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 Pictured, however, is one of The Garden Club of the Back Bay wreaths, available online at, if you can’t attend the Tower Hill workshop.


Thursday, November 20, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Ecological Landscaping Alliance Members’ Reception

Current and future Ecological Landscaping Alliance Members – this one’s for you! You asked for more opportunities to gather and talk with other ELA members about projects and strategies, and ELA listened. This fall ELA invites you to the South Shore Members’ Reception – and it is FREE. This second ELA Members’ Reception will take place on November 20th in Plymouth, Massachusetts, beginning at 5:30 pm at the Southeastern Massachusetts Pine Barrens Alliance (SEMPBA) community center, 204 Long Pond Road in Plymouth. Our host for this event, SEMPBA is working to better protect, enhance and celebrate the beautiful Southeastern Massachusetts Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens Ecoregion.  Please call 617-436-5838, or email if you plan to attend.

Friday, November 28 – Sunday, January 4 – Holly Days: Winter Reimagined

If you have come to Holly Days at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in the past, you know that volunteers come up with some clever, creative displays.  The emphasis is on natural materials.   The 2014 theme is Winter Reimagined, a wonderfully free and open-ended concept sure to inspire and entertain.  Wander through glittering indoor displays and illuminated trees and shrubs in the Orchard, Entry, Lawn and Winter Gardens.  A giant Bromeliad tree, hundreds of poinsettias, more than 1,500 hand-crafted ornaments and over six miles of lights make this a unique holiday experience for all ages.  The Garden is making it even easier to experience the winter magic with special extended hours during Holly Days.  Buildings, grounds, The Shop at Tower Hill, and TWIGS Cafe will be open Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 9 pm, and all other days from 9 – 6.  Tower Hill is open seven days a week during Holly Days, including Mondays.  Tower Hill Botanic Garden is located at 11 French Drive in Boylston, Massachusetts.  For directions, and a complete list of activities including live music and children’s events, log on to

Saturday, November 22, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Looking for Green in a Brown Landscape: Evergreen Plants Around Harvard Pond, Petersham

Join leaders Joe Choiniere and Wendy Howes of the Hubbardston-Ware River Nature Club for a hike around Harvard Pond as they look for all manner of evergreen plants. Many trees, ground mosses, woody shrubs, and more are bright and fresh-looking amongst the browns and grays of the late-fall landscape. You’ll also watch for waterfowl and any other bird species that happen to come our way. This hike is approximately 3 miles of mostly-flat terrain. You’ll encounter at least one beaver-impacted muddy area. Wear appropriate foot gear and dress for the weather. Bring binoculars and magnifying lens. Details of meeting place to be announced. Call 413-477-9229 or email for more information. Photo from

Tuesday, December 2, 6:30 pm – The Resilient Farm and Homestead

COGdesign is pleased to bring Ben Falk, ecological designer, permaculture practitioner, farmer, and author of The Resilient Farm and Homestead, to speak at Boston’s District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, on Tuesday, December 2 beginning at 6:30 pm.  Ben will discuss his popular new handbook for developing regenerative human habitat systems adaptive to drought, flooding, heat, power outage, price spikes, pest pressure, and the multitude of challenges brought by climate change.  Ben and his team have established the Whole Systems Design research farm over the past decade in Vermont.  Tickets are priced at $15 for students, $25 general admission ($30 at the door,) and $60 for admission plus a signed book ($65 at the door.)  All tickets include hors d’oeuvre and a libation ticket. You may purchase on line through Eventbrite:

Saturday, November 29, 9:00 am – 11:30 am – Birch Goose Sculpture Workshop

Learn how to transform birch twigs into a striking and creative bird sculpture.  Decorate this fowl for the holidays with an assortment of evergreen boughs, cones, ribbons and seeds.  Best used as an outdoor decoration.  Bring pruning shears: all other materials are provided by instructor Karen Perkins.  The class will take place at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, on Saturday, November 29, from 9 – 11:30, and the cost is $50 for THBG members, $65 for nonmembers.  Register online at


Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, November 28 – December 28, 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Gardens Aglow

Join Heritage Museums and Gardens, 67 Grove Street in Sandwich, for their annual holiday event, featuring more lights and decorations than ever! New this year: The Holiday Train, a festive model railway display that will travel through the Special Exhibitions Gallery along elevated tracks and over a spectacular bridge made of all-natural materials. Enjoy music and dance performances at 6:30 in the Automobile Gallery. St. Nick will hold court in the Model T. Gingerbread houses created by local companies and students will be on display. Holiday crafts, carousel rides, Hidden Hollow by moonlight, and marshmallow roasting over a fire pit all add up to a great holiday celebration. Tickets are $15 for member adults, $5 for member children, $18 for non-member adults, $7 for non-member children. Tickets are available for purchase online and at the gate the day of the event.

Tickets will stop being sold at 7:30pm each night, but guests already on the property can continue to enjoy the event until 8:30pm. The event is sponsored by The Casual Gourmet, Cape Air, and Rogers & Gray, plus media sponsors Wicked Local Cape Cod and Cape Country 104.

Monday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 16, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Beer Brewing

Join Sam Fogel and the Newton Community Farm for a class in the art of Beer Brewing on Monday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 16, from 7 – 9. Make your first batch of beer and be totally surprised at how great it tastes. The two-session course will include hands-on instruction from our seasoned home brewer. While making beer, we will discuss the botanical components (yeast, hops, barley, and barley malt), the equipment (primary fermentor, airlocks), the biochemistry of the fermentation process, sanitation procedures, and the differences between ale and lager beers. At the end of the second class, each student will have 6-8 capped and labeled bottles of Pale Ale to take home! $54 for Friends of the Farm and $60 for the General Public. Registrants will be sent directions to the class location. Register online at;jsessionid=BAFFB081151B9D2C8D7ECAE08F2DF881?event=2450. Photo of Sam Fogel below courtesy of Getty Images.


Monday, December 1 – Thursday, December 4, 8:00 am – 7:30 pm – Holiday Wreath Making

Pastors Ingo R. Dutzmann, Paul Lantz and their parish will again host The Garden Club of the Back Bay for wreath making on the lower level of The First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley Street (on the corner of Berkeley and Marlborough Streets). We are very, very grateful. Please note that we are setting up the space on Sunday, November 30 and will be ready to work first thing Monday morning – Monday participation by as many of you as possible is critical to our success. The hours are as follows:

Monday, Dec. 1 – 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (decorating)
Tuesday, Dec. 2 – 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (decorating)
Wednesday, Dec. 3- 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (decorating, delivery)
Thursday, Dec. 4- 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (decorating, delivery, clean up)

Please come to the side door on Berkeley Street. We’ll post a sign. Coffee and baked goods will be available each morning, and catered lunches will be delivered all four days. Dried materials and fresh greens can be delivered to the Church no earlier than Monday, December 1. Please have all decorations “cleaned down” – branches cut down, dead leaves removed – so we can contain the mess we inevitably make. Delicate materials can be laid flat in sweater boxes or gently stacked in cardboard containers. We are going to need as many dried items as we can collect, and we especially want interesting fresh evergreen boughs and holly.

Bring clippers and scissors if you have them, labeled with masking tape for ease of identification. Aprons are also a good idea. Dress comfortably! We need everyone’s help, whether you decorate, deliver, organize, make telephone calls confirming delivery, or sweep. Contact if you can take a delivery shift. Otherwise, we’ll see you on Monday. Non Club members are welcome to join us. Thank you.


