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Saturday, November 19, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm – SALT Conference: Deconstructing the American Landscape

Professional landscapers, gardeners, and designers are choosing to use native plants for many reasons — not only because they are beautiful and hardy, but also because they provide essential food and shelter for wildlife and help to maintain a unique sense of place. Join the New England Wild Flower Society and the Connecticut College Arboretum for this day-long conference on Saturday, November 19 from 8:30 – 4 at Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut to discuss the demise of the American lawn, the definition of “native,” and the future of native plants in our built landscapes.

Conference Highlights

Keynote: The Future of Native Plants in the Built Landscape, Larry Weaner, Principal, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates

Award: New England Wild Flower Society will present the Regional Impact Award to New Directions in the American Landscape


The Evolving American Lawn, Judy Preston, Connecticut Outreach Coordinator, Long Island Sound Study
Low-maintenance Plants for the Deconstructed Landscape, Dan Jaffe, Horticulturist, New England Wild Flower Society
Ecological Functions of Native Plants, Claudia West, Author and Ecological Sales Manager, North Creek Nurseries
Roundtable Discussion: Defining Native, moderated by Mark Richardson, Director of Horticulture, NEWFS

Registration is $65 before November 1 and $80 thereafter, for NEWFS members, and $75 before November 1 and $90 thereafter for all others. On line registration at

Wednesday, November 9 – Thursday, November 10 – Northeast Greenhouse Conference and Expo

The biennial Northeast Greenhouse Conference & Expo is co-sponsored by New England Floriculture, Inc. – a group of grower representatives from the Northeast, augmented by University and Cooperative Extension staff in each state, who specialize in greenhouse crops and management. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn, share and connect with other industry professionals. The conference takes place at the Holiday Inn in Boxborough on November 9 and 10. There will be educational sessions, and don’t miss DAZED AND INFUSED. Join Sue Adams, Adams Farm and Greenhouses, for an educational cocktail hour on Tuesday evening featuring specialty cocktails using herbs and other plants. Advance registration is required. No charge to attend, and cash bar will be available.

Sign up to have breakfast Thursday morning with a presenter who is an expert in your area of interest. Presenters and their topics will include: Sinclair Adam, Penn State University (Perennials); Mandy Bayer, University of Massachusetts (Irrigation, plant height control); Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State University (Insect pests and controls); Stephanie Cohen, Perennial Diva (Perennials); Chris Currey, Iowa State University (Greenhouse herbs, greenhouse environment); Kathy Kelly, Penn State University (Social Media); Tom Manning, Rutgers University (Greenhouse design, energy efficiency); Jeffrey Marstaller, Cozy Acres Greenhouses (Zero emissions, Advanced biocontols); Anna Meyerhoff, Bassett Healthcare Network (Worker protection); Kelly Norris, Des Moines Botanical Gardens (Iris, perennials, marketing); Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting (Biocontrols of pests); Brian Whipker, North Carolina State University (Plant Diagnostics, PGRs). Advance registration is required. Tickets are $25. For complete information and registration visit

Saturday, November 5, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Enemies with Benefits: Are Some Non-Native Weeds Friends?

Although many invasive plants seem to cause only harm, certain long-present, abundant species may provide important ecosystem services, including providing habitat for native plants and wildlife. Join Berkshire Botanical Garden Director of Hudsonia Erik Kiviat, for a deeper understanding of the benefits and detriments of some nonnative plants, including, but not limited to, commonly feared invasives such as Phragmites, purple loosestrife, and knotweed. The lecture will take place at Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge on Saturday, November 5 beginning at 1 pm, and is free to BBG members, $10 for nonmembers. Register at Image from


Thursday, November 10, 7:00 pm – Gardner Museum Landscape Lecture: Julie Bargmann

