Saturday, May 6, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, May 7, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Daffodil Show

The Seven States Daffodil Society presents a Daffodil Show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, on Saturday, May 6 from 1-5, and Sunday, May 7 from 10 – 4.  Free with admission to the garden.

Saturday, May 6, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, May 7, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Primrose Show

The New England Chapter of the American Primrose Society will host its annual Primrose Show at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, on Saturday, May 6 from 10 – 5 and Sunday, May 7 from 10 – 4.  Free with admission to the garden.

Tuesday, May 2, 6:00 pm – Esplanade Association’s 16th Annual Meeting

The Esplanade Association will be hosting their 16th Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening, May 2nd at the Algonquin Club in Boston. The public is invited to attend the meeting at which the organization will share what they have accomplished over the past year in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and what they have planned for 2017 as they continue their mission to make life better on the Charles River Esplanade.

The evening will also feature guest speaker, John Alschuler, Chairman at HR&A Advisors, an internationally recognized multidisciplinary firm focused on increasing the vitality of urban life. Also, Mr. Alschuler is Emeritus Chair of the Friends of the High Line. Since founding the New York office of HR&A in 1984, he has developed bold plans that have reshaped waterfronts, downtown districts and neighborhoods. Specifically, in Boston, HR&A is the lead consultant for Imagine Boston 2030 and is playing an influential role in the Barr Foundation’s work on Boston’s Harbor. As a part of the Annual Meeting, Mr. Alschuler will speak about the significant relationship between parks and city life, as well as public-private partnerships, which is a topic that is very relevant to the Esplanade Association.

The meeting will be from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Algonquin Club located at 217 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. For those interested in attending please RSVP to as space is limited. For more information visit

From the Archives: Road Tripping

In June of 1982, Club members traveled to Hammersmith Farm in Newport.  Lunch followed at The Inn at Castle Hill. Hammersmith Farm was built by John W. Auchincloss in 1887 as his family’s 28-room summer “cottage.” After Jacqueline Bouvier, daughter of Mrs. Hugh Auchincloss, became Mrs. John F. Kennedy, the wedding reception was held at Hammersmith Farm. President Kennedy and his wife enjoyed visiting the farm when they could find the time, and no wonder. Beautiful rolling lawns and gardens, nature paths and copses of trees—not to mention the lovely old house itself—make the farm a seaside paradise.
Mrs. Auchincloss sold Hammersmith Farm mansion in 1977, and it was opened to the public until recently, when it was reclaimed as a private residence. Many of its original furnishings from the times when it figured prominently in the news have been sold off. Those who had the opportunity to visit were fortunate indeed.

The Garden Club of the Back Bay offers a selection of road trips as part of each year’s program calendar.  This season we traveled to Wellesley for a program at the Botanic Garden on cycads and gymnosperms, to Smith College for a peek at greenhouses and evolutionary plant murals, and to Windermere Community Gardens for a groundbreaking ceremony, in addition to two trips to The Country Club in Brookline for Boston Committee of the GCA meetings and lectures.  Our great disappointment is the lack of widespread support these trips garner.  While in theory everyone wants the opportunity to “get out of town” in practice we find difficulties in scheduling members to attend.  We encourage all members to consider participating in future field trips, and anyone wishing to organize an outing should email

Saturday, May 6, 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Nature Photography Workshop

Improve your photographs of nature in this half-day workshop with freelance photographer Erik Gehring, including a talk followed by hands-on experience in the Arnold Arboretum at one of the most beautiful times of year. Learn about composition, color, light, depth of field, and focus. Bring your camera and manual and familiarize yourself with the operation of your camera prior to the workshop. Level: beginner/advanced beginner. Class size: approximately 10.
Fee $70. The 12:30 – 4 class will begin in the Hunnewell Building of the Arboretum. Offered with the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Art. Photo below by Erik Gehring.  Register at

Thursday, May 18, 6:30 pm – Esplanade 5K

On the evening of Thursday, May 18th, the Esplanade Association will host the Esplanade 5K race along the beautiful pathways of the Charles River Esplanade.

The Esplanade 5K will be open to runners of all abilities and will include prizes, give-aways, refreshments, and more . The race will start and end at Fiedler Field and loop along the Boston side of the Charles River Esplanade, allowing runners to enjoy sunset views of the park.

Participants are welcome to bring their dogs to run too!  Proceeds from this event will benefit the Esplanade Association’s work to care for and improve the park.

