Category Archives: lecture

Thursday, June 4 – Monday, June 8 – Garden Days at the Emily Dickinson Museum

Take part in one of Emily Dickinson’s favorite pastimes – gardening.  Join the staff of The Emily Dickinson Museum June 4-8 for Garden Days, an annual effort to prepare the Museum’s historic grounds for summer. Volunteers with all levels of experience are welcome to plant, weed, and beautify under the direction of landscape historian Marta McDowell, author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardens.

Garden Days begins on Thursday, June 4, during the monthly Amherst Art Walk. A Garden Days volunteer meet-up and orientation starts at 5 pm, followed by an “art in the garden” session until 7 pm. At 6:45 pm, a poetry reading by Amherst-area poets Seth Landman and Kelin Loe will be held in the Homestead parlor.

On Saturday, June 6, at 3 pm, Marta McDowell will lead a free tour of the museum grounds. This event is open to the public, and begins in the Homestead garden.

As a special thank you, Garden Days volunteers are invited to tour the Museum at no charge on Sunday, June 7. Tours will be held at 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm. For more information, or to sign up for a Volunteer Shift below, visit

Friday, June 5
9 am – noon and 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 6
9 am – noon and 4 pm – 6 pm
Sunday, June 7
9 am – noon
Monday, June 8
9 am – noon
Marta McDowell lives, gardens and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She teaches landscape history and gardening at the New York Botanical Garden, where she was named “Instructor of the Year” in 2011. Her book, Emily Dickinson’s Gardens, was published by McGraw-Hill in 2005, and she was an advisor for the New York Botanical Garden’s 2010 show.

Her latest book, Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, was published by Timber Press in 2013. Marta is active in the Chatham Community Garden and is on the board of the NJ Historical Foundation at the Cross Estate in Bernardsville. Her husband, Kirke Bent, summarizes her biography as “I am therefore I dig.”

Seth Landman is the author of four chapbooks and the full-length poetry collections Confidence (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2015) and Sign You Were Mistaken (Factory Hollow Press, 2013). His work can be found in Boston Review, iO, Jellyfish, Lit, and elsewhere. He received his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Denver (2013) and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts (2008) where he is currently an Academic Advisor in Humanities and Fine Arts.

Kelin Loe is the author of These Are The Gloria Stories (Factory Hollow Press 2014) and the chapbook The Motorist (minutesBOOKS 2010). She lives in Northampton, MA, and is working towards a PhD in Rhetoric at UMass Amherst.

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens, opens for 2015 on Wednesday, March 4. Museum hours are 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Find out more about visiting here.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is dedicated to educating diverse audiences about the poet’s life, family, creative work, times, and enduring relevance, and to preserving and interpreting the Homestead and The Evergreens as historical resources for public and academic enrichment.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is owned by the Trustees of Amherst College and overseen by a separate Board of Governors. The Museum is responsible for raising its own operating and capital funds.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is a member of Museums10, a collaboration of ten museums linked to the Five Colleges in the Pioneer Valley–Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Wednesday, June 3, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Passing Along the Passion: Sowing the Seeds for Lifelong Horticulture Appreciation

Mentoring a child with hands-on gardening is a powerful force for developing an understanding of the natural world. When children start young, nature’s values become permanently imprinted, forming the basis for appreciation of how horticulture is relevant in all aspects of their lives. Wayne Mezitt of Weston Nurseries discusses some concepts on developing a compelling lifelong engagement with horticulture for young and old alike, at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on Wednesday, June 3, from 7 – 8. Free with admission. To register, visit

Thursday, May 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Rhododendrons for Our Garden and Yours

Let the Massachusetts Horticultural Society introduce you to the beautiful world of rhododendrons and azaleas on Thursday, May 21 from 7 – 8:30 in the Parkman Room of Elm Bank Education Building, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley. Learn how adaptable they are to all garden spaces and floral interests. Don Brophy, president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Rhododendron Society will share his experiences gardening in Elm Bank’s sunny Rhododendron Display Garden, and in smaller, private landscapes. At Elm Bank, there is opportunity to focus on the “other” rhododendrons and to test many plants for sun tolerance. The garden today is a mix of old plants, newer mature plants, and even newer trial plants under evaluation.

