Monthly Archives: September 2011

Saturday, October 8, 10:00 am – 11:30 am – Fall into Health

Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit the Arnold Arboretum. Explore the less-traveled paths of the Arboretum on a brisk walk with docent Rhoda Kubrick designed for getting fit, on Saturday, October 8, from 10 – 11:30 in the morning. Meet at the Hunnewell Building. Pause to hear about interesting plants while you catch your breath. Please dress appropriately and bring water. In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209. This activity is free, but please sign up at  Photo from

Thursday, October 6, 7:00 pm – What to Do with your CSA Box

One of the best things about a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box is that each week, home cooks receive a new selection of seasonal produce that inspires creativity and improvisation.  Sometimes, though, cooks hit a road block.  Sure, you have plenty of ideas for the tomatoes, cukes and lettuce, but what about the kohlrabi or the kale?  As the glorious growing season winds down, the chefs of Barbara Lynch’s Stir will present a menu of current offerings from Siena Farms’ CSA along with several favorite ideas for familiar and not-so-familiar veggies.  The class will take place at 102 Waltham Street in  the South End on Thursday, October 6 beginning at 7 pn, the cost is $145 (which includes an incredible dinner with wine, along with the class), and you can sign up on line at, or call 617-423-7847.

October 1, 2011, 10:00 am – Memorial Service for Patsy Cannon Boyce

Patsy Cannon Boyce, a Past President of The Garden Club of the Back Bay  has passed away at the age of 77 at her winter home in Arizona from congestive heart failure and complications from dementia.

For over twenty years, Patsy Boyce was one of the most active residents in Back Back, instrumental in the founding and growth of The Garden Club of the Back Bay.  Additionally, she served on both the Building Committee and Vestry of Trinity Church in Copley Square, and supported both the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay and  the Boston Public Library.  Her BPL Courtyard design served as a popular urban oasis for many years, prior to the most recent Library renovations.

Born in Bellingham, Washington in 1933 to George Frederick and Carolyn Ruth Cannon, Patsy traveled the world before moving to Boston in 1963. Graduating from Gonzaga University with a degree in Nursing, Patsy was one of the original flight attendants for Pan American Airways, flying on several prestigious routes for the airline, including the first commercial flight over the North Pole and on the airline’s “Royal” charters, which served leaders and monarchs around the world.

After leaving Pan Am, she was the social director on the S.S. Brazil, the same cruise ship that was later re-fitted and served as the model for “The Love Boat.” Immediately prior to marrying her husband Jim Boyce, she was then Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s personal secretary, leaving his employ in August 1963 to be married and move to Massachusetts.

According to her long time friend, Congressman Barney Frank, Patsy was a force for good as Boston’s Back Bay became the neighborhood it is today. In a recent letter, Barney writes “When you look at the revitalization of Back Bay in the 1970s and 1980s, you have to look at people like Patsy, who as the first ‘urban environmentalist’  did so much for this part of Boston.”

Armed with a graduate degree in landscape design from Radcliffe College, Patsy was involved in many of the projects that helped turn the Back Bay into what it is today, including her personal favorite, maintaining the observatory at the Webster-Ames Mansion for  owner/developer Ted Raymond.  Patsy is survived by her son, James Cannon Boyce, her two sisters, Carolyn McKinnon and Neila McNamara, her husband Joseph Sidlovsky,  two beloved grandchildren, Oliver Cannon Boyce and Phoebe Jean Ann Boyce, their mother Paris Ann Boyce and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Church in Copley Square at 10:00 am, on October 1, 2011. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to  The Garden Club of the Back Bay.  Contributions may be mailed to Elisabeth Lay, Treasurer, 239 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA 02116, and please note on the check that the contribution is made in memory of Patsy Cannon Boyce.

Patsy Cannon Boyce

Sunday, October 16, 1:00 pm – Walking Through the Woods with Don and Leslie Turpin

Don and Leslie Turpin will take Fruitlands Museum visitors for a walk through the woods and describe how Natives offer prayer and ask forgiveness for taking from their sacred Mother. They will perform a pipe ceremony and use a hand drum to offer traditional ancient songs. They will also bring a powwow drum to explain how they originated and how modern powwows are run. The program begins at 1 pm on Sunday, October 16. For more information and directions, visit

Tuesday, October 4, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Greenway Conservancy Annual Meeting with Patrick Cullina

