Category Archives: lecture

Saturday, May 2, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Beyond the Honey Bee: Conserving Our Native Pollinators

The Hubbardston-Ware River Nature Club and the East Quabbin Land Trust will sponsor a day long seminar Beyond the Honey Bee: Conserving Our Native Pollinators, on Saturday, May 2 from 8 – 4:30 at the Harvard Forest in Petersham. The purpose of this event is to increase awareness and provide information and resources to people who want to manage their properties to benefit native pollinators. It is designed for small landowners, public lands managers, small farmers, backyard gardeners, and others who want to manage open space with native pollinator needs in mind. Speakers include Dr. Rob Gegear of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, naturalists Gail Howe Trenholm and Charley Eiseman, Dr. Anne Averill of UMass-Amherst, Tom Sullivan (pictured below – thank you of, and author and garden coach Ellen Sousa. Schedule and registration information visit:

Friday, June 5, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Saturday, June 6, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Sunday, June 5, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm – 7 – New England Botanical Club 120th Anniversary Research Conference

Come celebrate New England Botanical Club’s 120th anniversary at this historic free research conference, to be held at Smith College in Northampton Friday – Sunday, June 5 – 7.

Botanical societies and practicing scientists enliven and advance plant science. Academic biologists and citizen-scientists generate important new discoveries about the flora. They also inspire a new generation of students who continue to expand scientific knowledge and work to conserve plants and ecosystems.

Meetings, field trips, and conferences are vital ways to infuse all botanists with new energy and visions for the future. Botanists of northeastern North America will showcase their activities and research.  Botanical societies will brainstorm on opportunities for future research and collaboration.

The weekend kicks off Friday with a reception at the Smith College Greenhouses from 5 – 7.  Registration begins Saturday at 8, followed by a morning session with talks by botanical researchers and exhibit tables on display by botanical societies.  The keynote speaker will follow the buffet lunch.  Editor in Chief of the American Journal of Botany Dr. Pamela Diggle (pictured) will address the conference.  She is also Past President of the Botanical Society of America.  An afternoon session follows the speech.  Sunday at 9, at the MacLeish Field Station, there will be a brainstorm meeting: ensuring the future of botanical societies.  Then at 11:30, take a botanical foray of the 240 acre field station (bag lunch provided.) The weekend is co-sponsored by Smith College Department of Biological Sciences.  Register at

Saturday, May 9, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Plantiful Propagation

Learn how to stretch your garden budget by taking advantage of nature’s generosity. Kristin Green, Blithewold horticulturist and author of Plantiful: Start Small, Grow Big with 150 Plants that Spread, Self-Sow, and Overwinter, will present a gardener’s guide to opportunism followed by a demonstration on how to root tip cuttings using a Forsythe pot—a propagation tool that is simpler than an expensive greenhouse mist system, more reliable than glasses of water on the windowsill, and can be easily made from stuff stashed in the potting shed. The event will take place Saturday, May 9, from 1 – 2 at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston.

Kristin Green is an interpretive horticulturist at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, a 33 acre non-profit public garden on the Narragansett Bay shore in Bristol, RI. Working as a part of a small staff and with a group of 25-30 volunteers, she helps plan, design, propagate, plant and maintain their five main garden areas, and has been author and photographer of Blithewold’s garden blog since 2007. Kristin is also head-gardener and curator of plants for her own tiny estate in Bristol. She writes a regular column called Down to Earth for area newspapers, her own blog at, and has contributed articles and photographs to Fine Gardening and other magazines. Kristin will be available to sign her book, carried in Tower Hill’s gift shop, after the presentation.

Tower Hill members – $20, non-members – $35. Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Wednesday, May 13, 6:00 pm – The Taste of Germany – Exploring a Nation Through its Food History

Defying popular perception of the meat and potatoes diet, Ursula Heinzelmann’s book Beyond Bratwurst delves into the history of German cuisine and reveals the country’s long history of culinary innovation. Heinzelmann’s May 13 talk, part of the Pepin Lecture Series in Food Studies and Gastromony, will discuss German food history, particularly the late and rapid industrialization as it is defined through cheese production. There will be German Alpine cheeses and German wine to sample as part of the discussion. Fee of $30 includes book. The class takes place at 808 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 117, and you may register online at

Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Land Stewardship for Pollinator Conservation

Pollinators are essential to our ecosystem — more than 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants and two-thirds of our agricultural crops depend upon them for reproduction. In many places, however, their essential service is at risk. Loss of habitat due to urbanization and use of pesticides are causing declines in both managed honey bee colonies and native pollinator populations.