Don Brophy currently serves as President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Rhododendron Society. The Massachusetts Chapter has several programs in place, including the Display Garden at Elm Bank, educational lectures, truss shows and sales at Mass Hort’s Gardeners’ Fair, and a fall foliage show. Photo of ‘Surrey Heath’ from

Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $10, Non-Members $15.  Register online at|427|433/rhododendrons-for-our-garden-yours?filter_reset=1.

Monday, June 1, 3:00 pm – Annual Meeting of the Friends of Wellesley Botanic Gardens

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of Wellesley Botanic Gardens will take place Monday, June 1, beginning at 3 pm with a reception, followed by a lecture at 4 entitled The (Under)story of Coffea arabicaBotany Fellow Katie Goodall discusses how farmers support biodiversity and their own livelihoods by taking advantage of coffee’s capacity to be grown in the understory of managed forests.  Explore how consumers can voice solidarity with farmer-led sustainable production efforts.  The lecture is followed by Certificate of Botanical Art and Illustration Awards Ceremony.  Free, but please call 781-283-3094, or email to let them know you will be attending.

Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Walden Warming

On Wednesday, May 27, from 7 – 8 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Richard Primack will talk about his book Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods. By combining Thoreau’s observations from 160 years ago with modern observations, Primack and his colleagues have used Concord as a living laboratory to study the impacts of a warming world.

Richard Primack is a Professor of Biology at Boston University and past President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Biological Conservation and author of two widely used textbooks, Essentials of Conservation Biology and A Primer of Conservation Biology.  28 foreign language editions have been produced with local co-authors adding in examples from their own countries. He is also co-author of the book Tropical Rain Forests: An Ecological and Biogeographical Comparison. For the past 13 years, Prof. Primack and his colleagues have been investigating the effects of a warming climate on the plants and birds of Massachusetts, with an emphasis on continuing the observations made 160 years ago by Henry David Thoreau in Concord. Free with admission.  To register visit

Saturday, June 6 – Sunday, June 7 – Sunset Celebration Weekend

If you are planning a trip to California soon, consider attending the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend at the Sunset headquarters on 80 Willow Road in Menlo Park.  Featured presenters are Martin Yan, television host of Yan Can Cook and chef-owner of M.Y. China, and Chris Cosentino, Executive Chef and co-owner of Cockscomb Restaurant and Boccalone Salumeria.  The 2015 Sunset Travel Awards will be presented, there are wine and beer tastings, but most of all, there will be garden tips and tours of Sunset’s gardens, part of a lab for Western living. The garden was originally designed by Thomas Church, the dean of Western landscape architects. A 2000 renovation by Chris Jacobson and Beverly Sarjeant added a fresh new look but kept much of the original border, with distinct areas representing the major climate zones of the West. For more information visit

Friday, June 19 – Sunday, June 21 – The Newport Flower Show: American Beauty, Timeless Style

New England’s premier flower show celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015 with American Beauty-Timeless Style.  Long before it became home to the Newport Flower Show, Rosecliff was the birthplace of the American Beauty Rose. This iconic flower, which became a symbol of excellence, is the inspiration for our 20th anniversary. Join us to celebrate the classic and timeless style of the American Beauty. Bartlett Tree Experts is the Presenting Underwriter, and Travel + Leisure is the Presenting Media Underwriter. Times are Friday, June 19, 10:30 – 5, Saturday, June 20, 9 – 5, and Sunday, June 21, 9 – 5.

Peter Hatch will be the featured special guest. Peter J. Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 38 years experience in the restoration, care, and interpretation of historic landscapes. A celebrated author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where he served as Director of Gardens and Grounds for 35 years, Hatch has lectured in 36 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants. Presently, he gardens and botanizes from his home on Lickinghole Creek in Crozet, Virginia, travels extensively to promote his latest work, A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello, and consults on the installation and maintenance of both public gardens and private estate landscapes.

