Saturday, August 30 – Sunday, August 31, 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm – Boston Arts Festival

The Boston Arts Festival (aka the Boston AHTS Festival) features the best of the Boston Arts Scene ‑ both visual & performance. Started in 2003 as a single afternoon event, the festival has expanded into a 2‑day celebration incorporating a diverse performing arts program & a specially built artists’ village. Based in the idyllic Christopher Columbus Park on Boston’s waterfront, the festivities glisten in perfect symmetry with the parks surroundings. This year the event takes place August 30 and 31, noon – 6 pm.  For more information visit

Saturday, September 6, 7:30 am – 6:00 pm – Boston Parks Count

On Saturday September 6, 2014, the Boston Public Health Commission, community stakeholders and over 300 volunteers will come together for the City of Boston’s first Parks Count.

Parks Count will track park usage to better understand who is using Boston’s parks, what features the parks are being used for, and establish measures for new community programs and health initiatives. Each park will have its own designated meeting space.

Parks Count volunteers will team up at entrances to each of the 10 selected parks and keep a running tally of visitors. As people leave the park, they will be invited to take a quick survey about park assets, interests and personal demographics. This information helps city and community officials understand why residents are using certain parks over others. Through this information, BPHC hopes to make a strong case to allocate more resources, initiatives and programs for Boston parks serving low-income and multi-ethnic residents.

Help us make this first ever Boston Parks Count a success by volunteering! Please contact: Jose Masso at or visit to sign up. You do not have to be a Boston Cares member to volunteer.

Volunteers will be paired up and will work in 2.5 hour shifts at select park entrances.

Volunteers can choose for the following parks:

1. Walker Playground (Mattapan)
2. Ramsay Park (South End)
3. Noyes Playground (East Boston)
4. Healy Playground (Roslindale)
5. Roberts Playground (Dorchester)
6. Ringer Playground (Brighton)
7. Smith Playground (Allston)
8. Ross Playground (Hyde Park)
9. Malcolm X (Roxbury)
10. Billings Field (West Roxbury)

To pick a park and sign up for a specific time, please visit Shifts run from 7:30 am – 6 pm, and the project is co-sponsored by the Boston Public Health Commission, the Franklin Park Coalition, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, REACH Coalition, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Saturday, September 13, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Monarchs by Moonlight Gala

Please join Massachusetts Audubon Society President Henry Tepper and Sanctuary Director Carol Decker on Saturday, September 13 from 6 – 9 for a special evening gala and auction to benefit educational programming at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row in Topsfield.  Enjoy an intimate evening in the tent under the stars where you will dine on creative cuisine from Lantern Hill Catering of Topsfield, dance to live music with the Chuck Walker Trio, and participate in a very special silent and live auction run by auctioneer Aurelia Nelson of Northshore 104.9.  Tickets are $100, $250 (sponsor level,) and $1,000 for a reservation table for 8.  Contact Sue Ann Pearson at 978-887-9264 with questions, or buy tickets online at;jsessionid=A086657968391AA41C54D076E359AA3D.app271b?store_id=1961.

Wednesday, August 27, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm – The Elusive Moth

On Wednesday, August 27, from 8 – 10, enjoy an evening at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, learning about and observing moths and other night flying insects with naturalists Dave Small and Sue Cloutier. They will share their knowledge and enthusiasm for these amazing animals, beginning indoors with an introduction to moths, followed by an evening of looking at moth attracting lights and baited trees. Bring your camera and flashlight. For all ages (children must be accompanied by adult). Free with admission to Tower Hill.  The male Imperial Moth pictured below is from the website

Now Through September 28 – Wilderness Kingdom: The Papercut Art of Adrienne Ginter

Adrienne Ginter is a Vermont based artist who works in a variety of mediums, including the beautifully intricate papercut artwork she will be exhibiting at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, through September 28. She received a Masters in Fine Arts, Painting from Boston University and has exhibited her work in galleries throughout the New England area. Adrienne has made publication appearances in Art New England, International Contemporary Artists, and Studio Visit Magazine. Adrienne was recently interviewed by “Other People’s Pixels” and featured on their blog. Adrienne recently participated in a month long residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT. Exhibition is free with admission to Tower Hill.

Garden Club of the Back Bay Member Phyllis Hanes

The following obituary appeared today in the Boston Globe.

