Category Archives: lecture

Saturday, July 11 & Sunday, July 12, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm – Butterfly and Caterpillar Weekend

On Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, meet an amazing array of native New England caterpillars in various stages of development, and learn more about caterpillars and butterflies through live presentations and interpretations throughout the Museum of Science.

On Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 3 there will be a Caterpillar Lab. This one-of-a-kind experience is a celebration of the impressive diversity of New England caterpillars. Each individual display includes a variety of caterpillars, in various stages of development and on their local host plants. With no glass between you and the displays, you can experience caterpillars up close — eating, pooping, camouflaging, or defending themselves with clever adaptations such as warning coloration, inflatable horns, strange smells, and squeaking mandibles.

From 1 – 3 on both days you may Create Your Own Butterfly Habitat. With your paid admission to the Butterfly Garden, learn how to create and plant your own butterfly habitat. We’ll discuss the importance of using native plantings and how to get your garden started. Get your hands dirty planting native seeds and take them home to help start attracting butterflies!

On Saturday at 11:30 hear Dr. Gerard Talavera from Harvard University describe the amazing migration of the Painted Lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui. Learn more about the challenging task of studying this beautiful insect, which is found on five continents. Also on Saturday, at 12:30, Dr. Naomi Pierce, curator of Lepidoptera at Harvard University, will introduce you to the insect-eating predators and their nourishing ant prey. Dave Champlin from the University of Maine unravels the amazing transformation of how the butterfly gets its wings on Sunday at 11:30, and finally, on Sunday at 12:30, Norah Warchola from Tufts University discusses the fascinating relationship between an endangered species of caterpillar and the ants that protect it from predators in exchange for a sugary bribe.

Also on Saturday and Sunday there will be presentations on Gardening for Butterflies at 1:30 in the Shapiro Family Science Live! Stage, Green Wing, Lower Level. As a bonus, The Secret Lives of Fireflies will be featured both days at 3:30 pm. Watching fireflies is a special part of warm summer nights in New England. We watch and we enjoy, but do we really know what they are saying? This program sheds a little light on the secret lives of fireflies. You’ll also learn how you can participate in a scientific research effort to find out if these magical insects are disappearing from our landscape, and if so, why and what can be done about it. Solitary Bees: The Other Bees will be discussed at 5:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Honey bees are in decline. Since they are responsible for pollinating one third of our food crops, their disappearance threatens our food supply. While scientists try to find out why and how to reverse this trend, our crops still need to be pollinated. Find out how you can help by becoming a “solitary beekeeper.”

While you are at the Museum, don’t miss Flight of the Butterflies at the Mugar Omni Theater each day at 1 pm. Weighing less than a penny, the monarch butterfly makes one of the longest migrations on Earth. Follow this perilous journey and join hundreds of millions of real butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico, with breathtaking cinematography from an award-winning team. Be captivated by the true, compelling story of an intrepid scientist’s 40-year search to find the monarchs’ secret hideaway. Purchase of separate timed ticket required for Omni film. You may buy these tickets on line at

Thursday, July 16, 7:30 pm – Hydrangeas Demystified

On Thursday, July 16 at 7:30 pm join Tim Wood, the Proven Winners Plant Hunter from Spring Meadows Nursery, as he takes you around the world to look at eight beautiful and diverse species of hydrangea. Find out which are best for your garden, how to grow them and meet the breeders that developed the best new selections. Tim will take the mystery out of growing hydrangeas; you’ll learn how to get the best blooms, how to prune and how to change the flower color. The program will be held at the Polly Hill Arboretum, 809 State Road in West Tisbury. $10/$5 for PHA members. For more information visit or call 508-693-9426.

