Saturday, June 29, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Nasami Farm Perched Swamp Tree Exploration

Nasami Farm, owned by the New England Wildflower Society, is home to a unique habitat, a Black Gum—Pin Oak—Swamp White Oak “perched” swamp. This is a swamp not directly connected to the water table, but perched above it on layers that prevent draining usually associated with old glacial lake beds. The Great Swamp, of which this property is a part, is one of the largest and best examples of a perched swamp left in Massachusetts. On Saturday, June 29, from 10 – 2, we will be looking mostly at the trees and their bark, but also checking out any wildflowers we might see. The trail is level and the distance covered about 2 to3 miles at an easy pace. Please bring comfortable water-resistant boots, rain gear (depending on the weather), plenty of water, lunch, binoculars and bug spray. We will be using the book Bark by Michael Wojtech, so bring a copy if you have one. We will meet at Nasami Farm, 128 North Street, in Whately (there is a blue sign on routes 5 & 10 at Swamp Road). Parking will be at the barn on the left as you enter. Directions will be sent upon request at pre-registration when you email Nancy Goodman at wildeyes@rcn.com. $5 fee, free for Pioneer Valley Institute members, NEWFS members, and kids under 12. (Please do not use MapQuest for driving directions; they currently take you to North Street in South Deerfield.)

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Wednesday, June 26, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Spicket River Greenway

The Spicket River Greenway is a three-mile long “emerald bracelet” of green spaces and walking paths connecting parks and open space through multiple neighborhoods in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and encompasses riverfront restoration and neighborhood revitalization. Join us to learn more about this successful urban project. The Greenway has been a multi-year, collaborative effort involving municipal agencies, community organizations, and neighborhood stakeholders. Three anchor sites along the Greenway have recently been rehabilitated or built: Dr. Nina Scarito Park, William Kennedy Community Park, and Manchester Street Park. Tour the Greenway with Brad Buschur on Wednesday, June 26, from 1 – 3. $15 for Ecological Landscaping Association members, $20 for non-members. For more information visit www.ecolandscaping.org.  Register on line at https://www.eventville.com/catalog/eventregistration1.asp?eventid=1010421.

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Thursdays, July 11 – August 1, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm – Soil & Plant Association Field Trip Course

This Landscape Institute of Boston Architectural College summer course, to be held Thursdays, July 11 – August 1 from 9:30 – 4, kicks off with an orientation at the Doyle Center (below) in Leominister, Massachusetts, and concentrates four full days on different landscape locations from Central Massachusetts to the North Shore.  Classes will explore the relationship of geology and soils to plants and hydrology.  Alluvial, glacial, and seacoast processes will be examined to analyze prevailing ecological factors such as site drainage, ecology, specific site soil potentials and restrictions.  Techniques to observe microclimate factors and their effect on site design and maintenance will be discussed.  Using the power of observation, you will infer soil development, site hydrology and nutrient flow.  Students will be able to outline potential sustainable planting plans and maintenance recommendations using native plants and controlling invasive plants by the end of this hands-on course investigation.  Individual transportation or ability to carpool will be necessary to complete the course.  The instructor is Marty Michener, and the audit price is $730. Register at www.the-bac.edu/LI.

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Twilight Garden Party 2013 – The Magnolia Award

Each year at the Twilight Garden Party we present our Magnolia Award for neighborhood beautification, and this year First Church Boston received the honor for the landscape project recently completed on its Marlborough Street front yard.  Below are Shirley and Peter Re flanking the Reverend Rosemary Lloyd of First Church Boston.  We congratulate them for their fine work.

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Sunday, June 23, 3:30 pm – The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History

More than half of Americans now live within 50 miles of ocean, but should they? John Gillis (Rutgers University), in his new book The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History, argues that an inadequate understanding of the natural and human history of our shores has left communities unprepared for coastal dwelling.  John will speak at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street in Cambridge, on Sunday, June 23 beginning at 3:30 pm.  For more information visit www.hmnh.harvard.edu/lectures_and_special_events/index.php.  Regular Museum admission rates apply.

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Saturday, June 22, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm – Village Garden Club of Dennis Garden Tour

On Saturday, June 22, from 9:30 – 3:30, enjoy the Village Garden Club of Dennis’s Garden Tour.  Maps and tickets are available in advance for $20 at The Barn and Co. on Route 6A in Dennis, as well as through the Dennis Chamber of Commerce.  On the day of the Tour, tickets will be priced at $25 and are available at the Gazebo in Dennis, at the intersection of Route 6A and Old Bass River Road.  For more information you may contact sbaudanza@comcast.net.