Join the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy for the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 4, beginning with a reception at 5:30 pm, in the first floor conference room at 185 Kneeland Street.  Hear about the successes of the 2011 season on the Greenway.  The reception will be catered by Greenway food vendor BBQ Smith.  Special guest speaker Patrick Cullina (below,) a horticultural designer, photographer and lecturer who has served as Vice President of Horticulture and Park Operations for Friends of the High Line in New York City, and as Vice President of Horticulture, Operations and Science Research at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, will speak at 6 pm.  The program is free.  Please rsvp to Jenny at

Sundays, October 2 – October 30, 2:00 pm – Visionaries, Innovators and Provocateurs: The Eclectic Men and Women of Forest Hills

Explore one of Boston’s hidden treasures: a 250 acre Victorian cemetery and arboretum listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and dedicated to nature, art and remembrance.  Every Sunday in October, tour Forest Hills (95 Forest Hills Avenue in Boston) with an expert guide.  On October 2, historian Elise Ciregna will present A Library of Life Stories.  There are more than 100,000 people buried at Forest Hills.  Hear some of their stories and view their monuments – some lavish and dramatic, and others modest or mysterious.  On October 9, social historian Dee Morris explores some fascinating families and their Neighbors.  Forest Hills is made up of many family lots, with entire families laid to rest next to one another.  These lots are next to other ones, creating a neighborhood of Victorian families.  October 16 brings A Visit With E.E. Cummings.  Tour guide Jonathan Clark explores the work and themes of innovative poet E.E. Cummings, whose playful style and daring typography (ee cummings, anyone?) made him one of the most influential poets of the 20th century.  The Women of Forest Hills will be the topic on October 23.  Dee Morris leads visitors through the stories of some of the most celebrated and fascinating women of 19th and 290th century Boston.  A hotbed of feminism and firsts in the Victorian era, Boston gave rise to such pioneers as suffragette and abolitionist Lucy Stone, historian-author Annie Haven Thwing, and others both notable and notorious.  Visit the graves of artists, politicians, School Board activists, even spirit mediums.  Finally, on October 30, there will be the Victorian Spiritualism Tour, just in time for All Hallows’ Eve.  Spiritualists believed that death was a transition to a new form of existence.  People who had “crossed over” could be contacted through seances and spirit guides.  Visit some of the religious leaders and practitioners, as well as skeptics, of this controversial 19th century movement.  Each program is $9, and Forest Hills has free parking and is accessible by T.  For directions and more information, visit

Monday, October 3, 7:00 pm – The Little Shop of Horrors, With a Twist

The Coolidge Corner Theatre kicks off a new season of its popular Science on Screen series on Monday, October 3 with a special showing of B-movie maestro Roger Corman’s 1960 horticultural cult classic The Little Shop of Horrors paired with a pre-screening talk on carnivorous plants by Aaron Ellison, Senior Research Fellow in Ecology at Harvard Forest. The program begins at 7:00 pm.

The Little Shop of Horrors tells the tale of a hapless plant-shop clerk who breeds a new species of plant named Audrey Junior that not only talks, but also needs a special kind of food to survive: humans. Famous for having the shortest shooting schedule on record – two days and a night – this hilarious black comedy helped establish director Corman as an underground legend. Starring Jonathan Haze, Mel Welles, and Jackie Joseph, the film also features an iconic cameo by a young Jack Nicholson as a gleefully masochistic dental patient (possibly not a stretch theatrically.)

Unlike Audrey Junior, carnivorous plants in nature don’t actually devour people – or bellow “Feed Me!” But because these plants grow in habitats where soil nutrients are in short supply, they must rely on animal prey for sustenance. They catch their dinner using a variety of strategies, from snapping their leaves shut on unsuspecting insects to snagging snacks with sticky tentacles to sucking in their prey like a vacuum cleaner.

Before the film, Dr. Ellison sheds light on the curious world of carnivorous plants and on how these fabulously complex plants can further our understanding of how a complete, functioning natural ecosystem works.

At Harvard Forest, Harvard University’s 3,500-acre outdoor classroom and ecological research laboratory in Petersham, Mass., Dr. Ellison studies the evolutionary ecology of carnivorous plants, food web dynamics and community ecology of wetlands and forests, and other phenomena. He has received the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Faculty Fellow award for excellence in research and teaching.

