Category Archives: lecture

Saturday, September 27, 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm – Garden Dialogues: The Clark, New Landscape

On September 27th, get exclusive access to a celebrated landscape in Massachusetts and hear directly from the designers and the clients about their collaborative process.

How do clients and designers work together? What makes for a great, enduring collaboration? Garden Dialogues provides unique opportunities for small groups to visit some of today’s most beautiful gardens created by some of the most accomplished designers currently in practice.

The Clark, New Landscape, will be presented by the Cultural Landscape Foundation on Saturday, September 27, from 4:30 – 7 in Williamstown, and a limited number of tickets are still available. Speakers will be Gary Hilderbrand, Reed Hilderbrand LLC, with Richard Rand, Senior Curator at The Clark and Matt Noyes, Grounds Manager at The Clark.

The new landscape and building complex at Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, part of a 140-acre campus in the Berkshire Mountains, is one of 2014s most anticipated and highly praised projects. Fourteen years in the making, the ambitious expansion campaign led by architect Tadao Ando and landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand matches the museum’s mission to facilitate the interrelationship of art and nature. The institute, a respected art museum and center for research and higher education originally chartered in 1950 and built around the Clark family’s private collection, has grown to national stature and features European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century.

The new Clark Art Institute landscape, which opened to the public on July 4, 2014, includes four miles of new walking trails, five new pedestrian bridges, and more than a thousand new trees. The focal point of the landscape is a set of tiered reflecting pools. Conceived by Ando and designed Reed Hilderbrand, the reflecting pools orchestrate a unified composition among the diverse architectural characters of the Institute’s family of buildings and the sweeping pastoral landscape beyond.  $125.  Register at

Sunday, October 5, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Handmade for the Garden

Author Susan Guagliumi will highlight ways to enhance your outdoor space with DIY tools, pots, embellishments and more, using easy-to-find, inexpensive and repurposed materials. Gardeners of all skill levels will discover artful ways to beautify and personalize their gardens with handmade objects. Guagliumi’s book, Handmade for the Garden, will be available for purchase at this Tower Hill Botanic Garden event, to be held Sunday, October 5 from 1 – 2. Cost: Included with Admission. Free for members. For information call 508-869-6111. (Note: this program was postponed from August due to weather.)

Thursday, October 9, 6:30 pm (Corrected Day) – Preparing for Climate Change in Boston: The Vital Role of Our Greenspaces

The Friends of the Public Garden will hold a members reception on Thursday, October 9 at 6:30 pm at the Revere Hotel, 200 Stuart Street, on Preparing for Climate Change in Boston: The Vital Role of Our Greenspaces.  2012 was the warmest year on record in the US by one full degree.  By 2047, the coldest years will be warmer than today’s warmest. Brian Swett, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston, will discuss what Boston is doing to prepare for climate change, and how parks help.  The Friends will also be celebrating Hill Holliday for raising the visibility of the Friends through a generous marketing campaign.  Reception to follow program.

Event is free for members, but space is limited.  Please rsvp by Friday October 3 at, or call 617-723-8144.  Your membership can be renewed at this event.  Motor Mart Garage is lead sponsor for this reception.

Weekends, September 20 – October 13 – Tower Hill’s Bountiful Harvest Season

Harvest season is approaching and that means Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, will be buzzing with four weekends of family activities celebrating summer’s bounty of plants, arts, and food.

The special programming begins Sept. 20 and 21 with an appreciation of fall foliage and flowers. Activities will include fall crafts, an apple heirloom apple tasting tour, and a show and sale of stunning begonias and gesneriad flowers, such as the African violet.

Local foods and flavors are the focus on the weekend of Sept. 27 and 28 with food and farm vendors on site both days, along with a display of vegetables grown at Tower Hill. On Saturday a youth garden workout, fall crafts, and apple tasting tour are all free with admission. Sunday features a garden tour as well as a wild edibles talk and walk.