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Wednesday, June 26, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Going Local Without Going Crazy: 25 Tips to Increase Your Local Footprint

Julie Shanks will help us understand how to bring healthy, local foods into your kitchen and stay on budget too, in this Massachusetts Horticultural Society workshop on Wednesday, June 26, beginning at 6 at Elm Bank in Wellesley.  Julia has a passion for and an expertise in locavorism, and is eager to share easy ways we can all make change that connect us to the food and farmers in our own communities. The world is changing as more people are supporting local, small businesses and returning to homemade food to avoid the unsavory health and social consequences associated with processed foods. Join Julia for a discussion, Q & A, complete with recipes, ideas, and a healthy dose of delicious fun. Julia is the co-author of The Farmers Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying your CSA and Farmers’ Markets Foods. Their book has been reviewed in the Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Taste of the Seacoast, and Growing for Market, and was cited as a reference in Michelle Obama’s American Grown.

Cost – $20.00 for members, $25.00 for non-members.  Sign up at www.masshort.org.

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Saturday, June 22, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Dinner by the River

Enjoy dining, live soft jazz and good company on Saturday, June 22, from 6 – 9, under a beautiful sunset riverside at this year’s Dinner by the River.  The Orange Revitalization Partnership Friends of the Parks will host at Riverfront Park on East River Street in historic Orange.  Tickets are $20, and all are welcome.  For details on tickets and volunteering, please call Pat Andrews, Vice Chair of ORP at 978-544-8555.  This is an annual fund raiser for the town parks.

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Twilight Garden Party 2013 – Vintage Tablecloths

For years, when we conducted a garden tour and had our morning coffee and afternoon tea at the Gamble Ballroom at 5 Commonwealth Avenue, in the building then owned by the Boston Center for Adult Education, we used vintage 1940′s and 1950′s cotton tablecloths from a member’s private collection as toppers over white underskirts.  Our signature look received a glamorous update this year with the addition of glistening green underskirts.  Below is an example of one such cloth draping the wine station:

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Thursday, June 27, 8:00 am – 6:30 pm – The Gardens of Westport

Take a day trip with the  Friends of the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens on Thursday, June 27, from 8 am – 6:30 pm.  Travel by car south to special garden spots in and around Westport, Massachusetts, including a farm tour and lunch with Eva Sommaripa, Wellesley College ’63, and Didi Emmons, author of Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm, a book about Eva’s Garden, Eva, her way of life, her plants, and how to cook with them.  You will learn about the little known herbs Boston and New York chefs are discovering, as well as coveted and cultivated weeds, greens, and edible flowers. The book will be available for sale and signing at $30 a copy.  After lunch visit Westport River Winery in Westport, Massachusetts, owned and operated by the Russell Family.  These fourth generation vintners are best known for their extraordinary sparkling wines and white varietals.  You will have a short tour and tasting to learn about this special location for growing grapes and making award-winning wines.  Finish the day at a local private garden with lemonade and cookies before journeying back to Wellesley.For more details contact 781-283-3094, or email wcbgfriends@wellesley.edu.  Friends price $50, public $65.

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Tuesday, June 18, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Law of the Locusts: What Insect Swarms Teach Us

Locust swarms can be one of the most destructive plagues to mankind, but they also offer important new insights into the causes of human obesity, the aging process, and the complexities of crowd behavior. Australian biologist Steve Simpson (University of Sydney) will take us on a strange journey from insect swarms to human health on Tuesday, June 18, from 7 – 8 at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, 24 Oxford Street in Cambridge.

Parking/Directions: Free event parking in the 52 Oxford Street Garage. An 8-minute walk through Harvard Yard from the Harvard Square red line T stop. For more information visit www.hmnh.harvard.edu.

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Thursday, June 13, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm – Weston Garden Club Garden Tour

The Weston Garden Club will hold its 2013 Garden Tour of nine lovely gardens on Thursday, June 13, from 10 – 3.  Meet at the Josiah Smith Tavern Barn, 358 Boston Post Road in Weston for tickets and maps.  $20 in advance, $25 day of tour.  You may send a check payable to Weston Garden Club to 370 Glen Road, Weston, MA 02493. Contact Lynn Taff at 781-237-2535, or email her at LRT.1@comcast.net for tickets and information.  You may also contact Cathy Konover at cakon@verizon.net.

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Thursday, June 20, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Nantucket Open Day

The Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program continues on Thursday, June 20 in Nantucket.  They are proud to partner with Sustainable Nantucket to present this Open Day featuring six beautiful gardens between 10 – 4.  Begin at East Brick Garden at 93 Main Street, in town.  This garden is an explosion of playful color year round, featuring massive displays including hollyhocks, Casablanca lilies, and all sorts of annuals overflowing from every bed.  Lindsay Mohr is the garden designer, and she installs spectacular displays of perennials, annuals, and bulbs that delight the senses.  Stay on Main Street and visit the garden of Meredith Marshall, 141 Main Street. Enjoy the simple elegance of an historical town garden with climbing roses, picket fences, and beautiful open spaces.  Tucked away behind the historical George C. Gardner house on upper Main, you will find a beautiful herbaceous border with informal boxwood groupings accompanied by summer flowering perennials and bulbs.  The garden is a pleasure to view as you meander on the grass path that guides you around the back of the garden.  The private pool garden is protected by a wisteria covered pergola and flowering vines galore.  Here you can also enjoy collections of potted plants.

