Monthly Archives: May 2010

Saturday, June 12, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm – See How Our Gardens Grow: Roslindale Garden Tour

Roslindale Green & Clean sponsors See How Our Gardens Grow on Saturday, June 12, from 11 am – 4 pm. This self guided tour of eight Roslindale gardens begins at Adams Park in Roslindale Village, and proceeds from the tour will improve Roslindale’s public green spaces. Roslindale Green & Clean is a non-profit, all volunteer organization ( Tickets are $15 before June 6, and $20 thereafter. Email for information on ticket sale locations.

Saturday, June 12, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – The World of Peonies

There has been tremendous development in the genus Paeonia in the last decade that has caused a resurgent interest in this wonderful garden plant. Along with an in-depth look at tree and herbaceous peonies,  learn about the new intersectional group which crosses tree and herbaceous peonies. Consider some of the more delicate woodland peonies that serve as parent plants to many common garden peony varieties. This talk on Saturday, June 12, from 10 – noon at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, 5 West Stockbridge Road, West Stockbridge, will focus on siting, planting, and successfully cultivating these lovely and historical garden plants. Plant sale will follow the talk.  You may register on line ($18 BBG members, $24 non members) at, or by calling 413-298-3926.

Kasha Furman is owner of Cricket Hill Garden, a specialty grower of peonies, located in Thomaston, Connecticut. They specialize in tree and herbaceous peonies. Their plants are healthy, well grown, 4 year specimens and they offer over 75 varieties. Their display gardens are open on weekends in May and June.  The photo below was taken at Cricket Hill by Christine Boyka Kluge.

Tuesday, June 8, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Annual Rose Garden Picnic

The Fenway Civic Association hosts a picnic at the Kelleher Rose Garden, Back Bay Fens, from 6 – 8 pm on Tuesday, June 8.  There will be entertainment, with live music from The Whiskey Boys, a folk and bluegrass duo, plus dessert and beverages.  You bring your own picnic, naturally.  The event is free.  For more information, log on to

Monday, June 7, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Novella Carpenter

Porter Square Books, 25 White Street, Cambridge, will host author Novella Carpenter on Monday, June 7, from 7 – 9. Carpenter, who grows greens and raises livestock on a dead-end street in the ghetto, is the author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. For the past decade, the 38-year-old has cultivated land in the city, the last six years on GhostTown Farm, the sunny, squat lot in Oakland, California next to her rundown, coral-colored flat — complete with a back porch covered in goat poop — where she lives with mechanic boyfriend Bill and a menagerie of her so-called edible pets, including rabbits, chickens, and, on occasion, a turkey or two.

The ‘hood is also dotted with long-shuttered businesses, drug dealers, prostitutes, multiethnic neighbors, and what Carpenter affectionately refers to as “fellow freaks.” She feels right at home there. “The neighborhood had a whiff of anarchy,” she notes in her memoir. “Spanish-speaking soccer players hosted ad hoc tournaments in the abandoned playfield. Teenagers sold bags of marijuana on the corners. The Buddhist monks made enormous vats of rice on the city sidewalk…And I started squat gardening on land I didn’t own.”

A child of back-to-the landers, Carpenter has received stellar reviews, most notably in the New York Times, for chronicling her exploits in the urban jungle.  She’s been featured everywhere from mainstream outlets like Time, foodie circles, like Culinate, and eco-green arenas like Grist. Log on to for more information.

Fridays, June 18, July 16, and August 20, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Cocktails in Great Gardens of the Berkshires

The Berkshire Botanical Garden has arranged for a series of Friday evening visits to spectacular private gardens featured in the Rich Pomerantz’s beautiful book, Great Gardens of The Berkshires. Enjoy this rare opportunity to roam these private spaces with the gardeners themselves while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvre in the beautiful waning light of the summer day. The book’s creators will be in attendance. For advance reservations contact call the Garden: 413-298-3926. The parties will all take place from 5 – 7 p.m.    Admission is limited. Berkshire Botanical Garden Members $20, non-members $25; all three for $50/65.

The dates and locations are: June 18, Molly’s Folly in Richmond, MA; July 16, Richard Brown Garden in Stockbridge, MA ; and August 20,  Three Hills Farm in Richmond, MA.   For additional information, log on to  Photo below by Rich Pomerantz.

