Tuesday, December 9, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – The Bee: A Natural History

Bees pollinate more than 130 fruit, vegetable, and seed crops that we rely on to survive. Bees are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate, threatening food supplies and ecosystems around the world. In this natural history talk at the Arnold Arboretum on Tuesday, December 9, from 7 – 8:30 pm, Noah Wilson-Rich, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of The Best Bees Company, will provide a window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet. He will speak about the human–bee relationship through time; explain a bit about bee evolution, ecology, and physiology; and share his holistic approach to bee health and how you can help bee populations. His book, The Bee: A Natural History, will be available for sale and signing.  Fee $5 Arboretum member, $10 nonmember.  Register at https://my.arboretum.harvard.edu/Info.aspx?DayPlanner=1385&DayPlannerDate=12/9/2014.

Monday, December 8, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Webinar: The Magical Appeal of Moss Landscape Designs

Moss landscapes offer a magical appeal with verdant expanses that seem to encapsulate our spirits with a sense of serenity. Yet, the environmental advantages of eco-friendly mosses add another element of magic through the creation of outdoor living spaces that complement natural ecosystems. As Planet Earth’s oldest living land plants (450 million years old), bryophytes – mosses and their cousins, liverworts and hornworts – are native to all parts of the world. Mosses not only survive but actually thrive in climates and conditions considered inhospitable to most other plants. The year-round green of mosses makes them excellent horticultural choices in gardens for all seasons, including the winter. Even when covered in snow, mosses will continue reproductive processes. When the snow melts, young colorful sporophytes (equivalent of flowers) can be present and the vivid greens of new growth will delight you. On Monday, December 8, at 7:30 pm, join Ecological Landscaping Alliance webinar host Annie Martin to learn more about the benefits of designing with mosses from the aesthetic to the practical, such as erosion control considerations. Annie will also discuss moss cultivation, harvesting regulations, and more.

Annie Martin, known as Mossin’ Annie, is the owner of Mountain Moss. Her mossery is located in the mountains of western North Carolina. To learn more about mosses, please visit: www.mountainmoss.com. Live mosses for your projects (container trays, pre-vegetated moss mats, and lightweight panels for living moss walls or moss green roofs) are available through the online Moss Shop. As experts in moss-scapes, Mountain Moss offers consultation/design/installation services as well as educational lectures/workshops so that others can experience their own moss magic. Martin will be sharing her passion for moss gardening in her upcoming book (Timber Press, spring 2015).
– See more at: http://www.ecolandscaping.org/event/webinar-the-magical-appeal-of-moss-landscape-designs/#sthash.NJ2SOeRv.dpuf. Image from www.appvoices.org.

Monday, December 8, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Young Friends of the Public Garden Frame the Garden Event

The Friends of the Public Garden temporarily installed three frames in the Public Garden and encouraged people to “Take a photo and share your masterpiece with the world.” The Young Friends group promotes this initiative which celebrates the beauty of the Public Garden, engages visitors, and raises awareness for our work in caring for the Public Garden, Boston Common, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

Join the Young Friends for an evening of appetizers, drinks, and socializing to support the frame project and the Friends ongoing work to care for these three parks.  Buy tickets online at https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=ftpg&id=15.

Monday, December 8, 7 – 10 pm
Abby Lane
253 Tremont Street, Boston
Tickets: $40.00 per person (includes appetizers and one drink)
RSVP by December 1

Wednesday, December 3, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Repeal Day Anniversary Celebration

Join friends and members of the Gibson House Museum for a benefit cocktail reception to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition (December 5, 1933). Etiquetteer Robert B. Dimmick will offer a few deft words about the manners during Prohibition. Special guest Stephanie Schorow, author of Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits, will also attend.

Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) will be serving Charlie’s Beacon, a cocktail specially designed in honor of the Gibson House and its founder, Charles Hammond Gibson, Jr.  Ryan and Wood Distillery of Gloucester is graciously sponsoring Repeal Day with its world-class Knockabout Gin. Period attire is encouraged.
Sponsors will receive a personally autographed copy of Ms. Schorow’s book.  Please respond by November 28. Gibson House Museum is located at 137 Beacon Street, Boston.  Ticket price $125 for Patrons, $200 for Sponsors, and reservations are required; rsvp info@thegibsonhouse.org or 617.267.6338. Gibson martini image from www.magnoliadays.com.