Monday, December 1, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm – Nature Journals: Small and Simple Handmade Books

In this one-day Wellesley College Botanic Garden workshop on Monday, December 1 with Suzanne Lee, make a special book – great to give for a diary, recipe book, special memories or travel journal.  Choose, also, to make a small notepad or sketchbook holder,.  Both are fun and easy to make.  Use hand-made papers, beautiful combinations of natural dried leaves, your own hand-printed ginkgo and Japanese lace leaf leaves, a unique form of fabric collage, or combinations of old sketches and paintings.  A great way to use tiny sketches or natural scraps you’ve collected, but the workshop includes all materials for either project.  One will not be enough, but easy to do more on your own after the first.  No previous experience is necessary.  The class runs from 9:30 – 3:30 in the Visitors Center of the Botanic Garden, and the cost for WCBG Friends is $85, nonmembers $100.  Register by calling 781-283-3094, or email Image from

New This Year – On Line Wreath Store

Our web designer Faith Crawford has set up a simple system for ordering Garden Club of the Back Bay wreaths on line.  Simply visit

Choose your size and option (fully decorated, with bow, etc.) and click on Select Options to specify bow color, accent color (if ordering a fully decorated wreath), and whether you will be using your wreath inside or outside.  We need to know this last detail so our decorations are suited to the space – we don’t use materials which easily dry out if the wreath will be indoors, or materials which are too delicate to withstand weather.  Then finish off your order with PayPal and you’re done.

If you’d rather pay by check, there is a wreath order form to print, as well, on Just fill it out and mail it in.

We hope all orders for fully decorated wreaths will arrive prior to November 22, and orders for plain wreaths, or wreaths with bows, by Thanksgiving.  Thank you all for your support – every dollar earned goes right back into our community.


Wednesday, December 3, 6:00 pm – Arthur Shurcliff: From Boston to Colonial Williamsburg

Join historian and author Elizabeth Hope Cushing on Wednesday, December 3, at 6 pm in the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, as she speaks of landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff’s early work in Boston and how this led to Colonial Williamsburg, his largest and most significant contribution to American landscape architecture.

In 1928, the landscape architect and preservationist Arthur A. Shurcliff (1870–1957) began what became one of the most important examples of the American Colonial Revival landscape—Colonial Williamsburg. But before this, Shurcliff honed his skills in Boston. An 1894 engineering graduate of MIT with an interest in landscape design, Shurcliff, on the advice of Frederick Law Olmsted and with the aid of his mentor, Charles Eliot, pieced together courses at Harvard College, the Lawrence Scientific School, and the Bussey Institute. He then spent eight years working in the Olmsted office, acquiring a broad and sophisticated knowledge of the profession. Opening his own practice in 1904, Shurcliff emphasized his expertise in town planning, preparing plans for towns surrounding Boston. He designed recreational spaces that Bostonians still enjoy today, including significant aspects of the Franklin Park Zoo and the Charles River Esplanade. Historian Elizabeth Hope Cushing will speak of Shurcliff’s early work in Boston and how this led to Colonial Williamsburg, his largest and most significant contribution to American landscape architecture.  Fee Free, but registration requested. You may register on line at Seating is limited. A reception will follow the lecture.

The Esplanade Association is please to be a co-sponsor of this event along with the Library of American Landscape History, Boston Society of Landscape Architects, Friends of Fairsted, the and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Friday, November 28 – Sunday, December 14 – Massachusetts Horticultural Society Festival of Trees

Massachusetts Horticultural Society invites you and your family and friends to its
Festival of Trees display of beautifully decorated trees.

Festival Dates
November 28 through December 14

Friday November 28th – Celebratory Opening

Weekends : 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Weekdays: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Gardens at Elm Bank
Hunnewell Building
900 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482

For more information, please call us at 617-933-4934 or email us at

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Festival of Trees will showcase over 75 trees and a new addition to the festival, Snow Village at Elm Bank ―for children and adults to enjoy. This annual festival, in its sixth year, will take place from November 28 until December 14, at Mass Hort’s Elm Bank property, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02482.