Oct. 4 and 5 is Artisan Weekend at Tower Hill with vendors selling handmade creations all weekend. Saturday’s highlights include an apple tasting tour, wreath making, a chamber group featuring baroque favorites, and the opening of internationally renowned designers Patch NYC’s latest show. On Sunday, join in with Russell Powell, author of Apples of New England, for a free talk and apple tasting, listen in with Susan Guagliumi, author of Handmade for the Garden, for creative do-it-yourself techniques, or sign up for a workshop to learn how to make a “Mountain High Apple Pie.”

Tower Hill’s harvest weekend finale is Oct. 11 through 13. Activities include making leaf rubbings on a story walk, participating in a gardening book swap, creating fall crafts, joining a hay ride, sampling apples on a tasting tour, and learning about wild plants in the not-so-wild garden. Backyard chicken expert Terry Golson will host story time with her book Tillie Lays an Egg and Mass Audubon will conduct a Birds of Prey program.

Harvest season means enjoying autumn views of Tower Hill’s 132-acre landscape and Mt. Wachusett, exploring the sustainable – and exquisitely designed – vegetable garden before it yields to winter, and discovering Tower Hill’s rare collection of heirloom apples, including 238 trees and 119 pre-20th century varieties.

For more information on events presented by the nonprofit Tower Hill Botanical Garden at 11 French Drive in Boylston, Mass., please call 508-869-6111, visit, or email

Home of the Worcester County Horticultural Society, Tower Hill Botanic Garden is less than an hour’s drive from Boston, Providence, Springfield, and Hartford and is nationally recognized as one of the finest gardens in the Northeast with more than 80,000 annual visitors and 6,000 active members.


Tuesday, September 30, 7:00 pm – The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t.

With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change.

Caspar Henderson is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times, the Independent, and New Scientist. He lives in Oxford, UK. He will appear at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, on Tuesday, September 30 at 7 pm. For more information visit

Tuesday, September 30, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Preserving Forests in New England – Insights from Japan and Europe

The biological diversity of New England’s deciduous forests is threatened by habitat fragmentation, increasing homogeneity of the vegetation, and the loss of top predators. Most of the natural landscape is now dominated by medium-aged woodlands, leaving relatively little space for species that require open habitats, young forest, or old-growth forest. The future of deciduous forests also will depend on climate change and the introduction of insects and pathogens that decimate particular species of trees. Understanding the history and ecology of these forests is critical for sustaining their productivity and preventing the loss of biological diversity. Professor Robert Askins of Connecticut College will present a talk on Tuesday, September 30, from 7 – 8:30 in the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum on the major threats to our local forests and new insights for their protection from studies of remarkably similar forests in East Asia and Europe. His recently published book, Saving the World’s Deciduous Forests, will be available for purchase and signing.  Fee $5 member, $10 nonmember.  Register on line at

Friday, October 3, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm – Nichols House Museum Symposium: In the House and on the Web, 21st Century Strategies for Interpreting Historic Interiors

On Friday, October 3, five speakers from Europe and the United States will come together to share experiences from their museums and heritage sites which have successfully integrated technology into interpretations of their historic interiors and landscapes. From mobile applications to virtual recreations, learn from these 21st-century innovators and come away with cutting-edge ideas from museum professionals around the world. Please join The Nichols House Museum for this full-day event, 8 – 3:30, at The Boston Athenaeum, 10 1/2 Beacon Street in Boston. $75 fee.


Lee Glazer, PhD- Associate Curator, American Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
Victoria Kastner – Historian, Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California
Annie Kemkaran-Smith – Curator (Art Collections) Down House, National Collections Group, London, UK (pictured below)
John A. Sibbald – Founder and First Chairman, Virtual Hamilton Palace Trust, Hamilton, Scotland
Loic Tallon – Senior Mobile Manager, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Optional Activities

Lunch is available either at the Union Club (additional $45 per person) or on your own. More information coming soon on a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to tour two recently re-installed British period rooms, the dining room from Hamilton Palace (1700) and the drawing room from Newland House (1748), with Thomas S. Michie, Russell B. and Andree Beauchamp Stearns Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of Europe. Additional fee will be required.
Cancellation Policy

