Category Archives: lecture

Wednesday, July 30, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – John Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity

The Massachusetts Historical Society will hold a free Brown Bag lunch lecture on Wednesday, July 30 entitled John Barleycorn vs. Sir Richard Rum: Alcohol, the Atlantic, and the Distilling of Colonial Identity, 1650 – 1800.  The speaker is Kristen Burton of University of Texas at Arlington.  Kristen’s project examines the shifting perceptions of spirituous liquors in the Atlantic World throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Focusing on the rise of commercial distilling, particularly in regard to rum, gin, and whiskey, her research explores the evolution of liquors from their use a wholesome source of medicine to a pernicious, societal threat. The talk will take place at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston.  For more information visit Image from

Saturday, August 9, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Opening Up the Clark Landscape: Renewing and Sustaining

July 4 marked the reopening of the newly renovated Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. On Saturday, August 9 from 3 – 4 in the auditorium at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Gary Hilderbrand, principal, Reed Hilderbrand Associates, discusses his role in leading the Clark’s new landscape design. Reed Hilderbrand, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, created a sweeping redesign of the Clark’s 140-acre grounds, including creation of a three-tiered reflecting pool; upgrades to and expansion of walking trails; green roof systems; planting of 350 new trees (some 1000 trees planted overall); and creation of a new entry drive and landscaped parking area with water-permeable surfaces that feed into a rainwater and snowmelt collection system. – See more at:

Friday, August 8 – Sunday, August 10, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm – Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference takes place August 8-10, 2014 at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA.

Friday, August 8: Pre-conferences on Changing Dirt into Soil; Tools for Resilient Urban Ecosystems; Healing Autoimmunity with Naturopathic Medicine; and Stocking the Home Apothecary with Locally Abundant Herbs.

Saturday & Sunday, August 9-10: 150+ adult workshops on organic farming, gardening, land care, draft animals, homesteading, sustainability, nutrition, food politics, activism, and more.

We also offer educational and fun workshops designed for kids and teens where children bond with others throughout the Northeast while parents attend workshops and the plenary.

This is an event for the whole family: Music, dance, films, games, animal rides, and meet-ups. Modest registration, inexpensive dorm rooms, camping and delicious, wholesome organic meals.  Cost ranges from $45 – $150.  Visit for complete details.

Friday, August 15 – Sunday, August 17 – Homestead Resort’s In the Garden Weekend

The Omni Homestead Resort is once again pleased to partner with the American Horticultural Society for the 16th Annual In the Garden Weekend, August 15 – 17.  The AHS educates and inspires people of all ages to become successful and environmentally responsible gardeners by advancing the art and science of horticulture.  Speakers this year include Jack Douglas, President and CEO of Douglas Associates, Landscape Architects and Designers since 1982, Margaret (Fred) Douglas, Landscape designer with Douglas Associates and a certified landscape designer with the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, photographer Roger Foley, Ed Clark, Co-founder and President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, one of the world’s leading hospitals for wildlife, and Andre Viette, horticulturist, author and lecturer.  The hotel’s garden package, which includes a one year membership in the AHS, is $513 per person for 2 nights, taxes and resort charge not included.  The package consists of room accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, a welcome reception with the speakers, seminars and breaks, wine tasting, Saturday lunch, Chef demonstration, and a tour of Omni Homestead Gardens.  For complete itinerary visit

Thursday, July 24, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm – MNLA Summer Conference and Trade Show

The Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) will hold its annual Summer Conference and Trade Show on Thursday, July 24, from 8 – 5 at Savage Farms in Deerfield, Massachusetts.  The keynote presentation will be The Future in Plant Materials by Michael Dirr, author of seven books including Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture and Propagation and Uses, a widely used and best-selling reference text. Register on line at before July 17.  $55 for sponsor members, $65 for non-members. Walk in registration will be $85 for members, $95 for nonmembers. For more information visit the website or call 413-369-4731. Image of Michael Dirr from Scott Arboretum.

Tuesdays, July 15 – July 29, 10:30 am – 12:00 noon – Great American Gardens Series at the MFA

Tuesday mornings July 15-29 (see below for information on individual weeks,) take a break from the summer heat to hear the fascinating stories behind these monumental and luscious gardens, from their inceptions to recent renovations. Experience one of America’s first botanical gardens, Boston’s green oasis, the Public Garden; the magnificent mansion gardens of Newport, Rhode Island; and the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s iconic Monticello. All sessions will be held in the Remis Auditorium of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from 10:30 – noon.

Three-session course tickets ($60, $75) are not available online. To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975; to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk. The first price is for members, seniors, and students; the second is full price.

