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Saturday, October 1, 8:30 am – 3:45 pm – Inspirations for Next Year’s Garden

The Massachusetts Master Gardener Association will hold its 2016 Massachusetts Gardening Symposium, Inspirations for Next Year’s Garden, on Saturday, October 1 from 8:30 – 3:45 at Westford Academy in Westford, Massachusetts. The MMGA has chosen this year’s symposium speakers not only for their expertise and the respect they have earned, but also for their ability to inspire audiences with practical tips and techniques. Here is a sampling of what you can expect to learn.

MARGARET ROACH, author and radio/web site host – The 365-Day Garden

The garden is never really out of season, according to Margaret Roach. Creating year-round visual enjoyment requires a combination of tactics: Learn about “botanical stars,” site selection and – perhaps most importantly – how to engage your senses in planning for 2017.

ED BOWEN, plant breeder, horticulturist and nurseryman – The Best Plants You’ve Never Heard of

Tired of the “same old-same old”? There is a practical aesthetic value in employing alternatives in the garden. Learn about some lesser known cultivars and species of familiar genera as well as new collections from the wild, all suited to New England’s climate.

GORDON HAYWARD, garden designer, author and travel guide – Fine Art as Inspiration for Garden Design

A new way to look at your garden based on how artists and garden designers use similar elements of composition to construct their images…including creating foreground/background and the use of light and shadow, focal points, contrast, and positive/negative space.

BOB SOLBERG, nursery owner and hosta hybridizer – The Truth About Hostas: Why We Can’t Live Without Them

The dirt on hostas: Are they right for your landscape? How about minis? Are the new hosta hybrids the best hostas? How do you maximize performance and deal with pests?

REGISTRATION – $75 per person thru August 15; $95 per person August 16-September 24. Includes lectures, Garden Marketplace and lunch. No refunds after September 24, 2016. Register online at


Wednesday, July 27, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm – What Role do “Nativars” Play in an Ecological Landscape?

As interest increases in native plants for ecological landscapes, growers and nurseries are meeting the demand through increased production of native plant cultivars (nativars) and through asexual propagation methods like cuttings, grafting, and tissue culture.

While asexual propagation is perhaps the quickest way to produce large quantities of plants in order to meet demand, a landscape composed entirely of clonal plants (even if they are native) does not offer the same level of ecosystem services as a genetically diverse landscape grown from locally-sourced seed. Co-sponsored by ELA and New England Wild Flower Society, this program is intended to raise awareness of the many aspects of this important topic. The audience for this event will be landscape designers, landscape architects, conservation and restoration specialists, growers, and others in the landscape field. We hope that this discussion will reveal current research into the ecological value of nativars and other asexually propagated native plant species, and address the challenges of meeting the demand for genetically diverse native landscapes.

In the midst of many opinions, this  July 27 ELA workshop at Garden in the Woods brings together several experts on the topic to bring clarity and guidance on the topic.

Presenters and Panelists:

Cayte McDonough is the Nursery Production Manager for New England Wild Flower Society’s Nasami Farm Native Plant Nursery based in Whately, MA. For the past 15 years she has worked to propagate, cultivate, understand, and promote New England native plants. McDonough and her colleagues collect seeds in the wild with permission from landowners. They collect from large populations to ensure genetic diversity and limit their collections to 20 percent of the available seed to minimize the impact on the population. She also enjoys learning about native pollinators and supporting local farmers.

Michael Piantedosi is the Seed Bank Coordinator of New England Wild Flower Society and is currently working with Seeds of Success (SOS), a native seed collection program led by the Bureau of Land Management. SOS collects wild land native seed for research, development, germplasm conservation and ecosystem restoration. The ultimate goal is to ensure the availability of genetically rich, regionally adapted native plant materials to restore, rehabilitate and stabilize lands in the United States.

Mark Richardson oversees the New England Wildflower Society’s botanic garden, Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts and its native plant nursery operation, Nasami Farm in Whately, Massachusetts. He studied ornamental horticulture at the University of Rhode Island and helped run a mid-sized ornamental plant nursery before finding his true passion in public horticulture. He led undergraduate programs at Longwood Gardens, overhauled the curriculum of the Professional Gardener Program, and oversaw adult education at Brookside Gardens. In 2013, Mr. Richardson assisted with the development of the first comprehensive master plan for Garden in the Woods. He holds an MS from the University of Delaware’s Longwood Graduate Program.

