Friday, February 6 – Sunday, February 8 – Rustic Elegance, Garden Club Version

Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, continues its Flora in February program on the weekend of February 6 – 8 with another flower show entitled Rustic Elegance, this time featuring the work of garden clubs and individuals.  The times are Friday, 12 – 5, Saturday 9 – 5, and Sunday 9 – 4.  See floral artists shine during this weekend of creative inspiration.  For more information visit www.towerhillbg.org.

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Monday, February 23, 5:30 pm – Gardening Intensively in Small Urban Spaces

Come to the Cambridge Center for Adult Education on Monday, February 23 at 5:30 pm to learn how to plant, maintain, and harvest your garden to maximize yield. Learn how to site a good growing space in the city, use organic practices to combat pests and diseases, and boost soil fertility for a healthy and productive garden. We also will review creative urban crop options including micro-greens, fruit, mushrooms, bees, and more. The last class will include a canning demonstration along with cooking tips for the urban gardener. $155 fee. Register online at http://learn.ccae.org/modules/shop/index.html?action=courseBrowse&TagID=254.  Image from www.shelterness.com.

Saturday, February 21, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, February 22, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Worcester County Horticultural Society Midwinter Show

The Worcester County Horticultural Society Midwinter Show will take place at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, on Saturday, February 21 from 9 – 5 and Sunday, February 22 from 9 – 4.  Bask in the beauty of forced flowers, branches, conservatory plants and flowering shrubs.  Categories will also include Alpine and/or Rock Garden Plants and tabletop displays.  For more information visit www.towerhillbg.org.

Thursday, February 5, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – For the Pantry: Relish This! Farm Condiments for Winter Warmth

Do you need a little spice to warm you up? Join Powisset Cooks! for a short look at Powisset Farm in Dover followed by an exciting hands-on exploration in the Farm Kitchen with our Culinary Educator. We will experiment with different farm condiments including horseradish and hot sauces. You will surely relish this opportunity (pun from The Trustees of Reservations, please note.) Limited to 12 participants, so sign up quickly!

Most classes include options for vegetarians and vegans. For more information about what we’ll be cooking, contact Rachel Kaplan at the number below.

Become a member of The Trustees today and receive the member price for the workshop as well as a Powisset Cooks! Buddy Pass for an upcoming program.

This event is part of the Powisset Cooks! program. Cost is $35 for TTOR members, $50 for nonmembers. Register by calling 508-785-0339, x 3003, or emailing rkaplan@ttor.org. Image of horseradish and beet relish from www.eatingwell.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Edible Native Plants for Your Landscape

There’s an increasing inclination to utilize more native species in home landscaping and in parks and other conserved landscapes, thanks to books like Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home, which extol the virtues of native plants over exotic ornamentals for attracting and sustaining beneficial insects. Yet, for some property owners/managers, this alone may be insufficient motivation to “go native”. Perhaps knowing that many native species are edible by people too will provide an additional incentive to plant native species. Juneberries (Amelanchier spp.), for example, are equally edible by songbirds and people. Picture below from www.blogs.cornell.edu. The taste of the ripe fruit is like a cross between cherries and almonds. Edible wild plants offer opportunities for people to connect to nature via their taste buds, thereby building their enthusiasm and public support for adding edible native plants to their home landscaping, as well as for conserving other lands that offer foraging opportunities. Adding native edible plants to a landscape can boost biodiversity as well as “spice it up” (literally as well as figuratively – i.e., we can have our acorn cake and eat it too). Learn about at least three dozen of the tastiest native species the Northeast U.S. region has to offer. Keys to the identification of each species are provided, along with edible portions, seasons of availability and preparation methods, along with guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging.

Russ Cohen’s “day job” is serving as the Rivers Advocate for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration. He has spoken to The Garden Club of the Back Bay as well.  One of his areas of expertise is in riparian vegetation. He has compiled a list of native plant species suitable for planting in riparian areas; wrote nine fact sheets on the ecological and other beneficial functions of naturally vegetated buffers along rivers and streams, intended to aid the effective implementation of the Mass. Rivers Protection Act; and (in partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club) prepared “Trees, Paddlers and Wildlife”, a set of outreach materials (YouTube video, brochure and PowerPoint presentation) intended to raise the awareness of paddlers, riparian land owners and managers, and others about the ecological and other beneficial values of retaining trees and other woody vegetation (living or dead) in and along rivers and streams. In his spare time, Cohen pursues his passion of connecting to nature via his taste buds. He is an expert forager and the author of Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, published in 2004 by the Essex County Greenbelt Association. Mr. Cohen has been teaching foraging since 1974 and leads foraging walks each year at a wide variety of venues throughout the Northeast. The Ecological Landscaping Alliance’s free webinar with Russ will take place Wednesday, February 11, from 7:30 – 8:30. See more at: http://www.ecolandscaping.org/event/webinar-edible-native-plants-for-your-landscape/#sthash.yQGWH35b.dpuf