Thursday, September 17 – Monday, September 21 – American Dahlia Society Centennial Show

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding in 1915, the American Dahlia Society will hold a special Centennial Show September 17 – 21 in Hempstead, New York.  Hosted by the Mid Island Dahlia Society, this event includes tours of the dahlia garden at Planting Fields Arboretum as well as tours of private gardens, dahlia competitions, and educational symposium.  Three speakers sponsored by the American Horticultural Society will present: Hanu Pappu, head of the Dahlia Research Project at Washington State University, Allan M. Armitage, and Keith Hammett, ornamental plant breeder from New Zealand.  Register at by August 1.

Saturday, July 11, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, July 12, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – 56th Annual Lily Show

On July 11 and 12, the Lily Show, presented by the New England Lily Society, returns to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, for its 56th annual exhibit. The show – which will include hundreds of flowers and varieties such as Asiatic, Canadense, Longiflorum, Trumpet Lily, hybrid American species, and the giant Orientpets – will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Attendees can stop by several educational workshops, including Growing Lilies, Pests and Progress on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Growing Lilies Without Chemicals on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.  Free with admission to Tower Hill.  For more information visit

Tuesday, September 22 – Friday, September 25 – 2015 International Master Gardener Conference

Join International Master Gardeners for the 2015 conference, Horticultural Horizons in the Heartland, on Tuesday, September 22 through Friday, September 25, at the Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Hear three keynote speakers, J. Schwanke on A Life Arranged Around Flowers, Mark Hirsch on That Tree, and Gary Oppenheimer on Ending the Waste of Food – From the Ground Up.  Travel through Nebraska and Iowa on ten terrific tours, including Missouri to the Foothills of the Rockies, Along the Oregon Trail, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Missouri to Mississippi – A ‘Cruise’ from River to River.  Learn with Extension Master Gardeners from the United States, Canada, and South Korea in 81 available workshops.  For complete information visit Please note the conference coincides with Yom Kippur.

Wednesday, July 29 – Sunday, August 2 – Begonia Revolution New England 2015

The American Begonia Society’s 2015 Annual Convention will take place at The Verve Crowne Plaza Boston-Natick, 1360 Worcester Road in Natick, Wednesday, July 29 – Sunday, August 12.  A variety of tours will be available to participants. On Wednesday, see the Harvard Glass Flowers and Marine Life Collection at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate in Waltham. Thursday, travel to Logee’s Greenhouses in Danielson, Connecticut and the Roger Williams Botanical Center in Providence.  Friday features a tour of Tower Hill Botanic Garden.  In addition to travels, hear Mike Flaherty speak on Begonias of the Rich & Famous, Drew Norris on Growing Begonias Like African Violets, Randy Montes Kerr on Species Begonias for Every Home, Pablo Jourdan on Germplasm Research Update, Mark Tebbitt on Begonias of Andean South America, and Lloyd Traven on How to Bring Begonias to Market. Of course there will be a Judged Plant Show, a Boutique, and Plant Sales in addition to Luncheons and a Seafood Bake.  Complete information on registration and programs is available at 

If you wish to stay at the hotel, there are special room rates ($115 per night, plus taxes) if you book by June 29.

Thursday, June 25, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Historic Landscape Stewardship

This Massachusetts Horticultural Society introductory talk on Thursday, June 25, from 7 – 8:30 in the Parkman Room at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley, provides an overview of cultural landscapes: what they are, why they’re important, fundamental concepts and the process of cultural landscape preservation, with an emphasis on examples from the Northeastern United States.

Chris Beagan is a historical landscape architect with the National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, in Boston. He works to strengthen research, planning and stewardship of cultural landscapes through technical assistance and the development of cultural landscape inventories and reports. His recent publications include cultural landscape reports for Hampton National Historic Site, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum (below), and Upper Fort Mason. His professional interests include sustainability in cultural landscape management and interpreting cultural landscapes through digital media.

Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $10, Non-Members $15. Pay at the door or register online at|427|433/historic-landscape-stewardship?filter_reset=1

Friday, June 26, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm – 11th Annual Garden Symposium: Artful Gardens, Creative Design

Designing and cultivating a garden creates opportunity for artistry, style, and creativity. On June 26 from 9:30 – 3:30, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens welcomes three innovative landscape designers and garden writers who embrace and emphasize art and creativity in design. Join us for an inspiring day that will help you learn to unleash your own artistry and style to create beautiful garden spaces. Lectures topics and speakers will be Express Yourself: Cultivating Garden Style with Rochelle Greayer; The Art of Growing Food: Elevating Ordinary to Extraordinary with Ellen Ogden; and Creating the Places of Beauty and Meaning with Julie Moir Messervy.

$85 for CMBG members, $100 for nonmembers, which includes continental breakfast, box lunch, and Gardens admission. Register online at or call 207-633-4333.

Saturday, June 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Reclaiming the Land: Successful Invasives Management

In Sudbury, Massachusetts, the incessant march of invasive plant species is meeting resistance by SWEET, Inc (the Sudbury Weed Education and Eradication Team).

Established in August 2009, SWEET’s mission is to make people aware of the harm that invasive plant species do to our historic and environmentally sensitive natural areas and parks. With the help of community volunteers and students, the group teaches identification and responsible removal of invasive plants from designated Sudbury sites including the large wooded property at Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School (LSRHS.)

Join SWEET founder, Rebecca Chizzo for a walking tour at LSRHS on Saturday, June 27, from 10 – noon, to learn how to identify common invasive plants and how you can control or reduce their proliferation on your own property – without using chemicals. On this tour, participants will learn to identify invasive species using simple characteristics and habits and learn about what works in alternative approaches for control. At LSRHS, SWEET has encountered many invasive plant species including Japanese honeysuckle, black swallowwort, Oriental bittersweet, multiflora rose, glossy buckthorn (pictured,) Cypress spurge, and many more… Come with your questions about invasives and Rebecca will share her knowledge as we walk through the LSRHS landscape. $15 for Ecological Landscape Alliance members, $25 for nonmembers. Register at

Thursday, July 9 – Saturday, July 11 – 2015 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

The 2015 National Children & Youth Garden Symposium will take place this year in Austin, Texas from July 9 – 11.  Lisa Whittlesey and Alexandra Evans will lead off with an explication of the International Junior Master Gardener Program’s Learn, Grow, Eat, & Go curriculum and research program.  Whitney Cohen, director of the nonprofit LifeLabs, dedicated to garden based learning, will discuss ways that school garden programs are changing the nature of education.  Finally, entomologist Nate Erwin will share insights from his 20-year career as manager of the O. Orkin Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, which provides families with the opportunity to interact with arthropods.

Designed for educators, program coordinators, garden designers, youth group leaders, and others interested in connecting kids and plants, the NCYGS schedule also will include tours, educational sessions, and networking opportunities.  For more information visit, or call 703-768-5700, x 121.

Tuesday, June 23, 7:00 pm – Simply Ancient Grains

“Maria Speck brings a wealth of surprise to grains with her vivid sense of color, and her attention to texture and, of course, to taste. All of these elements come into view in an utterly fresh way. What an innovative book!” – Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Maria Speck makes cooking with ancient grains faster, more intuitive, and easier than ever before in this collection of recipes, most of which are gluten-free.

From black rice to red quinoa to golden Kamut berries, ancient grains are showing up on restaurant menus and store shelves in abundance. Yet in home kitchens, many fear that whole grains are too difficult and time-consuming to prepare. In Simply Ancient Grains, Maria makes cooking with these fascinating and nourishing staples easy and accessible with sumptuous recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Her family-friendly dishes are Mediterranean-inspired and delicious, such as Spicy Honey and Habanero Shrimp with Cherry Couscous; Farro Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Pine Nuts; and Red Rice Shakshuka with Feta Cheese. Maria’s tips and simplified approach take whole grain cooking to the next level by amplifying the flavor and enduring beauty of these nutritious grains.