Peter van Berkum, along with his wife Leslie, started Van Berkum Nursery (VBN) in 1986. VBN is a wholesale perennial nursery specializing in natives, shade perennials, and Wicked Ruggeds – plants that perform well and last a long time in New England landscapes. Peter has a degree in Plant Science from the University of New Hampshire, spent a year studying horticulture in the Netherlands, and worked at several nurseries before starting VBN. He is a past president of the New Hampshire Plant Growers Association, as well as a founding member of the New Hampshire Horticulture Endowment. He and his wife were recipients of the Massachusetts Horticulture Societies Silver Medal, and Peter was the Perennial Plant Association’s Grower of the Year in 2013.

Laney Widener is the Botanical Coordinator at the New England Wild Flower Society with a background and research on plant genetic differences.

Annie White is a Horticultural Researcher at the University of Vermont and owner of NECTAR Landscape Design Studio & Consulting. Annie has a PhD in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont and a MS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For years, Annie worked as an ecological landscape designer and continually saw native cultivars being substituted for native species in her designs. Recognizing a lack of research to support this, she began researching the topic herself as a PhD student. Using replicated research methods, Annie has evaluated about 20 native cultivars in comparison to the native species for pollinator preference, floral abundance, bloom duration, and hardiness. Her research was funded by a SARE Partnership Grant and the New Hampshire Horticultural Endowment.

$30 for ELA and NEWFS members, $40 for nonmembers. See more at:

Friday, August 12 – Saturday, August 13 – American Conifer Society Northeast Region Meeting

The American Conifer Society will venture to Southwest New Hampshire August 12 and 13 to take in 4 private gardens around the Keene area in August 2016. NH boasts natural beauty – mountains, farming, granite, forests and water and this natural scenery is the backdrop for these four gardens. We will explore a garden in cultivation for 45 years, two in cultivation for 25 years and a new 10 year old garden. In addition to conifers, beech and perennials, we will view a sugaring house, natural cranberry fens (floating bog), farmstead built in 1790’s and a newly built medieval style manor house complete with stonework by renowned mason, Dan Snow. Stay a few days and take in Brattleboro, Vermont, the White Mountains of NH or hike Mt. Monadnock.

The Conference, taking place at The Courtyard by Marriott, 75 Railroad Street in Keene,  begins at 3 pm Friday and that evening’s dinner speaker is Kris Fenderson, who will present Gardening in the Same Spot for 45 Years: Lessons and Triumphs. On Saturday, buses leave at 8 am for Grout Hill, and at 10:15 the trip to Woodland Farms begins. At 12:15 there will be three guided tours of Distant Hills Garden, including floating fens, sugar house, and Monarch butterfly fueling station. For complete information and registration, visit

Friday, July 24 – Sunday, July 24 – New England Daylily Society Meeting

The Region 4 American Hemerocallis Society Meeting, sponsored by the New England Daylily Society, will take place July 22 – 24 at the Courtyard Marriott, 2200 Southwood Drive in Nashua, New Hampshire.  The featured speakers will be Heidi and Charles Douglas of Browns Ferry Gardens located in South Carolina. $119 registration fee.  Please make check payable to New England Daylily Society and mail to Kim Walters, Registrar, 2016 Region 4 Regional Convention, 154 Main Street, Sandown, NH 03873-2612. Pre-Registration is required. Registration received with incorrect payment will be returned. Registration Fee includes motor coach bus tours of Convention gardens, lunch and banquet dinner on Saturday, and convention plant. You are responsible for your hotel reservations – call The Courtyard Marriott, (603-880-9100). More information can be found at the following link: 

Wednesday, August 3 – Friday, August 5 – The Food Project Summer 2016 Institute

Many people come to The Food Project during the summer and are inspired by the beautiful, healthy food, and highly motivated, diverse teens working with passion towards a common mission. It seems to flow effortlessly. The truth is… summers are the complementary outcome of the other half of the year when they run vibrant youth programs such as the Dirt and Root Crews and plan for the following summer.

