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Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – How Native Plant Cultivars Affect Pollinators

On Wednesday, April 5 at 7 pm at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway in Cambridge, Grow Native Massachusetts presents a free talk by Annie White, a Landscape Designer and University of Vermont Adjunct Professor.

Initiatives to address pollinator decline are widespread and native plants are the preferred choice for pollinator habitat restoration. The growing demand for natives, coupled with a longstanding desire of horticulturalists for enhanced bloom, color, or other characteristics, has led to the increased selection and breeding of native cultivars. Although these cultivars are typically marketed for their ecological benefits, until now there have been no scientific studies to support or refute these claims. So are native cultivars as valuable in pollinator habitat gardens as the true native species?

Annie White will help answer this question by sharing the results of four years of field data. Her research is groundbreaking and remarkable. She is the founder of Nectar Landscape Design Studio and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Vermont. She earned her MS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her recent PhD in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont was focused on this exceptional new research on native plant cultivars. For more information visit

Garden How-To Free On Line Smart Gardening Workshops

Horticulture Magazine has a series of free download’s on its website which give you access to great garden speakers from the comfort of your own home. No new live workshops are currently scheduled as of this date, but you may access recordings of past workshops at

Here are highlights of two presentations of interest. We will feature more in the coming weeks:

Growing, Gardening & Designing with Wildflowers
In this wildflower workshop for gardeners and modern farmers, Miriam Goldberger, founder and co-owner of Wildflower Farm, covers how to grow wildflowers from seed, including easy winter sowing techniques and wildflower seedling identification, plus how to choose the best wildflowers to grow in your garden. The author of Taming Wildflowers, Miriam will talk about why monarch butterflies and other endangered pollinators need milkweed and other wildflowers in order to survive. You’ll also learn how to harvest wildflowers and design your own wildflower wedding bouquets, boutonnieres and table arrangements.

Ideas for Creating Serene Gardens—Simplicity, Sanctuary & Delight
We all know that being in nature enhances our well-being, but how do we create an outdoor haven that allows us to enjoy those healthful benefits of nature in our back yards? Landscape designer Jan Johnsen, author of Heaven is a Garden—Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection, will share intriguing techniques and ideas she has learned in her 40-year career to help you make an “unhurried garden” of your own. Jan writes the popular Serenity in the Garden blog and Facebook page.

Garden How-To Free Online Smart Gardening Workshops

Horticulture Magazine has a series of free download’s on its website which give you access to great garden speakers from the comfort of your own home. No new live workshops are currently scheduled as of this date, but you may access recordings of past workshops at

Here are highlights of two presentations of interest. We will feature more in the coming weeks:

Good Berry, Bad Berry: Identifying Wild Edible Plants in Your Area
Foraging is hot right now, but did you know there are berries in your own back yard that you can eat? Have you walked your local greenway and wondered if the berries you spied were edible? Good Berry, Bad Berry is a homeowners guide to who’s edible, who’s toxic, and how to tell the difference. There are a few recipes with good berries that you probably never knew were edible. Beautyberry jelly anyone? This presentation by Helen Yoest takes the audience through examples of identifying wild edible plants…in your own area.

The Downsized Veggie Garden: How to Garden Small Wherever You Live, Whatever Your Space
The downsized garden is about adjusting your growing to small quarters. The audience will see what other creative gardeners have done to find room to grow herbs, tomatoes and other produce in a very small space. Decks, patios and windowsills are all included. New containers make growing on a deck a piece of cake—examples include using containers made to sit on the railing and stacking containers vertically to save space. Presenter Kate Copsey is the author of The Downsized Veggie Garden (February 2016, St. Lynn’s Press).

Wednesday, April 12, 10:00 am – The Evolutionary History of Plants

Dr. William E. (Ned) Friedman, Director of The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, will address the April 12 joint meeting of The Garden Club of the Back Bay and The Beacon Hill Garden Club. Along with the origins of vascular plants and seed plants, the origin of flowering plants represents one of the three most significant evolutionary radiations of land plants during the last 475 million years. With over 250,000 extant species, angiosperms are the largest and most diverse group of plants ever to have evolved. Paradoxically, we know less about the early evolutionary history of angiosperms than we do about many considerably older groups of land plants. Indeed, Darwin’s “abominable mystery” continues to challenge evolutionary biologists.

Dr. Friedman’s research program focuses on the organismic interfaces between developmental, phylogenetic and evolutionary biology. Remarkable recent advances in the study of the phylogenetic relationships of organisms have provided the raw materials for critical studies of character evolution in plants, animals, fungi, and all other forms of life. Armed with hypotheses of relationships among organisms, he seeks to explore how patterns of morphology, anatomy and cell biology have evolved through the modification of developmental processes.

Due to space limitations, we regret this meeting will be open only to members of The Garden Club of the Back Bay and the Beacon Hill Garden Club. The lecture will begin at 10 am at The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. Members of both clubs will receive written notice of the event, but may rsvp at any time prior to April 7 at  Photo by Justin Ide, Harvard Staff Photographer, Harvard Gazette.

