Wednesday, March 7, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Lessons Learned When Field Botany Meets Design

Grow Native Massachusetts presents a free talk on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 pm at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, by Uli Lorimer, Curator of the Native Flora Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Ecologically attuned designers are increasingly looking to nature for inspiration in the design of managed landscapes. But connecting field botany to horticulture is complex, and insights gained from observations in the wild don’t always translate directly into a cultivated garden.

Uli will use the recently expanded native flora garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a cultivated pine barrens and coastal plain grassland, as a case study sharing lessons learned along the way as the project evolved from a concept into a dynamic, living landscape. Good design allows for change and succession to occur, and flexibility in design intent is a valuable strategy because things do not always work out as planned.

Uli Lorimer has been the Curator of Native Flora at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Garden for over a decade. He was instrumental in the expansion of the Garden’s native plant collection, using only material sourced from the wild and grown from seed. As Field Chair at BBG, he coordinates fieldwork with regional botanists and leads botanical expeditions for naturalists and horticulturists. Co-sponsored by Mount Auburn Cemetery. For more information visit  Image from

Wednesday, February 28, 6:00 pm – Digging Deeper with Archaeologist Sara Belkin

Wakefield Estate’s February Stone Soup and Speaker features Dr. Sara Belkin of Boston University on Archaeology. On Feb. 28th at 6 pm, come to the Wakefield Estate for the second in its 2018 Stone Soup and Speaker series of engaging talks and delicious homemade soups. This year’s theme, Digging Deeper: Exploring the Wakefield Estate’s Collections, allows for a deeper look at four different aspects of the estate’s collections.

This month, Sara Belkin, former Director of our Summer Archaeological Institute for teens, will discuss her intriguing findings and research during the past five years of digs, which focused on the Irish tenant farm family that occupied the farmhouse in the late 19th century, an interest that led to and culminated in her successful defense of her doctoral dissertation in 2017. This program will be held in the Isaac Davenport mansion located at 1465 Brush Hill Road in Milton. RSVP by calling 617-333-0924 x22. Suggested donation $5.

Thursday, June 21 – Thursday, June 28 – Iceland in Summer

Join women traveling together for Serendipity Traveler’s 2018 Iceland summer small group tour to this naturally beautiful island and meet a puffin or two. Let your spirit soar with nature during our 2018 women’s tour of Iceland’s renowned glaciers, geysers, and waterfalls along the Golden Circle. It’s summer in Iceland, the land of the Midnight Sun, when the wildflowers are blooming in the meadows, temperatures are warmer, days last forever, and the waterfalls are beyond one’s wildest imagination. Iceland is one of those places where our packing list says bring a woolen hat, gloves and jacket for the winds along with your bathing suit. Of course, we will dip in the notable Blue Lagoon, walk the trails to thunderous waterfalls, photograph the fields of wildflowers blooming, and sample what makes Iceland the place that is wild, wooly and wonderful. It’s the land of fire and ice and the land of glaciers and geysers. Reserve your 2018 adventure to Iceland today. Serendipity Traveler, a specialty tour company for women traveling alone, offers itineraries that are thoughtfully crafted to provide women with the best traveling experiences wherever we go. The curated itinerary gives you a generous idea of what to look forward to and what to plan on. There will be spontaneous elements that will happen as we travel. You will add the rest when letting the essence of serendipity weave a rich tapestry of memories long after we all have said goodbye. Serendipity Traveler offers all women personal service, unparalleled value, and exceptionally fine travel in small groups.Our small group women’s 2018 tour to Iceland is 6 days and includes comfortable boutique accommodations with your own private room and no additional single supplement $5895.00. Walking tours,extensive island touring with excellent naturalist local guides including the Golden Circle, The notable Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and Iceland’s Southwesterly region, visits to numerous landmarks and stunning locations of interest, National Parks, glaciers, waterfalls, UNESCO World Heritage sites, all breakfasts, two lunches and our welcome and farewell dinners are included. Reserve now for Serendipity Traveler’s sampler of fire and ice touring Iceland in summer 2018. Complete details at

Sundays, March 4 & 11, 12:30 pm – 3:15 pm – Brass Tacks of Landscape Design

Monique Allen of The Garden Continuum will conduct a two session class at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on March 4 and 11 from 12:30 – 3:15 on landscape design.

Session one outlines the fundamentals of landscape design theory starting with an overview of garden ecology and a review of the layers: Infrastructure ~ Structure ~ Enhancements. This discussion will go over the permanent year round features of all landscapes (the bones) and review all of the convertible elements that transition through the seasons (the flesh). This discussion will also review the development of the design concept starting with the Needs ~ Wants ~ Wishes exercise (homework for next session).

