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Friday, October 27, 10:00 am – 1:30 pm – Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America Annual Fall Meeting and Luncheon

Dr. David Barnett, Mount Auburn’s President & CEO, will present a brief history of the Cemetery and explain how it is being managed today as both a cultural institution and still an active cemetery. Through pictures he will describe some of the cutting-edge practices used to continue providing a high level of service to families at their time of need, while at the same time working to preserve and enhance the character of this historically significant landscape and to also be a model of environmental stewardship. He will summarize the recently completed strategic plan and resulting vision for sustaining Mount Auburn for the next century and beyond. Dr. Burnett was awarded the Garden Club of America Distinguished Medal of Honor in 2016 for “his tireless stewardship of the horticultural and ecological enhancements at Mount Auburn Cemetery, an inspiration to all who visit and study the exceptional spaces.”

Dr. Barnett is the featured speaker for this year’s Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America’s Annual Fall Meeting, followed by lunch, at The Country Club, 191 Clyde Street, Brookline. Coffee and registration begins at 10 am, business meeting at 10:30 am, and lecture at 11:00 am. Garden Club of the Back Bay members should email if interested in car pools. For more information visit

Saturday, October 28, 8:00 am – 12:30 pm – Fall Parks Forum: Innovation & Inclusivity

Boston Park Advocates, a citywide network of people who champion urban greenspace, will host the Fall Parks Forum: Innovation & Inclusivity, with support from the Solomon Foundation, on Saturday, October 28 from 8 – 12:30 at The Great Hall of the Codman Square Health Center, 6 Norfolk Street in Dorchester. Breakfast will be provided, and teens and adults are encouraged to attend this free event. You will hear from park officials and learn from peers across the city. Please register by October 15 at

Tuesday, November 14, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm – The Evolving Role of Urban Landscapes

Increasing urban growth continues to raise concerns about biodiversity, ecosystem function, and ultimately, sustainability. Ecological designers are making some progress in developing semi-wild areas, landscape connectivity, and resilience. A variety of initiatives are creating green space in urban areas including canopy tree projects, preserving natural areas, encouraging rooftop planting, designing new green spaces, and promoting wild, successional vegetation taking root in unused lots. These green spaces, especially large tree projects and meadows, can cover large urban areas.

Join The Ecological Landscape Alliance on Tuesday, November 14 at Winterthur Museum and Gardens in Delaware for a day to reflect on urban landscapes with author James Hitchmough from the University of Sheffield. Hitchmough will share insights from three decades of research including his work on planting design and horticultural consulting on the Olympic Park Gardens in London. Since the mid 1980’s Hitchmough’s main research interests have centered on the ecology, design, and management of herbaceous vegetation. While he has a strong interest in native, semi-natural herbaceous vegetation, increasingly he has re-interpreted ecologically based herbaceous vegetation in the cultural context of the public greenspace of towns and cities. This has resulted in a large volume of research on the creation of various native and non-native meadow, steppe and prairie vegetation from sowing seed in situ. This vegetation is designed to be much more sustainable than the traditional herbaceous plantings, however the main goal of the work is to produce ecologically informed herbaceous plant communities that are highly attractive to the public.

And a local expert, Amy Highland from Mt. Cuba, will share a preview of their new tool to assess risks and benefits of native plant selection for landscape design projects.

Creating Perennial Herbaceous Plant Meadows by Sowing Seed In Situ

Sowing is potentially an attractive approach to establishing herbaceous meadows and similar vegetation in landscapes at relatively low cost, and has been the focus of much practice in restoration ecology, often in semi-rural locations. This approach is more problematic in urban places where people expect more instant results, and more control over species composition and performance than many conventional restoration ecology approaches can deliver. This presentation focuses on the creation of sown vegetation in these more cultural landscape settings and the techniques that we have developed to minimize the risk of failure in contractual situations, and to maximize the visual drama and long term sustainability of the resulting “meadows”.

