Thursday, July 31 – Friday, August 1 – The Herb Society of America Northeast District Gathering

The Herb Society of America’s New England Unit will present its Northeast District Gathering on Thursday, July 31 (9 – 5) and Friday, August 1 (9 – 4) at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, Massachusetts.  This year’s 5th Annual Herb Show is entitled Herbs of Magic and Mystery.  Free with admission to Tower Hill.

Sunday, August 3, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Fairy House & Garden in a Basket

Build a house and little garden that just might entice the fairies to come and play. Begin by planting ferns and ivy to give the little people a bit of privacy. Then, using bark, leaves, twigs and other natural materials, create a charming little home that any fairy would be pleased to move into. Once the house is built the landscaping can begin: lay out paths, design a garden or install a small pond. The construction site is a basket that is easily carried home. All materials included. Betsy Williams will teach this Tower Hill Botanic Garden workshop on Sunday, August 3, from 12:30 – 2:30 pm, and the cost is $60 for THBG members, $75 for nonmembers.  Register on line at House below by Carla J. Nelson from

Wednesday, July 30, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – John Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity

The Massachusetts Historical Society will hold a free Brown Bag lunch lecture on Wednesday, July 30 entitled John Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity, 1650 – 1800.  The speaker is Kristen Burton of University of Texas at Arlington.  Kristen’s project examines the shifting perceptions of spirituous liquors in the Atlantic World throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Focusing on the rise of commercial distilling, particularly in regard to rum, gin, and whiskey, her research explores the evolution of liquors from their use a wholesome source of medicine to a pernicious, societal threat. The talk will take place at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston.  For more information visit Image from

Wednesday – Friday, August 13 – 15, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Botanical Illustration: Colorful Garden Fruits and Berries with Colored Pencil

This three day intensive Berkshire Botanical workshop on August 13 – 15 from 10 – 4 each day, will focus on colored-pencil techniques for botanical illustration. Learn to capture the vibrant colors of garden fruits and berries. Find out how many multiple overlays of colors it can take to give depth, shine and texture to one berry! Draw from the abundance of the summer garden and make intriguing compositions of fruit, berries and foliage. Explore creative possibilities, whether traditional or whimsical, and make exciting background textures or borders to enhance your artwork. This is a playful workshop suitable for all student levels. Basic skills will be taught in drawing, colored pencil techniques and composition.

Carol Ann Morley is an illustrator and dedicated teacher of botanical illustration working in Dover, NH. She founded the Botanical Art Illustration Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Garden and teaches illustration there and at other botanical gardens. This is Ms. Morley’s only summer workshop in the Berkshires for 2014. BBG member price $260; non-members $290.  Register at

Saturday, August 9, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Opening Up the Clark Landscape: Renewing and Sustaining

July 4 marked the reopening of the newly renovated Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. On Saturday, August 9 from 3 – 4 in the auditorium at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Gary Hilderbrand, principal, Reed Hilderbrand Associates, discusses his role in leading the Clark’s new landscape design. Reed Hilderbrand, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, created a sweeping redesign of the Clark’s 140-acre grounds, including creation of a three-tiered reflecting pool; upgrades to and expansion of walking trails; green roof systems; planting of 350 new trees (some 1000 trees planted overall); and creation of a new entry drive and landscaped parking area with water-permeable surfaces that feed into a rainwater and snowmelt collection system. – See more at:

Sunday, July 27, 1:40 pm – Out of the Park

Celebrate America’s pastime as the Boston Red Sox, the Highland Street Foundation, and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department team up to bring a Red Sox away game to the Boston Common on Sunday, July 27. Bring a blanket to watch the game on the big screen and cheer on the Red Sox! Everyone is welcome at this free event featuring live viewing of the game, caricaturists, balloon artists, face painters, giveaways, and refreshments. Special guests include Red Sox mascot Wally, Red Sox DJ TJ Connelly, Announcer Henry Mahegan, Organist Josh Kantor, and the Hot Tamales Brass Band.


Friday, August 1, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm – Federal Reserve Bank Green Roof Tour

The 18,000 sq ft. roof garden at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston was installed in 1976 and is considered one of the oldest, still original roof gardens in the country.

The roof garden was designed by Robert Fager, ASLA who worked for the building architects, Hugh Stubbins & Associates. Frank W. Sellner was the landscape architect consultant for the project. He often told stories of interning for Beatrix Farrand and his work experience with Fletcher Steele!

The garden is on the fourth floor, 90′ above the ground floor with sweeping views towards Boston Harbor and the Seaport District. The roof garden has many specimen trees. Organically grown edibles are incorporated into the seasonal plantings.

