Sunday, November 2, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Pruning Practices and Winter Interest Plant Walk

Join Blithewold Mansion’s fun and informal plant walks, each of which will get you familiar with the plants and trees spread over Blithewold’s 33 acres of lawns and gardens. Led by members of the talented professional horticultural staff, this introductory, easy-paced walk covers a variety of topics. You will enjoy learning about various plants, garden topics, habitats, and seasons at Blithewold. Your guide will introduce you to perhaps new-to-you gardening techniques, trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants as well. People of all ages and levels of gardening experience are welcome. Dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes that can get wet. The Pruning Practices and Winter Interest Plant Walk will take place Sunday, November 2, from 1 – 2:30 pm, at the Gardens at 101 Ferry Road, in Bristol, Rhode Island.  $5 for Blithewold members, admission plus $5 for nonmembers.  For more information and directions visit

Tuesday, October 28, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Olmsted Lecture: On the Theoretical and Practical Development of Landscape Architecture

The Harvard University Graduate School of Design will present its Olmsted Lecture on Tuesday, October 28, from 6:30 – 8 in the Piper Auditorium of Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street in Cambridge.  The speaker will be Joseph Disponzio, and his topic is On the Theoretical and Practical Development of Landscape Architecture.

Exploring the transformation of the modeling of land from garden-making to landscape architecture, this lecture by Joseph Disponzio will establish the intellectual origins of landscape architecture in relation to the new garden practices that emerged during the 18th century, and the texts that codified these practices, amid Enlightenment-era changes in the understanding of nature. Disponzio is Preservation Landscape Architect for the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, and Director of the Landscape Design program at Columbia University. He has taught at several institutions, published widely on garden history from the 18th century to the present, and is currently writing introductions for an edition of N. Vergnaud’s L’Art de créer les jardins (1835) and a translation of Jean-Marie Morel’s Théorie des jardins (1776).

For accessibility issues, please contact the events office two weeks in advance at (617)-496-2414 or Free and open to the public.

Saturday, November 8, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Beginning Orchid Growing Workshop

You don’t need a greenhouse to grow orchids. On Saturday, November 8, learn the essentials to achieve success on your windowsill. The Beginning Orchid Growing Workshop will be held at the Lyman Estate Greenhouses, 185 Lyman Street in Waltham, from 10 – 12, and the fee to participate is $25. Registration is required at 781-891-1985, or visit Greenhouse Manager Lynn Ackerman teaches the best methods for lighting, watering, fertilization, repotting, and selection. Picture from

UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Test Lab

UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Test Lab has moved.  On September 16, the Lab moved from West Experiment Station to a newly renovated space in Paige Laboratory on the UMass Amherst campus. Orders sent to the old address will be automatically forwarded to the new address:

UMass Soil and Plant Tissue Testing Lab
203 Paige Laboratory
161 Holdsworth Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9286

Turnaround times may be affected by the move. For questions, contact the lab by phone at 413-545-2311, or by email at

Thursday, October 30, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm – The Japanese Kimono – Now and Then

The Japan Society of Boston and the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia present The Japanese Kimono – Now and Then, on Thursday, October 30, from 7 – 10 at the Boston University Metcalf Trustee Ballroom, Ninth Floor, One Silber Way in Boston.  Performance and reception to follow.  Free and open to the public.  Welcome a delegation from one of the leading kimono schools in Japan, who will present a retrospective of kimono styles, from modern to ancient.  Performance will be from 7 – 8:30 in the Ballroom, and the reception, from 8:30 – 10, will be in the Lounge.  Sponsored by The Cultural Foundation for Promoting the National Costume of Japan.

