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Saturday, July 8, 10:00 am = 4:00 pm – The Garden Conservancy’s Martha’s Vineyard Open Day

Enjoy a full day of garden tours and activities on Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday, July 8, sponsored by The Garden Conservancy. Admission to each garden is $7 for Garden Conservancy members and advance purchase ticket holders.  Visit to register.

25 Osprey Lane in Chilmark: Nature sets the theme for this rolling oceanside garden. A natural meadow extends from the house to the water’s edge and subtle topography creates foreground views that compete for attention. Occasional glimpses of meandering inlets complete a compelling image of land meeting water. The garden, made up of layered masses of perennials, occupies the space immediately around the house and seems to flow naturally into the meadow. The plant palette was carefully selected for seaside conditions: plants are resistant to salt spray and heavy ocean winds. A mown grass path, invisible when viewed from the house, separates the perennial garden from the meadow, ensuring the meadow will not invade the garden and vice versa. Strategically placed boulders in the foreground tie the space visually to the ocean’s rocky shoreline. The garden is designed to gently transition through a series of views that progress with increasing simplicity: from the intricate perennial garden to the natural seaside meadow to the beach and ocean in the distance. Garden designed by Oehme van Sweden Landscape Architecture Firm.

Jethro Athearn Homestead Garden (directions will be provided at additional gardens open on this date, or by calling 1-888-842-2442 weekedays 9 – 5): This garden features 1,000 square feet of terraced herbaceous borders in an agricultural setting. Ben and Susanne Clark designed and created their property beginning in 1992 on a wooded hillside overlooking a working farm. Ben, whose profession was architectural restoration and preservation, moved the circa 1730 house from another part of the island. Susanne designed the garden, which takes its inspiration from one designed by the English garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll in the 1920s. Highlights include the warm and cool borders, stone terraces, and a garden house. The plantings continue to evolve as Susanne moves, divides, and edits the plants each year. Please note that at 2:00 pm there will be a Digging Deeper:Inspired by Gertrude Jekyll talk at this garden. Susanne Clark, owner of the Jethro Athearn Homestead Garden, will share her twenty-plus years’ experience of creating a garden inspired by Gertrude Jekyll. She will cover the original plans for the herbaceous borders, design considerations in creating the overall setting for the beds, adapting to the climate, and extending the season of interest. This is an all-absorbing passion for Susanne, and she will talk about the unusual process she uses to continually refine the garden. A resource list will be provided, including favorite nurseries to order from, most used reference books, and frequently accessed websites, as well as a list of the plants (nearly 200 cultivars) now in the garden, indicating some of the plants that contribute the most to the garden’s long season of appeal. Part of the time will be spent in the garden and part of the time in her historic 1730 house. The Digging Deeper event is $30 for members of the Garden Conservancy, $35 for nonmembers, which includes admission to this garden.

85 South Water Street in Edgartown: The original parts of this house are believed to date from the 1840s. More than fifty years ago a former owner and founder of the Marthas Vineyard Garden Club set out the sunken geometric garden in the shape of a Union Jack. In the late 1990s, the English garden designer Penelope Hobhouse added some important features to the garden, particularly the enclosure of the sunken flag garden to create an outdoor “room”. The garden contains some rare and unusual, as well as native, plants. Currently, the owners, who are hands-on gardeners from England, work closely with Leandro da Silva to implement further design changes.

G.G. Ma’s Garden in Edgartown: G.G. Ma’s garden has been under the diligent gardening hands of Hope Whipple since the early 1950s, when she purchased the house at 114 North Water Street. Over the years, this garden has been a place of study and experimentation, with many unique varieties of trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Ms. Whipple is an incredible plantswoman, traveling the world, including Europe, Africa, to build on her knowledge of plants. G.G. Ma’s gardening is a unique blend of cutting, woodland, and rose gardens, with the unique challenge of Martha’s Vineyard weather conditions – salt spray, high winds, humid summers. Ms. Whipple and her gardener, Sarah Monast, diligently tend to the garden together, with observational walks of the property several times a week.