Wednesday, December 10, 9:30 am – 3:45 pm – Greenhouse Vegetable Production in Containers

UMass Extension Greenhouse Crops and Floriculture Program will hold a workshop on Wednesday, December 10, from 9:30 – 3:45 at the Publick House in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  $40 per person, plus an additional fee if you register online with a credit card.  Registration includes morning refreshments, breaks, and handouts.  You may also print a mail in registration form at http://extension.umass.edu/floriculture/events/greenhouse-vegetable-production-containers.

Speakers include Rich McAvoy from University of Connecticut, who will speak on Growing Greenhouse Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Carol Glenister of IPM Laboratories on Perfecting Biocontrol in Greenhouse Vegetables, Brian Krug of University of New Hampshire on Growing Bench-top Greens, M. Bess Dicklow of UMass Extension Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on Diseases and Disorders of Greenhouse Tomatoes, and Brad Clegg of Four Town Farm and Dave Volante of Volante Farms, leading a Grower to Grower Panel.  Image from www.gizmag.com.

Saturday, December 13, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm – Holiday Table Garden

On Saturday, December 13, from 10 – 12:30, join Betsy Williams at Tower Hill Botanic Garden for a Holiday Table Garden workshop.  Plant a fragrant, flowering long-lasting winter garden for holiday decorating or as a seasonal gift.  All materials are included.  Fee is $75 for THBG members, $90 for nonmembers.  To register visit www.towerhillbg.org. Image from www.projectgreenscaping.com.

Saturday, December 6, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, December 7, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Berkshire Botanical Garden Holiday Marketplace

The Berkshire Botanical Garden invites you to its Holiday Marketplace on Saturday, December 6 (10 – 5) and Sunday, December 7 (10 – 4).  This is a perfect time to buy garden themed gifts and stocking stuffers, while enjoying the beautifully decorated grounds.  For directions, visit www.berkshirebotanical.org.

Thursday, December 4, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – “Jwal sulul li’be!”: Exploring the Muddy Path of Conservation and Development in Central America

EcoLogic Development Fund, based in Cambridge and Guatemala, has worked to empower rural communities to protect and restore tropical ecosystems in Mexico and Central America since 1993. EcoLogic believes that what makes conservation stick is skilled local leadership and enduring community-level commitment. On Thursday, December 4, Anne Elise Stratton, a Tufts senior, will present her summer research in a lowland Caribbean Guatemala protected area. She’ll explain challenges farmers face with climate change, corn production, and agroforestry as well as her insights and anecdotes from fieldwork. Devyn Powell, Tufts class of 2014, joined EcoLogic’s staff before graduating last spring. She will add to Anne Elise’s presentation by leading lunch participants in a conversation about career paths, sustainability and climate, and EcoLogic’s special role and theory of change applied across the region – especially how a small NGO tackles deforestation and landscape restoration beyond protected areas alone.

Anne Elise Stratton worked as a field intern for EcoLogic this summer in the Sarstún region of Guatemala, where she is also pursuing research about seed selection and exchange in the area. She is currently a rising senior at Tufts, where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies with a focus on food systems. Devyn Powell, EcoLogic Development Fund Communications Officer. Devyn is responsible for the development and implementation of EcoLogic’s communications strategy. Prior to joining EcoLogic, Devyn helped coordinate online communications, website management, and graphic design for the Tufts Institute of the Environment. She spent time in Ancash, Peru, where she conducted field research exploring climate change adaptation strategies for rural farming communities, and has also lived in Costa Rica. Devyn was raised in Portland, Oregon, and earned a BA in International Relations and Environmental Studies from Tufts (Class of 2014). She is proficient in Spanish and knows some Portuguese and Japanese.

Lunch & Learn lectures take place every Thursday from 12:00-1:00pm at the Lincoln Filene Center, Rabb Room on the Medford Campus during the academic year. The Tufts Institute of the Environment generously sponsors lunch. If you are interested in participating in the Lunch & Learn program as a guest lecturer/participant, contact environmentalstudies@tufts.edu.

You can’t make it to the talk? No problem! Watch it live here from your computer or smart phone.

Tuesday, December 2, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Copley Square Tree Lighting and Holiday Festivities

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and The Friends of Copley Square will celebrate the holidays with the annual Copley Square Tree Lighting on Tuesday, December 2, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

The free event will feature appearances by Mayor Walsh, WHDH-TV’s Janet Wu, Santa Claus, and Rudolph along with live entertainment including members of the Boston Pops Brass Ensemble, the Trinity Church Choristers, vocalist Sheree Dunwell, and a holiday sing-along.

