Saturday, January 23, 11:00 am – 4:45 pm – Tracking the Hidden Wildlife of Our Winter Woodlands

Most wild animals hide from us, living their lives in secret behind foliage and in the night. However, they leave evidence of their presence behind in the forms of tracks, trails, and other sign. A covering of snow reveals this abundance of life around us in the winter woods. Join The Ware River Nature Club and East Quabbin Land Trust on Saturday, January 23 from 11 – 4:45 to learn more about the signs of wildlife and what those signs tell us. This snow-tracking outdoor program will acquaint participants with the process of finding, identifying, and interpreting wildlife sign in a local natural area.

The walk will be led by well-known tracker-naturalist David Brown, whose experience finding and interpreting New England wildlife spans nearly three decades. He is the author of Trackards for North American Mammals and The Companion Guide to Trackards, and his newest book The Next Step: Interpreting Animal Tracks, Trails and Sign has just been released. It complements his first two books in that it deals mostly with two neglected aspects of wildlife tracking: finding animal sign in the first place and then interpreting what you have identified for behavior.

Meet at the East Quabbin Land Trust office at 120 Ridge Road in Hardwick for David’s introduction to the art of tracking. Slides and casts of animal evidence will be discussed, with emphasis on distinguishing what made those tracks we see in the snow. Hot drinks and cookies will be provided.

Bring a bag lunch to charge up for the afternoon walk which will begin at 12:30pm. Later in the afternoon we will return to the office to warm up, review what we saw outdoors, and share another hot drink by the warm fire. David will have his publications for sale.

Voluntary donations are accepted and will cover the speaker’s travel fee.

Wednesdays, January 20 – March 2, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm – Winter Botanicals with Pen and Ink

Create beautiful illustrations in pen and ink in this Boston Center for Adult Education class beginning Wednesday, January 20, from 7:30 – 9:30 and continuing weekly through March 2. Students will learn the techniques of ink application, including line work, stippling, cross-hatching and inkwash. Each week will focus on a different botanical subject. Knowledge of tone and shading in graphite (either through Botanical Illustration in Graphite or previous experience) is recommended for success in this class. You will leave the six-week course with the skills to create your own “masterpieces.” The instructor is Nancy Bentivegna, and the series price is $238 (BCAE members $202), with a materials cost of $15. A complete materials list may be found at The class will be held at 122 Arlington Street in Boston, and you may register online or by calling 617-267-4430.  Image from

Wreath of the Day: For the Wine Collector

This wreath references a husband’s interest in wine, the wife’s interest in visual glamour combined with humor, and the children’s love of sparkle.  A perfect wreath for New Year’s Eve!


Monday, January 11, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Webinar: Garden Allies – The Art and Science of Conservation Biological Control

Conservation biological control is the practice of designing and managing habitat that supports beneficial insects that regulate pests, while reducing or even eliminating the need for pesticides in landscapes. While many of the same flowering plants that attract pollinating bees also attract insects that attack common pests, effective conservation biological control requires a holistic approach to design that includes far more than simply growing the right flowers. Learn how to merge the principles of garden design and basic ecology to successfully influence the community of beneficial insects that keep pest insects at bay. As schools, parks, and other public areas increasingly ban the use of pesticides, conservation biological control is gaining visibility as an ideal tool for insect management. Geared to landscape professionals, this webinar, to be given Monday, January 11 from 1 – 2 EST introduces tools for design and maintenance, and provides resources for further study.

Frederique Lavoipierre serves as the Director of Education at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, where the focus is on California native plants. She holds a Master’s degree in Biology from Sonoma State University, with an emphasis on sustainable landscape practices and conservation biological control. Frederique Lavoipierre was the founding director of the professional certificate program in sustainable landscaping at Sonoma State University, and founded and operated one of the first certified organic nurseries in California. She is the author of Garden Allies, a series for Pacific Horticulture magazine, completing its 9th year of publication, and has published in Public Gardens, Bay Nature, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Frederique has extensive teaching experience in wilderness, garden and classroom settings. – See more at: Free for Ecological Landscape Alliance members, $10 for nonmembers.

Wreath of the Day: Seen From Afar

Each year we create a wreath to be hung in a cemetery, where the wreath can be spotted from far away by visitors.  Since the area is sunny, the client finds silver works best, creating a shimmery effect.  No snow this year (yet) but the wreath still says “winter.”


Wednesday, January 20, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Residential Design: Try This at Home

The Belmont Garden Club will meet Wednesday, January 20 beginning at 10 am in the Belmont Library Assembly Room. The program will feature Laura Bibler, who will speak on Residential Design: Try This at Home. The public is welcome to attend the program and a $5.00 guest fee is suggested.

Since 1997, Laura has created and directed the installation of landscape designs at private homes and historic estates. Projects range from modest garden spaces to comprehensive master plans. She sits on the Executive Board of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, is a Corporate Trustee of The Trustees of Reservations, and is Chairperson of The Stevens-Coolidge Place Committee and author of A Guide to the Gardens.

Wreath of the Day: Designer’s Choice

One of our designers was intrigued by a pink and green swirly ribbon we had in our collection, and we found just the right client – someone hanging a wreath in a somewhat dark space, in a building with multiple units so a too-Christmas look might be inappropriate.  The fiddlehead fern glittery accents are perfect with the bow, and the customer is delighted.


Sunday, January 10, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Water Conservation in the Garden

All gardeners aim to beautify the world. But we also have a responsibility to ensure that our actions contribute to, rather than detract from, the environment. On Sunday, January 10 from 1:30 – 3, learn how water conservation practices can help you to create beautiful garden spaces without wasting precious water resources. This New England Wild Flower Society class is part of the Urban Gardening Series, a set of classes designed to help city dwellers grow healthy, sustainable, and beautiful urban gardens. Led by Society staff in partnership with the Cambridge Conservation Commission, these free classes take place at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge. Image from To register, visit

Wreath of the Day: Our Version of Minimalism

We are known for a fully embellished look, which is pretty extravagant, on the whole.  We receive few complaints about “underdecoration.”  Sometimes a client wishes for a quieter celebration of the season, and in those cases we deliver wreaths such as the one pictured, with subtle coloration and no too many additions, so the beauty of the underlying wreath shows through.