Helman Garden in Edgartown (pictured): This walled garden was designed to be protected from the elements and not to compete with the natural beauty of the property. I wanted a private garden with formal bones. We designed square and rectangle beds to use as I wished. Some are just for flowers, some for herbs, some for vegetables, and some are mixed. It is a very personal place that ebbs and flows each year. There are four stone semi-circles that we call “ectetras” [sic]. The garden was designed by Daisy Helman and Diane McGuire. (Again, directions will be provided on day of tour at other gardens, or by calling the number above.) Also at the Helman Garden, at 9:30 am, Garden Collage girls will be making flower crowns with children in our new cutting garden. We will have fun lemonades made with herbs and flowers from the garden and recipes cards to take home along with their crowns. This program will be sponsored and staffed by Garden Collage, a new lifestyle magazine, founded by Daisy Helman, that celebrates a modern approach to nature. Our stories cover the global intersection of contemporary life and the natural world. Gardens, beauty, politics, farm-to-table, apothecary, culture, and design. Adults must stay with the children in their care at all times.

Garden How-To Free On Line Workshops

Horticulture Magazine’s free online Smart Gardening Workshops give you access to great garden speakers from the comfort of your own home. They have no new workshops scheduled at this time, but you can access recordings of past workshops at Here is a sampling:

12 Ideas for Gotta-Have Garden Combos

Get inside garden guru Pamela Straub’s head for a dozen of the season’s cleverest combination containers. Known for pairing the new, the unusual and the uncommon, Santa Rosa Gardens’ lead designer shares her tips, tricks and timeless secrets in this sassy session.

8 Months of Spectacular Color: Spring~Fall with Waterwise, Easy-Care Perennials

The secret to a great perennial garden is understanding how to use a succession of varieties that will keep your garden in color from early spring through the fall. David Salman (pictured) of High Country Gardens shows his favorites perennials and perennial combinations to help you create a long-blooming, waterwise, easy-care landscape.

Garden How-To Free On Line Workshops

Horticulture Magazine’s free online Smart Gardening Workshops give you access to great garden speakers from the comfort of your own home. They have no new workshops scheduled at this time, but you can access recordings of past workshops at Here is a sampling:

Japanese Maples For Every Garden

With over 400 cultivars available, selecting a Japanese maple can be challenging. In this free online workshop, Japanese Maple Specialist Patricia Smyth, from Essence of the Tree, provides a overview of the cultural needs of these glorious trees with information to help with choosing the best one for your garden, whatever your climate might be.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener

Canadian gardening expert Niki Jabbour shares her ideas and tips for growing vegetables year-round, no matter your hardiness zone.

Garden How-To 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:

Urban Farming: Rooted In The City

“Give me a bit of ground the size of a postage stamp, and I will give you an Urban Farm.” For years edible gardening seemed like a trend, but now we view it as a true cultural shift. Edibles are being used in the garden and on the patio in containers as never before. Never mind if your area is small or large—this workshop will offer great tips that you can use in your own Urban Farm. And it’s not just about the edibles; you’ll get a firsthand look at the companion plants that provide much needed nectar and cover for essential pollinators. The speaker is Nicholas Staddon, Director of the New Plants Team at Monrovia.

Heaven Scent

Nicholas Staddon, a lifelong plantsman, takes you on a journey of some of his favorite plants that will delight the nose. Nothing is more fun than being in the garden when, from somewhere, you get a whiff of a delightful scent. This workshop will help you create those moments in your own garden.

Tuesday, June 27, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm – The Role of Plants in an Aquatic Ecosystem

Aquatic plants are an essential part of all natural lakes, ponds, and streams – providing food and shelter for fish and other wildlife, improving water clarity, and in many cases absorbing pollutants. But the benefit that is most obvious is the visual appeal of aquatic plants. The interest in water features in the built landscape continues to grow, with good reason. Waterscapes including rain gardens, constructed wetlands, streams, waterfalls, and ponds are restorative and beautiful in addition to the habitat value that they bring into the landscape.

Join Rip Sokol on Tuesday, June 27 at 10 am for this behind-the-scenes tour of Fourth Generation Nursery in Mendon to learn about the oldest and largest wholesale grower of aquatic plants north of New Jersey. This Ecological Landscape Alliance tour will feature demonstration water gardens and nursery production areas while discussing the role of plants in an aquatic ecosystem. Submerged and emergent plants will be presented for both function and esthetics. Soil & nutrient requirements will be discussed as well as appropriate planting strategies for both newly constructed ponds & streams or for introduction into existing water features.

Natives, “nativars”, well behaved introductions and noxious invasives will be addressed. Fourth Generation Nursery does not recommend introduction of ANY plants into any natural water body unless it is recognized as in need of remedial replanting and then only with an approved plan. Bring your camera!