On July 15, Keith Morgan, director of Architectural Studies and professor of American and European Architecture at Boston University will discuss The Boston Public Garden: The Atypical Landscape. How many of us know the true story behind this Boston icon? From its origins as a private botanical garden built on filled marshland to the public horticultural and educational gem of the mid-Victorian era, see how the Public Garden has become a site for celebration and forgotten controversy.

On July 22, Jeffrey Curtis, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Newport Mansions will present Gardens of the Newport Mansions. Hear the inside story of the miraculous gardens of Newport, Rhode Island’s mansions. The Preservation Society of Newport County has worked tirelessly since the 1940s to preserve Newport’s sumptuous mansions and grounds. Take a visual walk through gardens including Miss Wetmore’s Secret Garden at Chateau-sur-Mer, Rosecliff, and the Sunken Gardens at The Elms.

Lastly, on July 29, the Museum welcomes Jane Amidon, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, and Professor and Director of the Urban Landscape Program at Northeastern University, who will speak on Jefferson’s Monticello: A Garden of Science and Art. Our third US president was also the founding father of quintessential American landscape practices. Examine the enduring legacy and fruitful lessons of his civic horticulture through the gardens of his estate in Virginia at Monticello, home to two centuries of innovation in botanical, agrarian, and aesthetic techniques.

Sunday, July 13, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm – Blueberry Festival

Blueberry lovers unite!  Celebrate this classic summer favorite at Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton on Sunday, July 13.  The schedule includes:
9:00 am – 11:00 am Blueberry Pancake Festival, Hopkinton and Ashland Lions Fundraiser

10:00 am – Tips on Growing Great Blueberries

11:00 am – 1:00 pm Burgers and Dogs, Hopkinton and Ashland Lions Fundraiser

11:30 am – 12:30 pm Live Music with “According to Nancy”

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Honey Tasting with The Best Bees Company

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Blueberry Pie Contest

For directions visit  Admission free.

Tuesday, July 15, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Garden in the Woods: Enjoying the Present, Planning for the Future

The Ecological Landscaping Association, New England Wild Flower Society, and Boston Architectural College will present Mark Richardson, Director of Horticulture, New England Wild Flower Society, on Tuesday, July 15, from 1 – 3, at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, speaking on Garden in the Woods: Enjoying the Present, Planning for the Future.

New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods is a 45-acre botanical garden.  With over 1,000 native plant species on display and 150 rare and endangered species, the Garden is a valuable resource promoting conservation of native New England plants and their habitats.  The Garden serves as the Society’s laboratory for horticulture, gardening, conservation, and education, and has long been a model of naturalistic garden design.

Today, Garden in the Woods must grapple with a future of uncertainty in the face of climate change.  Get a behind-the-scenes look at the master plan recently completed by Andropogon Associates to envision the future and advance the sustainable operations of this botanical gem.  $20 for members of sponsoring organizations, $30 for nonmembers.  Register on line at  

Wednesday, July 9, 7:00 pm – Coffee for Roses: And 70 Other Misleading Myths about Backyard Gardening

Gardening questions? Get them answered at an evening of plant Q&A at the Porter Square Bookstore, 25 White Street, Cambridge, on Wednesday, July 9 beginning at 7 pm.

Word-of-mouth may be a great way to learn about some products, but word-of-mouth gardening tips can be a very bad idea. The age-old practice of passing along gardening tips and tricks is no guarantee you will get a good result…it might even do the opposite. In her new book, garden expert C. L. Fornari looks at 71 common garden practices and uncovers the truth behind the lore. Do marigolds keep the bugs out of the veggie patch? Will rusty nails turn hydrangeas blue? With humor and affection, she goes back in time to sort out the good, the bad and the just plain silly…and tells us why. Coffee for Roses combines gardening history and expert advice into one useful, time- and money-saving package. The author’s award-winning full color photography is throughout.

C.L. Fornari is a writer, speaker, and gardening expert from Cape Cod. She is a past Garden Club of the Back Bay speaker as well.

Monday, July 7, 7:00 pm – Crafty Bastards

Join Lauren Clark at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge on Monday, July 7 at 7 pm for a celebration of the New England tradition of brewing beer — complete with samples!

The region that defined Yankee ingenuity has a beer heritage in keeping with its character. Brewing in New England goes back four centuries, beginning with the Pilgrims who dropped anchor in Plymouth because their supply of beer was running low. (After barely surviving the winter, they planted a crop of barley and soon brewed their first ale.) Making beer in New England hasn’t always been easy. Puritan housewives, Industrial Era beer moguls, and contemporary craft brewers alike have concocted humankind’s oldest beverage in the face of scarce ingredients, legal hurdles, and public indifference. But despite these challenges, beer continues to be a staple of New England life.