The White Garden, 12 Coffin Street, is the former Quaker Meeting House, moved sometime after the turn of the century from the Sherburne area to its present location by Elmer Greene, a famous American portrait painter, whose passion was gardening.  In 1967 the property was purchased by David Halberstam, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and bestselling author.  David and his wife Jean made many notable additions to the garden over the years, including a koi pond and the sublime raised perennial garden.  The raised white garden is a beautiful collection of white flowers and complimentary textures.  The garden has just been renovated to increase sustainability and emphasize the garden ornaments collected by the owners.

The history of the plantings at the Sussek Garden, 85 Main Street, is unknown.  What is known is that the first structure on the property, a workshop, was erected c. 1725. Eventually, a small house was built and, by 1795, was enlarged to the house it is today.  Thus it seems appropriate for the garden design to be of the ‘cottage style.’ By definition, a cottage garden is a place for the cultivation of flowers, vegetables, and small plants in the limited space provided by a small cottage.  In the heart of the historic district, this garden exhibits a profusion of plantings that typify that genre.  The plantings are not pretentious, but rather collections of beloved plants grown for their beauty and practical uses.  You will see heirloom white foxgloves grown from seeds from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, peonies, roses and herbs, all in a palate associated with historic New England cottage gardens.  On the opposite side of the garage there is a small garden with a brick path leading to a garden bench.  These plantings are more suitable for shade, with hosta and astilbe, all executed by garden designer Kristina Wixted.

The final two gardens are Hillary Hedges Rayport’s Garden at 89 Main Street, featuring an informal parterre planted in quadrants with assorted heather, and a rose-covered garden house with views of the garden from the rear of the yard, and the Maclean Garden at 2 Spring Street, uniquely situated at the edge of the historic district and Consue Springs.  For maps and complete parking details, visit http://www.gardenconservancy.org/opendays/open-days-schedule/openday/725-nantucket-open-day. $5 per garden, children under 12 free.

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Sunday, June 23, 11:00 am – Farmers Market & Grilling Class with Jody Adams

Join Rialto for one of its 2013 Cooking Classes led by Chef Jody Adams. The day begins with coffee & scones at 11am in the bar & lounge at Rialto in the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. Summer is the perfect time for seasonal pickings at the farmers market. Join Chef Adams and the Rialto staff on June 23rd for the annual Farmers Market & Grilling class. You’ll tour the local markets and peruse Rialto’s favorite purveyors for fresh ingredients before returning to the Rialto Terrace where they’ll bring out the grill and cook up some delicious dishes perfect for your next patio party. For inquiries and to reserve space call 617-661-5050.

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Parma Prosciutto… grilled asparagus, toma, arugula, truffle oil

Spring Salad… grilled onion, strawberry, pistachio pesto

Grilled scallops… English peas, fennel-ramp puree, pickled rhubarb, pork belly, brown butter sauce

$125, inclusive of tax and gratuity. A portion of proceeds from cooking classes go toward the Rialto Restaurant Scholarship offered yearly at the Cambridge Rindge & Latin School. Please inquire about making an additional donation toward the Rialto Scholarship Fund.  For complete information visit www.rialto-restaurant.com.

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Tuesday, June 18, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm – Ericaceae Family Focus

Many different members of the Ericaceae, or heath family, thrive in New England’s acidic soils. This Arnold Arboretum class, offered with the New England Wild Flower Society and taking place at Garden in the Woods in Framingham on Tuesday, June 18, 9:30 – 12:30, begins with images and a description of the attributes of this family, including a demonstration of Go Botany to see the various genera. Along with botanist instructor Carol Govan, you will then walk outdoors to visit Garden in the Wood’s collection of azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, cranberries, leatherleaf, dog hobble, and more, also looking for evidence of nectar thieves and buzz pollination. Fee is $40 for Arboretum and NEWFS members, $48 for nonmembers. Register on line at www.my.arboretum.harvard.edu. Crowberries below courtesy of www.digitalnaturalhistory.com.

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Twilight Garden Party 2013 – Flowers

We are, after all, a Garden Club, and Garden Club members love flowers.  Twelve members created small tabletop arrangements using a standard vase provided to them by member Cathy Wallace, along with instructions.  A few exceptionally talented arrangers came in and created larger arrangements on the spot the day of the event, and the one below was done by Linda Herman, who also led volunteers on an early morning run to the flower market for raw materials:

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