The Festival of Trees, displayed in the Hunnewell Carriage House, offers beautifully decorated holiday trees that are donated and decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and individuals. Visitors “vote” with their raffle tickets, in hopes of being the tree winner at the end of the festival. Visitors can enjoy the decorated buildings and grounds at Elm Bank with a stroll or a horse-drawn wagon ride. For the young at heart, there is Pajamas – Story Time on Friday nights and Santa Visits.

Snow Village at Elm Bank is a wonderful addition to the holiday spirit of the Festival of Trees. Bill Meagher of Needham graciously donated the product of his thirteen year “hobby” of building Christmas villages and trains. Massachusetts Horticultural Society is delighted to share his enchanting displays featuring trains, Christmas in the City (Boston of course!), Fenway Park, New England Villages, and hundreds of decorated houses and lights. This amazing scenery in miniature is sure to get kids excited about the holiday season.

Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children 12 and over, children under 12, no charge. The Mass Hort member rate is $8 for adults. The festival is open November 28-December 14; Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4-8pm and Friday through Sunday, 10am-8 pm. The Festival is open weekday mornings, by appointment, for nursery school and senior tours.

Saturday, December 6, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Creative Holidays: Make Your Own Wreath & Garland

While we totally advocate purchasing your wreath from The Garden Club of the Back Bay, we acknowledge we don’t sell garlands, and understand you may prefer to make your own. Bring the beauty of the holiday season into your home with fresh decorations created by you. In this Cambridge Center for Adult Education class on Saturday, December 6, from 2 – 5, you will learn how to make a holiday wreath and garlands to adorn your home. Wreaths and Garlands are the perfect holiday decoration for your door, window frames, banister, mantel or even your desk. You will learn professional techniques from a variety of seasonal fragrant greenery, natural accents’ and festive accouterments. Holly, Boxwood, Juniper, Cedar Bough, Winter Berries, burlap, feathers, faux jewels and candy cane are just a small sample of the design elements. Join Faith Cass and enjoy an afternoon of creative fun, and leave with the decorations that will fill your home with the spirit of the holidays. A MATERIAL FEE OF $70 IS PAYABLE TO INSTRUCTOR AT FIRST CLASS IN CASH OR CHECK (NO CREDIT CARDS). Class tuition is an additional $65. The wreath pictured below was made by The Garden Club of the Back Bay ($100, fyi.) Register at


Wednesday, November 19, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – The Gardener’s Friend: Groundcovers

Although a modest group of plants, groundcovers are becoming increasingly more valuable to gardeners for their versatility and the role they play in lowering garden maintenance. Selecting the right groundcover can be tricky. Some are too aggressive while others mope in the garden. Consider an excellent selection of groundcovers for all growing conditions. Berkshire Botanical Garden will hold a class on Wednesday, November 19, from 10 – 12 in the Education Center, 5 West Stockbridge Road in Stockbridge.

Elisabeth Cary is the Director of Education at the Berkshire Botanical Garden and has been gardening for over 25 years. She specializes in perennial, vegetable and mixed-border gardens. $15 for BBG members, $20 for nonmembers. Register on line at


UMass Extension’s 2015 Garden Calendar

Gardening is enjoyed by so many people – it can ease stress, keep you limber, and even improve your mood! To help keep your plants healthy, productive, and beautiful, the 2015 UMass Garden Calendar offers guidelines and tips on how and when to fertilize flowering plants, calculating the area of your garden, how to get a soil test, the types of fertilizers for flowers, and using organic matter.

Properly fertilized plants are healthier, more productive and more beautiful. Plants that are stressed are often more susceptible to disease and insect problems. Even if you start with great garden soil, as your plants grow, they use some of the nutrients that are present and leave the soil less fertile. Rainfall washes out some nutrients and those tasty vegetables and beautiful flowers you grew last year took nutrients from the soil to build those plant tissues. By testing your soil and providing the right amount of fertilizer to your garden, you ensure that this year’s plants have the nutrients they need to flourish.

