Saturday, September 19, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday, September 20, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Annual Combined Show and Sale – Gesneriads & Begonias

A superior show of beautiful gesneriads and begonias will take place at the renowned Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston. Many extraordinary plants will be for sale. Times are Saturday, September 19: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.and Sunday, September 20: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participating: New England Chapter, The Gesneriad Society, and Buxton Branch, American Begonia Society.

Admission: $12.00 adults, $9.00 seniors and $7.00 youths (6-18) Contact: 617-479-3680 or Sharon Rosenzweig at

Saturday, September 12, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Polly Hill Arboretum Fall Plant Sale

The Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury will hold its Annual Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, September 12, from 10 – 2.  Late summer and early fall is a perfect time to plant. Join the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury for their end-of-the-season sale. Arboretum staff will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice. We have chosen trees, shrubs, and perennials, including many Island natives which are suitable for our Vineyard climate. No Fee. In addition, at 1pm, ecological landscape designer Michael Talbot will present a talk on creating and managing landscapes in harmony with the Vineyard’s fragile environment. $5/free for PHA members. Many rare specimens will be available.  For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 9, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Fire and Ice

High in the Himalayan valley of Zanskar in northwest India sits a village as isolated as the legendary Shangri-La. Long fed by runoff from glaciers and lofty snowfields, Kumik–a settlement of thirty nine mud brick homes–has survived and thrived in one of the world’s most challenging settings for a thousand years. But now its people confront an existential threat: chronic, crippling drought, which leaves the village canal dry and threatens to end their ancient culture of farming and animal husbandry. Fire and Ice weaves together the story of Kumik’s inspiring response to this calamity with the story of black carbon. Black carbon from inefficient fires–the particulate residue that makes soot dark–is the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide. It’s also a key ingredient of the air pollution that public health experts regard as humanity’s greatest environmental health risk worldwide: soot-laden smoke from household hearth fires and outdoor sources combine to kill over seven million people around the world every year. Jonathan Mingle describes the joys and struggles of daily life in the Zanskar Valley, where villagers are buffeted by powerful environmental and economic forces, while also tracing black carbon’s dark fingerprints outward from Kumik and around the world. Mingle investigates its impacts on snow, ice, and water from Mt. Everest to California, and the silent health epidemic it fuels from New York to New Delhi.  For more information visit

Wednesday, September 9, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Nature Walk with Clare Walker Leslie

Join Clare Walker Leslie, author of The Curious Nature Guide, for a North Cambridge nature walk. The walk leaves the Porter Square Bookstore, 25 White Street in Cambridge at 5 pm, and returns in time for a 6:00 reception at the store.

With dozens of simple prompts and exercises, best-selling author, naturalist, and artist Clare Walker Leslie offers adults of all ages an invitation to step outside for just a few minutes a day, reignite the sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world, and discover the peace and grounding that can be found by connecting to nature as part of daily life. Using photography as well as the author’s own illustrations, The Curious Nature Guide invites readers to start at home, using all of their senses to notice the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of the trees, plants, animals, birds, insects, clouds, and other features that can be observed right outside their doorstep, no matter where they live. Prompts range from suggestions to note one daily exceptional nature image to learning to identify cloud types and the weather they bring, or creating a record of nature spottings on daily walks with the dog.

Clare Walker Leslie is a nationally known wildlife artist, author, and educator. She has been connecting people of all ages to nature using drawing, writing, and observation of the outdoors for more than 30 years. Her other books include the bestsellers Keeping a Nature Journal and The Nature Connection, as well as Nature Journal and Drawn to Nature. For more information visit

Saturday, September 12, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Late Summer Night’s Dream

Revel in the last of summer’s warmth at an elegant garden party in one of Jamaica Plain’s hidden gems, the Minton Stable Community Garden on Williams Street and Dungarven Road. Enjoy garden-inspired cocktails, hors d’oeuvre and music on Saturday, September 12 from 7 – 10. Members of the Trustees of Reservations $25, nonmembers $30. Register at or call 617-542-7696, x 2115.

