Wednesday, June 28 – Thursday, July 6 – Highlights of Scotland

Join the Friends of Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, and visit awe inspiring gardens of Scotland June 28 – July 6.  The tour is coordinated by Hidden Treasures Tours & Brightwater Holidays.  The complete itinerary may be found at

In Edinburgh you will stay at the Jurys Inn, and will visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, Holyrood Park, then on to Aberdeen and the garden at Pitmuies House and Brechin Castle. Continue north to Dunnotar Castle, Leith Hall House, Kildrummy Castle, and a private garden of Tillypronie.  Further destinations are Crathes Castle, the Explorer’s Garden, Drummond Castle, Branklyn Gardens (pictured below), Glendoick Garden Centre, and the Gardens of Falkland Palace.  You will also visit Crawick Multiverse and the Garden of Cosmic Speculation.  This is truly a splendid trip.  Prices are from $4,150 per person, air not included.

Contact, or call her at 573-303-2872 to register, or for more information.

Wednesday, April 5, 6:00 pm – 7:30 p – Pansy Wreath Workshop

On Wednesday, April 5 from 6 – 7:30, come to Weston Nurseries of Chelmsford and celebrate the coming of Spring. Starting from a moss form, we will help you to create a colorful and unique decorative item to last the entire season. Pansy Wreaths can adorn your door or table!

Fee: $50/person. REGISTER ONLINE at and pay when you arrive for class. You may also call 508-293-8091 and make a reservation. We require registration at least 24 hours in advance to reserve a spot in this workshop. The nursery’s address is 160 Pine Hill Road in Chelmsford.

Friday, March 31 Deadline – Sponsor the Garden Club of the Back Bay’s 2017 Twilight Garden Party

The Garden Club of the Back Bay’s Twilight Garden Party will be held Tuesday, June 6 at the “Sitting Grove” in the Prudential Center, catered by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.  This is our 10th Anniversary Year and we hope you will help us celebrate by becoming a sponsor.  Sponsorships help us continue our mission to provide more care for our neighborhood trees.  Last year we planted sixteen Gingko trees along Clarendon Street with tree pit fences and ground cover, updated our alley tree survey, donated $26,000 in grants for pruning, planting, and fertilizing trees, donated $3,500 for scholarships for inner city children to attend Boston Nature Center’s summer camp, and spent an additional $20,000 on pruning street trees in the Back Bay.  This year we plan to launch a new website (this one will remain, fear not!), that will serve as a visual, online database of all the trees in the Back Bay, make it easier for us to revise our surveys as trees are removed or planted, and be a useful tool for the Parks Department and the Back Bay Architectural Commission as they make decisions that impact the neighborhood’s tree canopy.

Sponsorship levels and benefits may be found at and you may link from that page to our store (  to purchase sponsorships or tickets.  If you prefer, you may write a check made out to Garden Club of the Back Bay, Inc. and mail it to Jackie Blombach, PO Box 991017, Boston, MA 02199.

Sunday, April 9, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Growing Gourmet Shiitake Mushrooms

Rachel Brinkman, Assistant Manager of Horticulture, has been growing mushrooms for several years at the Arnold Arboretum and in the past has worked with Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension, teaching woodlot owners how they can farm their own gourmet mushrooms. All that is needed is a bit of shade and some inoculated logs to construct a crib that can produce a variety of mushroom types. Rachel will share what she has learned and guide you through the process of drilling logs, inoculating them with spawn, and then sealing them with wax. She will discuss care for a bountiful crop. Each participant will go home with an Arboretum-grown shiitake log readied for mushroom production. The session will take place Sunday, April 9 from 10 – noon. Fee $45 Arboretum member; $58 nonmember. Register at or call 617-384-5277. Image from

Sunday, April 9, 2:00 pm – 3:00 PM – Floral Diplomacy at the White House

Fusco and Four are thrilled to invite you to meet a special guest on Sunday, April 9 at the AD20/21 Art & Design Show at the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street in Boston: Laura Dowling, chief floral designer to the Obama White House for 6 years. Her flower arranging demonstration, program and book signing of her newly-released book Floral Diplomacy at the White House is a not-to-be-missed event.

In addition we will have complimentary color consultations from Farrow & Ball and the U.S. Postal Service dedication of the new Oscar de la Renta stamps.

It all adds up to a colorful Sunday afternoon at Boston’s favorite spring art & design show, AD20/21! For all of the details of the program and the show, visit

Seating is limited and we expect this event to be sold out.  Garden Club members and their guests are invited to reserve their seats in advance.  The $15 ticket includes a reserved seat, admission to show, complimentary catalog, and coat check, Reserve today at

Saturday, April 1, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Garden-Inspired Table Decor

March 27 is the deadline to sign up for a Tower Hill Botanic Garden workshop on Garden-Inspired Table Decor, to be held Saturday, April 1 from 2 – 4 at the garden located at 11 French Drive in Boylston. Create and take home a simple arrangement to enhance your table and watch while we style garden-inspired everyday and wedding tablescapes. From the colors and textures to arrangements and place settings we will teach you how to entertain with fresh, organic items that will make your guests swoon and bring a lush garden feel to any event. Materials included.