The Old South Church bell will toll when the tree is illuminated. Light refreshments will be provided by local businesses and the Fairmont Copley Plaza will host a family reception immediately following for all in attendance.

The reception will include cookie decorating, photos with Santa and treats from Georgetown Cupcake, Pain d’Avignon, and the Fairmont Copley Plaza.

In addition, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Copley Square will become a spot for family revelry with jugglers, stilt walkers, and festive music provided by Magic 106.7, Boston’s holiday music station.

Even more festivities will take place in and around Copley Square on December 2. The Boston Public Library and The Catered Affair will host a Storytime and Candy Cane Tea at The Fairmont Copley Plaza from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The tea is free but reservations are required by calling (617) 859-2282.

For additional information please call the Boston Parks and Recreation Department at (617) 635-4505. To learn more about The Friends of Copley Square, please visit www.friendsofcopleysquare.org.

Friday, February 6, 7:00 pm – Mardi Gras Benefit for Friends of Copley Square

Buy tickets before the December 5 deadline for savings on one of Boston’s most exciting benefit events – Mardi Gras a Boston 2015.  The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel will host.  Tickets are $125 per person before December 5, $150 thereafter.  For $475 purchase two tickets and an overnight stay in the Back Bay (always desirable during the winter), but there is limited availability so book today.  Visit http://www.focsmardigras2015.eventbrite.com, or send a check to The Friends of Copley Square, PO Box 170124, Boston, MA 02117-0124.

Mardi Gras a Boston 2015 Save the Date

Sunday, December 7, 2:00 pm – Jamaica Pond & Boston’s Water System

From the 1630 settlement of Boston, people needed a water supply. On Sunday, December 7 at 2 pm, Marcis Kempe, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum and an avid water supply historian will discuss the early attempts by Boston residents to find drinking water on Shawmut peninsula. Attempts at wood pipe water systems led eventually to the construction of Boston’s 1796 Jamaica Pond Aqueduct Corporation which fulfilled a need for water supply piped directly into houses. Mr. Kempe will chronicle this story and that of 1848 Boston’s municipal water system that eventually replaced the wooden pipes. He will also discuss the further growth of the Metropolitan Boston water system at the turn of the century and the steps taken to protect the public from the growing pollution of water sources. Come and join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society to learn about the important people and events in the Jamaica Pond story and how this modest system grew into today’s nationally acclaimed Metropolitan Boston area water supply.

Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. This event is being hosted by the Arnold Arboretum at 125 Arborway, so please check their website, www.arboretum.harvard.edu, for directions and parking instructions. Garden Club of the Back Bay members please note that our March excursion will be to the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum to hear Mr. Kempe speak.

Friday, December 5, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Webinar: Landscape Design – Therapeutic Wellness Gardens

Ecological landscape professionals have long understood the connection between healthy landscapes and human health. Landscape Architect Tom Benjamin takes this connection one step further by creating therapeutic wellness gardens in the midst of healing facilities such as the Kent Hospital in Rhode Island. In this Ecological Landscaping Alliance webinar, Tom Benjamin will share his insights and the techniques that he has used to integrate human “well-being” and environmental health into wellness designs for heavily developed sites. Tom’s December 5th presentation will cover the planning, implementation, and maintenance of therapeutic wellness gardens as components of campus scale efforts to transform conventional landscapes to green infrastructure. As part of the overall design, he will cover passive stormwater management, soil rejuvenation, habitat enhancement, aesthetic and maintenance considerations, and the nexus between human wellness and the health of the environment. Innovative methods of reusing onsite materials to reduce our carbon footprint and control Operations & Maintenance costs will be addressed as well. The role of sustainable landscapes to inspire larger facility-wide sustainability initiatives will also be discussed.
Thomas (Tom) Benjamin is an independent registered Landscape Architect and LEED Accredited Professional (AP BD+C) practicing design and sustainability consulting and is Principal of Wellnesscapes. Tom has more than 20 years experience in environmental design and sustainability work often focused on green design, including energy, waste, water and food systems. In addition to residential restoration, Tom’s site planning work emphasizes low cost, low maintenance landscape solutions for healthcare, academic and senior institutions, public facilities, commercial and residential developments, large-scale solar farms and community farms/gardens. His work has often encompassed enhancement of natural stormwater filtration systems. His design experience includes upland, wetland, and coastal zone restoration using low tech bioengineering solutions. Tom teaches sustainable landscape design at the University of Massachusetts. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including three for his sustainable landscape design work at Kent Hospital located in Warwick, RI. Tom is also a Board Member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA). – See more at: http://www.ecolandscaping.org/event/webinar-therapeutic-wellness-gardens/#sthash.n9GHHoJn.dpuf.