Space is Limited! There are only 300 slots available so register now to reserve your space.  Register ($50) online at

Friday, May 5, 6:00 pm – Witness Tree: A Year in the Forest

Lynda Mapes, 2014-2015 Bullard Fellow in Forest Research, Harvard Forest, and Staff Reporter, The Seattle Times, will appear at the Arnold Arboretum on Friday, May 5 beginning at 6 pm in the Hunnewell Building for a reception, reading, and book signing.

Ever wonder about the inside of a tree or how a tree functions? Or, what a single tree can tell us about climate? Reporter Lynda Mapes spent a year embedded with scientists at the Harvard Forest to explore a single, 100-year old oak, from the symbiotic relationships in and around its roots and branches to the daily and seasonal changes of the canopy. Hear Lynda speak about her experience studying a rooted tree for a year and how this specimen is one of many in the remarkable, six-state recovery of forests that is underway on former farmland throughout New England. Her book, Witness Tree, will be available for purchase and signing. Free, registration requested at or call 617-384-5277.

Tuesday, May 2, 6:00 pm – The Evolution and Migration of the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen: Darwin’s Painfully Interesting Subject

Jean Beagle Ristaino, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Plant Pathology and Director of Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security, North Carolina State University, will speak on Tuesday, May 2, at the Harvard University Science Center, 1 Oxford Street in Cambridge, in a Harvard Museum of Natural History program entitled The Evolution and Migration of the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen. The culprit behind the nineteenth-century Irish potato famine was Phytophthora infestans, a fungus-like microorganism that causes the disease known as “potato late blight.” New genetic tools have enabled scientists to piece together the evolution of this pathogen and the history of its outbreaks in Ireland. Jean Ristaino will discuss the latest research on P. infestans and describe Charles Darwin’s early role in the search for durable resistance to this serious plant disease. Free parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Free and open to the public.

Monday, May 1, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm – The Future of Energy: The Energy We Need

With well-known sources like hydro, wind and solar at the forefront, many countries have made impressive strides transitioning to clean energy. Still, the challenges are immense: Consider that only 13 percent of the electricity produced in the United States comes from renewable sources. As the essential push toward a low-carbon future accelerates, though, how do we balance the benefits with the potential risks to nature? What are the tools—technology, policy, markets and beyond—that will help us produce the clean energy we need in New England and globally, while protecting the health of our rivers and minimizing energy sprawl and other impacts? What role can lesser known renewable sources like biomass and tidal power play? Join the Nature Conservancy at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center, 1 Memorial Drive in Cambridge on Monday, May 1 for a panel discussion on The Future of Energy. There will be a reception at 5:30 and talk begins at 6:30. Tickets are $10, and may be reserved online at

Katherine Hamilton, Partner, 38 North Solutions;
Jessika Trancik, Associate Professor of Energy Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Nels Johnson, Director, North America Energy Program, The Nature Conservancy.
Moderator: Dan Delurey, President, Wedgemere Group

The Future of Nature Boston Speaker Series is made possible by the generosity of Marilyn and Jay Sarles, Tom Jones, David and Susan Leathers, and Eaglemere Foundation.  Special thanks to media sponsor WBUR.

Thursday, May 4, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm- Henry David Thoreau at 200: From Concord to Cape Cod

American author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is best known for spending one night in jail for nonpayment of the state poll tax, and for living for two years along the shores of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, which sprouted the enduring book Walden. As part of the “Concord Quartet” Thoreau and his contemporaries Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott, revolutionized political, social and literary thinking and became known as “Transcendentalists”.

Based on several trips to Cape Cod and originally published as a series of articles, Henry David Thoreau’s Cape Cod is a remarkable work that depicts the natural beauty of Cape Cod and the nature that surrounds it. Thoreau, a consummate lover of the outdoors and nature is right at home in the Cape and he details his excitement of the area with naturalist portraits of the indigenous species and animals. Now 200 years after his birth, Thoreau’s essays and books are still being read, and his words are still printed on inspirational posters, greeting cards, and social media graphics. What are his basic philosophies, and how do they resound with us today? On Thursday May 4, beginning at 1 pm at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, you will learn a bit more about this “Transcendentalist” and discuss what threads connect us to him ­ including what he saw and experienced during his trips to Cape Cod.

Corinne H. Smith is a writer, poet, and outdoor educator. She is the author of Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau’s Last Journey, as well as a biography for middle-schoolers, Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, With 21 Activities. Corinne serves as an occasional interpreter and blog writer for Thoreau Farm: The Birthplace of Henry David Thoreau in Concord, MA.

For more information please call: 508-896-3867, ext. 133. Free with admission.  The Museum’s address is 869 Main Street (Route 6A) in Brewster.