Monthly Archives: January 2011

Friday, February 11, 9:30 am – 12:00 noon – Interpreting African Art with Thelma Shoneman

On Friday, February 11, from 9:30 am – 12 noon at the Fitchburg Art Museum, 25 Merriam Parkway, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Master floral designer Thelma Shoneman demonstrates different approaches to interpreting African artwork in preparation for Fitchburg Art Museum’s Art in Bloom, taking place April 15 – 17. Contact Fiona Casey,, or call 978-345-4207, ext. 312, to register. $5 for FAM members, $15 for non-members. Flower arrangement below by Cath Bray.

June 15 – August 31 – Native Buzz: Creative Container Gardening for Pollinators

New England Wild Flower Society has scheduled an exciting exhibit at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA, this summer and  would like you to be a part of it. The show is called Native BUZZ: Creative Container Gardening for Pollinators.

This exhibit will showcase the talents of local individual gardeners or groups of garden club members, boy scouts, girl scouts, environmental clubs, and others. There is no fee to be a part of this exhibit. All plants will be provided free for each exhibit. We will even provide the soil and compost. All the exhibitor has to do is create their container and interpret the exhibit as to how it will attract certain pollinators to the native plants being displayed. All of the information about the exhibit including dates and an application are enclosed.

NEWFS is asking people to “think outside the pot” in creating their containers. Would a Tower for Butterflies built out of cobblestones be fun to create? How about a bicycle built for two with baskets full of plants for those fast moving hummingbirds? Would fanciful hats tip the scale towards your exhibit? Do you prefer butterflies or bees or hummingbirds or other pollinators and want to attract them to your exhibit?  Prizes will be given for Best in Show and within individual categories (Youth ages under 17, Amateur, and Professional).  There will be just 5 exhibits per category, so don’t wait too long to send in your application. Exhibitors will be announced on May 1 and exhibits are to be completed for the opening on June 15.   You’ll also need to consider where these plants can go in your community once the exhibit closes. Each exhibitor is being asked to find a garden bed at a library or hospital, at a school, in a park, on a traffic island, wherever they can be on public display and enjoyed.

If you are interested in participating, contact Steven Ziglar, Communications Director of the New England Wild Flower Society, at 508-877-7630, ext. 3503, or email him at

Saturday, February 12, 10:30 am – 12:00 noon – Magnificent Magnolias for Northern Gardens

Magnolias are without doubt the most spectacular flowering trees that can be grown in temperate climates. Luckily for gardeners, the genus Magnolia is going through a “golden age” of new plant development. The result is rapidly expanding options for cold-climate gardens. Come to  the Berkshire Botanical Garden on Saturday, February 12 from 10:30 – noon and see some of these gorgeous new hybrids, some old favorites that still deserve planting, and see what beauty may result if you try growing your own magnolias from seed. Your garden (and your life) may never be the same!

Stefan Cover works at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology where he studies North American ants. He moonlights as a botanist/gardener with special interest in ornamental woody plants, especially magnolias. He runs the international seed exchange for the Magnolia Society and cultivates many of these lovely trees in his Zone 5B frost-pocket garden in Stow, Mass. $20 BBG members, $25 non members. To register, log on to

Saturday, February 12, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Hardy Cactus Gardening for New England Gardens

We normally associate cacti with desert landscapes and Hollywood westerns, but did you know there are many cacti you can grow in southern and central New England? This talk illustrates what will grow here, where to get the plants, and what you need to do to have a successful cactus garden in Massachusetts — all illustrated by the speaker’s USDA Zone 5B cactus garden in Stow, MA. Who says gardening has to be about making sense!

Stefan Cover works at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology where he studies North American ants. He moonlights as a botanist/gardener with special interest in ornamental woody plants, especially magnolias. He runs the international seed exchange for the Magnolia Society and cultivates many of these lovely trees in his Zone 5B frost-pocket garden in Stow, Mass. $20 for BBG members, $25 for non members. To register, log on to

Thursday, February 24 – Sunday, February 27 – Connecticut Flower & Garden Show

Capture the Magic is the theme for the 30th Annual Connecticut Flower & Garden Show.  Explore over 250 booths overflowing with fresh flowers, plants, herbs, bulbs, seeds, gardening books and more.  The Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut will be transformed into a breathtaking event for floral and garden enthusiasts.  This year the exhibits will cover nearly three acres.  You may attend over 80 hours of seminars and demonstrations, and all seminars are included with your general admission ticket.  For complete schedule and details, log on to  Below is the StoneBridge Craftsmen Exhibit from 2009.