Maria Speck is a food journalist and the author of the award-winning cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. She is currently an instructor in the professional program of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, Gastronomica, the Vegetarian Times, and Cooking Pleasures. She will speak at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, on Tuesday, June 23 beginning at 7 pm. Totally optional reservations for this book signing and talk may be executed at

Thursday, June 25, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Beaver: Building Habitat, Improving Eco-Systems

Beaver are unique among mammals in that they alter their habitat to meet their needs by damming streams to form ponds. This behavior actually benefits other species (including people), as well. By building dams and flooding woodland swamps, beaver play an important part in the restoration of lost wetlands, providing habitat and food for a wide variety of plants and animals. Over 50 percent of our wetlands have disappeared since European settlement in North America. Beaver build their dams in order to create deep ponds that won’t freeze at the bottom in winter. Because of the flooding beaver create, trees often die off, providing nesting sites for great blue herons, wood ducks, tree swallows, and other birds. These new ponds become homes to amphibians, turtles, fish, otters, muskrats, and other animals.

Beaver-created wetlands also enhance human habitat by storing and slowly releasing floodwater, which controls downstream flooding. They improve water quality by removing or transforming excess nutrients, trapping silt, binding and removing toxic chemicals, and removing sediment. And finally, flooded areas can also recharge and maintain groundwater levels, and provide flow to streams even during droughts.

Join conservationist Cindy Dunn at Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary in Princeton, Massachusetts, on Thursday, June 25, from 10 – noon, for this unique walking tour of the 85 acre beaver pond to learn about the important ecological role that beaver play. Wachusett Meadow is one of the spectacular wildlife sanctuaries within Mass Audubon. This property consists of 1,200 acres accessed by 12 miles of trails. The sanctuary protects a diverse landscape of shrubland fields and meadows, forests, Wachusett Meadow’s Wildlife Pond, and beaver wetlands. Rain or shine event. $22 for ELA members, $32 for non-members. Register at

Sunday, June 21, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Collections Up Close: Lindens in the Landscape

The Tilia (linden) collection is the largest genus of summer-flowering trees in the Arnold Arboretum—nearly 150 trees are in the collection, most along Meadow Road. In late June and early July they are at the height of their bloom, providing an exceptional opportunity for study, comparison, and enjoyment. Linden flowers attract pollinating bees and appreciative visitors with their wonderful, enticing fragrance. Join The Arnold Arboretum on Meadow Road for a horticultural tour of the Tilia collection with Kyle Port, Manager of Plant Records at the Arboretum, and a tour focusing on honey bees with Heather Mattila, Assistant Professor at Wellesley College, whose research focuses on the mechanisms of honey bee behavior, the chemical ecology of colonies, and the microbiology of queens and workers. There will also be fun family activities focusing on the lindens. The event takes place from 1 – 3 on Sunday, June 21. Collections Up Close events offer great ways to explore plants at the Arboretum. Free – no registration required.  Image from

Tuesday, June 23, 6:00 pm – The Culinary Lives of John & Abigail Adams

Throughout their fifty-four-year marriage, John and Abigail Adams enjoyed diverse cuisine in both Massachusetts and Europe. Raised with traditional New England palates, they feasted on cod, mince pie, and plum pudding. These recipes, as well as dishes from published cookbooks settlers brought from the Old World such as roast duck and Strawberry Fool, are included in Rosanna Wan’s new book The Culinary Lives of John & Abigail Adams: A Cookbook. Together or separate, at home or abroad, this extraordinary couple humbly experienced an international style of cookery that inspired modern American culinary culture. Born in Hong Kong and raised in the United States, Rosana Wan is a park ranger at the Adams National Historical Park, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, and the first recipient of the John C. Cavanagh Prize in History at Suffolk University. She will give a talk on Tuesday, June 23 at 6 pm in the Commonwealth Salon of the Boston Public Library at 700 Boylston Street.

