Saturday and Sunday, August 13 & 14, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Shine On: Summer Fruits and Vegetables in Colored Pencil

Join botanical artist/illustrator Helen Byers at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston for a weekend focused on the forms and surface textures of shiny, smooth-skinned fruits and vegetables. Instruction will cover step-by-step techniques of detailed botanical drawing in colored pencil, including toning, underpainting, layering, and blending. Daily demos and personalized instruction. A list of recommended supplies will be sent to registrants. All levels welcome; some drawing experience helpful. To see galleries of Helen’s work and slideshows from her courses, visit helenbyers.com. The class will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 13 & 14 from 10 – 4. THBG members $130, nonmembers $145. Register at www.towerhillbg.org.


Through Monday, October 10 – Natural Threads

Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street in Sandwich, is hosting ten artists this year for Natural Threads, this year’s seasonal outdoor art installation in the gardens. Their imaginative works interpret the theme of connected natural and synthetic fibers by bending, shaping, and linking natural elements of Heritage Museums & Gardens’ varied terrain.

The artists in this outdoor art installation use rope, cord, textiles, and branches among other materials to get us to pay close attention to aspects of Heritage’s peaceful environment. Heritage’s seasonal outdoor art installations inspire visitors to create and to view their familiar gardens in new ways.

Each artist competed and was selected by a jury panel for acceptance into the show. The artists featured this year are from Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, California, Mississippi, Utah and Pennsylvania. To create the art installations these experienced artists used knots, cables, ropes, mirrors, and yarn to express the passage of light, chaos and order, tree bark skins, and identity. Landscape configurations, webs, and woven lines figure into some of the pieces. One artist’s piece was inspired by rainwater and an ancient ceremonial drinking vessel. The sponsor of this exhibition is the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.  Free with admission.  For hours of operation visit www.heritagemuseumsandgardens.org.


Saturday, August 6, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Epimediums: Not Just a Ground Cover

Known by many as the ultimate groundcover for dry shade, the increased availability of the useful genus epimedium is expanding its role in the garden. The delicate beauty that these plants and their flowers possess belies their surprisingly tough, long-lasting nature and their ability to perform in the ornamental shade border. As Karen Perkins shares the history and culture of this up-and-coming genus, from its growth habit and propagation to management of pests and diseases and possible planting combinations, attendees will be inspired to experiment with the ever increasing selection of these shade-loving plants. Plants will also be available for sale after the talk. The event, co-sponsored by the Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Berkshire Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society, will take place Saturday, August 6 at the BBG. Sponsor members $15, nonmembers $20. Register online at www.berkshirebotanical.org.

Karen Perkins is owner of Garden Vision Epimediums, a mail-order nursery offering 160 species and varieties of epimedium along with other choice shade perennials. She lectures frequently at botanic gardens throughout New England.


The Gardeners of America/Men’s Garden Clubs of America 2017 Calendar

Now is your chance to purchase The Gardeners of America/Men’s Garden Clubs of America 2017 Calendar, 13 full pages of beautiful prize winning garden and horticulture photographs from annual TGOA/MGCA Photography contests. Use to record appointments, gardening, and weather events. For purchasing information, visit http://www.tgoa-mgca.org/ or call 515-278-0295/

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Friday, August 19 – Sunday, August 21 – In The Garden Weekend

Find your green thumb at The Homestead Resort’s In The Garden weekend over the dates of August 19-21, 2016. You will learn time-honored gardening tips from top professionals and enjoy your choice of hands-on garden themed classes amid the resort’s breathtaking scenery. Speakers include Craig LeHoullier, gardener, author and educator, Mark Weathington, Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University and Andre Viette, Horticulturalist, author and lecturer.

Possessing a PhD in chemistry, Craig LeHoullier’s professional career involved various positions in a major pharmaceutical company. Craig’s passion for tomatoes in particular exploded after joining the Seed Savers Exchange in 1986, and all gardens since focus on open pollinated (non-hybrid) varieties, in a wide range of colors, sizes and flavors. He is responsible for naming, developing and introducing many varieties, such as Cherokee Purple and Lucky Cross, and has been co-leading a unique all-volunteer project to create new dwarf-growing varieties. The project is responsible for 25 new tomatoes available through a variety of seed companies, particularly valuable for space-constrained gardeners who wish to grow wonderful tomatoes on decks or patios.

Mark Weathington is the Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University where he is passionate in his work to connect people with plants. His career in public horticulture has also included the Norfolk Botanical Garden where he served as Director of Horticulture and the Atlanta Botanical Garden as a horticulturist. Mark travels extensively searching for new plants to diversify the American landscape and lecturing on a variety of topics in horticulture to further the JC Raulston Arboretum’s vision of “Planning and Planting a Better World.”  Mark is currently writing Growing the Southeast Garden, a modern guide to gardening in the southeast, for Timber Press.