Come to the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway on Wednesday, May 6 at 7 pm and learn about the fascinating and diverse world of New England’s native pollinators — bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, and wasps — and about the latest science-based approaches to reversing pollinator declines by protecting and managing habitat for these vital insects.

Kelly Gill, the speaker, is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Xerces Society and a Partner Biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Xerces Society has worked for over 40 years on pollinator conservation and is well known for its best-selling book Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. The lecture is free. For more information visit

Saturday, May 2, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – A Day with Ellen Ecker Ogden

Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The Complete Kitchen Garden, is a co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog.  Ellen writes about food and gardens for The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and The Boston Globe.  Make the ordinary garden extraordinary by hearing her at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on Saturday, May 2.  The day begins with her lecture The Art of Growing Food from 10 – 11:30 am.  ($15 for THBG members, $25 for nonmembers.) Then, join her for a brown bag lunch from 11:30 – 12:30, limited to afternoon workshop participants only.  Pre-registration is necessary.  From 1:00 – 4:00, she will lead a Hands-on Workshop in Garden Design (THBG members $35, nonmembers $50.)  Starting with an overview of your yard, Ellen will help you develop a five-year plant.  Pre-requisite is the 10 – 11:30 lecture The Art of Growing Food.  Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Friday, May 8, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – Naturalistic Garden Symposium

“What’s past is prologue.” After decades of landscape design that emphasized form over function, often at the expense of environmental quality, it is now commonplace for our landscapes to reflect many of the principles developed by early 20th-century naturalistic landscape designers like Warren Manning and Will Curtis, founder of Garden in the Woods. Learn about the intriguing connections between the wild gardens of old and the new naturalism of today, and about the plants that support our efforts to develop beautiful, ecologically-sensitive gardens, on Friday, May 8, at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Naturalistic Garden Symposium. The day will include:

Wild Gardens: Past, Present, and Future
Rick Darke, President of RICK DARKE LLC, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm that blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the design and management of living landscapes

William Robinson’s 1870 classic The Wild Garden challenged tradition by suggesting that managed, self-perpetuating plant populations were essential to resource-conserving gardens. This concept resonated with progressive British, northern European, and American gardeners alike, inspiring diverse naturalistic designs. Rick Darke will look at how wild gardening has evolved and why it is more relevant than ever to today’s and tomorrow’s conservation-based gardens.

The Natural History of Spring Wildflowers: A Closer Look
Carol Gracie, naturalist and author of Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History

The wildflowers that brighten our woodlands in spring are more than just a delight for the eye and a lift for the winter-weary spirit. Each has a role in the environment, including interesting interactions with pollinators and seed dispersers. Learn about the fascinating life histories of some favorite spring wildflowers as we examine them in depth.

A Sense of Where You Are: Finding a New Naturalism
Tobias Wolf, award-winning landscape architect and the owner of Wolf Landscape Architecture

What if we asked our landscapes to do more than just look good? Gardens and landscapes can support biodiversity, cleanse and absorb stormwater, and improve soil health. Just as important, they can invite us outdoors and help us feel connected to the world around us. Landscape architect Tobias Wolf will share his experience in shaping landscapes that combine ecological performance with a distinct sense of time and place. He will show how urban and suburban landscapes can incorporate the qualities we value in wild places, and how design that is informed by the structure and function of native plant communities can bring new vitality to public spaces and private gardens.

Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch. $92 for NEWFS members, $115 for nonmembers. Register online at

Tuesday, April 28, 6:45 pm – Eve Did Not Apply Roundup: Organic Practices for Home Gardeners

Trish Wesley Umbrell, former Director of Education and Outreach at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, will speak at a Norwood Evening Garden Club meeting on Tuesday, April 28, beginning at 6:45 at the First Baptist Church Parish House, 71 Bond Street in Norwood.  Her talk is entitled Eve Did Not Apply Roundup: Organic Practices for Home Gardeners.  $5 donation requested, public is welcome.  For more information visit  Image from

Tuesday, May 5, 6:00 pm – Arts and Crafts Architecture: History and Heritage in New England

Anyone who has spent time in New England will recognize the century-old buildings that Maureen Meister will discuss in a slide lecture on Tuesday, May 5 at The Gibson House Museum, 137 Beacon Street, that draws upon her new book, Arts and Crafts Architecture: History and Heritage in New England (University Press of New England). Focusing on the 1890s through the 1920s, she will explain how a group of Boston architects and craftsmen were influenced by English Arts and Crafts theories to produce works that are now landmarks, admired for their exquisite ornament. At the same time, the buildings reflect a rich intellectual culture that flourished in New England one hundred years ago. A reception begins at 6, with the lecture at 7. For more information email
Maureen Meister is an art historian who writes about American art and architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is the author of Architecture and the Arts and Crafts Movement in Boston: Harvard’s H. Langford Warren, 2003, and was volume editor of H. H. Richardson: The Architect, His Peers, and Their Era, 1999. She holds a doctorate from Brown University and an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College. Since 1998, she has taught at Tufts University.

