses and German wine to sample as part of the discussion. Fee of $30 includes book. The class takes place at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 117, and you may register online at

Monday, May 4, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Spring Wildflowers at Macomber Woods

Macomber Woods in Framingham is a 57-acre oasis encompassing meadows and upland forest as well as Barton Brook, a rocky, babbling stream that creates beautiful wooded wetlands. Untouched for decades, the site has been reclaimed by nature, yet stonework, cattle guards, and century-old wisteria vines and rhododendrons evoke a sense of the human influence. Join New England Wild Flower Society and Roland “Boot” Boutwell on Monday, May 4 from 10 – 2 in exploring this idyllic landscape as we enjoy the glory of the spring wildflowers in bloom. Bring a bag lunch. $37 for NEWFS members, $46 for nonmembers. Register online at

Saturday, May 2, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Fungi in the Field

Can you distinguish a bolete from a gilled mushroom? What is a mushroom anyway? While fall is considered fungi season in the Northeast, fungi are seasonally cyclical and different species and types can be found almost anytime except deep winter. Join the New England Wild Flower Society and Jef Taylor (yes, that’s Jef with one “f”)at Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln for a walk around the sanctuary to discover as many fungi as we can. Learn about the crucial and sometimes astonishing roles these fascinating life forms have in the ecosystem and some methods for identifying mushrooms and other fungi in the field. $28 for members of NEWFS, $34 for nonmembers. Register online at Image from

Saturday, May 9, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Native Pollinator Conservation

Sonia G. Schloemann will present the final spring Mass Aggie seminar on Saturday, May 9, from 10 – 2 at Smolak Farms, 315 South Bradford Street in North Andover, entitled Native Pollinator Conservation. Pollination is an important step in growing all fruits and many vegetables. While most people know about honey bees, native bees are also important pollinators. Encouraging native bees and other beneficials by providing nesting and forage habitat is easy and fun for the home gardener. Learn about how to build bee blocks and which flowering plants make good forage habitat. Participants will build nest boxes to bring home to their gardens. There will be a break for participants to enjoy a BYO lunch or buy lunch at the farm.  This seminar is partially out of doors, so please dress appropriately for potentially wet, cool, and muddy conditions.  Fee is $50, and you may register online at

Sunday, May 3, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm – The Portable Potted Herb Garden

Grow your own culinary herbs, available for snipping from May to November. Nothing enhances meals like the taste of fresh herbs. Create an herb garden that can be moved from place to place to take full advantage of available sunlight. Plant 6 classic culinary herbs in a 14″ container to grow on a sunny porch, patio or doorstep. Plants, pot, soil and a copy of instructor Betsy Williams’s cookbook, Mrs. Thrift Cooks, are included. Tastings of a selection of herb butters, pestos, vinegars and salts, as well as rosemary walnuts, are also included. Please bring an apron and flower scissors to class.

Betsy teaches, lectures and writes about living with herbs and flowers. A gardener and herb grower since 1972, Betsy trained as a florist in Boston and England. She combines her floral and gardening skills with an extensive knowledge of history, plant lore and seasonal celebrations. Betsy is the author of several books on the uses and stories of herbs and flowers. She has appeared on the Discovery Channel and greater Boston cable stations as well as local and national radio talk shows. Betsy lectures and teaches locally and nationally. $75 for THBG members, $90 for non-members. Register online at or call 508-869-6111.  Image from

Sunday, May 10 – Lilac Sunday

This year’s Lilac Sunday T-shirt was designed by the Boston Architectural College Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Olivia Fragale, a 2014 Hunnewell Intern at the Arnold Arboretum’s plant propagation and nursery facility, led the initiative and worked collaboratively with the Arboretum’s Lilac Sunday organizers and printer Evan Webster of Evan Webster Ink in Shelburne, Vermont. Celebrate spring at the Arboretum on Lilac Sunday, May 10, 2015.

Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Land Stewardship for Pollinator Conservation

Pollinators are essential to our ecosystem — more than 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants and two-thirds of our agricultural crops depend upon them for reproduction. In many places, however, their essential service is at risk. Loss of habitat due to urbanization and use of pesticides are causing declines in both managed honey bee colonies and native pollinator populations.

Come to the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway on Wednesday, May 6 at 7 pm and learn about the fascinating and diverse world of New England’s native pollinators — bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, and wasps — and about the latest science-based approaches to reversing pollinator declines by protecting and managing habitat for these vital insects.

Kelly Gill, the speaker, is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Xerces Society and a Partner Biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Xerces Society has worked for over 40 years on pollinator conservation and is well known for its best-selling book Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. The lecture is free. For more information visit

Thursdays, April 30, May 14, May 28, and June 11, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Native Herbaceous Plant Materials: Early Season

Jessie Panek of the New England Wild Flower Society will teach a series of classes on Thursdays, April 30, May 14, May 28 and June 11 from 1 – 3:30 at Garden in the Woods in Framingham. Discover numerous native perennials suitable for New England gardens. We’ll look at native herbaceous plants that bloom in spring and early summer, focusing on how to use them effectively to create beautiful landscapes and gardens. Be prepared to walk in the Garden each day. This class is appropriate for landscape professionals and avid home gardeners. It is a companion to Native Herbaceous Plant Materials: Late Season, but can be taken separately. $154 for members of NEWFS, $182 for nonmembers. Register on line at

Saturday, May 2, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – A Day with Ellen Ecker Ogden

Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The Complete Kitchen Garden, is a co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog.  Ellen writes about food and gardens for The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and The Boston Globe.  Make the ordinary garden extraordinary by hearing her at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on Saturday, May 2.  The day begins with her lecture The Art of Growing Food from 10 – 11:30 am.  ($15 for THBG members, $25 for nonmembers.) Then, join her for a brown bag lunch from 11:30 – 12:30, limited to afternoon workshop participants only.  Pre-registration is necessary.  From 1:00 – 4:00, she will lead a Hands-on Workshop in Garden Design (THBG members $35, nonmembers $50.)  Starting with an overview of your yard, Ellen will help you develop a five-year plant.  Pre-requisite is the 10 – 11:30 lecture The Art of Growing Food.  Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Saturday, May 9, 9:00 am – 11:00 am – Sketching Trees

Explore an amazing variety of tree forms using pencil and paper in beautiful Mount Auburn Cemetery with Harvard Museum of Natural History instructor Erica Beade on Saturday, May 9, from 9 – 11. Students will focus on capturing the shapes and volume of trunks and branches and on learning techniques for drawing foliage. All skill levels are welcome. $35 for Harvard Museum of Natural History members, $40 for nommembers. Register online at

Sunday, May 3, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Follow that Fragrance! Chasing Lilac History

White lilacs and Rachmaninov are connected how? What villainous role did lilac blooms play on the old “Batman” TV show? Can you name the Walt Whitman lilac poem not addressing President Lincoln’s assassination? This year at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, fellow Ben Miller and four Harvard College research partners (Theodore Delwiche ‘17, Sarah Blatt-Herold ‘18, Christine Legros ‘17, Ian Van Wye ‘17) have been harvesting material for a book-length lyric essay about the lilac aura, and ways it has filtered through their own lives and cultures around the globe. In this lively program, to be held Sunday, May 3 from 2 – 3 in the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, “Team Lilac” will present an array of poems, songs, monologues and visual art celebrating the lavish, mysterious, and ever-enduring charisma of Syringa vulgaris.
Free. Registration requested at
Before or after the event, plan to walk to the Arboretum’s lilac collection to enjoy the earlier blooming varieties in this vast collection.

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