Sunday, February 8, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Grow It, Cut It, Arrange It

Want to have beautiful blooms fresh from your own garden to adorn your house and table but don’t have the space for a separate cutting garden? This Tower Hill Botanic Garden program on Sunday, February 8 from 1 – 2:30 will give you plant selections you can easily work in to your existing garden space that will provide you bouquet after bountiful bouquet as well as suggestions for foliage , fruit and other fun additions to make your arrangements POP!

Instructor Bio: Cheryl Monroe is a licensed adult educator who has been lecturing throughout New England since 2009. She follows two garden mottos: First, to always pay attention to the science, staying current with plant research, new plant introductions and design trends, secondly : “Pretty it up!” She strives to have beautiful pest free gardens on her 1 acre plot in central Massachusetts where she grows over 100 clematis species and hybrids, dozens upon dozens of ornamental vines, hundreds upon hundreds of perennials , and a large variety of both deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs. Cheryl is a mom of four, lover of corgi dogs, avid reader, and knitter, but mostly and whenever possible, a gardener. The program is free with admission, but pre-registration is recommended at https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/EventDetail.asp?cguid=C7E2C131-AD0F-49AA-B073-5B92F8300A37&eid=50741&sid=584E6F84-6F72-4A48-AA6F-98B205FEC90C.

Garden Club of the Back Bay Winter Tea Postponed Due to Snow

The Boston Public Library will be closed Wednesday, January 28, so our annual Winter Tea has been postponed.  We are in the process of choosing another date, possibly in late February, and everyone who had signed up will be contacted.  A new announcement will be mailed once we determine the new date. Thank you all for your continued interest.

Saturday, February 7, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – The Art of Floral Preservation

Come to Tower Hill Botanic Garden on Saturday, February 7 from 3 – 4 as Pauline Bergassi of Petal ‘n Fern Impressions shares The Art of Floral Preservation with a slide show presentation of over 50 stunning flower images and a lecture/discussion on the best method of preservation for specific flowers. Sample flowers preserved in various mediums will be provided.

Keep your favorite flowers to enjoy all year long. Practice this winter, using store-bought specimens and be prepared to save your garden treasures this summer.  Free with admission to Tower Hill.

Saturday, February 7, 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm – Keepsake Annuals

The best old-fashioned annuals for beds and containers and the new versions of some our favorites will be discussed. Whether you like fragrant heliotrope or self-sowing verbena, this Tower Hill Botanic Garden lecture on Saturday, February 7 from 1 – 2:15 will cover the A-Z of easy care heirloom types and showcase combinations that work.

Lecturer Barbara Pierson of White Flower Farm graduated from Cornell’s School of Horticulture and has been the Nursery Manager at White Flower Farm since 1998. A popular guest on television and radio, she is regularly interviewed and quoted as an expert in newspapers across the country. She was featured in a five-part series of articles in The New York Times about home gardening in the summer of 2010. She has been a guest on WNPR’s “The Faith Middleton Show” and Martha Stewart Radio’s “Morning Living”. She is the face and voice of many of the how-to gardening videos available on White Flower Farm’s Web site. Her encyclopedic knowledge of ornamentals and edibles mean her talks are both enormously instructive and highly entertaining. Free with admission, but pre-registration is requested at https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/EventDetail.asp?cguid=C7E2C131-AD0F-49AA-B073-5B92F8300A37&eid=50739&sid=09529F86-BAEF-4393-8887-27E3C466858A.

Saturday, January 31, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Winter Landscape Photography

Come join The Trustees of Reservations at Francis William Bird Park on Washington Street  in Walpole to learn how to capture the beauty of a winter landscape through your camera lens. Instruction will be provided by a professional photographer, all participants must bring their own equipment. The class will take place Saturday, January 31 from 10 – 12, and the cost is $10 for TTOR members, $20 for nonmembers. To sign up, call 508-668-6136 or email birdpark@ttor.org.