Tuesday, April 28, 4:15 pm – Growing Behind Prison Walls

Wellesley Research Technician Mia Howard and Lab Instructor Marcy Thomas are volunteers in the newly created Horticulture Program at the Framingham Women’s Correctional Facility, where the mission of “Women Helping Women” is advanced through a shared goal to have inmates learn new skills and grow food to donate to women’s shelters.  Come to the Wellesley College Botanic Garden on Tuesday, April 28 at 4:15 and hear about Mia and Marcy’s experiences working alongside women prisoners, helping with the planting and transplanting, and contributing to the program’s growth.  Free for members of WCBG, nommembers $10.  Register by calling 781-283-3094, or email

Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Healthy Places in the Transition Century

In the coming century urban populations around the world will grow at uneven rates–some places will lose population in metropolitan areas and others gain it. Populations in most places will be older on average. How can the growing body of research on the connections between health and environments be used to make a positive contribution to evolving urban and suburban communities? Ann Forsyth, PhD, Professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will speak about the components that contribute to healthier and more sustainable cities, alternatives to sprawl, and the tensions that exist between social and ecological values in urban design. The talk takes place Tuesday, April 28, from 7 – 8:30 in the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum. Fee: Free for Arboretum members, $10 nonmembers. Register online at

Thursday, April 23, 6:00 pm – Islands: Natural Laboratories of Evolution

Tahiti, Bermuda, Madeira, Bali. Everyone loves islands, but no one loves them more than an evolutionary biologist. From the dwarf elephants of Crete to the carnivorous caterpillars of Hawaii and the snaggly-fingered aye-aye of Madagascar, islands present a cornucopia of biodiversity. Darwin drew much of his inspiration from island stopovers on his fabled Beagle voyage, as did Alfred Russel Wallace on his own perambulations through the East Indies. Ever since Darwin and Wallace jointly proposed their theory of evolution by natural selection, biologists have returned to islands to gain fresh insights. Jonathan Losos, Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator in Herpetology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, will discuss the relevance of islands to our understanding of evolution and its processes on Thursday, April 23 at 6 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street. Free and open to the public. Free parking is also available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Sunday, April 26, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Dora Lee: Celebrate Japanese Spring with Ikebana

Dora Lee, past president of the Boston Chapter of Ikebana International, demonstrates Sogetsu Ikebana, from basic to freestyle, at the Barbara and Theodore Alfond Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on Sunday, April 26 from 3 – 4. This demonstration is part of the Museum’s Art in Bloom celebration. Free event ticket and Museum admission required. Go to for more information.

Tuesday, April 21, 10:00 am – 11:30 am – Jaw-Dropping Container Gardening

Tired of the same old window boxes? Have you ever wanted to create lush container gardens that would be the envy of the neighborhood? Join Master Gardener Deborah Trickett, owner of The Captured Garden, who will take your container gardens from “blah” to “aah”. Starting with the basics including containers, soil mixes and plant choices for different site conditions then proceed to new and unusual plant material and uncommon container choices. The Needham Garden Club program will take place Tuesday, April 21, from 10 – 11:30 at the Needham Public Library, 1139 Highland Avenue in Needham.
Cost: $4.00 donation from the public. Contact: Bonnie Waters, Program Chair at

Wednesday, April 22, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Naoya Hatakeyama: Personal Landscapes

One of Japan’s leading contemporary photographers, Naoya Hatakeyama has presented award-winning images that explore the relationship between urbanization and the natural world, some of which are on view in the exhibition In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3-11. Since 2011, Hatakeyama has returned to his tsunami-ravaged home of Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture to photograph the transformed landscape. On Wednesday, April 22, from 7 – 8 in the Harry and Mildred Remis Autitorium at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, hear how his experiences in Japan and abroad have influenced his process, body of work, and personal philosophy. The lecture is part of the Rad Smith Program in Japanese Art. Image below: Naoya Hatakeyama, 2013.10.20 Kesen-cho from the series “Rikuzentakata 2011–2014” (detail), 2013. Photograph, C print. © Hatakeyama Naoya / Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery.

To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975; to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk.