The FRB property has over 200 trees and a 60′ roof top greenhouse all maintained by the Bank’s horticulture staff.  The street address is 600 Atlantic Avenue, and the cost of the tour is $15. Sponsored by The Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College, you may reserve a spot for the Friday, August 1 tour by emailing

Saturday, July 26, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Flower Bouquet Workshop

Come join Allandale Farm’s flower farmers Mal and Tana for a hands-on bouquet building workshop this Saturday, July 26 from 1 – 2:30. The class will include a walk through the flower fields on the farm, located at 259 Allandale Road in Brookline, planting advice to grow your own beautiful flowers, and instruction on proper harvesting techniques to ensure the longevity and growth of your cut flowers. The class will end with bouquet building instruction while you build your own flower arrangement to take home and enjoy. Class size is limited. Call 617-524-1531 to register, or email

Wednesday, September 3 – Thursday, September 4 – Coastal Maine Overnight Trip

Go on a mini-vacation with Tower Hill Botanic Garden to the Coast of Maine, September 3 – 4! Spend 2 full days, complete with most meals and a comfortable night’s lodging, traveling via luxury motor coach to Boothbay Harbor, Maine. This tour will visit Cabbage Island for a traditional clam bake dinner and spend the night at Cap’n Fish’s Waterfront Inn on the harbor. On day two, visit Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, complete with a guided tour and lunch. On the way home the tour stops at Pineland Farms, a wonderful public garden and farm market (pictured below.) Reservation deadline August 3. Tower Hill member price $325, nonmember $425, per person double occupancy. Single supplement $50. Register by clicking HERE.

Thursdays, August 7 – August 28, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Sculpture Embraces Horticulture: An Intimate Tour

As part of a small and informal group, discover the story behind Sculpture Embraces Horticulture, a site-specific sculpture exhibit created to highlight Blithewold’s exquisite landscape. We will view diverse exhibits, and Blithewold, through the eyes of Allison Newsome, the show’s curator, as well as one of the seven participating artists.

As we go through the entire collection, Allison will share information about each artist, as well as give us a glimpse into the process of creating a large-scale sculpture installation.

Please register early, as tour groups are kept small. Wearing comfortable footwear is encouraged. The tour lasts approximately 1.5 hours, after which refreshments will be served on the terrace. Tours will take place Thursdays, August 7, 14, 21 and 28, beginning at 3 pm. Blithewold Gardens & Arboretum is located at 101 Ferry Road, Route 114, Bristol, Rhode Island. Members $20, nonmembers $25. Register by calling 401-253-2707.

Saturday, July 26, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm – New England Daylily Society Exhibition

The New England Daylily Society will present a Daylily Exhibition at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, Massachusetts, on Saturday, July 26, where daylily enthusiasts of New England show their best grown, best groomed daylily flowers. The show will feature hundreds of cut flowers of daylilies in their breathtaking variety of form and color. A limited selection of choice daylily plants will also be for sale. The exhibition is included with regular admission to the Garden. Entries accepted from 7:30 am – 10:45 am, and the show is open to the public from 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm. For information on exhibiting, email Show Chair Dan Pessoni at

Setting the Scene for the Twilight Garden Party

This year’s successful Twilight Garden Party took place in June at the American Meteorological Society at 45 Beacon Street. The building has a lovely garden which was in need of seasonal sprucing after our long, cold winter, and the Garden Club of the Back Bay’s crack decorating team of Rita Christensen, Jackie Blombach, and Catherine Bordon, assisted by Jolinda Taylor, spent a day pruning, raking and planting.  Below are some pictures of their efforts:

Bordon JackieRita Rita Meteorological

Brookline Artist Janet Echelman Commissioned by the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Internationally renowned artist Janet Echelman will create a monumental, aerial sculpture to suspend over the Greenway from Spring 2015 to Fall 2015 as the signature contemporary art installation in the Greenway Conservancy’s Public Art Program.

Echelman is known for her soft, billowing sculptures the scale of buildings that respond to the forces of nature – wind, water, and light. Her creation for Boston will be a knotted-fiber sculpture suspended hundreds of feet over the central section of the Greenway. The ultra-lightweight art moves gently with the wind in ever-changing patterns. In daylight, it casts shadow-drawings on the ground, and at night it becomes a beacon with dynamic colored light. The sculpture is Echelman’s first major Boston commission and will connect between existing buildings to form a visual linkage and focal point for civic life.

This major contemporary public art project is made possible by a generous challenge grant from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation. The project has also received initial grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Fund for the Arts, a public art program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with others pending.  Pictured below is an installation she created over the canals in Amsterdam.

Saturday, July 19, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Fenway Garden Society Open Gardens

On Saturday, July 19 (rain/heat date Sunday, July 20), from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM, the Fenway Garden Society will present the 2014 FGS Open Gardens.