The Romanticist Studios are dedicated to creative direction, unique and heartfelt designs, curated memories & perfectly styled details. We create modern and romantic events for couples in New England and in destinations like France and Italy

Instructor Roberta West holds an MBA in Operations Management and spent several years in international logistics prior to becoming a creative director. Her styling aesthetic is romantic and timeless like the beautiful celebrations and editorials she designs for her clients. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and baby boy. $40 THBG members, $55 for nonmembers. Register at—garden-inspired-table-dcor

From the Archives: What We Do, and What We Don’t

Garden Club of the Back Bay meeting minutes from November 1982 indicate we placed a notice in the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay newsletter that the Garden Club was available to give advice for front yard landscaping improvements.  We’re not sure if anyone at the time took us up on the offer, but over the years we have fielded many inquiries of this sort, usually from people looking for recommendations of landscape designers or garden maintenance experts.  Sometimes we know a name, sometimes we don’t.  We also have come to realize that a recommendation of a name can look like an endorsement of one company over another, which is not our intent.

Our most amusing queries come from new residents who ask us to come over and actually plant their gardens.  We suppose they have confused a Garden Club with a Garden Service.  If you are a local urban garden designer or own a landscape firm working in the Back Bay, please feel free to email with your information, so we may add your name to a list we hope to prepare and send to interested parties when asked, with a strict caveat that The Garden Club of the Back Bay is not vouching for or vetting the names contained on the list.  Image from


Tuesday, September 5 – Thursday, September 14 – Gardens of Genoa, The Italian Riviera, & Florence

Join the American Horticultural Society September 5 – 14 on this adventure in exquisite Italian gardens, palaces, and art museums.

Our itinerary begins in Italy’s northwestern port city of Genoa. We’ll experience the many delights of the Liguria region, enjoy the stylish resort areas of the Italian Riviera, and venture into Tuscany. In Florence we’ll see the Boboli Gardens, created by Cosimo I de Medici; the Uffizi Gallery, home to an astounding collection of Renaissance art; and villas and palaces with extraordinary gardens including the well-known Villa Gemberaia and Palazzo del Principe.

Your AHS Host is Katy Moss Warner, President Emeritus of the AHS, and world traveller. Katy has hosted many garden tours for the AHS and is known for her enthusiasm for travel, gardening, music, and art.

Our tour organizer is Susie Orso, who has arranged and led dozens of AHS Travel Study programs. She and Katy have worked closely together to craft this special program that is being offered exclusively to our AHS travellers. Susie is British by birth and lives in Florence with her Italian husband, and it is through her contacts that many of our visits will be possible.  Image below from

Top-rated Hotels:

In Genoa we will be guests at The Hotel Melia, a contemporary designer property that is both peaceful and centrally located.
Our next stop will be the Grand Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita Ligure, on the water in the heart of the Italian Riviera.
Our final nights will be spent at the elegant Hotel Villa Cora in Florence, set in a park overlooking the Boboli Gardens.
For complete information visit

Tuesday, May 30 – Thursday, June 1 – Triennial Garden Symposium

Join Mount Vernon for a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn more about historic gardens and landscapes! The Triennial Garden Symposium, May 30 through June 1, features renowned speakers specializing in historic landscape exploration, preservation, and public interpretation. The symposium includes a private reception on the piazza, tours of the Mansion and newly opened Library, an elegant dinner in the Ford Orientation Center, and more behind the scenes experiences.

This conference offers a broad scope of historic garden and landscape topics. Experts will examine, discuss and evaluate a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to: 18th-century bulbs, the search for lost gardens, maintaining plants throughout the winter, and the gardens of 18th-century Virginia. Tickets to this symposium are $250. The ticket includes meals and a private reception on the Mansion piazza.

Featured experts include:

Nicholas Luccketti is the Principal Archaeologist with the James River Institute for Archaeology in Williamsburg.

Kent Brinkley is a Virginia native and an award-winning landscape architect, lecturer and author of The Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg, whose professional career spans over thirty years.

William D. Rieley serves as the Landscape Architect for The Garden Club of Virginia, a position he has held since 1998.

Scott Kunst is the owner of Old House Gardens, the country’s premier source for heirloom flower bulbs.

Fiona McAnally examines issues of food policy, supporting groups such as the Tennessee Fruit and Vegetable Association and the Tennessee Food Policy Council, while pursuing her interests in southern garden history, food history, and agriculture.

Wesley Greene founded the Colonial Garden and Garden Shop where costumed employees interpret 18th-century plants, tools and cultural technique and sell heritage plants, seeds, bulbs and garden related items.

Jack Gary is the Director of Archaeology and Landscapes at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, where he leads an interdisciplinary team of archaeologists and scholars in order to discover the site’s hidden landscapes.

Peter J. Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 38 years of experience in the restoration and interpretation of historic landscapes.

Dean Norton has researched 18th-century landscape design and gardening practices at Mount Vernon for more than 35 years.

For more information on registration and lodging options contact Melissa Wood at 703-799-5203 or email  Image from

Wednesday, March 29, 6:00 pm – Creation of Metropolitan Parks System

On Wednesday, March 29, the Wakefield Estate’s Stone Soup and Speaker Series continues with remarks by Alan Banks, Supervisory Park Ranger at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline. Banks will explore how industrial developments in the 19th century led Milton’s own visionary Charles Eliot to create Trustees of the Reservation and ultimately, the Boston Metropolitan Parks System, one of the first of its type in the world.

This year’s Stone Soup & Speaker Series, held on the last Wednesday of the month through April, is looking closely at several key periods of our local history to highlight stories of our past that reveal important connections to our present and future.

Soup is served at 6:00 pm followed by the talk at 6:30 pm. $10 suggested donation. Space is limited and this year’s series has been very popular, verging on “standing room only” attendance. Pre-registration is important and required. To RSVP or for more information, please call 617-333-0924. The Wakefield Estate is located at 1465 Brush Hill Road in Milton.