Wednesday, June 16, 10:00 am – Trade Secrets of a Master Designer

The Ruth Wallack Floral Design Program will take place this year on Wednesday, June 16, and will feature Rene Van Rems, internationally renowned floral designer, educator, lecturer and author, presenting “Trade Secrets of a Master Designer.”  The presentation will begin at 10:00 am at Regis College, 235 Wellesley Street in Weston. For more information, and to register, log on to

Thursday, June 10, 6:30 pm – An Evening with National Expert Douglas Tallamy

Douglas Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home, has captured the nation’s attention since it was first released two years ago. Since then, he has been in demand all over the country, speaking to more than 600 different audiences—at venues ranging from the American Society of Landscape Architects National Conference, to the Hummingbird Festival in Mississippi, to the Tyler Arboretum in Pennsylvania, and many more. He also has been featured on National Public Radio’s Science Friday and on other media programs.

As Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, he has done groundbreaking work on the role of insects as intermediaries in the food web, discovering the extent to which exotic plants, even if they are not invasive, host relatively few insects. His work reveals how important it is to restore native plant communities, if we are to reverse the declines in migrating songbirds, butterfly populations, and biodiversity as a whole. Tallamy makes an urgent plea about the importance of native plants to our landscapes, and indeed, to our survival. And he embraces the importance of land stewardship throughout urban and suburban America as critical components of this effort.

This event, taking place Thursday, June 10,  is co-sponsored by the Cambridge Plant & Garden Club, the Ecological Landscaping Association, and the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library. The talk will begin at 6:30 at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway in Cambridge, and will be followed by a reception at 8 pm with book signing. The event is free and open to all. For more information, log on to

Saturday, June 12, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm – Westford Friends & Newcomers 2010 Garden Tour

Westford Friends & Newcomers is pleased to invite you to their Garden Tour 2010. This self-guided tour of private home gardens in the scenic and historic town of Westford will be Saturday, June 12 (rain or shine). The gardens will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Tickets are available in advance for $15.  The order form can be downloaded from or call 978-866-9620 for information.   Advance purchase tickets and the tour map will be available for pick-up at the Hostess Booth at St. Mark’s Church, 75 Cold Spring Road, Westford on the morning of the event. You can also purchase tickets on the day of the event for $20 at St. Mark’s Church, beginning at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are non-refundable. All garden visitors must have a ticket.

Because these are privately owned gardens, they will vary in style, size, and accessibility. Some gardens may not be handicapped accessible. Strollers are not allowed in the gardens in order to protect the gardeners’ properties.

The sponsoring organization, Westford Friends & Newcomers, is a not-for-profit, social and philanthropic organization that brings together both new and long-time residents for service activities and social events. All proceeds from Garden Tour 2010 will help support a wide variety of charitable, humanitarian and civic improvement projects.

If you have any questions please email

Sunday, June 6, 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm – Spring Garden Party at the Harvard Art Museum

Become a member of the Harvard Art Museum and enjoy a glorious spring Garden Party at Adolphus Busch Hall, 29 Kirkland Street in Cambridge on Sunday, June 6, from 3:30 – 5:30 pm.  Members may bring guests as well.  Enjoy tours of Adolphus Busch Hall, with its dramatic Romanesque architecture, as well as light refreshments, music, and drawing lessons in the garden.  Children are welcome.  Members $15, guests $20, children $5.  Space is limited, so please register by June 1 by calling 617-495-4544, or emailing  You may also log on to

Sunday, June 13, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm – All About Trees

On Sunday, June 13, from 1:30 – 4 pm, explore our biggest plants, trees, their bark, twigs, leaves, and survival strategies, with Wellesley College Visiting Scholar Katie Griffith, a naturalist and environmental scientist with a strong interest in family education.  Meet at the Wellesley College Botanic Garden.  The program is free, but pre-registration is required.  Call 781-283-3094, or email  Suitable for all ages, this is an interactive, informal way to become familiar with botanical concepts through many learning pathways.

Sunday, June 13, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – The Secret Gardens of Cambridge 10th Anniversary Tour

The 10th Anniversary of the Secret Gardens of Cambridge, sponsored by the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library, will be held on Sunday, June 13th from 10AM to 4PM, rain or shine.

This self-guided tour includes access to nineteen private gardens, special green spaces, and historic locations throughout the city. Tickets will cost $20 per person in advance and $25 per person on the day of the event.  The tour begins at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge.  For more information, call 617-349-4040, email, or log on to

Saturday, June 5, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Artist’s Reception, Flights of Discovery

An Artist’s Reception for the exhibit Flights of Discovery: The Avian Art of Barry Van Dusen, will be held Saturday, June 5, from 6 – 7:30 at Wayside. The free event, open to the public, will include complimentary refreshments. Fruitlands Museum’s 2010 Artist-in-Residence Barry Van Dusen has developed his skill as a field artist and painter for over 30 years. Inspired by European nature artists, Barry is a confirmed advocate of outdoor sketching and painting.