Thursday, February 5 and Friday, February 6 – Southeast Region Conservation Forum

Wildlands firefighters, natural resource managers, land trusts, municipal conservation agents and other conservation-minded people in southeastern Massachusetts are encouraged to register for the 2nd Annual Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Conservation Forum to be held February 5 – 6, 2015 in Mashpee and Buzzards Bay. Learn how fire, tree harvest, and other habitat management activities benefit wildlife of all kinds, including some species that have been dwindling in numbers. This forum will build on the conservation initiatives prioritized by the participants of the first Regional Forum held in 2014, furthering the development of a Regional Conservation Partnership. On February 5, in Mashpee at the Wampanoag Tribal Offices, the focus will be on Fire Science and Land Management and include field trips to properties where various habitat management activities such as prescribed burning and tree harvest activities have been conducted. On February 6, at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay there will be presentations and breakout sessions on restoration projects, exploring partnerships in the Pine Barrens ecoregion, and reviewing the fire science field trip. The forum is sponsored by the North Atlantic Fire Science Exchange, Southeastern Pine Barrens Alliance, MassWildlife, MassAudubon, and the Forest Guild Northeast Region. To register for the forum and for more information about the Regional Conservation Partnership, view the Forum Registration and Agenda at http://pinebarrensalliance.givezooks.com/events/se-mass-regional-conservation-forum.

Saturday, February 7 Deadline – Love that Lasts: Plant a Rose for Your Valentine

Thinking about sending roses to your sweetheart this year?

Sponsor the planting of a rose in the Kelleher Rose Garden in honor of your Valentine for a gift that will last. With your $75 donation, choose from a selection of roses (Peace and Love shown below) that will be planted in the spring and a card will be mailed with a personalized message to your someone special. This gift not only symbolizes love and beauty, but also the value you place on the maintenance and improvement of the Emerald Necklace.

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy thanks you for your support! Please Note: Locations for plantings are pre-deternined by the Kelleher Rose Garden plan.

Be sure to place your order by February 7th to have a Valentine’s Day card sent to notify your sweetheart of your thoughtful gift. To order, visit https://25749.thankyou4caring.org/lovethatlasts.

Tuesday, February 17, 6:00 pm – The Evolution of the Dinner Party, 1860 – 1954

Etiquetteer (Robert B. Dimmick) will speak at the Gibson House Museum on Tuesday, February 17, on The Evolution of the Dinner Party 1860-1954. “Etiquetteer explores how the way Americans entertained at home changed during the time the Gibsons lived at the Gibson House. The Victorian formal dinner party of many courses and ever more obscure accessories gradually gave way with the social upheavals following World War I, including Prohibition. By World War II, writers like Dorothy Draper were gaily recommending buffet dinners with striking color schemes and other novelties.”

Tickets are $10 for Gibson House members, $15 for non-members. Reception at 6:00 PM, program at 6:30 PM. For tickets, please email info@thegibsonhouse.org. Image from www.foryourbigday.files.wordpress.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 10:00 am – New Technologies and Unique Set-Ups

Urban farming is taking off in some of the most densely populated places around Greater Boston in interesting, unexpected ways. Learn about the ever-changing landscape of growing technologies that is making this possible and how to apply these techniques at home or in your community. Jessie Banhazl, CEO and founder of Green City Growers, will join The Garden Club of the Back Bay at The College Club, 44 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, on Wednesday, February 11 at 10 am for this informative talk. Green City Growers are experienced and passionate organic urban farmers who specialize in year-round raised bed urban farms for yards, rooftops, decks, and unused lots. They maintain production-level urban farms for hotels, grocers, and restaurants, and pioneer farming education programs for businesses, municipalities, homeowners and schools. Garden Club of the Back Bay members will receive written notice of this meeting.  If you are not a member but are interested in attending, please email info@gardenclubbackbay.org.

Sunday, February 1, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Hope Floats on White: History and Future of the White Garden

Tower Hill Botanic Garden will host an illustrated lecture on the history, design and future of the white garden beginning with Sissinghurst in England, then showing lecturer Carol Julien’s 1,000 square foot garden since 2001 and her theory for transferring the sanctuary of our gardens to the busy world beyond.

For reasons known only to a seven year old, Carol began gardening in Canton, Massachusetts, when she asked her mother for a section of the perennial border that she could call her own. While at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, (on scholarship from the Canton Art Association) she began working as an estate gardener in Sharon. Carol was graduated from S.U.N.Y., College of Environmental Science and Forestry, School of Landscape Architecture, with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1979. Carol’s core belief is that anyone can build a garden if they have spirit, energy and are willing to work hard. And none of this requires formal training. The key to gardening and design is to be a keen observer of much of what is around you.