Full refunds will be given for cancellations received by Friday, September 26, 2014. No refunds will be made after September 26, 2014. Register by calling 617-227-6993, email, or register online at

Monday, September 22, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Urban Greening for Urban Birds

What are the needs of an urban bird? What can be done to increase the diversity of avian and other species living in the city? The highly managed nature of a city landscape provides biologists with some unique opportunities to understand both the role of humans in altering patterns of biological diversity and the role of behavior in limiting animal distributions. Join the Arnold Arboretum on Monday, September 22, from 7 – 8:30 in the Hunnewell Building for a lecture by Dr. Paige Warren, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. A guiding principle for Paige Warren’s research is that the typical indices of urbanization, such as human population density, describe only a portion of the habitat structure that is important for wildlife. Paige Warren has recently analyzed 150 years of documented changes in the bird communities of Cambridge and examined a variety of Boston’s green spaces to determine ways to improve and increase habitat for year-round as well as migratory birds and other city-dwelling animals. She will speak about her research, done locally and around the country, to understand processes generating and maintaining biological diversity in a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by humans. Fee $5 Arboretum member, $10 nonmember. Register on line at

Thursday, September 25, 7:00 pm – Gardner Museum Landscape Lecture: Eelco Hooftman

Join the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for its annual series of engaging and inspirational presentations from leading voices in the field of landscape architecture. Internationally renowned designers present their recent work articulating landscape as a medium of design for the social, cultural, and ecological life of the city. On Thursday, September 25, meet Eelco Hooftman. Hooftman, together with Bridget Baines, is founding partner of GROSS. MAX. landscape architects, Edinburgh. The firm’s current projects include a master plan to transform Tempelhof Freiheit, Berlin, from a 360-hectare airport into a new public park, and a linear park representing an artificial mountain range in the Central Business District of Beijing. GROSS. MAX. was awarded the 2006 European Landscape Award by Topos magazine. Landscape Lectures begin at 7 pm in Calderwood Hall. Lectures include Museum admission and require a ticket; tickets can be reserved online, in person at the door, or by phone: 617 278 5156. Museum admission: adults $15, seniors $12, students $5, free for members. To order tickets online, visit

Monday, September 15, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Charismatic Megaflora: What Do Old Trees Look Like?

As with many things, one person’s charismatic megaflora is another person’s tree. For Neil Pederson, PhD, Ecologist, formerly with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University and now with the Harvard Forest, Harvard University,  a tree that would capture his attention as a younger person is very different from the charismatic specimen that wows him today. What has changed? His understanding of old and the dimensions of time and space as applied to trees. On Monday, September 15, from 6:30 – 8 at the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum, Neil Pederson will share how his assumptions were dashed (more than once) and what he has learned while searching for the oldest trees to obtain the longest possible tree-ring based records of environmental history.
Fee $5 Arboretum member, $10 nonmember.  Register at

Wednesday, September 17, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Go Botany!

Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist for the New England Wild Flower Society, demonstrates exciting new tools for plant identification. Go Botany is the NEWFS’s new website that teaches botany and plant identification. This resource serves as a field guide to help you identify and learn about 1,200 of the most common native and naturalized plants of New England. Imagine identifying plants in the field with your iPad or smartphone!

This flexible and user-friendly tool helps you identify species based on whichever portions of the plant (leaves, flowers, winter buds, bark, etc.) you are able to observe at any given time of year. Once you identify the plant, you can see a wealth of information about it, including gorgeous color photographs, maps of its geographic range, diagnostic characteristics, and memorable facts. Go Botany is optimized for both desktop and tablet computers, so you can use it anywhere you have a web connection. Dr. Farnsworth is one of New England’s great botanists and Editor-in-Chief of Rhodora.

This talk kicks off The Garden Club of the Back Bay’s 2014-2015 meeting schedule, centered around Technology and the Garden.  The event will take place Wednesday, September 17 beginning at 10 am at The College Club, 44 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.  Club members will receive written notification of the meeting.  Guests are welcome – if you are not a GCBB member, please email to register.  A suggested $5 contribution is requested for non-members.

