Wednesday, March 18, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Arthur Shurcliff

The next lecture sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society will take place Wednesday, March 18, from 5:30 – 7, on Arthur Shurcliff. In 1928 Boston landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff began what became one of the most important examples of the American Colonial Revival landscape—Colonial Williamsburg, a project that stretched into the 1940s and included town and highway planning as well as residential and institutional gardens. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1894, Shurcliff immediately went back to school at Harvard University where his mentor, Charles Eliot, helped him piece together a program in the Art History Department, the Lawrence Scientific School and the Bussey Institute. Upon graduation with a second Bachelor of Science, he worked in Frederick Law Olmsted’s office for eight years, acquiring a broad and sophisticated knowledge of the profession. When he opened his practice in 1904, Shurcliff emphasized his expertise in town planning. Two decades later, when he was tapped to be Chief Landscape Architect at Colonial Williamsburg, he was a seasoned professional whose commissions included his Boston work, campus design, town planning, and a robust practice in private domestic design. How he utilized the skills he acquired over the years, and how his professional expertise intermingled with his avocational interests in history, craftsmanship, and design is the subject of Cushing’s biography—a story that inexorably sweeps him to his work in the restoration and recreation at Colonial Williamsburg.

Elizabeth Hope Cushing, Ph.D., is the author of a newly published book about Boston landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff (1870–1957), based on her doctoral dissertation for the American and New England Studies program at Boston University. She is also a coauthor, with Keith N. Morgan and Roger Reed, of Community by Design, released in 2013. Cushing is a practicing landscape historian who consults, writes, and lectures on landscape matters. She has written cultural landscape history reports for the Taft Art Museum in Cincinnati, The National Park Service, the Department of Conservation and Recreation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other institutions and agencies. Her contributor credits include Pioneers of American Landscape Design (McGraw Hill Companies, 2000), Design with Culture: Claiming America’s Landscape Heritage (University of Virginia Press, 2005), Shaping the American Landscape (University of Virginia Press, 2009), and Drawing Toward Home (Historic New England, 2010). She has received a grant from the Gill Family Foundation to write a biography of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., which she is currently researching.

This series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum.  $10 fee, (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum) and pre-registration required at

Saturday, March 14, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm – 20th Annual Cape Cod Natural History Conference

For 20 years, Wellfleet Bay has organized this full day conference featuring presenters from environmental organizations across Cape Cod, speaking on a diversity of natural history topics. This Saturday, March 14 conference, from 8:30 – 3, continues to be an engaging, exciting, and fun way to learn about local research projects, conservation efforts, and local environmental organizations. Please join us for our 20th annual event. This event is held at Cape Cod Community College’s Tilden Art Center. Detailed schedule of presentations may be found at  Bring a brown bag lunch, and to help cut down on waste bring a mug for coffee. Coffee and refreshments are provided. Walk-in registration is $25. Image from Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

Monday, March 23, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – China, Biodiversity, and the Global Environment

China boasts not only the largest percentage of the world’s population (19%) but also one of the Earth’s richest, most diverse floras. Yet its economic rise as an industrial nation and its population density, with the associated environmental degradation, put this biodiversity at risk. Add in climate change and it is a recipe for disaster. Professor Peter Raven, a leading botanist, advocate for the conservation of biodiversity, and one of the co-editors of The Flora of China, a joint Chinese-American census of all the plants of China, is uniquely qualified to assess the consequences of over-population, industrial pollution, economic inequalities, and natural resource exploitation in China—consequences not limited to that country but affecting the entire global environment. In this Director’s Lecture Series talk on Monday, March 23, from 7 – 8:30 at the Arnold Arboretum, he will consider what it means for humanity to lose thousands of species to extinction, many before they are known or described by scientists. He’ll present his thoughts on reversing environmental degradation in China and around the globe and what is required to move all people toward an ethic of conservation and securing sustainability. Free, but registration required at

Friday, March 13, 12:20 pm – 1:10 pm – Conservation Hydropower

The University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Natural Sciences announces the Department of Environmental Conservation Spring 2015 Seminar Series, to be held Fridays from 12:20 – 1:10 in Holdsworth Hall Room 105. On Friday, March 13, Joerg Hartmann will discuss Conservation Hydropower. For more information contact Brett Butler at

Saturdays, April 4, 11, 18, & 25, 9:30 am – 11:30 am – The Art of Botanical Drawing

Explore the beauty and variety of plant forms using pencil, watercolor, and colored pencil with instructor Erica Beade. This four-week course, to be held on Saturdays from April 4 – 25, 9:30 – 11:30 at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, will introduce botanical drawing techniques through close observation and practice with contour, gesture, foreshortening, shading, and color. All skill levels are welcome. Fee is $95 for HMNH members, $110 for nonmembers. Advance registration required at

Thursday, March 12, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm – A Spin in the Park

The Friends of the Public Garden is delighted to be partnering with the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) on an event that will kick-off their 40th anniversary year. Mayor Martin J. Walsh recently announced a series of free events scheduled throughout 2015 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of BLC. Titled BLC XL, this anniversary series will feature four seasonal programs celebrating Boston’s historic places and the progress made during the past four decades to protect and enhance the city’s unique identity.