Saturday, December 6, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Concord Museum Holiday House Tour

On Saturday, December 6, 2014, eight of Concord’s most beautiful private homes will be professionally decorated in the holiday spirit by local and Boston-based interior designers. Guests will be welcomed inside the front doors of these gracious private residences to visit the charming ground floor rooms. From Colonial to Victorian to Shingle Style and more, each house will be decorated in a different holiday theme. The Concord Museum welcomes you to spend the day in Concord, a small town with a big history, and enjoy the elegant streets, charming cafés and shops, as well as the many historic homes. And new this year, enjoy treats from Trail’s End Café at ticket pick-up, and take a break midway through your tour for complimentary cider and cookies at the Colonial Inn!

The Guild of Volunteers is organizing this event as a benefit for the education initiatives of the Museum. The House Tour Co-Chairs are Kelly Benkert and Aura Bruce. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.concordmuseum.org/holiday-house-tour.php, at the Museum, or by phone through December 4: $40 Members, $45 Non-members; after December 4 or day of: $50. No refunds; no photography. Tickets and maps must be picked up at the Museum the day of the tour.

Special Offer from the Colonial Inn:
Concord’s Colonial Inn, built in 1716, has a long and distinguished history of hospitality and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel is located in downtown Concord within easy walking access to local shops, the Concord Museum and attractions including the Minuteman National Historical Park. Overnight accommodations for the Concord Museum’s Holiday House Tour are discounted to $119 per night for our Prescott Wing. Please call 978-369-9200 and mention this ad while booking.

Saturday, December 6 and Sunday, December 7, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – NABB’s Annual Christmas Tree Sale

Come to the Clarendon Street Playground on the corner of Clarendon Street and Commonwealth Avenue in Back Bay on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 & 7, from 9 – 5, and purchase your fresh cut balsam fir tree.  The beautiful trees have been brought down from Maine by our friend Chris Mitchell, and local delivery is available.  Proceeds from the sale will benefit both the Clarendon Street Playground and the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay.  For further details, please contact the NABB office at 617-247-3961 or visit www.nabbonline.org.  Image from http://ian.umces.edu.

Through November 30 – Chrysanthemums at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Dozens of varieties of chrysanthemums appear in the courtyard in late October. Japanese-style single-stem chrysanthemums mix with traditional types in an explosion of color and texture.

To create this unique exhibit, Museum gardeners and volunteers work from June to October using Japanese cultivation methods to create a single stalk and a single flower on each specimen plant. Over the spring and summer, each plant is pinched weekly (this is called disbudding) and fertilized at specific intervals. This style, which produces a large single bloom, is called ogiku.

The Japanese technique of training chrysanthemums became popular in the West around the turn of the century. Within Isabella Gardner’s lifetime, many chrysanthemums were grown on her Brookline estate, Green Hill, and won awards at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s fall flower shows. The Museum later won top awards from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for its chrysanthemums in 1934 and 1936.

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated as an herb in ancient China and arrived in Japan in the 8th Century. Cultivation of the flower was originally permitted only in the gardens of the emperor and the nobility. They were introduced to the western world in the 17th Century. Today, sumptuous festivals are held in celebration of the flower throughout Japan.

The Chrysanthemums display is made possible in part by the Barbara Millen and Markley H. Boyer Endowment Fund for Horticulture. The Museum thanks Longwood Gardens and the Botanic Garden of Smith College for their generous donations of single-stem chrysanthemum cuttings for the 2014 Chrysanthemums display.

The Courtyard features plants that are actively growing and constantly changing. Courtyard images include plants that are representative of each display, but plants will be added or replaced over the life of the display. For more information visit www.gardnermuseum.org.

Saturdays, December 6 & December 13, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm – Introduction to Winter Tree Identification

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University will hold a two session class in the Hunnewell Building on December 6 and 13 from 9 – 12:30 with arborist Kyle Stephens, an Introduction to Winter Tree Identification. Learn the basic information necessary to identify deciduous trees during their dormant season. Looking at specific character combinations, you will determine the genus and species of several types of trees in the Boston area. Class begins indoors with a discussion of basic classification techniques and continues outside to the Arboretum grounds to examine a variety of trees. This class is recommended for the beginner-to-intermediate tree observer. Dress in layers for both classroom and outdoor learning. A hand lens may be helpful, but is not necessary.  $75 for Arboretum members, $100 for nonmembers.  Register online at https://my.arboretum.harvard.edu/Info.aspx?DayPlanner=62&DayPlannerDate=12/6/2014. (Kyle is in the tree below, photo courtesy of Arnold Arboretum.)