Horticulturist, author and lecturer, Andre Viette earned his Biological Science Certificate at The State University of New York at Farmingdale, and is a graduate of The School of Floriculture of Cornell University. Mr. Viette hosts his own talk show entitled “In the Garden” and has written several books including Beautiful Roses Made Easy, Mid-Atlantic Gardener’s Guide, and his newest book Mid-Atlantic Getting Started Garden Guide. He has developed André Viette Farm and Nursery in Fishersville, Virginia, which grows over 3,000 varieties of perennials for the sun and shade.

For complete package details, and reservations, visit https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/homestead-virginia/specials/in-the-garden-weekend


National Garden Clubs Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Because of its renowned reputation, and the strength of its membership, National Garden Clubs has been invited to be an Inaugural Network Partner of the National Pollinator Garden Network, recently formed to help establish one million gardens to assist in restoring critical pollinator population recovery in the United States. Over the next two years, The Network will bring together the science and garden capabilities of industry with the outreach of nongovernmental organizations to empower a million private citizens and organizations to plant pollinator gardens nationwide.

Federal agencies have been directed to take steps to protect and restore pollinator populations due to recent declines in the number and distribution of pollinating insects causing significant concern among ecologists and agricultural interests. These declines include our managed bee population used in agricultural, native bees, monarch butterflies (suffering a decline of more than 90% over the past two decades), and many others. In addition to being important to natural ecosystems across our country, pollinators are critical to one third of our food production. While there may be many reasons for pollinator decline, experts agree that the overall loss in the amount and distribution of habitat and food plants is a critical contributor.

This is an unprecedented collaboration and members will be providing food and habitat for pollinators in our home gardens (can even be a container on a deck or a condo window planter), as well as through public garden projects, youth garden projects, nursing homes, botanical gardens, business areas, and government offices. Monetary awards will be available for member clubs, and the National Garden Clubs plan to coordinate grants to clubs that will plant pollinator gardens with our youth. It is SO important to teach our youth how to take care of our land, our wildlife, our food supply for the future. Who will teach them if we don’t?

Register your pollinator habitat! Visit http://millionpollinatorgardens.org/ to buzz over to the Pollinator Partnership Website where you can create an account, register your pollinator site and see an interactive map of sites that have been registered. The registry is located at http://pollinator.org/mpgcmap/. It’s free and easy. Explore other pollinator friendly SHARE landscapes all over the globe. Be a part of the movement now.

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Sunday, July 31, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Floral Crowns and Headpieces

Learn how to make beautiful floral headpieces with fresh flowers and foliage. The Tower Hill Botanic Garden class will be taught by Mary Beth Hayes of Semper Virens Flowers, and will take place Sunday, July 31 from 1:30 – 3. Fun for brides-to-be and a great mother-daughter workshop (ages 13 and up). Unleash your inner hippie chic! All supplies included. $35 for Tower Hill members, $50 for nonmembers. Register online at https://towerhillbg.thankyou4caring.org/pages/event-registration-form—floral-crowns-and-headpieces

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Through September 15 – Benched

Berkshire Botanical Garden presents an exhibition of benches entitled Benched: Come Take a Seat in the Garden, which will run through September 15.  Berkshire Botanical Garden is located at the intersection of routes 102 and 183 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  For directions and hours, visit www.berkshirebotanical.org. Bench below by artist Nico Yektai.


Thursday, August 4, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Dancin’ in the Park!

As part of their 15th Anniversary Celebration, Friends of Christopher Columbus Park presents Dancin’ in the Park! on Thursday, August 4 from 6 – 9. This will be a fun evening of outdoor dancing with great music provided by “Past and Present,” aka DJs Bob Remick and Gary Wilson. The party will take place around the fountain area near Tia’s on the Waterfront at 200 Atlantic Avenue. We will have water, cookies and snack bars as well. Free.

All ages and abilities welcome.  The DJs will take requests, so you can boogie to your favorite tunes. Come and dance, or just listen to the music and enjoy a beautiful evening on the waterfront. And don’t forget to invite your friends.

ABOUT Friends of Christopher Columbus Park

This all-volunteer non-profit organization was founded in July 2001 by a small group of North End/Waterfront business people and residents to encourage, enhance and coordinate efforts of the local community and the Department of Parks and Recreation of the City of Boston to promote, improve, and maintain Christopher Columbus Park. For more information, go to www.foccp.org.


Tuesday, August 2, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Introduction to Pressure Canning Workshop

Hot water bath canning is a great way to preserve the seasonal harvest so you can enjoy a bite of summer throughout the winter, but it also requires an acidic environment to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens. Fortunately, you can do low acid canning at home with a stovetop pressure canner. During this Wright-Locke Farm class on Tuesday, August 2 from 6 – 9 at the Saint Eulalia Parish Kitchen, 50 Ridge Street in Winchester, instructor Kimi Ceridon will teach participants about equipment, resources, and safety precautions for pressure canning. Participants will also help prepare a vegetable and a soup to pressure can and take home. Tuition fee: $45 (includes 1 jar of vegetables and 1 jar of soup). Register online at www.wlfarm.org.