All proceeds from the Newport Flower Show benefit the preservation and restoration of the historic landscapes of The Preservation Society of Newport County. You may purchase tickets online at

Monday, May 18, 7:00 pm – Project Puffin

Project Puffin is the inspiring story of how a beloved seabird was restored to long-abandoned nesting colonies off the Maine coast. As a young ornithology instructor at the Hog Island Audubon Camp, Dr. Stephen W. Kress learned that puffins had nested on nearby islands until extirpated by hunters in the late 1800s. To right this environmental wrong, he resolved to bring puffins back to one such island—Eastern Egg Rock. Yet bringing the plan to reality meant convincing skeptics, finding resources, and inventing restoration methods at a time when many believed in “letting nature take its course.”

Today, Project Puffin has restored more than 1,000 puffin pairs to three Maine islands. But even more exciting, techniques developed during the project have helped to restore rare and endangered seabirds worldwide. Further, reestablished puffins now serve as a window into the effects of climate change. The success of Dr. Kress’s project offers hope that people can restore lost wildlife populations and the habitats that support them. The need for such inspiration has never been greater.

Derrick Z. Jackson, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary and an accomplished photographer, is an associate editor and editorial board member of the Boston Globe. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will speak on Project Puffin at Porter Square Books on Monday, May 18 beginning at 7 pm. For more information visit

Wednesday, May 21, 10:00 am – Floral Fantasy with Marie-Francoise Deprez

The Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc. Ruth A. Wallack Fund presents Floral Fantasy with Marie-Francoise Deprez, internationally acclaimed designer, author, international judge and world renowned teacher, on Wednesday, May 21 at 10 am at the Regis College Fine Arts Center in Weston, Massachusetts.  There is limited seating so don’t miss out.  Send a stamped, self addressed envelope with a check ($20 per person) made out to the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts to: Helga Frazzette, Box 853, Eastham, MA 02642.  For more information email Helga at, or you may email Sue Kaplan at, or Diane Bullock at

Sunday, May 3, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – A Walk with Mr. Olmsted Through the Historic Back Bay Fens

See the Back Bay Fens through the eyes of the man who designed and built it.  Join Frederick Law Olmsted, as portrayed by Gerry Wright, along with an Emerald Necklace docent, as they lead a walk through the historic landscape on Sunday, May 3.  Learn how Mr. Olmsted transformed an area described by a 19th century city engineer as “The foulest marsh and muddy flats to be found anywhere in Massachusetts” into the first link in his chain of parks we know today as the Emerald Necklace.  Hear the story of a remarkable life from the man himself. Meet at 1 pm at the Shattuck Visitor Center, 125 The Fenway.  Free and open to the public, presented by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.

Tuesday, May 12, 7:30 pm – Ant Plant Mutualisms

May’s meeting of the Cambridge Entomological Club will be held Tuesday May 12th at 7:30 PM in room 101 of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Oxford Street, Cambridge. John Boyle of Harvard University and President of Cambridge Entomological Club will be presenting the 2015 Presidential Address and telling us about Ant Plant Mutualisms. Please note this is the last meeting until October.

Mutualistic symbioses between ants and plants are a common feature of the tropics. Hundreds of different plants throughout the world have evolved cavities in which ant colonies can live, and even special organs that provide food for the ants. In return, the ants protect their trees against the encroachment of other plants and against herbivores–even herbivores as large as giraffe and elephant!

In John’s talk for the CEC, he will present some of the diversity of ant-plant mutualisms, and also discuss his own research into one particular ant-plant, the whistling-thorn acacia, Vachellia drepanolobium. This ant-plant is unusual in that four different ant species compete for space on the tree, and all four ant species appear to cheat on the tree in different ways: some prune off its flowers, others tend sap-sucking scale insects, and so on. He will discuss his research on the colony-level underpinnings of this wide diversity in ant behavior.The meeting is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided and you are also welcome to join us at 6:00 pm for an informal pre-meeting dinner at Cambridge Common.  Image from

Tuesdays, May 5 – May 26, 12:00 noon – Preservation is U

A special midday tour series will take place every Tuesday, May 5 – May 26 at noon, as part of the City of Boston’s 2015 Preservation Month.  Long celebrated as the Athens of America, Boston is home to more than 2 dozen colleges, universities, and professional schools.  Not surprisingly, these institutions number among their campuses many architecturally significant properties.  Often converted for academic use rather than originally planned for that purpose, these buildings run the aesthetic gamut from Gothic to Art Deco, and include distinguished works by architects both famous and obscure.