Wednesday, November 5, 1:30 pm – Food of the Gods: Chocolate Production from Bean to Bar

This Wednesday, November 5 talk by Wellesley College Botanic Garden fellow Katie Goodall will explore the journey of chocolate from tropical landscapes to consumers all over the world.  Focusing on Latin America, she will discuss cacao’s botanical origins, cultural history, cultivation methods, and their ecological impacts.  And what’s a chocolate talk without a tasting?  Be sure to come (1:30 pm at the Visitor’s Center of the Botanic Garden) ready to savor the flavors of local specialty chocolates. Image from  WCBG Friends free, nonmembers $10.  Register by calling 781-283-3094 or email

Saturday, November 8, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Craft Beer Tasting at Fruitlands

Join the Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Road in Harvard Massachusetts on Saturday, November 8, from 3 – 5, for the 2nd Annual Craft Beer Tasting.  You’ll sample selections from local breweries, complimented by hors d’oeuvre from Fireside Catering.  Space is limited and advance purchase is required.  There are no physical tickets for the event – check in at the door to receive your wristband and souvenir tasting glass.  Fruitlands members $45, nonmembers $50, Designated Driver $10.  Guests must be 21 or older and should bring a valid photo ID at the time of entry.  Purchase tickets online at

Saturday, November 1, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Grow Your Own Mushrooms

The Boston Natural Areas Network will present a free class on Saturday, November 1, from 10 – noon at City Natives, 30 Edgewater Drive in Mattapan, entitled Grow Your Own Mushrooms. Mushrooms thrive in shady spots, are low maintenance and taste delicious! From inoculation to harvest learn to grow mushrooms on a log, over wood chips or in a bin. Registration required, to register call 617-542-7696 or email Image from


Wednesday, October 22 – Deadline for Orchard House’s Kickstarter Campaign

Last fall, The Garden Club of the Back Bay traveled to Concord for a tour of Orchard House’s museum and gardens as part of our Author Year programs.  We received the following notice from them, and share it with you:

Guess what? Orchard House is making a movie – the first documentary about the 350 year history of the house – and we want YOU to be involved in creating the film.

We’ve launched a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding platform, to raise the $150,000 needed for production of Orchard House – Home of Little Women!

For those who may not be familiar, Kickstarter is dedicated to fundraising for creative projects just like this. Funding is all-or-nothing, which means we need to raise every penny of our goal by October 22, 2014 through pledges to our online campaign.

Click here and take just 10 minutes out of your day to visit our page, watch the beautiful 4 minute video, make a donation (called a pledge), and share the campaign with friends and family.

Everyone has a special place – a mountaintop, a cathedral, a beloved home – that makes them feel safe, connected, and inspired. For millions of people from all over the world, Orchard House is that place: a gathering place, where people from many backgrounds have come together for over 350 years to count themselves part of a community – a community steeped in hope, courage, and perseverance.

Many who wish to experience Orchard House may never be able to visit in person, and there are millions more that do not realize the house exists. Together with your pledges and our dedication, this film will change that.

Pledges of all amounts are welcome and encouraged, and there are even some great rewards for our backers. #PledgeYourLove to Orchard House and become part of our legacy!

Thursday, November 6, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation

Author, lawyer, Yale University doctoral candidate and historian Eric Rutkow digs deep into American history to show how trees were essential to the early years of the republic and indivisible from the country’s rise as both an empire and a civilization. He will share stories set in New England and beyond, in which trees—as symbols of liberty, community, and civilization—are perhaps the loudest silent figures in America’s complicated history. Early presidents, conservationists, politicians, and politics resurface alongside the trees and forests that supported independence and fueled this country’s westward expansion. Eric Rutkow’s book, American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation (Scribner, 2012), will be available for purchase and signing. The event takes place Thursday, November 6, from 7 – 8:30 in the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, and is $5 for Arboretum members, $10 for nonmembers. Register at

Boston Preservation Alliance Achievement Award to Tom and Nancy High

The Boston Preservation Alliance has awarded one of its 2014 Preservation Achievement Awards! Tom and Nancy High, who created this website, will receive their award at the ceremony on October 21. If you would like to attend the Awards event to honor and celebrate their accomplishment, you can purchase tickets online ( or by contacting Alison Frazee at the Alliance.

There is another way you can show your support for this project! The Alliance is awarding a fan favorite prize to the project with the most votes! Visit and cast your vote for once a day using your email address. Encourage your friends and neighbors to vote, too!

Wednesday, November 19, 6:00 pm – An Emerald Evening

An Emerald Evening celebrates one of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s founders and newly appointed Life Trustee, former Governor Michael S. Dukakis.