Friday, August 14, 3:00 pm – Sunday, August 16, 11:00 am – The Omni Homestead “In The Garden” Weekend

Once again the grand Omni Homestead Hotel in Hot Springs, Virginia, will partner with the American Horticultural Society for this wonderful weekend event August 14 – 16.  The AHS educates and inspires people of all ages to become successful and environmentally responsible gardeners by advancing the art and science of horticulture.  By attending, you will receive a complimentary membership to the AHS.  Participating speakers this year are Marty Stickley-Godinez, Sam Harris, Andre Viette, and Jim Wood.  A complete itinerary may be accessed at 

The package costs $537 per person for two nights, and includes deluxe accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, a Friday welcome reception, Saturday luncheon, and membership in the AHS.  Contact 800-838-1788 option 2 to book.

Wednesday, June 10, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Chasing the Red Queen: The Evolutionary Race Between Pests and Poisons

Try as we might, our every attempt to control insects and weeds is met with an evolutionary response: they adapt and become resistant to the poisons. We fight back with new, improved chemicals—they respond by adapting again, and on it goes, over and over, as it has for the past sixty years. But Andy Dyer, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology, University of South Carolina, believes that if we use the principles of evolutionary biology, we stand a good chance of taking control of our food supply and weaning our agricultural system from chemical dependence. Join us for a biological perspective on securing foods of our future. Dr. Dyer will speak at the Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Building, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, on Wednesday, June 10 from 7 – 8:30. Fee $10 general; students are free. Register online at

Thursday, June 4, 5:30 pm – Urban Herb & Garden Fest

Those of you not attending the Garden Club of the Back Bay’s Twilight Garden Party on Thursday (and why not, we ask?) should head over to Goddard House, 165 Chestnut Street in Brookline, on Thursday, June 4 at 5:30 pm for the Urban Herb & Garden Fest sponsored by Goddard House & Green City Growers.  Join them for light fare (fresh herb flatbreads, wine and beer), create your own potted herb garden to take home, watch and hear a slide show and talk on the current state of urban agriculture in greater Boston by GCG founder and CEO and past Garden Club of the Back Bay speaker Jessie Banhazl, and learn how you can get involved in creative growing systems and new technologies.  Free, but please RSVP to Brandon Fisher at 617-731-8500, x 130, or email

Saturday, May 30, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – Reading the Forested Landscape with Tom Wessels

This Massachusetts Horticultural Society program on Saturday, May 30, from 9 – 1 at Elm Bank in Wellesley, is based on Tom Wessel’s book, Reading the Forested Landscape, A Natural History of New England. It introduces people to approaches used
to interpret a forest’s history while wandering through it. Using evidence such as the shapes of trees, scars on their trunks, the pattern of decay in stumps, the construction of stone walls, and the lay of the land, it is possible to unravel complex stories etched into our forested landscape. This process could easily be called forest forensics, since it is quite similar to interpreting a crime scene.

Tom is an ecologist and founding director of the master’s degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England. Presently, he is Faculty Emeritus. Tom has conducted landscape ecology and sustainability workshops throughout the United States for over 30 years. His books include: Reading the Forested Landscape, The Granite Landscape, Untamed Vermont, The Myth of Progress, and Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape.

MUST PRE-REGISTER.  Please attend dressed to walk on uneven surfaces and in weather-appropriate attire. Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $35, Non-Members $40. Register online at|427|433/reading-the-forested-landscape-with-tom-wessels?filter_reset=1.

Thursday, May 28, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Urban Gardening

Living in an apartment? Have no yard? Downsizing? Attend this Massachusetts Horticultural Society lecture on Thursday, May 28 from 7 – 8:30 in the Parkman Room of Elm Bank Education Building, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley, to gain tips and tricks on how to grow your own garden in small spaces even if you have no soil to call your own.

Gretel Anspach is a Trustee of Mass Hort, a Lifetime Master Gardener, Education Coordinator and past president of the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association and a retired systems engineer for Raytheon. Gretel is also a member of the Garden to Table committee at Mass Hort and helped to establish and maintain a food production garden at Raytheon that has provided fresh produce to the Marlboro Food Pantry for five years.  Image from

Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $10, Non-Members $15. Register online at|427|433/urban-gardening?filter_reset=1.

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.

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