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.

Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary 2011 Winter Lecture Series

Winter lectures at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary are given each Saturday at 1:30 pm at the Sanctuary at 30 Peck Road in Wales, Massachusetts.  Directions can be found at  These one-hour free talks are designed to capture your attention and pique your interest in the natural world.  Reservations are required as space is limited and printed materials are provided to each person.  Please call 413-267-4859 or email for reservations and information.

January 29 – Fabulous Ferns.  Ferns add color, texture and pizazz to your garden.  Do you have a place where nothing else grows?  Maybe a fern will fit there, too.  Fun and easy to grow, ferns are fabulous in the garden.  Leslie Duthie will lead the discussion.

February 5 – Ecosystems on the Edge.  Some ecosystems do not function according to the “normal” rules of nature.  Today, Mike Tremblay looks at ecosystems that use chemicals like sulfur and methane as their primary source of energy such as sulfur vents, methane seeps and isolated caves.

February 12 – Hit the Trail for Health.  Trail walking is a great way to get some fresh air, keep healthy, and get your bodies moving.  Where are your local trails, how did they get there, and who takes care of them?  Did you know there are exercise trails out there, too?  Every town has at least one trail to walk, and Stephanie Morin will introduce you to some great local trails for all ability levels.

February 26 – Your Green Home. Help solve the earth’s rapidly changing environmental catastrophe through a change in buildiing materials and procedures.  Reed Coles, a local “green” builder and remodeler, will showcase materials and methods of sustainable building practices including passive and active solar and zero energy structures that define Energy Star and US Green Building Council’s LEED certified building codes.  He will also discuss harvesting equipment and green washing.

March 5 – Small Native Trees for the Home Landscape.  Many native trees have great potential to enhance the enjoyment of your home landscape.  Some offer brilliant fall colors or interesting bark, some come to life with breathtaking spring flowers, some produce delicious fruit, and a few may encompass all these qualities.  This presentation by Vinny Normand showcases small to medium sized native trees that can be used in the home landscape.

March 12 – Vernal Pools.  Jennifer Ohop presents a talk on the natural beauty and seasonal rhythm of this unique habitat.

Saturday, February 19, 1:30 pm – Nature Revisited

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Landscape Visions Lectures continue Saturday, February 19, beginning at 1:30 pm in the Kotzen Meeting Center, Lefavour Hall, Simmons College, with Amale Andraos, co-founder of WORKac, NYC, speaking on Nature Revisited.

Today, in the face of global urbanization, exploding population, and shrinking resources, architecture, cities, and nature are at a crossroads. Moving beyond the binary—white or green, architecture or landscape, urban or rural—we must ask how we can reinvent nature for the twenty-first century. Andraos examines recent projects by WORKac that shed light on the current situation and suggest a new course for the future.

Based in New York City, WORKac develops architectural and urban projects that engage culture and consciousness, nature and artificiality, surrealism and pragmatism. WORKac is involved in projects at all scales, ranging from a master plan for the new BAM cultural district in Brooklyn, to a single family villa in Inner Mongolia, China. Recent completed projects include the installation ‘Public Farm 1’ at PS1/MoMA and the new headquarters for Diane von Furstenberg. Current work includes the new Kew Gardens Hills Library in Queens, the extension of the Clark Art Institute at Mass MoCA, a new Children’s Museum for the Arts, and the first Edible Schoolyard New York City with Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Foundation.

Amale Andraos is a visiting professor at Princeton University’s School of Architecture and has taught at numerous institutions including Harvard and Columbia Universities, the University of Pennsylvania, Parsons School of Design, and the American University in Beirut. She was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She has lived in Saudi Arabia, France, Canada and the Netherlands prior to moving to New York in 2002. She currently serves on the Architectural League of New York’s Board of Directors.  Tickets ($15 general public, $12 seniors, $5 members, students free) are available on line at  You will also find directions to the Kotzen Meeting Center on the site.

Thursday, February 3, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Grow Italian!

Can you really grow traditional Italian vegetables, herbs, and flowers in New England?  Bill McKay, of Seeds from Italy, can answer with a resounding “Yes”! In his trial gardens in Winchester, Bill has tested many seeds and is now a distributor of more than 350 varieties of Italian seeds.  Come hear all about it on Thursday, February 3, from 7 – 9 at the Medford Public Library, 111 High Street in Medford, and bring your questions for Bill.  The program is sponsored by the Medford Garden Club, and is free and open to the public.  For more information, email  Image courtesy of

Thursday, February 10, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Pushing the Design Envelope with Native Plants

Native plants support a variety of design styles from naturalistic to traditional to contemporary. Using Garden in the Woods as a case study, discover the variety of design principles that create this dynamic garden. The naturalistic style unifies the gardens along the main Curtis Path, bringing visitors to habitat-based garden areas and exposing them to contemporary design principals in newer areas such as the Idea Garden. Learn how permaculture theory influences the Edible Garden as it continues to evolve. Then take a look beyond Garden in the Woods to explore how other public gardens are pushing the envelope with native plants. Kristin DeSouza leads this February 10 class, from 10 – 12, and the fee is $22 for NEWFS members, $26 for non-members. For more information log on to Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, February 1, 5:00 pm – 11:30 pm – Bowl for CitySprouts

Bowl for CitySprouts on Tuesday, February 1 at Flatbread Company & Saccos Bowl Haven in Davis Square, Somerville.  This event is fun for children of all ages, and every pizza purchased supports CitySprouts school gardens. The CitySprouts mission is to develop, implement and maintain beautiful, resource-rich school gardens in collaboration with public school communities. Integrated into the curriculum, CitySprouts gardens inspire teachers, students, and families with a deep, hands-on connection to the food cycle, sustainable agriculture, and the natural environment.