Science on Screen is co-presented by The Museum of Science, Boston and made possible by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Tickets are $9.75 general admission, $7.75 for students, seniors, and Museum of Science members, and free for Coolidge Corner Theatre members. For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit Tickets are also available at the Coolidge Corner Theatre box office, located at 290 Harvard Street in Brookline. Phone: 617/734-2500.

Tuesday, October 18, 10:00 am – Tour of the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection at the Arnold Arboretum

A ninety minute docent-led guided tour of the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection at the Arnold Arboretum will kick off the Garden Club of the Back Bay’s “Japan Year” programs on Tuesday, October 18 at 10 am. We will view the historic bonsai collection in the lathe house, then see their full grown counterparts in the landscape. The Collection is one of the premier collections of bonsai in the United States and includes a Hinoki cypress over 250 years old.  The Bonsai Pavilion where the trees are housed are part of a complex of buildings known as the Dana Greenhouses.  The Collection is on display from mid-April to the end of October, when they are moved and  held in cold storage at temperatures slightly above freezing throughout the winter. Comfortable shoes are a requirement.  Written notices with car pool information will be mailed to club members.  The tour is limited to twenty participants, so will accept reservations on a first come, first serve basis.  Non-club members may email to be put on a wait list (non-member charge $15).

Thursday, October 20, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm – Urban Barn Dance and Supper

On Thursday, October 20th, from 6:30 – 9:30, enjoy the fourth annual Urban Barn Dance and Supper, a harvest celebration and benefit for Mass Farmers Markets, featuring a local feast prepared by Chef Bob Sargent of flora restaurant, followed by live music and contra dancing with caller Cammy Kaynor and friends.  Chef Sargent will be using locally grown produce and meat.  Guests will also enjoy a spectacular silent auction.  The event will take place at the Dante Alighieri Cultural Center in Kendall Square in Cambridge.  Tickets are $50 each, advance purchase required.  If you’d like more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Hannah Freedberg, Development and Outreach Director, at 781-893-8222.  To purchase tickets, click here.


Friday, November 18 – Second Wave of Modernism II: Landscape Complexity and Transformation

In recent years there has been an accelerating attitudinal shift: a departure away from the modernist’s tabula rasa exemplified at varying scales by icons such as Philip Johnson’s Beck House in Dallas and the Lincoln Center Campus in New York. Today designers are returning to modernist sites with new motivations, attempting to balance the complex values of natural and cultural systems.

To investigate this significant evolution of professional practice, three groups of thematic presentations have been assembled that will collectively explore landscape transformations at residential, urban and metropolitan scales. The conference follows and continues dialogue initiated at the sold-out first conference convened in Chicago in 2008.

This full day conference on Friday, November 18, sponsored by The Cultural Landscape Foundation, will be held at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. You may register online at Participants will include Julie Bargmann, James Corner, Lisa Gimmy, Kathryn Gustafson, Gary Hilderbrand, Raymond Jungles, Christopher LaGuardia, Elizabeth K. Meyer, Charles Renfro, and Michael Van Valkenburgh.

Saturday, October 15, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm – South End House Tour

The South End Historical Society will hold the forty-third annual South End House Tour, Private Homes and Public Spaces, on Saturday, October 15th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. First organized in 1967, the South End House Tour enjoys the distinction of being the oldest continually offered tour of its kind in Boston and features an inside look at restored and renovated townhouses in the largest Victorian row house district in the United States.

The Tour is a perennial favorite of architecture buffs, history enthusiasts, and anyone interested in preservation, restoration and home design. Participants are given a guidebook that includes descriptions of the private homes and a map so that they can design a tour at their own pace. From a sleek and contemporary reinterpretation of a row house to a family-friendly, traditional Victorian home, each of the featured spaces presents a different South End story. “We are particularly excited about this year’s House Tour,” said Hope Shannon, Executive Director. “Whether you are looking for fine historic architectural details, seeking design inspiration, or simply want to get a glimpse of the view from one of the South End’s best located roof decks—there is something for everyone on this tour.”

The Tour was first organized by the South End Historical Society (SEHS) in 1967 to draw attention to the architectural significance of the neighborhood and to inspire others to take on the difficult task of restoring row houses and to advocate for the preservation of this unique urban area.

The SEHS was founded in 1966 to preserve the unique architectural fabric of this unique urban neighborhood. In 1972 their efforts resulted in the South End being placed on the National Register of Historic Places and ultimately its designation as a Boston Landmark District in 1983. Today, the annual House Tour is just one of the ways the SEHS raises funds to continue to encourage and compile research, and to advocate for preservation of these historic buildings, monuments, and public spaces.