On March 12, 2015, please join us at the winter BLC XL program, “A Spin in the Park,” a free guided tour of the Boston Common. On this early-evening ramble, the Friends will present the colorful history of the Common, a designated Boston Landmark since 1977, and their ongoing efforts to restore and maintain it. BLC staff will reveal how the Common’s significant fences, statuary and fountains help define one of the city’s foundational places. This spin through the park will then take to the ice with skating at the Frog Pond, where rental skates will be made available to registered attendees at no cost along with a complimentary hot chocolate. Image from Online registration is available here:

Wednesday, March 18, 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm – The Orchard Ecosystem

Farmer and writer Michael Phillips (,) author of The Holistic Orchard, discusses his holistic approach: health-guilding orchard practices that bring about wholesome fruit.  A healthy orchard ecosystem includes unerstanding soil biology, boosting tree immunity with deep nutrition, timing maintenance tasks relative to tree growth cycles, approaching insect pest situations from a life cycle standpoint, and abetting biodiversity.  Growing tree fruits and berries is something that anyone with a passionate desire can do, given wise guidance and a personal commitment to observe the teachings of the trees.  This Wellesley College Botanic Garden lunch and lecture will be held Wednesday, March 18, from 12:30 – 3:30, and the fee is $45 from Friends of WCBG, $60 for nonmembers (includes lunch.) Register by calling 781-283-3094, or email

Tuesday, March 10, 6:00 pm – North America’s Shale Gas Resources: Energy and Environmental Perspectives

John H. Shaw, Chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harry C. Dudley Professor of Structural and Economic Geology, and Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, will speak on North America’s Shale Gas Resources on Tuesday, March 10 beginning at 6 pm, in a program sponsored by the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Over the last decade, natural gas extracted from shale rock formations (shale gas) has become an important source of energy in North America. These abundant natural gas resources offer tremendous economic potential and are reshaping the landscape of energy production, including fossil, nuclear, and renewable energy options. Natural gas is also the lowest-emission fossil energy option available today. However, like other energy options, shale gas development has potential adverse impacts on our environment. John Shaw will discuss where and how shale gas resources are found, the geologic processes responsible for their formation, and the economic and environmental impacts associated with their extraction and use. This free public program will be held at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.  Free parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.  For more information visit

Thursday, March 12, 6:00 pm – Perspectives on Place

The Friends of Fairsted present their spring lecture, Perspectives on Place, on Thursday, March 12 with a reception beginning at 6 pm and lecture at 7 pm at Wheelock College, 43 Hawes Street in Brookline.  Gary Hilderbrand, Principal, Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architecture, will be the featured speaker. What you see: the tangible, reduced, edited, straightforward reality we build. What you don’t see: what came before, what’s beneath the surface, what’s behind the shapes or patterns, below the horizon, past the view, beyond our capacity to see. Gary Hilderbrand will discuss his firm’s work in the context of their monograph, Visible | Invisible. Moderated by Keith Morgan.  Free but reservations are requested. Seating is limited. Reserve with Friends of Fairsted by emailing

Tuesday, March 10, 7:30 pm – The Reintroduction of the American Burying Beetle to Nantucket

March’s Cambridge Entomological Club meeting will be held Tuesday, March 10th at 7:30 PM in room 101 of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Oxford Street in Cambridge. Andrew Mckenna-Foster (pictured below,) the Director of Natural Sciences at the Maria Mitchell Association, will be telling us about The Reintroduction of the American Burying Beetle to Nantucket Island.

The federally endangered American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus (Coleoptera: Silphidae) is the largest of North America’s carrion beetles. Its historical range covered 35 states in the eastern temperate areas of North America, but today, populations remain in only eight states and it is possibly one of the rarest beetle species in the United States. The range of ABBs on the east coast is particularly limited, only surviving naturally on Block Island, RI. In 1994, 48 N. americanus were released on Nantucket Island, MA in a large collaborative effort to build a second east coast population. “As we observed how this new population was settling in on the island, we have adapted our monitoring and reintroduction methodology to efficiently boost the number of wild beetles. After a peak in capture numbers in 2011 (212 beetles), we entered a phase of testing whether the species can survive on the island with little to no assistance. I will talk about what we have learned concerning dispersal, winter survival, reproduction, and ultimately, the probable fate of this population.”