Sunday, September 13, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Three Generations of Family & Flora: A Tour of the Bigelow Nurseries

Join Bigelow Nurseries President Pat Bigelow on a behind-the-scenes walking tour through the garden center, wholesale yards and nursery production area, on Sunday, September 13 from 1 – 3. Bigelow Nurseries, family owned and operated since 1913, is located on West Main Street in Northborough, Massachusetts, and this exclusive opportunity is presented by Tower Hill Botanic Garden. $20 for THBG members, $25 for nonmembers. Register online at

Saturday, September 12, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Bringing Plants in for the Winter

At the end of the summer what do you do with all those special patio plants that you have slaved over for the summer months? This Berkshire Botanical Garden class on Saturday, September 12 from 2 – 4 will give gardeners tricks of the trade to protect their tender perennials, house plants, woody potted specimens and succulent collections and encourage them to thrive during the winter season. Topics will include cultivation, fertilizing, watering and healthcare. Learn by doing and take home some plant companions. These simple cost-saving methods will help gardeners multiply their plant supply for the next season’s garden. Bring hand pruners.

Jenna O’Brien owns Viridissima, a garden design and maintenance business. Her specialties include perennial garden design, container design and culture, indoor gardening and houseplants. She teaches for area horticultural organizations and has completed the Horticulture Certificate Program at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. BBG members $25, nonmembers $30. Register online at

Thursday, September 10 – Sunday, September 13 – Franklin County Fair

The 167th Annual Franklin County Fair will be held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield, Massachusetts, from September 10-13, 2015 – this year’s theme is Bushels of Fun. This year’s poster was designed by Eileen Brennan. The 2015 Exhibitor’s Handbook is available to download at

Saturdays, September 12 and September 26, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, and Tuesdays, September 8 – September 29, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Fundamentals of Landscape Design

This Massachusetts Horticultural Society six session course in landscape design is directed to the do-it-yourself home gardener who would like to design their own garden space. Mark Ahronian of Ahronian Landscaping and Design will lead you through all the steps of designing your chosen space. The goal is for participants to leave the class with a complete design of their own making. Course is $275 for members, $300 for non-members. The class meets at Elm Bank Tuesday evenings, September 8 – September 29 6:30-8:30pm, and two Saturday mornings, Sept 12 and Sept 26 10am-Noon. Registration is limited and pre-registration is required. Register online at|427|433/fundamentals-of-landscape-design?filter_reset=1

Friday, September 11, 8:30 am – 10:30 am – Taste of Haymarket

Each Friday and Saturday from dawn to dusk, Haymarket, Boston’s centuries-old open air market adjacent to Government Center, the North End, and Faneuil Hall, offers a unique shopping experience. Sellers of fresh produce have clustered in Haymarket since around 1830, although vendors started congregating here at least one hundred years earlier. Haymarket vendors sell huge varieties of fruits and vegetables at great prices from open wooden stands and pushcarts. Specialty grocers selling cheese, fish, Halal meats, pizza, spices, and other delicacies from small shops can be found in an adjacent building on Blackstone Street.

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the market as it opens for the day on Friday, September 11 from 8:30 – 10:30. Learn about its history, how it has changed over time, and hear from the president of the Haymarket Pushcart Association. Visit vendors and sample fruits and vegetables, cheese, and even pizza.

Presented as part of Historic New England’s Everyone’s History series, The Haymarket Project. $25 Historic New England members $35 nonmembers.Registration is required. Please call 617-994-5920 or buy online at Tour departs from the corner of Congress and Hanover Streets. Image from

Saturday, September 12, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Cactus & Succulent Society Show & Sale

The Cactus and Succulent Society of Massachusetts invites you to one of the largest cactus and succulent shows on the East Coast, with over 400 cacti and succulents on exhibit, Saturday and Sunday, September 12 and 13, from 9 – 5 at the Americal Civic Center, 467 Main Street in Wakefield. Adults $5, Children 10 and under $2. There will be free guided tours of the plants and displays, and plants for sale from some of the best growers in the East. Stay for the daily auction of rare, collectible, and specimen plants. Also, there will be books, prints, pots and more for sale. $1 winter hardy cacti for your garden are in limited supply, so arrive early. Accessible by MBTA lines – more details at  Image from

Wednesday, September 2, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – A River Runs Again

In A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka, a lyrical and intimate tapestry of five stories dealing with life, loss, and survival in modern-day India, Meera Subramanian travels in search of the ordinary people and micro-enterprises redeeming India’s natural world. An engineer-turned-farmer brings organic food to Indian plates. Villagers revive a dead river. Well-intentioned cook stove designers persist on a quest for a smokeless fire. Biologists bring vultures back from the brink of extinction. And in Bihar, one of India’s most impoverished states, a bold young woman teaches young adolescents the fundamentals of sexual health and in the process, unleashes their untapped potential. In these true stories, Subramanian discovers renewed hope for a sustainable and prosperous future for India.