The February 1 lecture is free with admission and takes place from 2 – 3:30, but Tower Hill asks that you pre-register at https://dnbweb1.blackbaud.com/OPXREPHIL/EventDetail.asp?cguid=C7E2C131-AD0F-49AA-B073-5B92F8300A37&eid=50738&sid=530D164F-406E-4300-BB6E-37BEE61F8747.

Saturday, January 31, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – A Legacy in Blue: Recapturing an Iconic Newport Garden

On Saturday, January 31, landscape historian Arleyn Levee and Sarah Vance, Director of The Blue Garden, will discuss The Blue Garden, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. from 1911 – 1913, with a monochromatic concentration of purples and blues.  The lecture takes place at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, and is free with admission to the garden.  The lecture takes place from 2 – 3, and a reception follows from 3 – 4 with complimentary refreshments and a cash bar.  For directions and more information visit www.towerhillbg.org.

Tuesday, June 23 – Sunday, June 28 – Gardens of Greater Chicago

Join Pat Wipf and the Pacific Horticulture Society June 23 – 28 for a tour of top public and private gardens of the Windy City and surrounding towns and hamlets.  Check in to the Embassy Suites near the Magnificent Mile and have dinner at Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill.  The next day you’ll visit Rick Bayless’s garden with Bill Shores (pictured below,) a completely organic garden serving as a model for urban food production.  Enjoy an architectural river cruise, a tour of a unique Bucktown garden designed by Julie Siegel, the Lily Pond at Lincoln Park, Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and a number of private gardens in Chicago and Evanston. Read details and get pricing information at http://www.sterlingtoursltd.com/Chicago2015.html. 

Thursday, February 12, 6:00 pm – The Future of Food: How Science, Technology, and Taste Shape What We Eat

Food is as fundamental to human life as it is to the development of civilization itself. It is also a source of pleasure, a celebration of culture, and a foundation of health and well-being. To quote Kurt Vonnegut, “When it comes right down to it, food is practically the whole story every time.” From hunting and gathering to contemporary living in today’s fast-paced, digital world, how we produce food and what we eat is continuously shaped by scientific discovery and engineering ingenuity, which dovetail with our ever-evolving dietary preferences. In this lively and entertaining talk on Thursday, February 12, beginning at 6 pm, part of Boston University’s Pepin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastronomy, P.K. Newby, ScD, MPH, MS, reflects on the human journey from farm to fork, science fiction to science, and paints a picture of what our plate will look like as we approach a population of nine billion. Dr. Newby, co-author of the new book Foods for Health: Choose and Use the Very Best Foods for Your Family and Our Planet, is a scientist, educator, speaker, and food writer who teaches at several universities in Boston and communicates regularly with the public via her blog The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen.  $20 fee includes book. Register online at www.bu.edu/foodandwine. Class is held in Room 117, 808 Commonwealth Avenue, the old Peter Fuller Cadillac building.

Tuesday, January 27, 6:45 pm – Water Features & Fountains

The Norwood Evening Garden Club presents a Panel Discussion about Water Features and Fountains on Tuesday, January 27, beginning at 6:45 pm at the First Baptist Church Parish House, 71 Bond Street in Norwood.  $5 donation – public is encouraged to attend.  For more information contact Nancy Costa at 781-248-4038 or visit http://www.norwoodeveninggardenclub.org. Image from www.bonicklandscaping.com.

Wednesday, February 4, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Humans and Wildlife: The New Imbalance

Jim Sterba, author of Nature Wars, will give a free talk at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway in Cambridge, on Wednesday, February 4, from 7 – 8:30, sponsored by Grow Native Massachusetts.

By the late 19th century, North American forests and wildlife were in dire straits. For nearly 400 years, arriving Europeans had removed trees and killed off wild birds and animals to the point that a few enlightened leaders sounded the alarm, and the conservation movement was born. Three slow but remarkable transformations followed. Forests reclaimed huge swaths of abandoned cropland. Many threatened wildlife populations, restocked in refuges and protected, slowly grew back to health. Then, people moved out of cities after World War II, creating a mosaic of suburban, exurban and rural sprawl where family farms once thrived.

Now, this new habitat is filled with people who want to leave nature alone, and many wildlife populations are proliferating out of balance. We have mounting community conflicts over what to do, or not to do, about deer, beavers, Canada Geese, and other species. As the dominant player in our ecosystems, it is time for us to overcome our reluctance and embrace our stewardship role.

Jim Sterba is an internationally recognized author and correspondent who has reported for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for more than four decades. His book, Nature Wars, published in 2012, has earned critical acclaim and catalyzed an important national conversation about wildlife management.

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