Session two will review the hands on elements of a site analysis from data gathering to documentation and interpretation in order to help guide the designer in making sound design choices. We will discuss plant inventory as well as surrounding vegetation (including weeds) to help with analysis. In this discussion we will review the Needs ~ Wants ~ Wishes exercise and review concept planning using bubble diagrams and discuss preliminary layout planning.

Monique Allen has dedicated 32 years to the landscape industry focusing on land design development, best-practices construction, and fine gardening. She is the founder and creative director at The Garden Continuum, Inc., an award winning, 7-figure landscape firm. She’s developed a unique skill set in low impact and sustainable design practices. Monique is a certified Conservation Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a registered Women Owned Business. Monique is also the founder of TGC Academy, which runs the Landscaper’s Freedom Formula on-line training and offers private coaching to landscape business owners to help them navigate the complexities of growing a successful organization.

Tower Hill Members – $95; nonmembers $120. Register at

Saturday, February 24 – Sunday, February 25, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm – Camellia Show Weekend

Escape from the winter into Tower Hill’s lush conservatories, view stunning floral displays, and learn more about floral design at demos and talks by experts. On Saturday and Sunday, February 24 and 25, enjoy stunning blossoms and trees from the New England Camellia Society and explore Tower Hill’s camellia collection in the conservatories. $5 – $15. For more information visit  Image from

Wednesday, February 28, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Weaving Texture into the Garden Webinar

Join Dan Jaffe of the New England Wild Flower Society on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 pm, on line, to learn how to weave texture into the garden to enhance your existing blooms. Flowers are one of the beautiful plant features of our native flora, but what about the others? Discover how the emerging leaves of blue cohosh, the muscular bark of musclewood, or a swath of fiddleheads can add texture to your garden. $10 for NEWFS members, $13 for nonmembers. Image from Register at

Monday, March 5, 6:00 pm – Wild Diagnosis: Human Health and the Animal Kingdom

Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, and Co-Director, Evolutionary Medicine Program, UCLA; Visiting Professor, Department of Human and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, will speak on Monday, March 5 at 5 pm in the Geological Lecture Hall of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 24 Oxford Street, on Wild Diagnosis: Human Health and the Animal Kingdom.

Sudden cardiac death in kangaroos. Breast cancer in jaguars. Compulsive disorder in polar bears. All animals, including humans, are subject to a wide range of physical and psychological illnesses. Using pathological specimens from Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz will discuss disorders in both living and extinct species. She will also examine the importance of comparative and evolutionary perspectives in deepening scientific understanding of disease and increasing our compassion toward affected patients—both human and non-human animals. Free and open to the public. Free event parking at 52 Oxford Street Garage.

This event will be livestreamed on the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Facebook page. Check  the day of the program for a direct video link. A recording of this program will be available on our YouTube channel approximately three weeks after the lecture.

Friday, March 2, 6:45 pm – The Evolution of Conifer Cones Across Time and Space

Dr. Andrew Leslie, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University, will speak to the New England Botanical Club on Friday, March 2 at 6:45 in the Haller Lecture Hall, Room 102, Geological Museum, 24 Oxford Street in Cambridge. His topic is The Evolution of Conifer Cones Across Time and Space. At the broadest level, Dr. Leslie is interested in understanding the drivers of morphological diversification in organisms. He primarily approaches this topic using seed plants as a study group, focusing on relationships between form and function in reproductive structures and asking how these interactions generate evolutionary patterns over million-year time scales. Properly answering these questions requires an understanding of the broader ecological, geological, and climatic contexts in which these changes are occurring, and he therefore uses an integrative approach that incorporates techniques from paleontology, biogeography, and phylogenetics. His work particularly focuses on conifers because the group is diverse today but was also important in many ancient ecosystems, and the relationships between morphology and function can be directly tested in living as well as in extinct plants.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information visit

Saturday, February 24, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Botany Blast: Woody Plant Basics

In this Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University introductory workshop on plant structure and function, we will focus on temperate forest tree and shrub species found around the Arboretum. We will cover topics such as basic plant function and the development of flowers to fruits to seeds. This interactive session will enhance your understanding of plants and amplify future hikes in the woods or wanderings throughout the Arboretum. The class will be taught on Saturday, February 24 from 1 – 3 by graduate students, led by Cat Chamberlain. Free for Arboretum members, $10 for nonmembers. Register by calling 617-384-5277, or email  Image from

Thursday, March 1, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm – The Old House Garden

Have you ever wondered what plants grew outside the door of your old house-and why? Spend the morning of March 1 (11 – 12:30) at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, delving into plant and garden history, and learn the best resources to research and find those plants today. The free with admission program will be led by sleuths Betsy Williams and Tower Hill Librarian Kathy Bell. For more information visit