Michael has been a champion of parks and open space long before and continuously after his terms as Governor. As a life-long Brookline resident, he personally invests in the beauty of the Emerald Necklace by picking up trash as he walks through the park to work each day. Out of public office, he continues to advocate for the benefits of urban park land and the people who depend on their resources. He has challenged all of us to follow suit.

An Emerald Evening will be held on November 19, 2014 at 6 p.m. in the Koch Galleries of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The evening will include a lively reception and the awarding of the Olmsted Award of Excellence to our honored guest.

Visit for more information, to become a sponsor or purchase tickets. All proceeds from the event will directly support the Conservancy’s programming in the Emerald Necklace park system.

Friday, November 14, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm – Castle Hill Casino Restoration Seminar

New England Landscape Design and History Association (NELDHA) and The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) are pleased to collaborate on a Preservation Seminar that focuses on the Casino restoration at the Country Place Era Estate at Castle Hill in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The seminar is on November 14, 2014, at the Great House at Castle Hill from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Join them for an in depth program in the Great House with TTOR staff and other professionals who will explain the issues, process and decision making involved. TTOR Northeast Region’s Operations Manager Robert Murray will lead a tour of the restored Casino. After lunch, a distinguished panel will answer questions and discuss issues with a particular emphasis on hardscape, ornamentation and adaptive reuse of this incredible space. The panelists include Robert Murray; Lucinda Brockway, TTOR Program Director for Cultural Resources; James Younger, AIA, LEED AP, TTOR Director of Structural Resources and Technology; Susan Hill Dolan, TTOR Curator and Cultural Resources Specialist for the Northeast Region; Robert Levitre of Consigli Construction, and distinguished landscape architect and preservationist, Marion Pressley, FASLA, and past speaker for the Garden Club of the Back Bay.

In 2014, TTOR continued the restoration of the grounds at Castle Hill, a National Historic Landmark. This year, 99 years after its creation, the crumbling Casino—the epitome of a Country Place Era estate feature for entertainment and leisure—was restored. The casino was designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style by landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff, in collaboration with the Boston architectural firm Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, 1914 – 1915. Although sited on the fabulous grand allee, it is elegantly hidden within the iconic view from the Great House. The Casino predates the existing Great House designed by David Adler, 1924 – 1928. For this project, TTOR used original documentation and materials wherever possible.

The seminar is $70 for NELDHA members, TTOR members and current students and $85 for non-members. We are offering an early registration discount of $10 for registrations received before October 14, 2014. The Registration & Refund Deadline is November 8, 2014. Space is limited. Visit to register.

casino ballroom 1915

December 4 – 15, 2014, or February 5 – 16, 2015 – Discover Cuba!

WAITING LIST ONLY for the December trip, reservations available for the February trip. Pacific Horticulture Society has just renewed its People-to-People US travel license to Cuba granting permission to take friends and members on what promises to be a rich cultural journey with a botanical slant. Our itinerary includes Havana, Zapata National Park— the finest wetland in the Caribbean with over 900 indigenous plant species and 175 unique birds, the city of Cienfuegos—”pearl of the south” and home of the former Harvard Botanic Garden, the Sierra del Escambray Mountains, and the World Heritage City of Trinidad.

Throughout our journey, there will be a special emphasis on meeting the people of Cuba: botanists, environmentalists, teachers, scientists, students, and national park personnel.

Steve Gerischer, PHS board member, will escort the December tour, and Josh Schechtel will escort the February tour. See more at:

Thursday, November 13, 7:00 pm – Gardner Museum Landscape Lecture: Teresa Galí-Izard

On Thursday, November 13, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will host Teresa Galí-Izard, principal of Arquitectura Agronomia, a landscape architecture firm in Barcelona. Through her work, she explores new languages and forms, working with living materials, and applying contemporary dynamics and management. She has been involved in some of the most important landscape architecture projects in Europe, including the new urbanization of Passeig de Sant Joan in Barcelona and the restoration of the nearby Vall d’en Joan landfill, which won the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2004. Galí-Izard is the author of The Same Landscapes: Ideas and Interpretation (2005), and co-edited Jacques Simon: Los otros paisajes, Ideas y reflexiones sobre el territorio (2012) with Daniella Collafranceschi.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Landscape Lectures begin at 7 pm in Calderwood Hall. Lectures include Museum admission and require a ticket; tickets can be reserved online at, in person at the door, or by phone: 617 278 5156. Museum admission: adults $15, seniors $12, students $5, free for members.