The oils, watercolors and prints shown at the Museum Wayside are arranged in categories—songbirds, shorebirds, birds of wetlands or grasslands feathered friends, “other nature” and New England landscapes—are for sale and range in price from $250 to $5000. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Fruitlands Museum.

Van Dusen also has a display in the Ell Gallery at Fruitlands Farmhouse of his ornithological illustrations. Additionally, a presentation of his process of painting called “Nature Artist at Work”, field to studio to production, is shown.

RSVP to, or call 978-456-3924, ext. 292 for more information.  The exhibit will continue through November 15, 2010.

Saturday, June 5, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm – Claremont Neighborhood Association Street Fair and Flea Market

Neighbors and friends sell antiques, collectibles and furniture, with live music, food and family entertainment on Saturday, June 5, from 9 – 3, sponsored by the Claremont Neighborhood Association.  This 21st Annual Event, the oldest continuous street fair in the City of Boston,  is free, and takes place at the corner of Wellington Street and Columbus Avenue in the South End.  For more information, log on to

Sunday, June 6, 1:00 – 3:00 pm – Rain Gardens: Beautiful Water-Saving, Wildlife-Friendly Gardens

Dori Smith, M.Ed., Gardens for Life, will present an illustrated lecture on Sunday, June 6, from 1 – 3 pm, at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, Massachusetts.  Would you like to help protect our precious water resources, while at the same time create a lush, beautiful garden that attracts birds and butterflies?  Rain gardens take advantage our our natural abundance of rainfall, rather than wasting it as runoff.  Rain gardens use water flowing from your roof, driveway, or lawn.  These gardens are easy care, and can often solve problems such as erosion, icy walkways, or wet basements.   Dori will review design options, construction details, and appropriate native plants.  The class will then take a walk around the Wildlife Pond to see some of the outstanding plants recommended for rain gardens.  Tower Hill members: $18, non-members, $20.  To register, or for more information, log on to  Dori will be a featured speaker for The Garden Club of the Back Bay next April, but if you have limited weekday availability, this Tower Hill lecture is the session to attend.

Friday, June 11 – Sunday, June 27 – GardenFest

The Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Connecticut, has planned an exciting series of special events to take place in and around its historic gardens.  All events are free with Museum admission, unless noted.

June 11, noon:   Garden Luncheon
Third annual garden luncheon featuring Pauline Lord of White Gate Farm. Lord speaks about the importance of eating locally grown food for both health reasons and to support local agriculture.  $100, reservations required.

June 11 and 12, 9am-3pm:  Plant Sale
The Museum’s volunteers, the Garden Gang, host a plant sale. The heirloom perennials and unusual annuals range from $5 to $50. Proceeds benefit the Museum’s garden projects.

June 13, 1-5pm:  Make-A-Painting Sunday
Visitors can pick up all the painting supplies necessary to make their own masterpieces in garden or down by the river. No experience necessary. In addition to the painting activity, visitors of all ages can enjoy garden-related fun. Today you can also make a painting using flowers, leaves, and twigs as brushes.

June 15,  11am: Demonstration by the Garden Gang in the Landscape Center on
The World of Composting.

June 16, 11am- 3pm:  Guy Wolff Demonstration and Flower Pot Sale
Meet the man Martha Stewart hails as the maker of her favorite flower pots. Guy Wolff, the master potter from Litchfield, known for creating functional art based on historic designs, demonstrates how he makes his hand-thrown pots. A selection of Guy Wolff Pottery will also be available to purchase.

June 17, 11am:  Demonstration by the Garden Gang in the Landscape Center of
Flower Arranging.

June 18 & 19, and June 25 & 26, 11am:  The Painted Garden, a Guided Tour in the Griswold House, and at 2pm, a walking tour of the gardens and grounds

June 20, 1-5pm: Make-A-Painting Sunday.
Visitors can pick up all the painting supplies necessary to make their own masterpieces in garden or down by the river. No experience necessary. In addition to the painting activity, visitors of all ages can enjoy garden-related fun. Today you can also make a T-Shirt for Father’s Day.

June 22, 11am: Demonstration by the Garden Gang in the Landscape Center entitled Selecting and Caring for Roses.

June 23, 11am:- Family Day Award-winning children’s author Page McBrier will read her book The Chicken and the Worm and teach kids how to make a worm farm for great garden composting.  Then, from 2pm – 4pm, kids learn to create a flower arrangement. Bring your own water-proof container.

June 24, 11am: Demonstration by the Garden Gang in the Landscape Center on
Planting and Caring for Vegetable Gardens.

June 27, 12pm – 4pm: Connecticut Historic Gardens Day, with expert tours of the gardens and refreshments.