During this Summer/Fall season, our Seed Crew, Dirt Crew, and Root Crew are fully engaged in the growing season. They are deepening their knowledge and taking action to create a sustainable and just food system. These lessons and actions are dynamic and “real-time” at shelters, farmers’ markets, greenhouses, in workshops they facilitate, and in the powerful feedback sessions with their peers and supervisors.

At the Summer Institute, you will experience:

Summer season planning and program design
The opportunity to work with youth and hear about their work
In-depth conversations with The Food Project staff
The opportunity to network with and learn from your peers

And you will learn:

How to build a tiered youth development program
How to mobilize and motivate teens year-round
The foundations and planning for strong summer programs

For more information on the Summer Institute, please email or call 781-259-8621 x29 to speak with Cindy Davenport, Director of Programming and Institutional Learning.  $430 fee.  Register at

Tuesday, July 12, 7:00 pm – Backyard Bird Sanctuaries

The North Andover Garden Club will present Bill Gette of the Massachusetts Audubon Society on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 pm at St. Michael’s Parish Hall, Main Street in North Andover, who will give a talk on Backyard Bird Sanctuaries.  Learn many different aspects about birds and how to create your own backyard sanctuary to enjoy these amazing creatures.

Thursday, October 6 – Saturday, October 8 – America in Bloom: The Changing Environment … Reimagining Our Communities

It is with great pride that The Arroyo Grande Host Committee invites you to join them in Arroyo Grande for the 2016 America in Bloom Symposium & Awards Program, October 6-8. Arroyo Grande is a 5-Bloom Circle of Champions America in Bloom city steeped in California history. Located close to the Pacific Ocean, it is just a short drive from San Luis Obispo where the host hotel, Embassy Suites, is located. To enhance your central California experience in October, they have put together three optional, fascinating pre-Symposium tours that include drives with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. During the Symposium, you will visit one of the many California flower production nurseries and tour the botanic garden at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo set in the coastal mountains. This year, you will have the opportunity to experience the beauty, grandeur, and charm of California’s central coast. For a complete schedule of events visit  Full Symposium registration is $295 per person if registered by September 11, $345 thereafter.


Thursday and Friday, July 21 and 22 – Our Native Roots – Then and Now

The Hudson Valley is said by many to be the birthplace of American landscape design. Join Herb Society of America  members on July 21 and 22 as we enjoy a sampling of the area’s attractions while we learn the importance of our native plants both today and in an era gone by. Tour three private gardens that offer a diverse sample of styles representative of the area, meet the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association, relax with friends before heading to dinner, receive news from headquarters, participate in the district meeting, be tempted by our sensational raffle baskets and learn more about our useful natives from experts in their field.

Registration: $85 per person.
Visit to view the 2016 Northeast District Gathering mailer with registration form and lodging information.  Completed registration forms with payment must be postmarked by June 19, 2016.

For additional information contact:
Northeast District Membership Delegate Jen Munson at

Wednesday, July 13 – Saturday, July 16 – AHS Children & Youth Garden Symposium

The American Horticultural Society’s 24th Annual National Children & Youth Garden Symposium will be held July 13 – 16 in Columbia, South Carolina.  This event brings together teachers, landscape designers, and youth program leaders from around the country to collaborate, share, and learn about engaging young people with plants.

This year’s regional co-hosts are Clemson University Extension, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. and Riverbanks Zoo & Garden.  One of the event’s highlights will be tours of local public and school gardens.  Participants may choose from more than 50 educational sessions and workshops, and attend A Sense of Wonder, a one-woman play by Kaiulani Lee based on the life of scientist Rachel Carson.  Additional pre-symposium tours will feature visits to notable regional gardens, including the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden and Moore Farms Botanical Garden (Pictured).  For more information visit or call 703-768-5700, ext. 121.

Monday, June 13 – Sunday, June 19 – Bromeliad Society International World Bromeliad Conference

You are invited to come visit Houston June 13 – 19 for the Bromeliad Society International World Bromeliad Conference.  Early summer in Texas is great – the best time to visit when it’s not too hot and it’s before hurricane season.  Bromeliads love it and show it.  The conference will take place in the Westin Galleria Hotel overlooking uptown Houston adjacent to Galleria Shopping Center.  Room rates are $139 per night with free parking.  Houston is the home of Carole Richtmyer, world renowned Cryptanthus hybridizer.  And there will be barbecue.  Online registration has been extended: Photo from