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Tuesday, February 28, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Historic Landscapes: Creating a Sense of Time and Place

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society Director of Horticulture and Education, John Forti, will give an illustrated talk at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley on Tuesday, February 28 from 1:30 – 3 that brings to life the unique and living history of plants that have a defining presence in our region. For those interested in gardens that inspire a sense of time and place, this talk will foster a better understanding of the most tried and true plants and our role in preservation.
$12 members/$20 non-members. Register online at www.masshort.org.


Sunday, March 5, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – History of Camellias in Boston

New Englanders have grown decorative plants for centuries. Many large estates in the Boston area featured large glass greenhouses and significant collections of camellia trees. Discover the rich history of camellia cultivation from the late 1700s through the 1900s at this illustrated lecture by Lyman Estate Greenhouses Manager Lynn Ackerman on Sunday, March 5 at 1 pm at the Lyman Estate, 185 Lyman Street in Waltham. Afterwards, visit the 1804 greenhouses and enjoy our large camellia collection in bloom. Shop with advice from staff experts and get a 10% discount on purchases (15% for Historic New England members).$5 Historic New England Members $10 nonmembers. Registration is required. Please call 617-994-5912 or register online at www.historicnewengland.org.


Saturday, March 4, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, March 5, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – 188th Annual Camellia Show

The final weekend of Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Winter in Bloom, March 4 & 5, features the 188th Annual Camellia Show presented by the Massachusetts Camellia Society. View the diversity of camellia varieties with more than 150 cut blooms and camellia trees on display. Presented by the Massachusetts Camellia Society, free with admission to the garden. As part of the show, at 2 pm on Saturday, March 4, Frank Streeter will give a lecture on Camellias Past & Present, a basic introduction to camellia care and history.


Wednesday, March 1, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – The Art and Science of Growing Native Plants from Seed

Grow Native Massachusetts presents a free talk by Randi Eckel, Founder of Toadshade Wildflower Farm, on Wednesday, March 1 from 7 – 8:30 at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway in Cambridge, entitled The Art and Science of Growing Native Plants from Seed.

As we incorporate more native plants into our landscapes, there are so many good reasons to use plants propagated from seed. But wild plants have evolved with a dizzying array of mechanisms, including chemical-induced dormancy and mandatory cold stratification, to ensure that their seeds disperse, persevere, and germinate at just the right time under natural conditions. These mechanisms are not in place to frustrate would-be plant propagators, but must be understood by gardeners to successfully grow native plants from seed.

Come for a far-reaching discussion of the issues surrounding seed collection, procurement, and propagation, with information that will encourage the novice and challenge the professional alike. Randi Eckel has been studying native plant seed propagation and plant-insect interactions for over thirty years.  Toadshade Wildflower Farm supplies both seeds and plants of species native to eastern North America.


Thursday, March 9, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Lewis Mumford’s Green Urbanism

Friends of Fairsted present Lewis Mumford’s Green Urbanism with Aaron Sachs, Professor of History and American Studies, Cornell University. Seating is limited and reservations are required. The event takes place at Wheelock College, Brookline Campus, 43 Hawes Street, Brookline, MA 02446.

Reserve online at http://friendsoffairsted.org/programs/register/or 617-566-1689, ext. 265.


Wednesday, March 8, 10:00 am – How the Glaciers Affected New England’s Plants

Today, Massachusetts is a network of houses, businesses, farms, forests, and wetlands—but how did it get to be that way? What did it look like when the Laurentide Glaciers melted 12,000 years ago? How did a state that was only 25 percent forest by 1850 come to be 64 percent forested today? As part of our ongoing series The Prehistoric Garden, The Garden Club of the Back Bay welcomes Meg Muckenhoupt to our March meeting on Wednesday, March 8 at 10 am at The College Club, 44 Commonwealth Avenue. This broad overview traces how and why the land has changed and what people thought about it—from Wampanoag King Philip to Frederick Law Olmsted to Governor Charlie Baker.