When a lecture sells out, the Museum will offer a limited number of obstructed view seats the night of the event via a signup sheet at the admissions desk. The signup sheet will become available at the desk at 6 pm. We will make every attempt to seat everyone but cannot guarantee a seat once we are at capacity. Seats will be assigned 5 minutes prior to the lecture time. These obstructed view seats will be free of charge.

Wednesday, October 29, 10:00 am – Nature in the City and Stewarding Our Native Ecology

The Annual Meeting of The Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America will take place Wednesday, October 29, at The Country Club, Clyde Street, Brookline, beginning with coffee and registration at 10:00 am, and the business meeting at 10:30 am, followed by a keynote speech by Peter Del Tredici on Nature in the City and Stewarding Our Native Ecology. Dr. Del Tredici is Senior Research Scientist, Arnold Arboretum, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

“My research interests are wide ranging and mainly involve the interaction between woody plants and their environment. Over the course of thirty plus years at the Arnold Arboretum, I have worked with a number of plants, most notably Ginkgo biloba, conifers in the genera Tsuga and Sequoia, various magnolias, and several Stewartia species (family Theaceae). In all of my work, I attempt to integrate various aspects of the botany and ecology of a given species with the horticultural issues surrounding its propagation and cultivation. This fusion of science and practice has also formed the basis of my teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (since 1992), especially as it relates to understanding the impacts of climate change and urbanization on plants in both native and designed landscapes. Most recently, the focus of my research has expanded to the subject of spontaneous urban vegetation which resulted in the publication of Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide (Cornell University Press, 2010).”

The program is open to members of the Garden Clubs which comprise The Boston Committee ( who will receive written invitations with information on attendance fees.  If you are not a member, email for more information.  Image from

Online Course Available: Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun

Sign up for the perennials “crash course” for the gardener.  Perennials are easy to grow, easy to propagate, and offer gardeners a fascinating variety of colors, forms, and textures. Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun is an online certificate program authored by the Dr. Allan Armitage, one of the world’s leading experts on and researchers of perennials. In the course, you will read and hear Dr. Armitage’s insights on how to plant, propagate, and care for 20 of his favorite perennials. The course is online, so you can progress at your own pace, on your own schedule. You’ll be using Dr. Armitage’s renowned textbook, Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on their Identification, Culture, and Garden Attributes. Other resources include online access to the professor’s audio clips, interactive exercises, and end-of-lesson quizzes that provide instant feedback. Cost is $249. Course Number 72402. For more information, and to register, visit

Saturday, October 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Floral Design for Jewelry and Crafts

Award winning floral jewelry designer Sarah Boynton will be offering a class on the basics of how to create beautiful jewelry out of dried plant material. The class will be held from 10 – 12 noon in the Parkman Room at Elm Bank on Saturday, October 25, from 10 – noon.

Talent and creativity can transform plants from around our gardens and woodlands into such realistic pieces of jewelry. The picture below is an Egyptian necklace which took first place at the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2010. This class, sponsored by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, costs $25 for Mass Hort members, $30 for nonmembers. Register by calling 617-933-4973 or visit

Arnold Arboretum Director’s Lecture Series 2015

Each year, Director William (Ned) Friedman and the Arnold Arboretum present the Director’s Lecture Series, featuring nationally recognized experts addressing an array of topics related to Earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history, the environment, conservation biology, and key social issues associated with current science. Lectures take place in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall. Parking will be available in front of the building and along the Arborway. These free lectures become completely subscribed early, and right now, through December 15, Arboretum members may register online prior to general registration thereafter. Visit to sign up.

The schedule is as follows: On Monday, January 12, hear Ned Friedman himself discuss Mutants in Our Midst: Darwin, Horticulture, and Evolution. Photographer Rachel Sussman speaks on Monday, March 2 on The Oldest Living Things in the World, Peter Raven, PhD and President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden comes on Monday, March 23 to lecture on China, Biodiversity, and the Global Environment, and finally, on Monday April 20, hear Richard Lazarus, Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard University, who will discuss Environmental Lawlessness.

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