Meera Subramanian is a US-based journalist and Fulbright-Nehru senior research fellow who writes about culture, faith and the environment for newspapers and magazines around the world. Hear her on Wednesday, September 2 beginning at 7 pm at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge. For more information visit

Tuesday, September 15, 7:00 pm – Japanese Farm Food

Japanese Farm Food is the first work of Nancy Singleton Hachisu, serving as the culmination of 23 years of experience as a wife, cook, mother, and farmer in the rural Saitama prefecture of northern Japan. A native Californian married to an organic egg farmer with a shared reverence for food and cooking, Hachisu brings a unique bicultural sensibility to the logical and simple food of Japanese farm cooking. In 378 pages, she covers basic tenets of the cuisine, emphasizing the need to trust your instincts and to understand the heart of the food as a guide to creating meals for all occasions. All 160 recipes are deliberately written in metric measurements and use the concept of ratios to make them easily changeable and scalable, covering dishes on the spectrum from simple to complex. Overall, Hachisu’s recipes and explanations invoke pleasure and invite you to step into her kitchen and home to feel, smell, and taste with her. Join Stir, 102 Waltham Street in Boston, on Tuesday, September 15 at 7 as we follow the insight, advice, and instruction lacing the pages of Hachisu’s book for an evening of Japanese farm food!

A copy of Japanese Farm Food is included in the $185 price of class. Please email with your class reservation requests. Emails will be responded to in the order in which they are received and should include the information listed below.

First and Last Name
Telephone number
Number of guests in your party

Reservations are not confirmed until you speak to a member of the Stir Team and we collect your payment information.

Monday, September 7, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Back to Basics: Designing Principles in Floral Design

Join the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts for a series of interactive programs with distinguished Massachusetts designers, demonstrating how to create designs, on Mondays, October 6, November 3, and March 23, at The Espousal Center, 554 Lexington Street in Waltham. The classes will be held from 10 – 12, and the total fee for all three sessions is a mere $30. Make check payable to GCFM, Inc. and mail it to Diane Bullock, 456 Shore Road, Cape Neddick, ME 03902, along with your name, address, telephone number, email address, and Garden Club name.


Friday, March 4 – Monday, March 14 – Horticultural Trip to Cuba

Join the Pacific Horticulture Society March 4 – 14, 2016 for a cultural journey with a botanical slant. Our itinerary begins with a tour of Havana whose old town is rich with culture, music, museums, architecture, and more. Your travel around this island nation continues to Zapata National Park, the Escambray Mountains, and the Spanish colonial cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad, where you’ll see Cuba’s diverse landscapes, including the plains or llanos, mountain regions, and coastal wetlands.

Throughout your journey, there will be special emphasis on meeting the people of Cuba—botanists, environmentalists, teachers, scientists, students, and national park personnel—and learning about their lives and work, culture and traditions.

During your stay in Cuba, you’ll:

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Old Havana and Trinidad.

Spend time in the Spanish colonial city of Cienfuegos, on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its representation of a19th century Spanish city.

Visit leading botanic gardens where you’ll see amazing plant collections that thrive in this climate.

Explore the mountain station at Topes de Collantes, and take in the extraordinary views from these highest peaks in the Escambray.

See the extraordinary plant life in the Sierra del Escambray, including Cuba’s national flower, the white mariposa (Hedychium coronarium).

Learn about Las Terrazas reforestation project, the site of Cuba’s earliest surviving coffee plantation and today a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

See the orchids at the Orquideario Soroa with it collection of 700 species in a hillside garden (pictured, from

Visit Vivero Alamar, an impressive project for sustainable agriculture in suburban Havana where fresh vegetables and fruits are grown for the community.  For costs and complete itinerary visit

Thursday, September 3, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Simply Ancient Grains

Maria Speck will be back at Porter Square Books on Thursday, September 3 at 7 pm. Maria Speck makes cooking with ancient grains faster, more intuitive, and easier than ever before in this collection of recipes, most of which are gluten-free.