When does local matter? A new tool to assess risks and benefits when selecting native plant materials

Loss of habitat and decline in many species (such as pollinators) has led to a growing interest in planting native plants and native plant restoration. Botanic gardens, local governments, ecological organizations, and even neighborhood gardeners are seeking the best plants for their projects. Selecting from available plant materials is not always easy and there is an ever-growing need for evidence-backed guidelines on sourcing native plant materials. To address this need, we convened a small gathering of experts from around the United States specializing in plant restoration, conservation, ecology, genetics, germplasm selection and environmental decision making. During the 2017 workshop hosted by Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware US, we developed a tool to assess options of plant provenance based on the goals and context of a given project. Plant traits change with their provenance, and determining the best choice in terms of genetic diversity, local adaptation, and ecosystem function is a complicated topic. Strict, hyper-local guidelines for sources of plant materials can lead to severe constraints on restoration practices, while long-distance or genetically selected sources can compromise restoration success. Given what we know about plant availability for small-scale practitioners and local citizens, we aim to guide decision-makers through currently-available selection AND help guide future development/availability of plant materials. Botanic gardens can provide leadership on this complicated topic by synthesizing current ecological theory and supporting the native plant enthusiasm seen in our audiences thus resulting in less confusion and more successful restoration of biodiverse systems.

The Design Of Novel Planted Communities For Specific Roles In Urban Landscape

Urban landscapes require vegetation to be able to look good and also provide specific functions at the same time, for example the provision of resources for native invertebrates or being able to deal with directed stormwater run-off. In some cases there are advantages to be gained in providing these “services” by adopting a more pragmatic approach in which useful attributes from a variety of different plant communities are “borrowed” and then re-assembled. These processes lead to the creation of new, novel communities that may have no direct equivalent in the natural world. This presentation will deal with the underlying philosophical and practical issues in doing this and how such vegetation can be conceived, designed, and managed in the longer term. The presentation will draw heavily on Hitchmough’s research and practice work over the past 15 years.

Early registration: ELA members $119, nonmembers $139. Register online at

Monday, October 16, 6:30 pm – Friends of the Public Garden Members Reception

This year’s annual Friends of the Public Garden Members Reception on Monday, October 16 at 6:30 pm at the Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston Street, will feature a speaker program followed by a reception with refreshments. Our speaker will be Jim Canales, President and Trustee of the Barr Foundation.

Jim Canales became President and Trustee of the Barr Foundation in May 2014. He spent two decades at The James Irvine Foundation, including service as president and CEO from 2003–2014. Jim taught high school English in San Francisco after earning degrees in English and education from Stanford University. His range of volunteer engagements includes service as trustee of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and on the Advisory Board for Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative. In 2015–2016, he co-chaired the Leadership Council of Boston’s cultural planning process. Jim previously served as Stanford University trustee; as chair of the College Futures Foundation, KQED, Stanford Alumni Association, Larkin Street Youth Services, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations; and as vice chair of Monterey Bay Aquarium. Jim’s writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and other outlets. This reception is complimentary for current Members, and space is limited. You are a current Member if you have made a contribution to the Friends in either 2016 or 2017. Contact Rachel Hangley at the Friends if you’d like to inquire about your Membership status: 617-723-8144 or email:

Please register for the event online by October 9th online at

Thursday, October 19, 10:30 am – The Gardens and Plants at Tower Hill

The Garden Club of the Back Bay continues its monthly programs on Thursday, October 19 with a field trip to Boylston, Massachusetts. Joann Vieira, Director of Horticulture at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, will lead a tour of The Gardens and Plants at Tower Hill. The tour will be followed by lunch at Twigs Restaurant and a little time for browsing in the lovely gift shop before returning to Boston. Depending on weather, we will either hear about and see The Plants of Tower Hill or enjoy an indoor illustrated lecture on Cary Award Winning Plants. Garden Club members will receive car pool notification of the trip. If nonmembers are interested in joining us, please email