Phyllis Hanes passed away on Monday, August 18, 2014 at Mass. General Hospital after a brief illness. Phyllis graduated from Kennebunk High School in Maine and won a scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where she studied piano and cello. Always interested in the Culinary Arts, she began her early career in broadcasting with daily radio programs about nutrition and cooking which included a public service program during the 1940’s. In 1942, she married fellow broadcaster, Robert Codman Hanes, and resided in Boston’s West End with their son Robert Codman, Jr.

In 1955, she joined the Boston Herald Traveler as Fashion Editor for the next 20 years. After leaving The Herald, Phyllis joined The Christian Science Monitor where she was Editor and Writer for 25 years. Her weekly column gave Monitor readers in 144 countries a window to the world’s many cultures and cuisines. She traveled worldwide to report on food, covering spice markets in Marrakech, exploring produce markets in Helsinki and Beijing, and searching out culinary trends in Paris and Rome. Phyllis was recognized in the professional community as a widely experienced Food Writer and Critic whose articles always gave a sense of authenticity and insight to the pleasures of good eating. In 1994 she retired and was honored by Boston’s food community at an event chaired by Julia Child. She received proclamations from President Bill Clinton and Gov. Bill Weld and was made a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Gastronomy by Johnson & Wales University. It was at that time that a Scholarship was established in her name as well.

Phyllis continued to do free lance writing after her retirement and pursued her many interests including gardening. She was a member of The Mass Horticultural Society, The Fenway Garden Society, The American Garden Writers and was a Certified Master Gardener. Phyllis was active into her nineties and had been living in the West End. While there, she hosted many candidates for public office in order to introduce them to area residents. On August 22nd, Phyllis would have been 93 years old. Phyllis was the loving mother of Robert C. Hanes, Jr. and his wife Bonnie. She is also survived by her loving granddaughters, Melissa Kate Hanes of Jamaica Plain and Victoria Joyce Hanes of West Roxbury. Services will be private and interment will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Kennebunk, Maine. A Memorial celebrating Phyllis’ life is being planned and the date will be announced. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Phyllis Hanes may be made to Johnson & Wales University. Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home West Roxbury.
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 21, 2014 – See more at:


Saturday, January 10 – Monday, January 19 – The Best of Natural Hawaii: Oahu, The Big Island & Maui

Join friends of The Harvard Museum of Natural History as they explore three islands: Oahu, the Big Island, and Maui, each offering varied experiences and learning opportunities. Surrounded by ocean and formed by volcanic hot spots, Hawaii’s isolation and geological activity shape the islands’ biodiversity. With over 25,000 unique species, Hawaii is one of the planet’s most biologically diverse regions. A high percentage of these species are only found here, yet today these birds, insects, mammals, and plants live in a delicate balance. Hawaii’s position floating alone in the middle of the Pacific creates a unique cultural identity apart from the mainland United States. Life here feels easygoing and casual. The colorful history that shaped these islands remains clear; waves of immigrants who once labored in cane fields added their languages, foods, and cultures to the local mix. Today, there is no ethnic majority and common bonds are intangible.  The HMNH Study Leader is Dr. Peter Del Tredici, author of Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast and Senior Research Scientist of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.  The ten day trip takes place January 10 – 19, 2015. Double occupancy $5,740, with single supplement of $1,375.  For a complete itinerary call 617-495-2463, or visit



Saturday, August 23, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Late Summer Dragonflies

Join Athol Bird and Nature Club president Dave Small at the Millers River Environmental Center (100 Main St., Athol) on Saturday, August 23 at 1 pm, and then head out to search local waters for American Rubyspot, Zebra and Arrow Clubtails and whatever else we can find. Participants should bring lunch, insect net, and a sense of adventure; be prepared for wet feet. Children welcome. Severe weather cancels. Info: Dave Small, 978-413-1772 or Image of arrow clubtail from

Thursday, October 30 – Sunday, November 9 – NGC Galapagos Island Tour

National Garden Club members, families, and friends will have the
opportunity to experience the fascinating Galapagos Islands aboard the National
Geographic Endeavour, an expedition ship equipped to give you the most engaging
experience possible, October 30 – November 9. You will have numerous options for viewing the endemic wildlife of the Galapagos with naturalists. There will be opportunities each day to tour the shoreline in a zodiac or kayak, take a gentle short walk or long hike with a guide, snorkel, or enjoy an undersea experience on the National Geographic Endeavour’s glass bottom boat.

