Wednesday, November 29, 6:00 pm – Unraveling Ancient Life in Massachusetts: Fossils, Paleobiology, and Geologic Maps

For two hundred years, geologists and paleontologists have mapped sedimentary sequences and interpreted the ancient environments they represent. Professor Richard H. Bailey, professor of geology in the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences at Northeastern University, will unearth the evolutionary history of Massachusetts fossils, their value in understanding the geologic development of the region, and their historical depiction in maps. The lecture will take place Wednesday, November 29 at 6 pm in the Boston Public Library’s Central Library on Boylston Street.

Following the talk, audience members will be invited to enjoy a guided tour of the Map Center’s exhibit, Beneath Our Feet: Mapping the World Below. Free.


Wednesday, November 29, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Remembering German-Jewish Culture Through Its Culinary Traditions

What happens to a food tradition when its culture starts to vanish? The advent of the Nazi era brought about the demise of 1000 years of Jewish life in Germany, along with the loss of a cuisine that differed greatly from the Eastern European one that is now generally accepted as the definition of Jewish food. This pre-Nazi food tradition lives on in the kitchens of some German Jews and in the memories of many others around the world. This Boston University talk, by Gabrielle Rossmer and Sonya Gropman, a mother-daughter author team with a German-Jewish background, will address issues of food and memory, food as cultural identity, and preserving and documenting traditional recipes. The free event on Wednesday, November 29 at 6 pm is part of the Pepin Lecture Series. Reservations are required; RSVP by calling 617-353-9852. Meets at Boston University: 725 Commonwealth Ave College of Arts and Sciences Room 224.


Monday, November 27, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Candy Cane Tea, and 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Copley Square Tree Lighting Festivities

The Friends of Copley Square and Mayor Martin J. Walsh invite your family to the annual Copley Square Tree Lighting Festivities on Monday, November 27 from 5 – 6, featuring NESN’s Jenny Johnson.  Celebrate the holiday season with a visit from Santa, musical performances with Boston Children’s Chorus, Boston Pops Brass Quintet, Britani Washington of Berklee College of Music, Sam Robbins, and appearances by Rudolph and Frosty. A Candy Cane Tea hosted by The Catered Affair and the Boston Public Library precedes the event, from 3 – 4:30 – rsvp required at 617-859-2282.  The Fairmont Copley Plaza will host a post lighting reception at 6 pm, and all events are free.  For more information visit www.friendsofcopleysquare.org.

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Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 24 – 26, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm – A Gardener’s Wreath

Tower Hill Botanic Gardens has scheduled a three hour workshop on wreath making which you may take on any one of three different days, November 24 – 26, with instructor Karen Perkins. Design a beautiful botanical wreath from a colorful assortment of choice evergreens, including some collected on the grounds at Tower Hill. Accent your wreath with a variety of dried materials; bow making instructions will be included. This unique outdoor wreath is made on a foam ring which can be moistened to last all winter. Bring pruning shears, wire cutters, and a towel. All materials included. The class begins each day at 11:30. $65 for Tower Hill members, $75 for nonmembers. Register online at www.towerhillbg.org.

Karen Perkins, former Director of Education at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, has been teaching folks how to fashion singularly beautiful holiday decorations for almost 30 years. If you can’t make this event, feel free to order one of the Garden Club’s magnificently decorated wreaths, such as the one pictured below, at www.gardenclubbackbay.org/shop


Thursday, December 7, 6:00 pm – Beyond Drawings: The Olmsted Archives as Muse and Vision

Lucinda Brockway, noted garden designer, landscape historian, and preservation specialist, began her career with an internship at Fairsted as it moved from a design office to part of the National Park Service. The Olmsted Archives play an invaluable role in her current work as Cultural Resources Program Director for The Trustees of Reservations, as they did in her previous private design practice. In this Friends of Fairsted presentation, Lucinda will bring her research stories to life, illustrating the relevance of the Archives to historic preservation projects and design work, both present and future. 6:00pm Reception | 7:00pm Lecture, to be held at Wheelock College, Brookline Campus, 43 Hawes Street, corner of Hawes and Monmouth Streets, Brookline. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Visit http://friendsoffairsted.org/programs/ for more details.