Garden Club of the Back Bay Holiday Wreath Order Deadline Approaching

This year we ask that customers intending to purchase one of our fabulous fully decorated wreaths submit their orders no later than November 22.  We’re setting a limit on the number of fully decorated wreath orders we will accept in 2014 (last year we were perhaps a bit too optimistic about our abilities to fulfill all the orders we received, and while we did finish, we were drained of all rational thought by the end of the fourth day of decorating.)  Visit http://www.gardenclubbackbay.org/products-page/ for either a copy of the printed form, or a link to our online wreath store.  You may be able to order a fully decorated wreath after the 22nd, but before our Thanksgiving deadline, although we cannot guarantee availability. Thank you!

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Monday, November 24, 5:15 pm – Christopher Columbus Park Light Trellis Display

The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP) will celebrate a Boston holiday tradition with the twelfth annual lighting of the park’s signature trellises on Monday, November 24, beginning at 5:15 p.m. Local businesses and neighbors support the efforts of FOCCP, the all-volunteer neighborhood organization, to raise the funds needed to illuminate the trellis and 14 trees annually. Mayor Martin J. Walsh will preside over the trellis lighting ceremony, along with Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook.

“The Friends of Christopher Columbus is proud to fund the more than $25,000 necessary to light up the trellis and trees for the season,” says FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines. “Every year it is thrilling to watch the park be transformed into a winter wonderland, and we’re delighted that Mayor Walsh will throw the switch this year.”

Entertainment will be provided by the North End Music and Performing Arts Center while Santa Claus and Miss Massachusetts, Lauren Kuhn, welcome attendees. The Marriott Long Wharf Hotel, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Starbucks and Magic 106.7 will provide refreshments and holiday treats.

The major corporate sponsors for this year’s trellis and tree lighting are Boston PushCart, The Chiofaro Company, CL Waterfront Properties, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Marriott Long Wharf Boston, NorthEndBoston.com, Sunstone Hotel Investors and Tia’s Restaurant. The Friends would also like to recognize the support of Sanibel Electric in this year’s trellis lighting. “With an ambitious docket of projects before us, we are more dependent than ever on the generosity of our members, both private and corporate, in Boston and outside the city, who help us fund these efforts,” says Hayes-Rines. “We have been one of the most successful Friends groups to support a city park, and we truly appreciate everyone’s help and continued donations to keep pulling all this off.”

Friday, December 5 – Sunday, December 7 – 35th Annual Christmas in Salem House Tour

This year’s historic holiday house tour will be taking place in South Salem, showing residences that both escaped the Great Salem Fire of 1914 and those that rebuilt with beautiful Colonial Revival details. History will focus on life and renewal of the neighborhood “after the fire.” Special tours and activities will be taking place in “La Pointe.”  December 5-7, 2014, presented by Historic Salem, Inc.

Featuring historic homes decorated for the holidays, walking tours, music, restaurants, wine tastings, and shopping specials.  For more information, please contact Historic Salem, Inc. at978-745-0799 or info@historicsalem.org. Tickets are $30 ($35 on day of tour,) and advance ticket purchasers will receive special entry to the Friday night candlelight preview of three selected houses. Purchase online at http://historic-salem-inc.myshopify.com.

Saturday, November 29 and Sunday, November 30, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, or Sunday, November 30, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon – Gardener’s Wreath Workshops

Choose one of the following times: Saturday, November 29, 1 – 4, Sunday, November 30, 9 – 12, or Sunday, November 30, 1 – 4, to participate in a Gardener’s Wreath Workshop at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Worcester, led by instructor Karen Perkins.  Create a botanical wreath that highlights the splendor of evergreens, with many collected from Tower Hill.  Incorporate accents such as cones, dried berries, gilded twigs, seedpods, and ribbon.  Please bring pruning shears and a towel.  All other materials are provided.  $60 for THBG members, $75 for nonmembers.  Register at www.towerhillbg.org. Pictured, however, is one of The Garden Club of the Back Bay wreaths, available online at www.gardenclubbackbay.org/shop/, if you can’t attend the Tower Hill workshop.

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