Each year, the Garden Calendar presents a selection of plants chosen by the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry staff for pest resistance, adaptability to specific growing environments, and seasonal effectiveness. A brief description accompanies each photo to help understand these plant choices. Furthermore, daily gardening tips provide information on garden pests and management strategies to help gardeners reduce pesticide usage. Also included are “how-to and when” tips such as dates to plant peas, renovate lawns, prune and fertilize roses, conserve water in the landscape, and many more.

Our perennial wish is that you enjoy this calendar as much as we enjoy producing it, and that it is helpful in all your gardening endeavors.

Single copies of the 2015 calendar are $12 each. Visit to order online with a credit card.

Saturday, November 22, 11:00 am – Terrariums: Gardens Under Glass

Instructors Virginia Orlando and Candace Atchue of Seed to Stem will give a class at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, on Saturday, November 22, beginning at 11 am, on Terrariums: Gardens Under Glass.  Create a lush terrarium in a beautiful glass vessel.

Seed to Stem is a small gift shop located in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. More than just a gift shop, Seed to Stem is the creative culmination of two artist’s ideas to create a unique shopping experience like no other. Seed to Stem is owned and operated by Virginia Orlando and Candace Atchue, who started a multitude of projects together in 2003. The shop itself celebrates the beauty and perfection of the natural world, boasting unusual botanicals, terrariums, natural objects, curiosities, home accessories, antiquities and more. These two women carefully craft each unique terrarium and piece of botanical art in the shop, as well as curate each item they carry with a discerning eye. Virginia and Candace have been influenced by the natural world, travel, art and design, and the stories antiques carry with them. Their obsession with the juxtaposition of the beauty of life as well as in death is prominent throughout their shop. They hope that by connecting people with nature, they can help them further connect with their own selves, and back to their roots.

All materials are included in the fee, which is $110 for THBG members, $125 for nonmembers.  Register online at

Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, November 16, 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm – Holiday Showcase

The Garden Club of Hyannis presents Holiday Showcase at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main Street, Bass River, South Yarmouth, on Friday and Saturday, November 14 and 15, from 10 – 5, and on Sunday, November 16, from noon – 5.  $15 in advance, $20 at the event (cash only.)  This event will transform the Center into a magical and majestic home for the holiday season, each room decorated with gorgeous bouquets in beautifully designed settings.  An expanded boutique will offer unique gifts and gorgeous decorative items, most handcrafted by Club members.  Proceeds will help fund the Club’s many civic and charitable projects.  For more information contact

Sunday, November 16, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Franklin Park: From “A” to “Z”

On Sunday, November 16 at 1 pm, explore the portion of Franklin Park that designer Frederick Law Olmsted called the Ante-Park (“A”), which today is largely defined by the Franklin Park Zoo (“Z”). The walk will include stops at the Valley Gates, the Playstead Overlook, White Stadium, and the old Bear Dens. This tour includes an OPTIONAL extension into Franklin Park Zoo to explore the early Zoo designed by one-time Olmsted firm apprentice Arthur Shurcliff.  Meets at “Giraffe” rear entrance to the Franklin Park Zoo, just off the Jewish War Veterans Drive (also known as Circuit Drive).  The National Park Service ranger led Walk and Talk is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 617-566-1689.

Thursday, November 20, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm – Volunteerism on the Mystic River

The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) began in 1972 as a grassroots environmental organization and continues to rely upon grassroots support and volunteerism to accomplish its many projects and programs today. On Thursday, November 20, come learn about the work of the association and how MyRWA engages the 22 community watershed through volunteerism and citizen science.

Beth MacBlane is the Outreach and Communications Director at the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA). In this role Beth manages MyRWA outreach events and the association’s electronic and print communications, including social media. She received her B.A. in environmental studies and anthropology at Tufts University, where she volunteered with MA Community Water Watch as the education coordinator. She received her M.S. in environmental studies with a concentration in environmental education at Antioch University New England. Her professional experience comprises various educational and community organizing endeavors including four years of work with the National Park Service as an interpretive park ranger.

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

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