Museum admission is $9 Adults, $8 Seniors, $7 Students, children 12 and under free.  Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 – 5, and Sunday 1 – 5.  For more information call 860-434-5542, or log on to

Single Stream Recycling is Here

As a public service, we reprint a recent notice received from The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay. Two on-line sources for these bags are and

As many know, we now have single-stream recycling throughout Boston. This means you no longer have to separate paper and cardboard from cans and bottles. Instead, all recyclable materials can be mixed together in one container. Currently, that container is typically an open blue bin that allows loose materials to fly around on windy days.

Beginning in July, for all buildings with less than seven units, all recyclables should be placed in clear plastic bags for pickup on recycling day. All bags should be tied. This should significantly reduce  loose papers flying around the alleys. And, for those opening bags looking for returnable bottles, the use of clear bags will allow these people to see if there are in fact any bottles with deposits before they tear the bag.

For buildings with more than seven units, the law requires that the building provide residents with recycling programs using large 64-gallon carts. Many buildings currently use these for recycled materials.

The clear plastic bags should be a heavy-duty, 30-gallon size and are available at Back Bay Hardware on Newbury Street and Charles Street Supply. They are also available at Foodies in the South End and from a variety of online sources.

If you live in a building with less than seven units, please encourage your building to begin using clear plastic bags for all items to be recycled beginning in July. The result will be fewer rodents and less trash for Back Bay.

— NABB City Services Committee$sku$

Sunday, June 6, 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm – Beacon Hill Art Walk

Enjoy a walk through the gardens and passageways of the North Slope of Beacon Hill on Sunday, June 6, beginning at 6 pm.  The works of 100 artists will be featured on this 20th Anniversary tour.  Residents open up their private gardens, alleyways, and courtyards and allow artists to display and sell their artwork. It is a chance for visitors to tour free the private spaces of Beacon Hill while viewing original artwork, such as the pastel below by Catherine Meeks.  Thousands attend each year. It is a popular event in the neighborhood, with a festive atmosphere and volunteer musicians playing in various gardens throughout the day. Around 100 artists usually participate, with a variety of styles, media, and subject matter.There are two starting points for this free tour:  the first is at 135 1/2 Charles Street, and the second is the corner of Cambridge and West Cedar Streets.  For more information, log on to

Monday, June 21, 6:00 pm – Summer Solstice Stroll in Copley Square

On Monday, June 21, beginning at 6 pm, join The Friends of Copley Square for the Summer Solstice Stroll in Copley Square, a guided tour of the landmarks of Copley Square.  Begin at Normandy Real Estate Partners’ Hancock Tower, then on to Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, and Old South Church, concluding at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel.  Learn the history of the Square, listen to music, taste refreshments along the way, enjoy the splendid landmark buildings and institutions, then complete the evening with a light supper.  The Summer Solstice Stroll benefits The Friends of Copley Square, Inc., a not for profit friends group which provides funding to assist the City with the maintenance and beautification of the Square.  Festive business attire.  $100 per person.  You may purchase tickets online at prior to the June 17 deadline, or send a check made out to The Friends of Copley Square to 234 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116.  You may contact the Stroll Committee by email at

Thursday, June 17, 7:30 pm – Birdology: From Hens to Hummingbirds – And One Big Living Dinosaur

In her new book, Birdology, award-winning wildlife author Sy Montgomery explores questions such as: Do hawks show emotion, like anger, sympathy and frustration? Are birds actually living dinosaurs? Is there a secret emotional life to birds that we are only beginning to discover? Montgomery will explore these intriguing questions and others in this lecture and book signing on Thursday, June 17, at 7:30 pm at The Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street in Cambridge. Free with museum admission. For more information, log on to, or call 617-495-3045.

Saturday, June 19, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Horn Pond Mountain in Flower

The New England Wild Flower Society has another field trip scheduled for Saturday, June 19, between 10 – 2, this one to the Horn Pond Conservation Area in nearby Woburn, Massachusetts, led by Roland “Boot” Boutwell. Native Americans called Horn Pond “Lake Innitou,” which means “Looking Place of the Great Spirit.” The pond is over 100 acres in size and is nestled beneath Horn Pond Mountain, which “towers” 287 feet above sea level. Pond and mountain are set amidst 550 acres of open space filled with a rich diversity of plant life. According to Tom Sileo in his book, The Great Spirit of Horn Pond, “members of New England Wild Flower Society … have located over 600 species of plants on the mountain alone.” Many of these plants flower in late spring, making the Horn Pond area a delightful spot for field identification. The walk focuses on wildflower identification as well as interesting natural history and lore.    Bring a bag lunch, a copy of Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide and a hand lens if you have them.  $32 for NEWFS members, $36 for nonmembers, and registration may be completed at

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