Tickets for the Tour are $25 in advance and are available at or by calling 617-536-4445. Tickets will also be available on the day of the Tour for $30 each at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont Street and at Rondeau-Tierney Real Estate, 69 Appleton Street.

For more information, please contact Hope Shannon at or 617-536-4445.

Tuesday, October 4, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Tour of the Crabapple Collection at the Arnold Arboretum

Did you know the Arnold Arboretum has been cited as the “mother arboretum” for the flowering crabapple? The Arboretum’s historically significant crabapple collection is getting some much-needed attention. Take a tour with Miles Sax, the Apprentice who is spending his tenure here documenting and renovating the glorious Malus collection on Peters Hill. The tour will take place Tuesday, October 4, from 2 – 3:30 – meet at the Hunnewell Building. In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209. This activity is free, but please register at

Tuesday, October 18, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm – Tree Preservation from the Top

Mark you calendar for Thursday, October 18, for the second personal tour of the first wheelchair accessible tree house in Massachusetts, with arborist Carl Brodeur, founder, co-owner, and President of Arborcare with Ropes ‘n Saddles, Inc.  This Ecological Landscaping Association field trip will begin at 10 am at 38 Narrows Road in Assonet, Massachusetts.  Until recently, the joy associated with climbing a tree and seeing the world from a tree house was out of reach for children with mobility impairments.  That changed in 2008 when the Institute for Developmental Disabilities, Inc. opened the first universally-accessible tree house in Massachusetts on its beautiful 45-acre campus.  Children of all ages and ability levels now have the opportunity to visit a beautiful tree house, far away from the limitations of an earthbound perspective.  This storybook-like structure is used for classes, music therapy, and recreation.  Tree preservation is a key component of many landscape projects, but was the critical component of this project.  Carl will take us behind the scenes and describe the tree preservation in the grove from the beginning of the project to the ongoing preservation today,  The presentation will cover the protection of the root zone during construction, soil monitoring for a healthy biological environment for the roots, as well as the monitoring and care since the building of the Tree House.  This site sits on the shore of Assonet Bay and is also the habitat for some interesting and endangered species, particularly the Northern Diamondback Terrapin, which uses this area as a nesting ground.  Register online at  $20 for ELA members, $25 for nonmembers.  You may call 617-436-5838 for more information.  This program is a repeat of one scheduled this past August, which was sold out, so reserve now.

Monday, October 24, 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Wild Food: Foraging for Edible Plants and Mushrooms

Join professional environmentalist and wild foods enthusiast Russ Cohen, author of Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten, to learn about foraging for wild plants, followed by a walk outside at Wellesley College to see what might be available at this season. Keys to the identification of each species are provided, as well as information about its edible portion(s), season(s) of availability, flavor, and nutritive value, and some tips on preparation. Learn guidelines for safe and environmentally responsible foraging. Tea will be served at 2 pm, followed by the lecture and walk from 2:30 – 4:30. This afternoon is co-sponsored with Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the New England Wild Flower Society, and the Wellesley College Friends of Horticulture. $10 for members of the sponsoring organizations, $15 for non-members. Sign up at, or call 781-283-3094.

Sunday, October 2, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Identifying the 25 Most Common Trees in Boston

If yesterday’s Arnold Arboretum walk with Ajay Sequeira wasn’t enough for you, join Kyle Port, Manager of Plant Records at the Arnold Arboretum, on Sunday, October 2, from 9 – 1 (meet at the Hunnewell Building), and in just a few hours you can learn to identify 90 percent of the trees growing in Boston, both native and nonnative. Beginning in the classroom, you will briefly review the characteristics of the 25 most common trees and learn the botanical terminology necessary to describe them. You will then walk the grounds of the Arboretum to look at mature specimens of these trees. Register on line at Fee $45 member, $60 nonmember.