Pick up your map at the flagpole (near the corner of Boylston Street and Park Drive, Boston.)  More than 25 Fenway victory gardeners will open their gates to visitors. Come to our historic park and view a spectrum of flower and vegetable gardens, picnic in the meadow, meet local artists, play bocce, learn new gardening tips and get inspired. Also, we’ll be setting up sprinklers for kids of all ages to run through…come on down!

In the event of rain or excessive heat (over 85 degrees), Open Gardens will be rescheduled for July 20 — same time, same place!

This event is open to the public – donations welcomed. For more information, please email

Eliot Memorial Revitalization Project Update

W thought we would share an update from the Esplanade Association on the Eliot Memorial project we here at The Garden Club of the Back Bay have helped fund during the past three years:

“We have seeded the grass, installed stone dust around the memorial and added 6 new Shurcliff benches and 2 new curved benches. The 32-foot curved benches around the Memorial are proving very popular and are often occupied with people reading or waiting for Community Boating participants. The entry to Community Boating itself is now a welcoming spot with beautiful plantings and rationalized pathways resulting in less asphalt and more green.
Our maintenance plans are already underway. The shrubs and groundcovers survived the winter well, though a few are being replaced. The grass has been seeded and is coming is well, although a few spots will likely need to be over-seeded later this summer. We plan to leave the short fencing up around the grassy areas until after the Fourth of July crowds.

We believe that great parks help make communities great … Public spaces provide an important connection to nature for urban dwellers, both rich and poor.  A successful public space involves thoughtful design and an achievable maintenance strategy.  Once built, the space engages park users and provides a myriad of benefits to the physical and mental health of individuals and to the economic vitality of an area.

We thank you again for your support of the creation of a great new gathering spot in the park.  This is one of the very few well-framed spaces on the Esplanade where small groups can gather and feel comfortable.  The area displays a wonderful balance of enclosure and openness which will get even better as the plants grow in.  The project also demonstrates critical aspects of proper horticultural maintenance that will inform our future efforts.”

For more information about the Esplanade, visit

Friday, August 8 – Sunday, August 10, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm – Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference takes place August 8-10, 2014 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

Friday, August 8: Pre-conferences on Changing Dirt into Soil; Tools for Resilient Urban Ecosystems; Healing Autoimmunity with Naturopathic Medicine; and Stocking the Home Apothecary with Locally Abundant Herbs.

Saturday & Sunday, August 9-10: 150+ adult workshops on organic farming, gardening, land care, draft animals, homesteading, sustainability, nutrition, food politics, activism, and more.

We also offer educational and fun workshops designed for kids and teens where children bond with others throughout the Northeast while parents attend workshops and the plenary.

This is an event for the whole family: Music, dance, films, games, animal rides, and meet-ups. Modest registration, inexpensive dorm rooms, camping and delicious, wholesome organic meals.  Cost ranges from $45 – $150.  Visit for complete details.

Wednesday, July 25, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon – Nature Hike at Rutland Brook Sanctuary

There are 4 miles of trails at Mass Audubon’s Rutland Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. On Wednesday, July 25 (foul weather date Thursday, July 26) after a short walk alongside Connor Pond, we’ll hike 3-4 miles of moderate-to-strenuous—depending upon our group–interlinking trails that wind through cathedral-like stands of hemlocks and white pine. Rutland Brook loop trail follows the hemlock-lined brook and is a nice place to cool off in the summer. This is the height of the nesting season for our breeding birds, so we’ll be looking for some not-so-obvious signs of successful nestings. We’ll also take time to enjoy other interesting features such as butterflies, plants, animal sign, etc. Participants may wish to bring cameras, insect repellent, and drinks/lunch. Food and beverages also available at Petersham Country Store before or after the outing. Meet at 9 am at the sanctuary parking area next to Connor Pond, bearing left off Pat Connor Road.  Pat Connor Road is on the east side of Route 32/122 in Petersham, Massachusetts.  For more information email

Friday, August 15 – Sunday, August 17 – Homestead Resort’s In the Garden Weekend

The Omni Homestead Resort is once again pleased to partner with the American Horticultural Society for the 16th Annual In the Garden Weekend, August 15 – 17.  The AHS educates and inspires people of all ages to become successful and environmentally responsible gardeners by advancing the art and science of horticulture.  Speakers this year include Jack Douglas, President and CEO of Douglas Associates, Landscape Architects and Designers since 1982, Margaret (Fred) Douglas, Landscape designer with Douglas Associates and a certified landscape designer with the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, photographer Roger Foley, Ed Clark, Co-founder and President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, one of the world’s leading hospitals for wildlife, and Andre Viette, horticulturist, author and lecturer.  The hotel’s garden package, which includes a one year membership in the AHS, is $513 per person for 2 nights, taxes and resort charge not included.  The package consists of room accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, a welcome reception with the speakers, seminars and breaks, wine tasting, Saturday lunch, Chef demonstration, and a tour of Omni Homestead Gardens.  For complete itinerary visit

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