But what makes these properties so attractive to institutions?  With vacant city land always at a premium and new construction hardly a bargain, colleges recognize that the superior design, materials and workmanship of historic structures make them ideal candidates for adaptive reuse.  Smart university administrators understand that whether converted to classrooms or offices, residence halls or performance spaces, old buildings have many decades of useful life ahead of them.  And they have learned that they can ask for no more enthusiastic partners in this effort than our historic commissions and the resourceful professionals who staff them.

Concentrated in central Boston, the historic buildings now owned by Boston University, Emerson College, Northeastern University and Suffolk University reflect a common appreciation for the city’s built heritage: both as the vessel of a storied past, and as a vehicle to an exciting future.  We’ll be exploring many of the best examples in a month-long series of lunch hour walks we’re calling Preservation is U. Please join the Boston Landmarks Commission each Tuesday in May for an informal graduate course in this familiar but seldom-considered aspect of Boston’s architectural record.

May 5 – Downtown Boston.  Elizabeth Stifel, Boston Landmarks Commission Staff Architect. Contact today to reserve a place.

May 12 – Beacon Hill.  Erin Doherty, Beacon Hill Architectural Commission Staff, and Joe Bagley, City Archaeologist. Contact before May 8 to reserve a place.

May 19 – South End. Meghan Hanrahan Richard, South End Landmark District Commission Staff.  Contact before May 15 to reserve a place.

May 26 – Bay State Road. William Young, Director of Design Review. Contact before May 22 to reserve a space.

Wednesday, May 13, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Why Green Roofs?

Green roofs have a wide array of benefits ranging from environmental to social to economic. Learn from Mark Winterer of Recover Green Roofs how to make buildings last longer and reduce long-term costs through green roofs. This Tower Hill Botanic Garden lecture will take place Wednesday, May 13 from 7 – 8, and is free with admission to the garden.

Recover Green Roofs, LLC is a Design/Build/Maintenance firm specializing in vegetated roofs, rooftop farms, and living walls. Recover designed and installed a practical and efficient rooftop farm for the Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield, which supplies the market with thousands of pounds of hyper-local produce each year. Mark is an accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP), a licensed General Contractor, and Recover’s co-owner and Director of Operations.

Sunday, May 17, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Growing the Northeast Garden: Talk, Walk, & Book Signing

Andrew Keys, author of Growing the Northeast Garden, discusses underused and overlooked plants for gardens specifically for our region. The event will take place Sunday, May 17 from 1 – 3 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. He’ll include plants from his book that are widely available but tend to be overlooked by gardeners, as well as “b-sides”–botanical outtakes from the book, rarer in nurseries, but sure to interest the horticulturally curious. An illustrated lecture will be followed by a walk to view many of these plants in Tower Hill’s gardens. $20 for THBG members, $30 for non-members. Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Saturday, May 16, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Landscapes of the Streetcar Suburb

This Boston Building Resources workshop on Saturday, May 16, from 10 – 12, will explore a historical overview of designs that were typical of yards and gardens in Boston’s residential neighborhoods in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will look at the types of paving, fencing, and plantings used from the 1870s through the 1930s, giving you an understanding of period elements for traditional landscapes.

Carissa Demore is a preservation services manager at Historic New England, managing the organization’s Stewardship Easement Program. She is a graduate of Colorado State University and holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Maryland. The lecture will take place at 100 Terrace Street in Boston. For more information call 617-442-2262. $40 fee. Register online at Image of Dorchester from

Saturday, May 2, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Beyond the Honey Bee: Conserving Our Native Pollinators

The Hubbardston-Ware River Nature Club and the East Quabbin Land Trust will sponsor a day long seminar Beyond the Honey Bee: Conserving Our Native Pollinators, on Saturday, May 2 from 8 – 4:30 at the Harvard Forest in Petersham. The purpose of this event is to increase awareness and provide information and resources to people who want to manage their properties to benefit native pollinators. It is designed for small landowners, public lands managers, small farmers, backyard gardeners, and others who want to manage open space with native pollinator needs in mind. Speakers include Dr. Rob Gegear of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, naturalists Gail Howe Trenholm and Charley Eiseman, Dr. Anne Averill of UMass-Amherst, Tom Sullivan (pictured below – thank you of, and author and garden coach Ellen Sousa. Schedule and registration information visit:

Friday, June 5, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saturday, June 6, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Sunday, June 5, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – 7 – New England Botanical Club 120th Anniversary Research Conference

Come celebrate New England Botanical Club’s 120th anniversary at this historic free research conference, to be held at Smith College in Northampton Friday – Sunday, June 5 – 7.