R. P. “Rip” Sokol has worked in the horticulture industry for over 50 years, has been growing plants since the age of five, and created his first water garden at age 11. He has been a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist since 1986 and belongs to multiple nursery associations. Rip is the co-owner of Fourth Generation Nursery, a wholesale nursery and supplier in Mendon, MA. The Sokol family has been engaged in horticulture for over 100 years, and began Fourth Generation Nursery in 1989. $10 for ELA members, $20 for nonmembers. See more at:

Sunday, June 18, 11:00 am – Cooking with Flowers

This Sunday, June 18, beginning at 11:00 am, Miche Bacher, author of Cooking with Flowers: Sweet and Savory Recipes with Roses, Lavender, and Other Edible Flowers, will do a demonstration at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, with a tasting and book signing.  Tower Hill member price $7, nonmembers $20.  For registration and information on future chef demos, visit—chef-demos–tastings-spring-2017

Monday, June 26, 7:00 pm – The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions

As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet’s history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet’s five mass extinctions and, in the process, offering us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future.

Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In The Ends of the World, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future.

Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, The Ends of the World takes us inside -scenes of the crime, – from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record–which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of sea gulls and guillotine-mouthed fish–and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits.

Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, The Ends of the World takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light. Peter Brannen will discuss and sign copies of his book at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge on Monday, June 26 at 7 pm. For more information call 617-491-2220, or visit

Tuesday, June 20, 12:30 pm – What’s Your Tick IQ?

The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Tick Training and Lyme Disease Prevention with the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps on Tuesday, June 20 at 12:30 pm at the Museum, 869 Main Street in Brewster. Those of us who live on Cape Cod are probably familiar with the high incidence of Lyme disease in our area; however, people who visit in the summer as vacationers, campers or camp counselors may know very little about this problem. It is essential that they understand about Lyme disease, prevention of tick bites and monitoring and dealing with tick bites.

The Museum is pleased to offer this one hour program to our visitors, volunteers and staff. This program is taught by Medical Reserve Corps volunteers who have extensive training in Tick borne Illness.

Free with Museum Admission. For directions and more information visit

Tuesday, June 27 – Thursday, June 29 – One Water Summit 2017

Water touches everything we do: it drives our economy, helps communities thrive, and shapes our environment. The challenges facing our water supplies and systems are complex and immense, both in scale and importance. From aging infrastructure, to demographic and economic shifts, political uncertainty, climate change, inequality—water cuts across so many of our country’s most pressing issues. At the One Water Summit 2017, the nation’s brightest minds and most committed leaders come together to discuss solutions that can create a more sustainable water future for all.

Convened by the US Water Alliance, One Water Summit 2017 brings together hundreds of leaders from across the country to network, engage in thought-provoking dialogue, share best practices, set strategic priorities, amplify great ideas, and take actionable ideas back home. One Water Summit 2017 is a unique venue to craft innovative solutions, connect with influential leaders across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, and forge the alliances needed to advance sustainable water solutions.

Many thanks to the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans for serving as our local host for One Water Summit 2017. New Orleans is the perfect backdrop for a dynamic, solutions-focused conversation about how we view, value, and manage water—now and for future generations. The Conference will be held at the InterContinental New Orleans, 444 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, and is $595 for a US Water Alliance Member, $745 for nonmember.

Register today at You won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, June 24, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – The Healing Garden

Since the dawn of history, humans and animals have sought healing from plants. Although many of today’s most popular remedies are compounded in laboratories, there are still vast numbers of commercial cures whose major medicinal ingredients are derived from green herbs, trees, and shrubs. In this illustrated presentation at The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster on Saturday, June 24 at 1 pm, Cindy Sauers will share with you her garden journey collaborating with the plants, the soil, wind, sun, cold, heat, rain… and all of nature for food and medicine for the body and soul. You will be able to gently and easily begin your own healing garden or, if you don’t have a space for your own garden you will have new insight to how plants, trees and weeds throughout Cape Cod provide us with healing food and medicine. Cindy will help you identify our wild natural Cape Cod plants and she will share with you easy ways to make remedies to relieve many of our everyday discomforts and fortify our bodies and our minds.

Cindy Sauers is an artist, shepherd, gardener and herbalist who works in collaboration with her ‘medium’. As a gardener, she collaborates with nature; shaping and adding elements while observing how nature responds and what nature adds or subtracts from the garden. As an herbalist, she has been using plants as healing remedies, scented gifts, and food since 1973. Cindy and her garden, along with her husband and the sheep, the Baa Boys, were recently featured in Country Gardens Spring 2017 magazine. Cindy can’t imagine anything more rewarding than sharing the joy she gets from these sweet plants with you.

Free with admission. For more information please call: 508-896-3867, ext. 133.