Sunday, April 19, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Gardens Lost and Found: From Hadrian’s Villa to Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Hadrian’s Villa, 20 miles northeast of Rome, is considered an outstanding Classical Era estate. It was maintained for a hundred years before falling into ruin, and not rediscovered and renovated until the Renaissance. This lecture by John W. Trexler, Founding Director of Tower Hill Botanic Garden and now Director Emeritus, will begin with Hadrian’s preferred villa then review gardens inspired by his genius. Many of the gardens discussed will have had a period of magnificence followed by decline or even ruin, and most have had an eventual restoration. The Sunday, April 19 lecture will be held at Tower Hill from 2 – 3:30, followed by a reception. This is the third in a series of lectures presented by Lost Gardens of Worcester County, a joint project of the Worcester Garden Club, Preservation Worcester and Tower Hill. Free with admission; registration recommended. For additional information please contact Kathy Bell (508-869-6111 x116) or Image from

Monday, April 6, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Water Conservation: Landscape Design Strategies

Each year millions are spent on designing, building, and maintaining landscapes that use too many unsustainable resources and rely on unsustainable practices. There is little thought given to water conservation in traditional landscape design and the result is a continuing depletion of our water resources. Gary Krause is committed to landscapes designed with water conservation in mind. As drought conditions become the norm in many parts of the country, the need for water-conscious landscape design becomes more critical. This one hour webinar presentation on Monday, April 6, beginning at 5:30 pm, will address many water conservation techniques including plant choices, material selection, and irrigation options. With careful planning, landscape designs can provide alternatives to our clients and create sustainable landscapes that are both beautiful and water-conscious. The cost to register is $10, and the sponsor is the Ecological Landscaping Alliance.

Gary Krause holds a degree in design and maintains a wide range of certifications including permeable pavers, drainage systems, rainwater harvesting, and is a Certified Sustainable Landscaper. Gary has over 30 years’ experience in gardening, landscape design, construction, and maintenance. Gary believes that the future for sustainable landscapes is very promising thanks to all of the new technology in plant genetics, ‘Smart Water’ irrigation products, and other water-conserving innovations.
– See more at:

Sunday, April 12, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – The Best New Gardens Will Come From Old Gardens

Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston will present Rodney Eason on Sunday, April 12, from 2 – 3, for a talk entitled The Best New Gardens Will Come From Old Gardens. Along the line of thinking that the best new ideas are stolen from old ideas, Rodney, director of horticulture and plant curator at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, will show some of the most powerful gardens he has ever visited and how these experiences have influenced his designs. Join him on a visual journey through the US, Cuba, Japan, South America, and Europe. Some of these iconic garden images will then be reimagined in new ways, in a different setting, using totally new plants. THBG members $15, non-members $25. Register online at, or call 508-869-6111.

Wednesday, April 8, 7:00 pm – Big Chicken Run

The Big Chicken Run is one of many nicknames for a “journey in search of as many members of prairie-dwelling grouse as can realistically be fitted into a single trip.” Otherwise known as the Grouse Grand Slam, the trip Scott Surner, President of the Hampshire Bird Club, will be describing generally takes about ten days, much of it spent quartering the windswept prairies in Colorado and Kansas for Greater and Lesser Prairie Chickens, Greater and Gunnison’s Sage Grouse, and Sharp-tailed Grouse. These are all lekking species, meaning that males display in mysteriously well-defined areas, where their (often bizarre) displays are perused by visiting females. The trips involve grueling travel itineraries and a lot of huddling in blinds near the leks in the predawn. A trip to make (or break) friendships. Scott Surner is a founding member of the Hampshire Bird Club and has had more terms as president than the Bush and Clinton families combined, (though the math may need to be re-checked in 2016.) He has led wonderful trips both locally and across the country for HBC and is the current teacher of the annual Hitchcock Birding Class, which brings many new people to birding every year. The talk takes place Wednesday, April 8, beginning at 7 pm at the Athol Bird and Nature Club, Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main Street in Athol. Photo by B.E. Goodwin.

Wednesday, April 15, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – An Evening with Adriaan Geuze

As a cofounder of West 8, Adriaan Geuze has established an international reputation based on a unique approach to design, relating contemporary culture, urban identity, architecture, public space, and engineering in the individual project, always taking the context into account. With an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers, West 8 has implemented projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam, Governor’s Island in New York, Madrid Rio, and Miami Beach SoundScape Park (pictured.) He will speak on Wednesday, April 15, from 6:30 – 8 in the Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street in Cambridge. This Daniel Urban Kiley Lecture is an annual honorific lecture on landscape, free and open to the public. For more information contact

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