Our speaker Meg Muckenhoupt is an environmental and travel writer. She has appeared on NPR’s Radio Boston and WCVB’s Chronicle, as well as WGBH’s Forum site. Her work has been featured in the Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix, Boston Magazine, and the Time Out Boston guide; her book Boston Gardens and Green Spaces (Union Park Press, 2010) is a Boston Globe Local Bestseller. She currently serves as Executive Director of Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design (COGdesign).

Meg was awarded a certificate in Field Botany by the New England Wild Flower Society and earned degrees from Harvard and Brown University. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts. Garden Club members will receive notice of the meeting. If you are not a member but are interested in attending, please email info@gardenclubbackbay.org. Image from bostongeology.com.


Tuesday, February 21, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Toward an Urban Ecology

The Harvard Graduate School of Design will host a lecture by Kate Orff in Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium on Tuesday, February 21 from 6:30 – 8:30.

Kate Orff, RLA, is the founder of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York City, and author of Toward an Urban Ecology, a book about the practice. SCAPE re-conceives urban landscape design as a form of activism, demonstrating how to move beyond familiar and increasingly outmoded ways of thinking about environmental, urban, and social issues as separate domains; and advocating for the synthesis of practice to create a truly urban ecology. A range of participatory and science-based strategies will be discussed and shown in the lecture through the lens of the office’s work, featuring projects, collaborators, and design methods that advance urban ecological design.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or events@gsd.harvard.edu. The event is free and open to the public.


Tuesday, March 7, 8:00 am – 3:30 pm – 38th Annual UMass Community Tree Conference

We are a tree club, and urban tree activists will be pleased to know about the 38th Annual UMass Community Tree Conference – Utilities, Communities, and Urban Trees: Partnerships in Practice, especially those of us who have been active in the fight to prevent methane leaks from destroying our trees and our environment. One of the featured speakers will be Calvin Layton (pictured) of Eversource speaking on Utilities & Communities in Partnership: Enhancing Public Safety & Protecting Trees from the Community Perspective. This one-day conference, to be held Tuesday, March 7 from 8 – 3:30 at Stockbridge Hall at UMass Amherst, is designed for tree care professionals, volunteers, and enthusiasts including arborists, tree wardens/municipal tree care specialists, foresters, landscape architects and shade tree committee members.

The theme of this year’s conference will pertain to utilities and community trees. Topics will include: Design Solutions for Tree and Overhead Utility Conflicts, Utility Storm Resiliency, Communities and Utilities in Partnership for Urban Trees, and Updates from the UMass Diagnostic Lab.

Sponsored by UMass Extension in cooperation with the UMass Dept. of Environmental Conservation, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and the USDA Forest Service Urban Natural Resources Institute. Registration is $90 for a single participant, and $75 for each additional registration from the same organization. For complete agenda visit www.ag.umass.edu.


Tuesday, February 21, 6:00 pm – The New World of Coffee and Cacao

The Pepin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastronomy, cosponsored by Jacques Pepin and Boston University’s Master of Liberal Arts program in gastronomy, will present The New World of Coffee and Cacao, with Matthew Block, on Tuesday, February 21 at 6 pm at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 117, Boston.  Ever wonder about the mysterious journey that coffee and cacao beans take from their origins to their transformation into delicious specialty products?  Join importer Matthew Block, founder of Campesino Mateo, for a free talk that will cover the histories of coffee and cacao, their roles in Western culture, and the beans’ step-by-step journey from cultivation to finished product.  Block partners with traditional family  farmers from the most remote regions of Peru’s “eyebrow of the jungle” to help improve growing, harvesting, and processing practices.  Attendees will learn about – an  taste – the dramatic impact on aroma and flavor that different farming, processing, and production techniques impart.  Additionally, they will virtually meet some farmers on their lands, see how the plants and fruits grow in their raw form, and experience the various terroir factors that play so large a role in the finished products.  Register online at http://bu.edu/foodandwine.  Image from marinersmuseum.org.


Tuesday, February 28, 9:30 am – Hydrangea Highlights

The Needham Garden Club presents Hydrangea Highlights with Gail Anderson on Tuesday, February 28 beginning at 9:30 am at the Needham Congregational Church, 1180 Great Plain Avenue in Needham.  The meeting is free, but donations are always welcome.