Saturday, October 1, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – The Common Trees of Boston

Have you noticed a tree as you walked through the city, wanted to name it, but didn’t know where to start? Join Ajay Sequeira, Arnold Arboretum docent, for a walk through the Arboretum landscape on Saturday, October 1, from 1 – 2:30. We will learn how to identify some of the trees commonly found in the Boston area. We will note some of the characteristics common to families of trees and learn about the differences that occur between species. In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209. This activity is free, but please sign up at

Friday, September 30, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Invasive Plants: Identification, Ecology, and Control

This September 30 class led by Ted Elliman, Vegetation Management Coordinator of the New England Wild Flower Society, provides an introduction to about 40 invasive non-native plants most commonly found in local landscapes. Through the combination of a classroom presentation, access to herbarium specimens, and a walk outside, you will become familiar with identification clues as well as the habits of a number of these plants. You will also discuss management techniques, appropriate for both small- and large-scale landscapes, for many of these species. The Invaders issue of the New England Wild Flower Society’s magazine and the MA Field Guide to Invasives will be available for purchase at a discount. Bring your lunch and a hand lens if you have one. This class takes place at New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods, from 10 – 2.  Co-sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and the New England Wild Flower Society, you may register on line at  $48 for members of the sponsoring organizations, $58 for nonmembers.

Saturday, October 1, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon, and Wednesdays, October 12 and 19, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – The Art of Photographing Trees

Trees, because of branching breadth and trunk height, can be challenging subjects to photograph. In this Arnold Arboretum three part class, Erik Gehring will provide tips, tricks, and photographic theory in order to create unique and dramatic images of trees. In the first session on Saturday, October 1, from 9 – 12 at the Dana Greenhouse at the Arboretum, you will begin in the landscape, looking at some of the Arboretum’s specimens to consider composition and framing, how best to capture the organic nature of a tree, and thinking about what conditions will best complement the subject. Classroom time in the second and third sessions on Wednesday, October 12 and Wednesday, October 19, from 6:30 – 8:30 in the Hunnewell Building, will include lectures, discussions, and group critiques of your images and ideas. Between classes you will be expected to practice the techniques taught in class and photograph trees in a variety of conditions. Plan to bring your images to class on a thumb drive for critique. If you are a film photographer, please bring prints to class. The fee is $105 for Arboretum members, $140 for non-members, and you may register on line at

Tuesday, October 4, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens

Gardens and Spirit: The Power of Landscapes to Transform, is a series offered by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Trinity Church in the City of Boston.  The first of this year’s lectures will take place Tuesday, October 4, from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Trinity Church in Copley Square.  Vaughn Sills, Associate Professor of Photography, Simmons College, and Lowry Pei, Professor of English at Simmons College, will speak on their new book,  Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens. Places for the Spirit is a stunning collection of over 80 documentary photographs of African American folk gardens — and their creators — in the Deep South (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina). These landscapes have a unique historical significance due to the design elements and spiritual meanings that have been traced to the yards and gardens of American slaves and further back to their prior African heritage. These deceptively casual or whimsical foliage arrangements are subtle and symbolic reminders of the divine in everyday life, the cycles of nature, and implied right and wrong ways to live. In the spirit of “outsider” art traditions, blues musical roots, and other such folk manifestations, these gardens have a unique aesthetic and cultural significance. Over 20 years in the making, this is the first collection of fine art photography to document this subject and, as such, it adds greatly to our understanding and appreciation of this disappearing element of African American culture. Fee is $15 for Arboretum members, $20 for non-members.  Register on-line at

Friday, October 7, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm – Practices and Principles of Growing Nutrient Dense Vegetables

This Berkshire Botanical Garden course, for serious home vegetable gardeners as well as professionals caring for vegetable gardens, is an overview of how biological systems function and support you in addressing limiting factors in your garden. Examine soil testing and mineral balancing, biological inoculation, seed sizing and sorting, potting soil, tillage, fertility, in-season plant and soil monitoring and supplemental feeding based on plant needs. In-season monitoring will be based on conductivity and Brix monitoring with appropriate solutions including nutrient drenches and foliar spraying. The objective of this course is to support gardeners in growing vegetables that are pest- and disease-resistant as well as very flavorful and containing high levels of nutrition.  The course will take place Friday, October 7, from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, and will be repeated in the spring, on Friday, March 23.

Dan Kittredge is an organic farmer and cofounder of the Real Food Campaign. As the son of two prominent leaders in the organic farming movement, Dan has been an organic farmer since childhood. His experience managing organic farms and developing sustainable agriculture techniques has connected him to farmers in Central America, Russia, India and the United States. Dan is passionate about raising the quality of nutrition in our food supply.  This hands-on workshop will cost $185, plus an additional $35 soil test fee, payable directly to the instructor. Participants are requested to have their soil test completed prior to the first class. For information on specifics, contact the garden, 413-298-3926, four weeks prior to the course.  To register, visit

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