Garden How-To University Free Online Workshops

Horticulture Magazine has a series of free download’s on its website which give you access to great garden speakers from the comfort of your own home.  No new live workshops are currently scheduled as of this date, but you may access recordings of past workshops at

Here are highlights of two presentations of interest.  We will feature more in the coming weeks:

Gorgeous, Superhero Flowering Shrubs and Groundcovers for Right-Size Flower Gardens
This high-energy presentation by gardening guru Kerry Ann Mendez features eye-catching, low-maintenance flowering shrubs and groundcovers that provide interest for three or more seasons. Emphasis will be on varieties that are drought tolerant and pollinator friendly. These are some of Kerry’s favorite plants showcased in her latest book, The Right-Size Flower Garden.

Spring Ahead with Cool-Season Flowers
Flower farmer Lisa Ziegler shares her experiences growing hardy annual flowers such as snapdragons, sweet peas, bells of Ireland and other spring beauties that are favorites of gardeners as well as pollinators and other helpful insects in search of habitat and food at winter’s end. She will introduce the cool-season concept, when to plant, where to locate for the earliest blooming, setting the garden up for low maintenance and how to keep the blooms coming into summer. Lisa’s book Cool Flowers (St. Lynn’s Press, September 2014) was based on this program.

Monday, March 27, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Woodwork and the Arts of Japan

Material culture in Japan is distinguished by its heavy reliance on wood in art-making. For over a millennium, the rich biomass heritage of the country has provided a foundation for the work of master carpenters and the emergence of a wide array of remarkable techniques for the wood-related arts. Yukio Lippit, PhD, History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University and Johnson-Kulukundis Family Director of the Arts, Radcliffe Institute will examine how wood selection and the materiality of wood conditioned the development of these arts in a Japanese context. His Monday, March 27 lecture, beginning at 7 pm in the Hunnewell Building of the Arnold Arboretum, focuses on timber-frame architecture and how Japan’s culture of building provides a lens into the man-nature relationship; Japanese sculpture and the meanings inherent in the different types of woods employed for the creation of religious statues; and Japanese woodblock printing and the relationship of wood carving to the artistry of Japanese prints. Fee Free for Arboretum members and students, $5 nonmember. Register at or call 617-384-5277.

Saturday, March 25, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon – Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style

Joseph Tychonievich spent a year traveling all over the US and UK visiting gardens for his new book  Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style. In this Tower Hill Botanic Garden talk on Saturday, March 25 at 11 am, he shares images and ideas from some of his favorite, most unusual, and most exciting gardens to inspire the audience to take their gardens in new directions. A book signing will follow. THBG members $15, nonmembers $25. Register online at

Thursday, March 30, 7:00 pm – Sheds

Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, will host author Howard Mansfield on Thursday, March 30 at 7 pm, who will speak on his book Sheds and sign copies as well. A shed is the shortest line between need and shelter. Drawing on material from his recent book Dwelling in Possibility, Mansfield explores the different types of sheds found around New England and beyond: covered bridges, barns, work sheds, worship sheds (meeting houses), extended farmhouses, bob houses for ice fishing. In lyrical style and supported by photographs by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey, Mansfield shows the connection between the design of these structures and their roles in our lives. Sheds are like our lives not the grandest building or the most graceful. Sheds are ordinary and in that they are exalted.

Anyone who has ever traveled the back roads of America will enjoy this beautifully photographed exploration of simple, useful structures.

Howard Mansfield writes about history, architecture, and preservation. Author of The Same Ax, Twice, The Bones of the Earth, In the Memory House, Turn and Jump, and Dwelling in Possibility, he lives in New Hampshire with his wife, the writer Sy Montgomery.

Friday, March 31, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Mexico City at a Crossroads: Designing an Urban Future in the Era of Climate Change

Join the Harvard Graduate School of Design on Friday, March 31 from 6:30 – 8:30 in Gund Hall’s Piper Auditorium, Quincy Street in Cambridge, for the Keynote Lecture for Mexico City at a Crossroads: Designing an Urban Future in the Era of Climate Change.

Mexico City’s Mayor Miguel Mancera will discuss current challenges for the nation’s capital city, which was recently named the World Design Capital for 2018 by ICSID. The mayor will share lessons learned so far and engage in a dialogue about the built environmental future of CDMX (Ciudad de México) going forward. Mexico City has emerged out of a complex history to take a role as a leading global metropolis but is now in flux. Renowned for its architecture and design aesthetics, the city also faces major infrastructural scarcities in transportation, water supply, and affordable housing. Its enormous scale poses environmental, energy, and public health problems associated with pollution, carbon emissions, and urban sprawl. Recent efforts to write a new city constitution have amplified conflicts over how to build, govern, and finance its future. This keynote lecture—which launches a day-long conference on Harvard’s campus sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies that will include participation by governing officials and activists as well as leading researchers on CDMX—will highlight Mexico City’s tripartite identity as global leader, national powerhouse, and sovereign urban authority confronting the multi-scalar territorial and environmental challenges of the twenty-first century.

Co-sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Interdisciplinary Urbanism Initiative, Department of Urban Planning and Design.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or  Free and open to the public.  Image from

Tuesday, March 21, 6:30 pm – The Artistic Lighting of Louis C. Tiffany

Lindsy R. Parrott, Director/Curator of the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York will speak on Tuesday, March 21 at The Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Avenue, as part of the Ayer Mansion 2017 Lecture Series.  Wine and cheese will be served at 6:30 followed by the lecture at 7 pm.  $35.  You may register online at, or call 617-536-2586.