The meeting is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided and you are also welcome to join us at 6:00 pm for an informal pre-meeting dinner at Cambridge Common.

Wednesday, March 11, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm – The Brookline Troika: Olmsted, Richardson, Sargent and the Planning of a “Model Community”

The Massachusetts Historical Society presents The Brookline Troika: Olmsted, Richardson, Sargent and the Planning of a “Model Community” on Wednesday, March 11, at their offices at 1154 Boylston Street, with a reception at 5:30 and lecture at 6:00.  Keith Morgan, Director of Architectural Studies at Boston University is the featured speaker.

Derived from the recently publish book, Community by Design: The Olmsted Office and the Making of Brookline, Massachusetts, this lecture will explore the close and dynamic relationship of the country’s leading landscape architect, architect, and horticulturalist in the evolution of Boston’s premier suburb. These three men lived within easy walking distance of each other in the Green Hill section of Brookline and used their private residences and landscapes as teaching and professional spaces as well. Their friendships and (occasional) conflicts informed the character of the suburban development for a community that called itself “the richest town in the world” and believed that its model was worthy of emulation.

Keith N. Morgan is a Professor of the History of Art & Architecture and American & New England Studies at Boston University, where he has taught since 1980. He currently direct BU’s Architectural Studies Program and is a former national president of the Society of Architectural Historians. Written in collaboration with Elizabeth Hope Cushing and Roger Reed, Community by Design was published in 2013 by the University of Massachusetts Press for the Library of American Landscape History and received the Ruth Emery Prize of the Victorian Society in America.

This series has been made possible by the generous underwriting of Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects and is cosponsored by the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum. $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members of the MHS, Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Nichols House Museum.) Register online at

Thursday, March 12, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Native Edibles and Herbals

Whether you are interested in healthy, novel, or unusual foods, or are simply interested in applying botany to your everyday life, this New England Wild Flower Society class will enhance your knowledge of native edibles and herbals. From cucumber root to Oswego tea, wild edibles and medicinal plants are everywhere. In this program, students will learn how to recognize and utilize them. Dan Jaffe and Anna Fialkoff will address safe and sustainable best practices as they explore common, rare, and threatened species for forage and cultivation. The class will be held at Garden in the Woods in Framingham on Thursday, March 12, from 10 – 12, and is $26 for NEWFS members, $32 for nonmembers. Register on line at Picture from

Wednesday, March 11 & 18, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Getting Started with Home Landscaping

Learn the basics of landscaping your property. This two-part New England Wild Flower Society class, to be held at Garden in the Woods in Framingham on March 11 and 18, from 6:30 – 8, teaches you how to determine the right plants for the various conditions in different parts of your yard. You will also get tips on planting, watering and keeping your gardens healthy over the long-term using earth-friendly practices that are safe for your family, pets, and the planet. Ellen Sousa, author of The Green Garden, is the instructor, and the fee is $26 for NEWFS members, $32 for nonmembers. Register online at

Saturday, March 7, 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – History of Camellias in Boston

New Englanders have been growing decorative plants for centuries.  Many large estates in the Boston area featured large glass greenhouses and significant collections of camellia trees.  Discover the rich history of camellia cultivation from the late 1700s through the 1900s at this illustrated lecture by Lyman Estate Greenhouse Manager Lynn Ackerman.  The event will take place Saturday, March 7 beginning at 2 pm.  Afterwards, visit the 1804 Lyman Estate Greenhouses and enjoy the large camellia collection in bloom.   $5 for the public, free to Historic New England members.  Registration required by calling 617-994-5912.  Program will take place at the Lyman Estate mansion, 185 Lyman Street in Waltham.  This lecture is part of the camellia blooming season and sale, running through March 15, Wednesdays through Sundays, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Thursday, March 5, 6:00 pm – The Revolution in Plant Evolution

Pamela Soltis, Distinguished Professor and Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, will speak on Thursday, March 5 at 6 pm on The Revolution in Plant Evolution.

Today’s digital technologies enable museums to “unlock” their cabinets and share their treasures online. Pamela Soltis will discuss the way in which access to digital data and images of natural history collections is becoming a game changer in the understanding of plant evolution. From enabling novel research on plant genetics, to highlighting the roles plants play in nature and how they respond to climate change, museum collections are a key resource, particularly when studying plants that are rare, hard to collect, endangered, or extinct.