Julie Bargmann is a leader in designing and building regenerative and environmentally appropriate landscapes. She founded D.I.R.T. studio in 1992. Highly regarded for her versatility and hands-on approach (she likes to get her hands dirty), Bargmann’s work hews to themes of sustainability, economy, community engagement, respect for site histories, and above all a love of the landscape. For Vintondale Reclamation Park in rural Pennsylvania, she collaborated to create a large-scale natural filtration system for a waterway polluted by acid-mine drainage. The project earned D.I.R.T. the 2001 National Design Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Landscape Lectures begin at 7 pm in Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Lectures include Museum admission and require a ticket; tickets can be reserved online, in person at the door, or by phone: 617 278 5156. Museum admission: adults $15, seniors $12, students $5, free for members. This Thursday, November 10 event is sponsored by an anonymous donor. Landscape and Horticulture public programs are supported by the Barbara E. Millen and Markley H. Boyer Endowment Fund. This program is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Wednesday, November 9, 6:00 pm – Birding in the Land of Midnight Sun

Iceland abounds in natural splendor: waterfalls and glaciers, panoramic views and otherworldly landscapes. It is a land of Northern Lights and midnight sun. And it is the realm of one of the world’s most charming and iconic birds: the Atlantic Puffin. But Iceland is home too much more. During the summer months, Iceland’s round the-clock sunlight draws in a panoply of birds: razorbills and guillemots, phalaropes and godwits, plovers and terns, all accompany the puffins in nesting frenzy. Come along with wildlife photographer and Mass Audubon instructor Shawn Carey on Wednesday, November 9 as he shares images and stories from his journey across Iceland, from the island of Flatey, to the bird cliffs of Latabarg, to the Reykjavik peninsula.  We’ll visit fjords, mountains, grasslands, and lava fields. And we’ll come face-to-face with Atlantic Puffins. So join The Athol Bird & Nature Club as we explore the wildlife and wonder of Iceland and discover why it’s a place no birder should miss. As usual, we will hold our annual dinner meeting at 6 p.m. in Liberty Hall at the Athol Town Hall (584 Main St.), with the program at 7 p.m.

Reservations are required for the dinner and must be received by Tuesday, November 3. To reserve, call Cindy Hartwell at 978-544-5783, or email
She will call or email you back with a confirmation of your reservation. No reservations are necessary for the program. The event will also feature our always popular
tin can auctions; participants are encouraged to bring an item to donate.  Image from

Tuesday, November 8, 10:00 am – Boston Committee Annual Meeting and Luncheon

The Garden Club of the Back Bay is an affiliate member of the Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America, which has its Annual Meeting in the fall each year.  This year on Tuesday, November 8 (yes, election day), John R. Clark, President and Executive Director of the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) in San Diego, California  will speak.  Registration and coffee begin at 10:00 am at The Country Club, 191 Clyde Street in Brookline.  A short business meeting will follow at 10:30 followed by the lecture at 11.  Luncheon will follow.

Dr. John Clark is a distinguished scientist with the CPC. In 2015, CPC moved its headquarters to San Diego in order to formally partner with the San Diego Zoo Global.  Together, these two world class organizations are working to “preserve the imperiled plants and animals of the world.”

CPC is a non-profit association of 40 botanical gardens, arboreta, and other groups that work collaboratively on sustainability and restoration of native ecosystems, habitat monitoring and management, plant-animal interactions, and recovery programs for endangered species.  In addition, their global management models and seed bank initiatives include 800 of the nation’s endangered plant species.

CPC originated by Harvard University scientists at the Arnold Arboretum and was formerly based at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Dr. Clark will speak on CPC’s model programs and collaborations with a particular emphasis on Sustainable Ecosystems to Protect Endangered Plants and Animals.  The event is open to all members of the member clubs of the Boston Committee and their guests. Please email for more information.  Garden Club of the Back Bay members will receive a car pool notice.