A week long optional extension will be an exploration of an extraordinary melting pot of Peruvian history and culture. You will see the architectural achievements of the Incan empire including Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, and the vast Sacsayhuamán Fortress (pictured). And you’ll experience the decorative arts: pottery, textiles, jewelry, and sculpture that reveal the sophistication of their artisans. You’ll discover firsthand how the past echoes through contemporary life. Expert guides will introduce you to the art, music, and cuisine of this
remarkable country. And each night your active days end at a succession of gracious and elegant hotels.

NGC members participating in the optional post-voyage extension will be eligible to receive refresher credit for Gardening Studies School and/or Landscape Design School. The price for Galapagos aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ranges from $6290 to $10,280, depending upon cabin category. The optional Peru extension is priced at $4990 double occupancy. The full itinerary and hotel brochure may be viewed at For more information, contact Mary Ann Bryant, NGC Tours Chairman, at or call 770-893-1570.

Friday, August 22, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Infuse Your Booze!

The Boston Center for Adult Education at 122 Arlington Street in Boston will present Andrew LeFleur’s Infuse Your Booze this Friday, August 22, from 6:30 – 8:30.  The hot novelty of infused liquor can be found on cocktail menus at the trendiest bars.  Stay up to speed and infuse your favorite spirits with fruits, vegetables, and herbs.  Learn tips on the art of infusion, taste test Andrew’s homemade infusions, and create your own.  Tuition is $30 (BCAE members $26) and there is a materials cost of $18.  Register now at  Image from

Sunday, September 14 – Get Into the Spirit!

Join Boston’s top chefs and mixologists to enjoy irresistible cocktails and hors d’oeuvre and admire designer vignettes, inspired by the bounty of an organic veggie garden! To be held at the beautiful Gardens at Elm Bank, this celebration will support the Massachusetts  Horticultural Society’s Garden to Table program, which provides organic produce to families in need through local food pantries. Please save the date (time to be announced) and watch the Mass Hort website,, for more details, or call Lisa Kamer at 617-933-4943. Photo from

Friday, August 22, 11:00 am – The Fabulous Snakes of Berkshire County

This Berkshire Botanical Gardens program on Friday, August 22 at 11 am is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals of our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying snakes, a bit about their biology, interesting tidbits about their behaviors and the methods that snakes use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals. A live snake or two will be on hand to greet visitors. Pictured below is a milksnake, courtesy of

Tom Tyning is Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College. He specializes in reptiles and amphibians in his research and actively researches local rattlesnake populations. Free for members and children under 12, free for nonmembers with admission to garden.

Thursday, August 21, 5:30 pm – A Beautiful Vision

Please join Michael Van Valkenburgh and his associate Jason Siebenmorgen for a presentation on the design process and vision for the Polly Hill Arboretum’s future West Woodland Garden and Forest Ecology Trail, on Thursday, August 21 beginning at 5:30 pm. A wine and cheese reception begins the presentation. A free Member only event. (for membership information call 508-693-9426).

Thursday, September 18 – An Evening of Farmers, Fables & Feasts

Save the date – Thursday, September 18 – for An Evening of Farmers, Fables & Feasts, a benefit to support The Food Project, at The Boston Athenaeum, across from the Massachusetts State House.  The Food Project’s mission is to create a thoughtful and productive community of youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. The Food Project community produces healthy food for residents of the city and suburbs, provides youth leadership opportunities, and inspires and supports others to create change in their own communities.  Details will be coming soon. Visit

Now Through September – Meet the Neponset: A Photography Exhibit of the Neponset River Watershed in Hyde Park

Meet the Neponset: A Photography Exhibit of the Neponset River Watershed in Hyde Park is an exhibit by area photographers of the Neponset River, Fowl Meadow, Mother Brook, and surrounding areas. The work will be on display now through September at the Bean & Cream Cafe, 680 Truman Parkway in Hyde Park. Hours are 8 am – 9 pm. Photographs are by Jim LaFond-Lewis (his photo below,) Martha McDonough, Tom Palmer, Lee Toma & others. You will be amazed at the majestic, hidden beauty to be found in our own backyards from the River to Mother Brook to the Mill Ponds to Fowl Meadow. You will get a glimpse not only of majestic scenes, but amazing flora and fauna. The photographers’ hope is that people will begin to realize what a gem we have and want to protect it for all future generations and of course to pressure the State to get rid of the toxins that are still there.