Friday, October 13, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm – The Telling and Selling at Blithewold Gardens

Join The Association for Garden Communicators (GWA) on Friday, October 13 from 9 – 3:30 at Blithewold Gardens in Bristol, Rhode Island, for a day long seminar and garden tour to help develop a better marketing plan for yourself, your business, your not for profit, or horticulture at large. Speakers include Angela Treadwell-Palmer and C.L. Fornari, plus a tour of the Blithewold Gardens and Greenhouse with Gail Read, Garden Manager. Additional tour opportunities on Thursday, October 12 and Saturday, October 14 include trips to Green Animals Topiary Garden, Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Samuel Whitehorn House, and the Farmers Daughter Nursery. Registration prices range from $50 – $95, online at

Wednesday, September 20, 10:00 am – Tower Hill, the First Twenty-Five Years

On Wednesday, September 20, at 10:00 am at The College Club, 44 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, John Trexler, Worcester County Horticultural Society Director Emeritus and Founding Director of Tower Hill Botanic Garden, will discuss how Tower Hill evolved from a beautiful farm on a hill to an acclaimed public garden. He will also sign copies of his new book, Tower Hill, the First Twenty-Five Years: Selective Memories of a Benign Dictator.

John Wheaton Trexler holds a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Delaware Valley University. He developed his extraordinary knowledge of plants and garden design from his seven-year experience at Skylands Farm in Ringwood, New Jersey, the former estate of Clarence McKenzie Lewis. Additionally, John spent six years at the Morris County Park Commission restoring Bamboo Brook, the residential garden of landscape architect Martha Brookes Hutcheson.

This meeting will be the kick-off of The Garden Club of the Back Bay’s 2017-2018 season, and will be followed on Thursday, October 19 by a field trip to Boylston, Massachusetts, to view Tower Hill in all its autumn glory. Garden Club of the Back Bay members will receive separate notice of this meeting. If you are not a member but are interested in attending, please email

Wednesday, September 13, 9:30 am – Bird Friendly Gardens

Landscape designer Nanette Masi will talk about designing gardens with native plants to attract birds, butterflies,and other beneficial insects. She works with organic materials and techniques and designs gardens to be beautiful from spring through winter. This Lexington Field & Garden Club program is scheduled for Wednesday, September 13 at The Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington, MA. Coffee at 9:30 AM, Business Meeting at 10 AM followed by presentation. Meetings are free and open to the public.  Image from

Thursday, October 5, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm – Massachusetts Green Careers Conference

The 9th Annual Massachusetts Green Careers Conference will be held at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. 1 Rabbit Hill Road in Westborough, Massachusetts on Thursday, October 5 from 8:30 – 3:30. Learn about careers and trends in clean energy, working for nature, and sustainability. The programs are designed for everyone interested in these topics. The venue is a LEED platinum building adjacent to 900 plus acres of woodlands and fields. The Early Bird registration fee of $65 (Public) and $50 (Teacher rate) includes breakfast, lunch, speaker sessions, networking, and reception. Early bird pricing ends August 31. For more information visit or contact the Conference director at, or telephone 508-481-0569.

Friday, September 8, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Northeast Region Perennial Plant Symposium

On Friday, September 8, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association are teaming up to offer a day-long symposium entitled “Perennial Inspirations & Concepts.” The symposium is open to all levels of gardeners and professionals. Five of the best writers and creative plantsmen from across the country will be there, and you’re invited to listen, learn and ask questions. Continuing Education Units (CEU)s available.

This Year’s Roster of Presenters Includes:

Karen Bussolini, Garden Writer and Coach

Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Garden Designer and Owner of Linden L.A.N.D. Group

Barbara Pierson, Nursery Manager at White Flower Farm

Kathy Tracey, Garden Writer Designer at Avant Gardens

The Symposium will be held at The Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley. Register before August 31: $99; Register on or after September 1: $125. Must pre-register at Price Includes lunch. Image from