Thursday, October 27, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: Christo

The Rouse Visiting Artist Series will present Christo on Thursday, October 27, from 6:30 – 8:30 in the Gund Piper Auditorium of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The program is free and open to the public.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude met in Paris in 1958, not long after their education at the National Academy of Art in Bulgaria and the University of Tunis, respectively. Their first project was Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages (1961) in Cologne Harbor, but perhaps their most renowned project was Wrapped Reichstag (1995) in Berlin, which swathed the iconic capital building in fabric for fourteen days. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s overt, site-specific landscape interventions have evolved from Christo’s early works. Smaller sculptural pieces that are key to his portfolio, such as wrapped cans, bottles, crates, suggestive forms, and indoor installations reveal an interest in concealment, but also in the dimensional qualities of shapes in an environment and in the process itself. It is no surprise that in a caption to a chronological list of projects on their website, the artists refer to “software” and “hardware” periods: preparation and imagination on the one hand, physical execution on the other. The Floating Piers, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s most recent finished work, was conceived in 1970 yet came to fruition only in the summer of 2016. The 16-meter-wide shimmering walkways of this project, constructed on Lake Iseo, Italy, were open and free for the public to traverse. Christo will discuss this work in his lecture, along with two upcoming projects: Over the River, for the Arkansas River in Colorado, and The Mastaba, for the United Arab Emirates. Both were planned with his wife and partner Jeanne-Claude. Notwithstanding her death in 2009, Christo continues to fundamentally credit Jeanne-Claude in his projects.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or Photo by Wolfgang Volz.



Wednesday, November 9, 10:00 am – Introduction to Ferns

The Garden Club of the Back Bay continues its 2016/2017 investigation into The Prehistoric Garden with a meeting and lecture on Wednesday, November 9 on Introduction to Ferns, at 10 am at The College Club of Boston, 44 Commonwealth Avenue. Beautiful and flowerless, ferns are among the most ancient plants in the world. Learn to distinguish among the most common ferns of New England through lecture and examination of fresh plant material. Don Lubin will be our featured lecturer. Don has been growing ferns since 1980, and doing field identification since 1991. He reset the fern labels at the Garden In The Woods in Framingham, and has led workshops and field trips since 1998 for the New England Wild Flower Society and others, previously with co-teacher Ray Abair of Middleboro MA. Don has found uncommon ferns and donated more than 100 specimens to herbaria, including a few state and many county records, mainly to the New England Botanical Club collection at the Asa Gray Herbarium at Harvard University. Don assisted Cheryl Lowe and Elizabeth Farnsworth in their revision of Boughton Cobb’s Field Guide to Ferns.  Club members will receive notification of the meeting. If you are not a Club member but wish to attend, please email


Saturday, October 22, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Sunday, October 23, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

The Boston Vegetarian Food Festival brings together an amazing array of vegetarian natural food providers, top national speakers and chefs, and educational exhibitors in a fun and welcoming environment. It is a chance to talk directly to food producers, learn the newest items in the marketplace, taste free food samples, shop at show special discounts, or simply learn what vegetarian foods are available and where you can find them!

Whether you are a longtime vegetarian or vegan, or someone simply wanting to add more healthy and delicious foods to your meal repertoire, or if you are just curious what it’s all about, you are welcome here! Free admission, free food sampling, free speaker presentations, free parking and a T stop across the street. The event takes place Saturday, October 22 from 11 – 6, and Sunday, October 23 from 10 – 4 at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street in Boston.

You also can learn of ways to benefit the environment, help animals, and enhance your health and well being. There are activities for kids, too! Learn more about the Festival at

Tuesday, October 18, 6:30 pm – Hidden Treasures of the Ayer Mansion

Preservationist Jeanne M. Pelletier will speak at the Ayer Mansion, 395 Commonwealth Avenue, on Tuesday, October 18 at 6:30 pm on The Hidden Treasures of the Ayer Mansion.  Enjoy a good mystery?  See clues for what still remains uncovered at the Ayer Mansion.  Wine and cheese reception at 6:30, presentation at 7 pm. Preservation often requires great patience, with painstaking analysis and lots of sleuthing. Jeanne Pelletier will discuss how she and conservationists search for and follow clues to recreate Tiffany’s original design and piece together how the Ayers and their servants lived at 395 Commonwealth Avenue. Join her for a fascinating evening of armchair exploration, that will uncover obscured marble panels, long forgotten servant’s quarters and systems, roofed-over stained glass, and hidden light wells. If you like solving mysteries, this evening is for you.Tickets are $10 per person, $5 for students, and may be purchased online at or by calling Angela Lee at 617-536-2586. All proceeds benefit the restoration of the Ayer Mansion.