From black rice to red quinoa to golden Kamut berries, ancient grains are showing up on restaurant menus and store shelves in abundance. Yet in home kitchens, many fear that whole grains are too difficult and time-consuming to prepare. In Simply Ancient Grains, Maria makes cooking with these fascinating and nourishing staples easy and accessible with sumptuous recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Her family-friendly dishes are Mediterranean-inspired and delicious, such as Spicy Honey and Habanero Shrimp with Cherry Couscous; Farro Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Pine Nuts; and Red Rice Shakshuka with Feta Cheese. Maria’s tips and simplified approach take whole grain cooking to the next level by amplifying the flavor and enduring beauty of these nutritious grains.

Maria Speck is a food journalist and the author of the award-winning cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. She is currently an instructor in the professional program of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, Gastronomica, the Vegetarian Times, and Cooking Pleasures. Free. For more information visit

Wednesday, September 2, 6:00 pm – The Rebuild

The Rebuild, an art exhibit at Tower Hill Botanic Garden running from September 1 – October 4, presented by Danielle LaPointe, a Dedham resident, explores the development of internal and physical structures and will have an opening reception and gallery walk on Wednesday, September 2, at 6 p.m.

The nonprofit Tower Hill Botanic Garden is located at 11 French Drive in Boylston, Mass. For more information, visit or call 508-869-6111.

Wednesday, September 2, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Women Healers of the World

On Wednesday, September 2 at 7:30 pm join award-winning herbalist and author Holly Bellebuono at the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury for a vibrant presentation of Women Healers of the World: The Traditions, History & Geography of Herbal Medicine, from her new book. This colorful exploration of historic and contemporary women celebrates the contributions of researchers, scientists, midwives, conservationists and healers. Holly’s book will be available for signing after the event. $10/$5 for PHA members. $10 ($5 for PHA members.) Register at

Saturday, August 29, 9:30 am – 1:00 pm – Mrs. Thrift’s Savory Herbal Kitchen

Join herbalist Betsy Williams for a morning of herbal learning and savory tasting at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on Saturday, August 29th, followed by a delicious herb flavored lunch. Learn how to harvest and preserve fresh herbs, then how to use those herbs, fresh and dried, to enhance the flavors of ordinary condiments in ways that add savory layers of flavor to everyday family meals and also become special gifts to friends and family. It’s simple, fun and very satisfying!

Betsy Williams will demonstrate how to create delicious, savory herb butters, vinegars, mustards and herb salts as well as three types of pesto. Students will sample each condiment and then make a pint of herb vinegar, container of herb butter and bottle of herb salt to take home.

For lunch we will make a tangy white bean salad that we will enjoy on a bed of locally-sourced greens dressed with extra virgin olive oil and herbed vinegar then finished with a creamy Bulgarian feta cheese and a drizzle of mint pesto. Fresh baguettes with herb butter, lemonade with mint and lemon balm and a bit of sweet dessert will round out our herbal luncheon. After lunch, we are all invited to take an optional walk through Tower Hill’s beautiful herb and vegetable garden.

Betsy Williams teaches, lectures and writes about living with herbs and flowers. A gardener and herb grower since 1972, Betsy trained as a florist in Boston and England. She combines her floral and gardening skills with an extensive knowledge of history, plant lore and seasonal celebrations. Betsy is the author of several books on the uses and stories of herbs and flowers. She has appeared on the Discovery Channel and greater Boston cable stations as well as local and national radio talk shows. Betsy lectures and teaches locally and nationally. THBG members $70, nonmembers $85. Register online at

Saturday, August 29, 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm – Upton State Forest Anniversary

The Department of Conservation and Recreation, Massachusetts State Parks, invites you to celebrate a milestone year for Upton State Forest on Saturday, August 29 from noon – 4. In 1915 the first land to be designated Upton State Forest was acquired, and in 1935 the Civilian Conservation Camp SP-25 opened its doors. Work began on roads, reforestation, insect control, water holes, and recreational facilities. In 2005 the Friends of Upton State Forest formed to “preserve, enhance and protect the natural and historic resources of Upton State Forest.”

Bring a picnic lunch, share memories, hear the rich history of the area, and visit informational hands-on displays while enjoying 30’s and 40’s era music. At 1 pm there will be a brief speaking program with the unveiling of the National Register plaque, followed by cake and lemonade. At 2:30 you may take a CCC Camp Tour, and at 3, a CCC Historical Resources Hike. The event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Friends of Upton State Forest. For more information email, or call 508-278-7604. The address is 205 Westboro Road in Upton.

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