Wednesday, August 20, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Nantucket Natural History Tour

Join a Trustees of Reservations experienced guide on this 3-hour 4×4 over sand vehicle tour, and learn about the fascinating flora and fauna that call Coskata-Coatue home! The two tours will take place Wednesday, August 20 from 9 – 12 and from 1 – 4. TTOR member price $40, nonmembers $60. Children 12 and under are $20. The site explored is the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. Tour starts/ends at Maria Mitchell Science Center, 33 Washington Street; with a convenient stop at Wauwinet Gate House. To reserve, call 508-228-6799, or email Private tours (8 people) can be scheduled by appointment for $350.

Saturday, August 30, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Composting Together

Help the Boston Natural Areas Network construct a brand new composting system and learn the science and process of composting, on Saturday, August 30, from 10 – 12 at the Norton Stonehurst Community Garden, located on Norton and Stonehurst Streets in Dorchester.  Leave knowing how to build and maintain a healthy, balanced compost pile.  Registration required by contacting 617-542-7696 or by emailing Photo from

Garden Club of the Back Bay’s Dirty Girls

We often emphasize how much money we raise and spend for tree care and neighborhood horticultural projects, but sometimes we don’t celebrate the many hands on hours our members contribute to beautification efforts.  Here are a handful of pictures taken this summer of our “Dirty Girls” helping at the Esplanade.  If you are interested in being on the email list for volunteer alerts, let us know at

dirtygirls digging4dirty 2

Friday, September 19 – Sunday, September 21 – Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival

The 9th Annual Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival will take place September 19-21, 2014 at The Elms, Rosecliff & Marble House. Presenting Underwriter Food & Wine Magazine has enabled the Preservation Society of Newport County to welcome special guests Martha Stewart and Sara Moulton. Additional guest chefs and wine experts include Jonathan Cartwright, Dan Enos, Michael Ferraro, and Karsten Hart. Festival highlights: a two-day Grand Tasting with hundreds of wines on the lawn of Marble House, celebrity chef appearances and cooking demonstrations, seminars with leading wine experts, Wine & Rosecliff gala celebration, a collectible wine dinner, Newport After Dark party, a winemaker’s brunch, and auctions. Free parking and shuttle transportation are available. The event is held in one of the most spectacular settings in America, and this remarkable weekend experience is not to be missed. Advance price tickets are now available at Individual event ticket prices  range from $75 to $450.

Wednesday, August 27, 7:00 pm – Boston Beer: A History of Brewing in the Hub

Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, will host Norman Miller, author of Boston Beer: A History of Brewing in the Hub, on Wednesday, August 27, beginning at 7 pm. Free, but please rsvp at 

Since before Patriots like Paul Revere and Sam Adams fermented a revolution in smoky Beantown taverns, beer has been integral to the history of Boston. The city issued its first brewing license in 1630, and breweries like Haffenreffer Brewery and American Brewing Company quickly sprung up. This heady history took a turn for the worse when the American Temperance Movement championed prohibition, nearly wiping out all of the local breweries. In 1984, the amber liquid was revitalized as Jim Koch introduced Samuel Adams craft brews to the Hub and the nation. Shortly after, Harpoon Brewery emerged and became the largest brewery to make all its beers in New England. From the planning of the Boston Tea Party over a pint at Green Dragon Tavern to the renaissance of the burgeoning craft brewing scene, join author and “Beer Nut” Norman Miller as he savors the sudsy history of brewing in the Hub.

Norman Miller grew up in the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed and plastic pink lawn flamingos: Leominster, Massachusetts. Despite being a late bloomer as a beer drinker, he has been writing the Beer Nut column for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Massachusetts, and the GateHouse Media family of newspapers since 2006, as well as a blog of the same name.

Currently, Norman lives in his childhood home in Leominster with his dog Foxy, his cats Trouble and Tweak and his prized possession, Beatrice the beer fridge, which is always stocked up with Boston beers.

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