Botanical societies and practicing scientists enliven and advance plant science. Academic biologists and citizen-scientists generate important new discoveries about the flora. They also inspire a new generation of students who continue to expand scientific knowledge and work to conserve plants and ecosystems.

Meetings, field trips, and conferences are vital ways to infuse all botanists with new energy and visions for the future. Botanists of northeastern North America will showcase their activities and research.  Botanical societies will brainstorm on opportunities for future research and collaboration.

The weekend kicks off Friday with a reception at the Smith College Greenhouses from 5 – 7.  Registration begins Saturday at 8, followed by a morning session with talks by botanical researchers and exhibit tables on display by botanical societies.  The keynote speaker will follow the buffet lunch.  Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Botany Dr. Pamela Diggle (pictured) will address the conference.  She is also Past President of the Botanical Society of America.  An afternoon session follows the speech.  Sunday at 9, at the MacLeish Field Station, there will be a brainstorm meeting: ensuring the future of botanical societies.  Then at 11:30, take a botanical foray of the 240 acre field station (bag lunch provided.) The weekend is co-sponsored by Smith College Department of Biological Sciences.  Register at

Saturday, May 9, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Plantiful Propagation

Learn how to stretch your garden budget by taking advantage of nature’s generosity. Kristin Green, Blithewold horticulturist and author of Plantiful: Start Small, Grow Big with 150 Plants that Spread, Self-Sow, and Overwinter, will present a gardener’s guide to opportunism followed by a demonstration on how to root tip cuttings using a Forsythe pot—a propagation tool that is simpler than an expensive greenhouse mist system, more reliable than glasses of water on the windowsill, and can be easily made from stuff stashed in the potting shed. The event will take place Saturday, May 9, from 1 – 2 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston.

Kristin Green is an interpretive horticulturist at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, a 33 acre non-profit public garden on the Narragansett Bay shore in Bristol, RI. Working as a part of a small staff and with a group of 25-30 volunteers, she helps plan, design, propagate, plant and maintain their five main garden areas, and has been author and photographer of Blithewold’s garden blog since 2007. Kristin is also head-gardener and curator of plants for her own tiny estate in Bristol. She writes a regular column called Down to Earth for area newspapers, her own blog at, and has contributed articles and photographs to Fine Gardening and other magazines. Kristin will be available to sign her book, carried in Tower Hill’s gift shop, after the presentation.

Tower Hill members – $20, non-members – $35. Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Wednesday, May 13, 6:00 pm – The Taste of Germany – Exploring a Nation Through its Food History

Defying popular perception of the meat and potatoes diet, Ursula Heinzelmann’s book Beyond Bratwurst delves into the history of German cuisine and reveals the country’s long history of culinary innovation. Heinzelmann’s May 13 talk, part of the Pepin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastromony, will discuss German food history, particularly the late and rapid industrialization as it is defined through cheese production. There will be German Alpine cheeses and German wine to sample as part of the discussion. Fee of $30 includes book. The class takes place at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 117, and you may register online at

Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Land Stewardship for Pollinator Conservation

Pollinators are essential to our ecosystem — more than 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants and two-thirds of our agricultural crops depend upon them for reproduction. In many places, however, their essential service is at risk. Loss of habitat due to urbanization and use of pesticides are causing declines in both managed honey bee colonies and native pollinator populations.

Come to the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway on Wednesday, May 6 at 7 pm and learn about the fascinating and diverse world of New England’s native pollinators — bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, and wasps — and about the latest science-based approaches to reversing pollinator declines by protecting and managing habitat for these vital insects.

Kelly Gill, the speaker, is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Xerces Society and a Partner Biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Xerces Society has worked for over 40 years on pollinator conservation and is well known for its best-selling book Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. The lecture is free. For more information visit

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