With Crafty Bastards: Beer in New England from the Mayflower to Modern Day, Lauren Clark deepens our appreciation for the perfect pint. Giving voice to the inimitable Yankee spirit that allows New Englanders to faithfully produce some of the best beers in the nation, Clark invites readers to take a giant swig of brewing past and present.

Lauren Clark is a journalist and former bartender and brewer. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Jane, and Yankee Magazine. Clark is the founder of, which was featured in several Boston newspapers and magazines, the Massachusetts Beverage Business Journal, and Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh.

Sunday, June 29, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, and Wednesday, July 9, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm – Transcendental Abstractions

Meet Fruitlands Museum’s Artist-in-Residence Richard Kattman and tour his new exhibit of abstract paintings.  Some of Richard’s works are inspired by natural elements—sea, wind, sand, grass, sky, flowers, fields, woods, gardens and night stars. Some canvases are his views of the earth as it appears from space. Some are drawn from infinite places located within his subconscious. Others are explorations he takes at the speed of light to places he imagines in deep outer space. These artworks portray the fragility of life and the known universe. The exhibit will run through August 10.

On Sunday, June 29, from 2 – 4, Richard will give a formal presentation and demonstration on abstract painting, free with museum admission.  On Wednesday, July 9, from 10 – 3, attend an Abstract Landscape Painting class.  This one day plein air workshop will cover the steps of capturing the essentials of the Fruitlands landscape in acrylics on canvas.  All skill levels are welcome.  Registration required.  Email Melissa at  Museum members $100, nonmembers $110.

Wednesday, July 9, 5:00 pm – Looking at Lichens: A Journey of Discovery Beginning on Cape Cod

Looking at Lichens-A Journey of Discovery Beginning on Cape Cod was written by naturalist Nancy Wigley with photographs by Susan W. Carr.

Ms. Wigley will answer questions about what lichens are, where they are found, how they reproduce, why they are like the canary in the mine, which ones are poisonous, how they are used medicinally, and how they played an important role in establishing life on Earth. She will also have common specimens on hand during this drop-in program at the Green Briar Nature Center, 6 Discovery Hill Road (off Route 6A) in East Sandwich on Wednesday, July 9 beginning at 5 pm.  $5.  For more information call 508-888-6870, or email

Sunday, June 22, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm – The Constant Garden: Two Thousand Years of Botanical Art

Join the Arts & Culture Exchange on Sunday, June 22, 4:30 – 6:30, for an enthralling viewing of exquisite botanical images.  Artist and independent lecturer Jennie Summerall will lead a thought-provoking presentation on the myriad ways in which botanical forms have influenced visual and material culture.  Jennie will show us how artists ranging from muralists of ancient Rome to installation artists of today have drawn inspiration from nature.  Chef Ruth-Anne Adams will prepare light refreshments of a botanical nature.  $25 fee.  The Arts & Culture Exchange is located at The Maugus Club, 40 Abbott Road in Wellesley.  For more information, and tickets, visit, or email

Monday, June 23, 7:00 pm – The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island

In 1984, the landscape historian Mac Griswold was rowing along a Long Island creek when she came upon Sylvester Manor, a stately mansion guarded by hulking boxwoods. When Griswold went inside, she encountered a house full of revelations, including a letter from Thomas Jefferson and—most remarkable and disturbing—what the aged owner, Andrew Fiske, casually called the “slave staircase.”

This staircase would reveal the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery, and in 1997 Griswold returned with a team of archaeologists, uncovering a landscape filled with stories. Based on years of research—and voyages that took her as far as West Africa—Griswold has given us both the biography of a place that has witnessed war and reversals in fortune, and the riveting story of the family that has occupied it for three centuries. A fine-grained account and a sweeping drama, The Manor captures American history in all its richness and contradictions.

The author will speak at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, on Monday, June 23 at 7 pm.  Her book, in paperback, will be available for purchase and signing.  For additional information email, or call 617-491-2220.

Tuesday, June 17, 7:30 am – 9:00 am – To Bee or Not to Bee: What is Killing Our Bees?

June’s Sustainable Concord Coffee focuses on the importance of bees and why they have been dying off across the country. Bees are vital contributors, through pollination, to agriculture. Pinpointing the cause is crucial to mitigating this problem since bees are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of all crops worldwide. Research suggests that certain commonly used pesticides may be responsible. A new Harvard University School of Public Health study released on May 9, strengthens the link between neonicotinoids and collapse of honey bee colonies. Our presenters are well qualified to speak to the issue of bee death.

Dr. Richard Callahan is a beekeeper and retired entomologist, he holds a doctorate in pesticide toxicology. Working with Dr. Chensung Lu, an Associate Professor of Environmental Biology at Harvard University and Ken Worchol, a state bee inspector in Worcester County, he was involved in conducting the three year study of the impact on multiple bee colonies of a pesticide called Imidacloprid, manufactured by the Monsanto and Bayer Corporations.