Monday, December 4, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Charlesgate Alliance: The Second Meeting

On Monday, December 4, from 7 – 9, join the Charlesgate Alliance to talk about DCR Charlesgate Park.  This second meeting will take place at 91 Bay State Road, Common Lounge on the first floor, and will include discussions of improvements to DCR Charlesgate Park. The event is sponsored by Charlesgate Alliance, DCR Massachusetts, and the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.


Thursday, December 7, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Yuletide Holiday House Tour

The Cohasset Community Garden Club presents its biennial Holiday House Tour. Yuletide will take place Thursday December 7, 2017 from 10am-4pm. The tour includes 5 seaside homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. Complimentary lunch with coffee, tea and dessert served at the Marketplace where distinctive handmade crafts and gifts from our members and vendors are offered at St. Anthony’s Church Hall Main St., Cohasset.Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 day of tour and may be purchased at several local merchants as well as through our website www.communitygardenclubofcohasset.org by using PayPal.


Friday, December 1, 6:45 pm – New England Botanical Club Meeting with Dr. Alden Griffith

The New England Botanical Club will meet Friday, December 1 at 6:45 pm and will host Dr. Alden Griffith, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Wellesley College. Meetings at Harvard University are held in Haller Lecture Hall (Room 102), Geological Museum, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (door to right of Harvard Museum of Natural History entrance). Free and open to the public.

Dr. Griffith is an ecologist focusing on invasive plant population dynamics and environmental influences. His work is conducted at the Boston Area Climate Experiment (BACE) in Waltham, MA and uses Persicaria lapathifolia as a model species. An important goal is to explicitly link environmental factors to population performance using integral projection models. This work is a collaboration with Vikki Rodgers at Babson College. Also, he studies the capacity for invasion of Bromus tectorum (‘cheatgrass’) in east coast dune systems. There has been much research into the invasion of B. tectorum in the Western U.S., but there is very little known about its potential in the east. This work is being conducted at the Cape Cod National Seashore and focuses on relating population success to factors of both the abiotic environment and the background plant community. Another area of inquiry is the population-level consequences of positive interactions among plants. Interactions among plants are often assumed to be negative (e.g. competition), but there is growing interest in the importance of positive interactions, or plant-plant facilitation, in ecological systems. His research, in collaboration with Ray Callaway at the University of Montana, examines the overall importance of facilitation by neighboring plants for Smelowskia calycina populations at high elevation in Glacier National Park.

For more information visit www.rhodora.org. Image of dock leaved smartweed by David Cameron courtesy of our friends at New England Wildflower Society’s Go Botany!


Holiday Wreaths 2017 – Glamorous Glitz

Our third accent choice for this year’s fully decorated wreath orders is the newly minted “Glamorous Glitz.” For years we have been known for our use of glorious natural materials, specifically pine cones, grasses, seed pods, and unusual dried flowers and twigs. These are still very popular, but an explosion of sparkly accents have caught our eye in recent seasons, and we began using them on wreaths destined for our own homes. We were afraid to send out such outrageous designs to unsuspecting customers. However, we began publicizing them on our Wreath of the Day website feature, which runs from shortly after Wreath Week through New Year’s Day, and the feedback was quick and clear – some of you out there (and you know who you are) want glitter and shine.  So this year, for the first time, you may specify Glamorous Glitz as a design option. Order soon at http://www.gardenclubbackbay.org/shop/


Saturday, November 25, 9:00 am – 11:00 am – Learn and Burn

The Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site is continuing what has become a holiday season “tradition” with the third annual Learn and Burn walk that offers a chance to learn about an Olmsted landscape and burn off calories from holiday meals. The last two years we were at Jamaica Pond. This year we are moving to Franklin Park. Sign up so you can get some exercise, and learn about Olmsted’s “country park” in the city! Rain or icy conditions will cancel. This walk is popular so sign up soon! Reservations are required by Wednesday, November 22 at noon. Visit https://www.nps.gov/frla/special-events.htm with name and contact information.