Wednesday, February 9, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm – What Does Sustainability Really Mean?

Join the Ecological Landscaping Association on Wednesday, February 9, from 1:30 – 4 at Nordic Hall, 106 Waltham Street, West Newton, for this mid-winter round table discussion with Hasso Ewing, a landscape designer and environmental activist, to discuss how we can apply basic principles of sustainability to guide us towards long-term sustainable landscape practices. Hasso will introduce us to the four Principles of Sustainability from the Natural Step, a framework developed in Sweden and used worldwide.  Register online at

Monday, February 28 & Wednesday, March 2, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, and Saturday, March 5, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm – Bones of the Garden: Strengthening the Design

Every memorable landscape has one thing in common – strong “bones”. The placement of trees and shrubs creates form, directs movement and organizes the garden space. With instructor Cheryl Salatino, learn to select, situate, and integrate these stately elements into the cultivated landscape. Explore the concepts of creating space, the impact of plant growth over time in locating structural elements, and review a selection of native plant varieties that are well-suited for New England sites. Using your new knowledge, develop your own site-specific design. Receive feedback on designs and plant combinations, and during the final session, inspect the “bones” of Garden in the Woods with a late winter walk. Three sessions, Feb. 28 and March 2, 6:30 pm – 9 pm, and March 5, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm. For more information, log on to $98 for NEWFS and Arnold Arboretum (co-sponsor) members, $117 for non-members.  Image from

Wednesday, February 16 – Friday, February 18 – Natural Landscape Design: Meadows & Woods

New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL) will hold a three day course at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, Massachusetts beginning Wednesday, February 16 through Friday, February 18, entitled Natural Landscape Design: Meadows & Woods, featuring instructors Henry Art, Ian Caton, Jean Marie Hartman, Sylvia Kaufman, Larry Weaner, and Tom Wessels.  Demand for high-performing, ecologically beneficial landscapes is increasing, and  yet many design and management professionals remain unsure how to incorporate ecological patterns and processes into their work.  This three day course explores how meadow and woodland ecosystems can be replicated in diverse design situations.  Presenters skilled in ecology and design guide participants through the relevant concepts and practical steps necessary for creating beautiful, self-sustaining landscapes.  For complete biographies of the speakers, log on to, where you may also download the registration form.  Registration and refreshments will begin each day at 8:30 am, and a detailed schedule will be sent in the registration packet.  Fees are $210 per day or $585 for the entire course, with a discount for Tower Hill members and students with a current ID.  You may also telephone 203-834-0174, or email, for more information.

Ecological Landscaping Association Call for Volunteers

As the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) begins its 19th year, it continues to expand the educational and outreach programs that we will be offered. The Ecological Landscaping Association is a nonprofit, member-based organization made up of professionals, businesses and pro-active community members who believe in using landscape practices that are environmentally safe and beneficial. It is an exciting time to be involved in ELA, and you are invited to share your time and ideas to advance the ELA educational mission.

ELA is actively recruiting individuals to assist on committees or to serve on its Board of Directors. The committees work in many areas, including:

* Conference planning
* Round table development
* Eco-tour scheduling
* Newsletter article writing
* Community outreach expansion
* Financial planning and analysis
* Membership expansion
* Website development & expansion

Please add your talents, experience, and energy to help ELA grow in 2011. Volunteer today! For more information, email Penny Lewis, ELA Executive Director, at, or call (617) 436-5838.

Monday, February 7 – Sunday, March 6, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Camellia Blooming Season

Visit the celebrated collection of camellias in the 1804 camellia house at the Lyman Estate Greenhouses, 185 Lyman Street, Waltham, from 10 am – 4 pm Monday, February 7 through Sunday, March 6. Many of the trees are over one hundred years old and this is the time of year they put forth a profusion of blossoms in all sizes and shapes. Other plants available during this season include orchids, citrus, and sweet olives. Free admission. Please call 781-891-1985 for more information.  Camellia japonica ‘Lady Vansittart’ pictured below courtesy of Pender Nursery.