Mark Hanson is a Concord beekeeper, who kept bees since 1970, first in Stow and then, for twenty-five years, in Concord. He found the decimation of his bee hives due to Colony Collapse Disorder so worrisome that he stopped keeping them in 2012. He reports that other beekeepers throughout Middlesex County are having similar problems. What actions can we take?

The ConcordCAN! Sustainable Concord Coffee is Tuesday, June 17, from 7:30- 9AM at Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street in West Concord. Light refreshments are provided. Free and open to the public. There is a large shared parking lot with a childrens’ center and church. For more information go to: Image from

Monday, June 16, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Tweets and Trills: The Natural History of Birdsong

Songbirds communicate with unparalleled acoustic complexity and tremendous variation among species. On Monday, June 16, from 7 – 8:30 pm, Bruce Byers, who studies the biological and cultural evolution of birdsong, will introduce the multidimensionality of songbird singing and some of the discoveries by scientists like him who study both the inherited and learned components of song. He will consider how songs function in the social lives of songbirds, how song features might correlate with fitness, and whether variability correlates with differences in ecology and life history. He will also include suggestions to improve your listening skills. Fee: Free Arboretum member, $10 nonmember. Register at Meet at the Hunnewell Building.

Wednesday, June 18, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Colossal Cousins: Oaks and Beeches

Wander among the mighty oaks and beeches at the Arnold Arboretum on Wednesday, June 18, at 6 pm, to learn about the Fagaceae, a cosmopolitan family of plants found around the world. Jim Gorman will present identification features, natural history, ecological contributions and economic uses, and horticultural firsts, introducing participants to North American natives, old guard species from Europe, and newer horticultural introductions from Asia. Fee $40 Arboretum member, $50 nonmember. Meet at the Bussey Street Gate.  Register online at

Saturday, June 14, 1:00 pm – To Cook is to Love

Longtime Boston-based chef John Verlinden serves up his own healthier, modernized version of traditional Latin cooking, while also taking readers on a classic immigration adventure, in his upcoming book, To Cook Is to Love. He will appear on Saturday, June 13, at 1 pm at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge.

John Verlinden is a chef, food educator and writer who started cooking the summer he turned 12 years old. He honed his craft by working in many restaurants and other food businesses in nearly every capacity—from dishwasher, to busboy, to waiter, to bartender, to chef to owner. Along with his life partner, Oz Mondejar, he owned and operated a popular Cuban-American restaurant, Mucho Gusto Café & Collectibles, in Boston from 1995 to 2000. Among the honors the restaurant received were Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston”, The Improper Bostonian’s “Boston’s Best”, and Hispanic Magazine’s “Top 50 Hispanic Restaurants in the U.S.” A passion advocate for healthier Latin cooking, Verlinden has participated in a variety of culinary training programs for adults and children. He also maintains a popular blog on his website and produces a food column for a local newspaper. For more information visit, or call 617-491-2220.

Monday, June 9, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Woody Vines for the Garden

Effective landscape design includes creative development of vertical space, and vines should be considered from the outset. While touring the Leventritt Garden of Shrubs and Vines at the Arnold Arboretum on Monday, June 9 from 6 – 8, horticulturist Jen Kettell will introduce you to an array of woody vines. She will explain their various growth habits and attachment mechanisms which determine how they are best used in the garden. Focusing on floral, foliar, and fruiting characteristics, she’ll recommend both native and exotic vines for a variety of situations. Fee $20 Arboretum member, $30 nonmember. Register online at

Saturday, June 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Wild Harvest: Sharing Mother Nature’s Bounty Edible and Medicinal Field Study

Join herbalist Dina Falconi and explore the plants of the gardens, meadows and woodland edges of the Berkshire Botanical Garden on Saturday, June 21 from 10 – 12. Learn to identify these plants using basic sensory skills, and discover how they are used for food, medicine and pleasure. This walk will include practical information on harvest and preparation. Bring a notepad, camera and water bottle. Following the program, Dina will be selling and signing her beautiful book, Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook.

Dina Falconi is a clinical herbalist with a strong focus on food activism and nutritional healing. An avid gardener, wildcrafter and permaculturalist, Dina has been teaching classes about the use of herbs for food, medicine and pleasure, including wild food foraging and cooking, for more than 20 years. She produces Falcon Formulations natural body care products and Earthly Extracts medicinal tinctures. She is a founding member of the Northeast Herbal Association, a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation and an organizer of Slow Food-Hudson Valley. She is also the author of Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair: Natural and Healthy Personal Care for Everybody.  More information may be found at

BBG members – $30; nonmembers – $35. Register at

« Older Entries