The Evolution Matters Lecture Series is supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit. This free program will take place at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street.  Free parking is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Friday, March 6 – Sunday, March 8 – Needham’s Art in Bloom

Needham’s Art in Bloom, presented by Beth Shalom Garden Club, with assistance from Kalmia and Needham garden clubs, is now in its seventh year and back by popular demand. This free multi-generational exhibit will feature 60  pieces of mixed media Needham High School student artwork with floral interpretations by Beth Shalom , Kalmia, and Needham Garden Club members. Visit: The principle  event takes place Saturday, March 7 from 9 – 5, and Sunday, March 8 from 1 – 4 at the Needham Public Library, 1139 Highland Avenue in Needham. Small previews will be held in the Needham High School Lobby, Town Hall, and Center at the Heights on Friday, March 6 from 12 – 4.  All events are free and generously sponsored by Roche Brothers.

Thursday, March 12, 10:00 am – Tour of the Waterworks Museum

The Garden Club of the Back Bay’s March meeting will be a field trip to the Waterworks Museum, 2450 Beacon Street in Boston. We will be joined by Executive Director Marcis Kempe and architectural historian Dennis DeWitt at the Waterworks Museum, who will discuss Boston’s first water safety laboratory, the landscaping of Boston, and other technological aspects of the creation of Boston’s excellent water system. Car pool notices will be sent to Garden Club of the Back Bay members. Non club members who are interested in joining us at the Museum should email

Tuesday, March 10, 5:15 pm – 7:30 pm – Fear of an Open Beach: The Privatization of the Connecticut Shore and the Fate of Coastal America

The Massachusetts Historical Society will present a free lecture on Tuesday, March 10 at their offices at Massachusetts Avenue in Boston.  Andrew W. Kahrl of University of Virginia will speak on Fear of an Open Beach: The Privatization of the Connecticut Shore and the Fate of Coastal America.  Comments will be made by Karl Haglund of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. This essay traces the rise of private beaches along the Connecticut shore and the efforts of municipalities to protect exclusionary laws from the effects of civil rights movements. It argues that overdeveloped coastlines have been the product of racial and class segregation; thus, the battle over public access to the nation’s shoreline during the 1970s sheds light on the roots of the environmental crisis facing America’s coast.

Please rsvp by emailing You may receive advance copies of the seminar paper.

Tuesday, July 14 – Thursday, July 16 – Hydrangeas 2015 International Conference

HYDRANGEAS, HYDRANGEAS, HYDRANGEAS! The species, cultivars, newest introductions, breeding innovations, cultural issues, and tours of significant private Cape Cod gardens will be part of an International Conference to take place July 14 – 16 at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich. Plus, there will be on-site displays by major hydrangea suppliers, and plant sales stalls by local nurseries featuring hundreds of hydrangeas- all presented and available over three days in the cradle of the genus – Cape Cod.

Heritage is widely known for rhododendrons, but it also features a growing collection of hydrangeas. In concert with the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society, Heritage is the repository of the Society’s Hydrangea Collection and has continued to expand hydrangea plantings throughout the property.

Lectures will be held each morning with garden tours in the afternoon. Tuesday and Wednesday tours will feature significant private gardens on the Cape. Keynote Speaker for the conference is Dr. Michael Dirr, who will give a talk on The History of Hydrangeas – Earliest Introductions to Current Developments on Tuesday morning. A host of prominent speakers will present on Tuesday and Wednesday – full details may be found on the website noted below. Thursday will be a full Heritage Day dedicated to tours of all garden areas including the Hydrangea Collection. Thursday evening will feature the Conference banquet followed by an Ice Cream Social and a Question & Answer Forum to conclude the event.

Cape Cod is a historical treasure trove, a place of incomparable natural beauty, with a maritime climate befitting Hydrangea macrophylla – the crown jewel of the genus – at their blooming peak in July.

Full registration now through March 31 is $550.  One day registration for July 14 or July 15 only is $250.  Register online, and complete information, may be found at

Friday, April 24 – Monday, April 27 – Bubbles and Blossoms, and Art in Bloom

For the 39th year, garden clubs and professional designers from across New England will create artistic floral arrangements at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), for Art in Bloom.

Arrangements will be inspired by artwork found throughout the Museum, including the re-imagined Greek galleries and newly installed Arts of the Pacific Gallery, as well as the new Hokusai exhibition.

Special events include an illustrated lecture and Japanese Ikebana floral demonstrations, as well as flower arranging master classes presented by Christian Tortu, France’s most renowned floral designer.

For a preview of the arrangements, a Bubbles and Blossoms event on Friday, April 24 (6 pm-9:30 pm, $30 members, $50 non-members), celebrates spring with a festive evening of bubbly and light bites.

Sunday, April 25, is Family Day, offering a variety of family-friendly events, including live entertainment and various art-making activities.

Daily tours, elegant tea and flower-designing demonstrations will be held throughout the weekend.

Tickets for all Art in Bloom events go on sale February 26 at 10 am on Follow the MFA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for news and updates about Art in Bloom.

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