Tuesday, October 7, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Agents of Change: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century

Agents of Change: Botanic Gardens in the 21st Century, is a symposium presented by the National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, October 7, from 9 – 5, at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.  This symposium celebrates NTBG’s 50th anniversary, and will explore Extinction or Survival: Conserving Plants in a Changing World; Feast or Famine: How We Can and Will Feed 9 Billion People; Biocultural Conservation: Interpreting the Richness of the Human Experience; and Operational Sustainability: Are Botanic Gardens an Endangered Species?

What lies ahead as the world faces grave challenges to the natural environment, struggles to feed the hungry, and loses cultural diversity?  This one-day event will bring together the world’s leading scientists, researchers, academics, and garden leaders to share the most pressing issues, trends, and solutions.

Then, at 7 pm at The St. Regis Hotel in Washington, you are invited to a Gala Dinner with featured speaker Thomas L. Friedman, internationally renowned Pulitzer Prize winning author, reporter, and New York Times columnist.

Tickets for the Symposium are $125 for the full day and $90 for half day (2 – 5,) and dinner tickets are $400 per person.  Register online at

Friday, September 12, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm – Northeast Region Perennial Plant Association Symposium

On Friday, September 12, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association are teaming up to offer a day-long symposium entitled Exploring Design & Perennial Selection for the Landscape. Some of the best writers and creative plantsmen and women in the business will be here, and you’re invited to listen, learn and ask questions. The event will take place at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley, and the cost is $109. To register, or for more information, email, or call 617-933-4973.

Monday, September 1, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Practical Options for Food Production Resilience in an Increasingly Variable Climate

Spend Labor Day, Monday, September 1, at the Newton Community Farm, 303 Nahanton Street in Newton, with Dr. Christine Jones, Australian soil carbon scientist, as she speaks about Practical Options for Food Production Resilience in an Increasingly Variable Climate.  The program will run from 10 – 4, and the cost is $55 for NOFA members, $64 for non-members.  There will be a potluck lunch, so bring your favorite dish to pass, a drink mug, and a table setting.  Read about the speaker at  Topics include building soil carbon to improve production and farm viability, plant and livestock health and disease resistance, human nutrition, and climatic resilience on your farm or garden plot.

Dr. Christine Jones is an internationally-acclaimed agricultural consultant with a specific message regarding sequestration of carbon and humus development through appropriate agricultural practices. According to Dr. Jones, photosynthesis operating at full capacity is the critical element in soil humification. Among the many benefits of high-humus soils are an abundance of soil micro-organisms which manage and make available to the plants a broad range of minerals; more effective water management; and more vibrant plant health through improved plant immunity. Dr. Jones’ work focuses on how to maximize photosynthesis through biological processes. Her message is appropriate for anyone who raises food, for those who focus on conserving our natural resources, and for climate activists.

For more information, please contact NOFA/Mass Education Events Coordinator Jamie Lombardo at or (860) 966-6368.

Thursday, August 21, 5:30 pm – A Beautiful Vision

Please join Michael Van Valkenburgh and his associate Jason Siebenmorgen for a presentation on the design process and vision for the Polly Hill Arboretum’s future West Woodland Garden and Forest Ecology Trail, on Thursday, August 21 beginning at 5:30 pm. A wine and cheese reception begins the presentation. A free Member only event. (for membership information call 508-693-9426).

Friday, September 19 – Sunday, September 21 – Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

The 9th Annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival will take place September 19-21, 2014 at The Elms, Rosecliff & Marble House. Presenting Underwriter Food & Wine Magazine has enabled the Preservation Society of Newport County to welcome special guests Martha Stewart and Sara Moulton. Additional guest chefs and wine experts include Jonathan Cartwright, Dan Enos, Michael Ferraro, and Karsten Hart. Festival highlights: a two-day Grand Tasting with hundreds of wines on the lawn of Marble House, celebrity chef appearances and cooking demonstrations, seminars with leading wine experts, Wine & Rosecliff gala celebration, a collectible wine dinner, Newport After Dark party, a winemaker’s brunch, and auctions. Free parking and shuttle transportation are available. The event is held in one of the most spectacular settings in America, and this remarkable weekend experience is not to be missed. Advance price tickets are now available at Individual event ticket prices  range from $75 to $450.