Sunday, February 13, 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Children’s Tea and Fashion Show

The Friends of the Boston Park Ranger Mounted Unit invites you to a Children’s Tea and Fashion Show on Sunday, February 13 at the Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston Street, Boston, from 2:30 – 5. Mrs. Angela Menino is Honorary Chair, and the event MC is J.C. Monahan of Channel %.  Enjoy coloring and stickers, cookie decorating, adopt-a-stuffed-pony, photo opportunities with a Boston Park Ranger, an auction, and a raffle.  Fashion presentation by Pollywogs.   $85 adults, $45 child, $850/table. Children 2 and younger are free. Contact Ashley at 617-522-2700.  Checks may be made out to Justine Mee Liff Fund for Friends of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit and mailed to the Friends of the Boston Park Rangers Mounted Unit, c/o The Emerald Necklace Conservancy, 125 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.  Names will be held at the door.

Saturday, February 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Rejuvenating an Old Apple Tree

Think about that old, huge antique apple in the yard, or the group of five fruit trees that you enthusiastically purchased seven years ago and planted, but never pruned. This course at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge on Saturday, February 5 from 10 – 12, will provide information on how to correctively prune and maintain these trees for the coming years. Scientific, aesthetic, and practical reasons used in decision making will be discussed. Consider how to evaluate the tree and learn how, when, why and the cost associated with the rejuvenation process. This program is a lecture format designed to inform homeowners and arborists about the specific techniques associated with rejuvenation. Assess when to hire a professional.

Steve McKay is the Grape and Small Fruit Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension in eastern New York State. He has a B.S. in entomology from U.C. Davis and a M.S. in pomology. $22 BBG members, $27 nonmembers. To register, log on to

Monday, June 20 – Tuesday, June 28 – Bressingham England Tour

Renowned plant expert and garden designer, Adrian Bloom invites Massachusetts Horticultural Society members and friends to join this outstanding trip June 20 – June 28 highlighted by two days at his magnificent Bressingham Gardens. It will be a remarkable opportunity to learn design techniques, plant selection, etc. from one of the foremost horticulturists in the world.

Adrian, his wife Rosemary, and the Bressingham staff will be providing unprecedented access and inspiring insight into the 17 acres of gardens at Bressingham, England. They are eager for their guests to gain greater understanding of what lies behind the Elm Bank Bressingham garden, and how important its future can be to MassHort’s success. It will be an unforgettable experience, and the visit will be a landmark in the development of the gardens at Elm Bank.

In addition to Bressingham, other highlights are visits to Beth Chatto’s garden and nursery; the historic city of Cambridge and the Cambridge Botanic Garden; one of the premier plant fairs in the world at Cottesbrooke Hall (pictured below); the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship garden at Wisley; and Savill Gardens in Windsor. Joe Kunkel and Barbara Emerson are making the arrangements for the tour.


The tour is priced in English Pounds and is £1300 double occupancy. (As of early December that was about $2000.) The Single Supplement is £267. Air travel is on your own. Breakfast is provided every day in the hotel as well as other meals as described in the itinerary. All tips, garden entry fees, and land travel are included.

Initial deposit is $250/person and the deadline has been extended to January 31, 2011. Final payment due March 1, 2011. If final payment is not received by March 1, 2011 deposits are forfeited. Deposits will be returned in the unlikely case the minimum number of participants is not reached.

Checks should be made out to Have Green Thumb and sent to PO Box 304, Manchester, MA 01944. Credit cards will be accepted and processed by the American company, Blooms of Bressingham, NA.  If you would like more information, please contact Barbara Emerson at

Friday, February 4, 5:30 pm – Hengduan Mountains, China: Characteristics and Biodiversity

Dr. David Bouford of the Harvard University Herbaria will speak to the New England Botanical Club on Friday, February 4, beginning at 5:30 pm in the Haller Lecture Hall, Room 102, of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, on the topic Hengduan Mountains, China: Characteristics and Biodiversity. Open to the public. For maps and parking information, log on to  Below is a Hengudan Mountains meconopsis.

Sunday, February 13, 2:00 pm – Forks Over Knives

Diabetes. Heart Disease. Obesity. What is going on in our society? Why are we so sick? The next film in Slow Food’s 2011 Winter Film Series explores these issues, and even tries to make some recommendations for what we can do to stop sliding down this slippery slope of illness.

On Sunday February 13th at 2:00PM come by the Museum of Science (co-sponsor of the event)  for a screening of Forks Over Knives, an amazing and eye-opening documentary about the connection between our diet and the diseases that are so prevalent in our society today.

Now, the health side of the eating equation isn’t our normal stomping ground, we know — but encouraging folks to eat more sustainably is. And we believe that eating more sustainability means eating closer to the source: locally grown fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised antibiotic & hormone free meats and dairy…. (You know the drill by now!) Eating sustainably also means cooking more, taking time to enjoy the process of preparing and eating your meals. And frankly, we believe that all of this dovetails nicely into the questions raised in the film. Because it is our oh-so-humble opinion that many of society’s health related ills could be solved by eating this way.

But enough of the soap box rant! Come check out the film for yourself, and learn more from the *special* speaker planned for afterward. We can guarantee you’ll walk away with your eyes opened wide and a few small changes ready in your toolbox! $5 fee.  Reserve now at

« Older Entries