Wednesday, August 27, 7:00 pm – Boston Beer: A History of Brewing in the Hub

Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, will host Norman Miller, author of Boston Beer: A History of Brewing in the Hub, on Wednesday, August 27, beginning at 7 pm. Free, but please rsvp at 

Since before Patriots like Paul Revere and Sam Adams fermented a revolution in smoky Beantown taverns, beer has been integral to the history of Boston. The city issued its first brewing license in 1630, and breweries like Haffenreffer Brewery and American Brewing Company quickly sprung up. This heady history took a turn for the worse when the American Temperance Movement championed prohibition, nearly wiping out all of the local breweries. In 1984, the amber liquid was revitalized as Jim Koch introduced Samuel Adams craft brews to the Hub and the nation. Shortly after, Harpoon Brewery emerged and became the largest brewery to make all its beers in New England. From the planning of the Boston Tea Party over a pint at Green Dragon Tavern to the renaissance of the burgeoning craft brewing scene, join author and “Beer Nut” Norman Miller as he savors the sudsy history of brewing in the Hub.

Norman Miller grew up in the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed and plastic pink lawn flamingos: Leominster, Massachusetts. Despite being a late bloomer as a beer drinker, he has been writing the Beer Nut column for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Massachusetts, and the GateHouse Media family of newspapers since 2006, as well as a blog of the same name.

Currently, Norman lives in his childhood home in Leominster with his dog Foxy, his cats Trouble and Tweak and his prized possession, Beatrice the beer fridge, which is always stocked up with Boston beers.

Wednesday, August 20, 4:00 pm – Monet: Painter, Plantsman

Throughout his long life, Monet displayed a passionate regard for the beauty of nature. His principal activity was the creation of paintings that capture the sweep and colorful brilliance of the French landscape. Simultaneously, the artist seized every available opportunity to cultivate his own personal landscapes and sunny domestic gardens that, in turn, lent inspiration to his activity as a painter. His outstanding horticultural achievement, the vast flower garden adorning his house and studio at Giverny, is the perfect spot from which to view this Impressionist’s extraordinary genius. Hear about Monet in a lecture by Colta Ives at the Berkshire Botanical Garden on Wednesday, August 20, beginning at 4 pm in the Education Center. BBG members $15, non-members $20. Register at

Colta Ives retired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with the title Curator Emerita. She organized many exhibitions at the Museum, notably on 19th-century artists, including Bonnard, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh. She lectures at museums throughout America, as well as in Paris, Sydney and Melbourne, and is returning to the Metropolitan Museum soon, as Guest Curator for an exhibition on French Public Parks and Private Gardens in the Age of Impressionism, to be shown in 2016.

Tuesday, August 5, 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm – From Seed to Tree

Did you know that almost all of the new plants in the Arnold Arboretum begin their lives in the Dana Greenhouses? Get a behind-the-scenes look of the greenhouse growing process, from seed to sprout to seedling to tree. Meet at the Bonsai Collection. There is a 15 person maximum. This program, led by Stephen Schneider, Director of Operations, is held on the first Tuesday of each month through November 4.  In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.  This activity is free. No need to register.

Friday, August 15, 11:00 am – Birds of Prey: Tom Ricardi, Wildlife Rehabilitator

Join wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens in West Stockbridge on Friday, August 15 at 11 am for his ever popular presentation on birds of prey. This program is designed for all ages. Tom will share the natural history of these magnificent birds, demonstrate some of their unique behaviors and inspire children of all ages to appreciate, respect and conserve these important members of our wild kingdom.

Tom Ricardi is a licensed rehabilitator and wildlife biologist. He runs Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway, MA, and is now retired after 40 years of service as a Massachusetts Environmental Conservation police officer. Free for members and children under 12, free for nonmembers with admission to the Gardens.  For directions, visit

« Older Entries