Through December 30 – Heritage Trees and Scenic Vistas of the Emerald Necklace

You are invited to a photography exhibit by Erik Gehring entitled Heritage Trees and Scenic Vistas of the Emerald Necklace, which will be on view in Gallery 93 at the Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street in Brookline, now through Wednesday, December 30.  Erik is president of the Boston Camera Club, a professional and fine art photographer, and an environmental advocate.  He has shown extensively at galleries and juried exhibitions throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and teaches photography for the Arnold Arboretum, the Eliot School, the Concord Art Association, and the Hyde Park Art Association. Photograph below copyright Erik Gehring.

Tuesday, November 17, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Environmental League of Massachusetts Fall Reception

Join The Environmental League of Massachusetts in the seaport district on Tuesday, November 17 from 5:30 – 8 to warm up with drinks and appetizers while listening to a key player in environmental policy talk about the victories and shortfalls in Massachusetts. The event takes place at the offices of Nutter, McClennen and Fish, 155 Seaport Boulevard in Boston. This cocktail reception will include plenty of time for discussion and networking as well as a prominent speaker. Tickets range from $45 – $95 and are available online at  You may also call 617-742-9656 for more information.

Saturday, November 21, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Fall into Health

Enjoy the crisp fall air at the Arnold Arboretum as we round the corner to winter! This November 21, from 1 – 2:30, explore the less-traveled paths of the Arboretum on a brisk walk designed for getting fit. Pause to hear about interesting plants while you catch your breath. Please dress appropriately and bring water if needed. The walk will be lead by docent Rhoda Kubrick. In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.  Image below from Free, registration requested at

Through February 14, 2016 – Drawing Trees, Painting the Landscape: Frank M. Rines (1892-1962)

Draftsman, landscape painter, teacher, and writer, Frank M. Rines had an intense interest in, and skill for, drawing trees. He produced five books on drawing, which were mid- 20th century guides for instruction in landscape and tree drawing techniques. In Design and Construction in Tree Drawing, he concentrated on the form and structure of trees. Rines was skilled in the art of observation, taught and was committed to students and communities of artists throughout Boston and New England. As a draftsman and painter, he worked in pencil, watercolor, oil, and charcoal. Rines’s work is included in a number of museum collections including Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Dartmouth’s Hood Museum in New Hampshire. The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University will mount an exhibit of Frank M. Rines in the Hunnewell Building through February 14, 2016.

Note: The Hunnewell Building lecture hall is often used for meetings and classes. Please call 617.384.5209 for exhibition availability, and refer to Hunnewell Visitor Center hours at

Tuesday, November 17, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Heirloom and Native Plants: A Living History

On Tuesday, November 17 from 7 – 8:30 at the Dover Town Library on Dedham Street in Dover, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society welcomes its Director John Forti for a lecture entitled Heirloom and Native Plants: A Living History. For those interested in gardens that inspire a sense of time and place…this talk will foster a better understanding of the most tried and true plants and our role in preservation. This illustrated talk brings to life the unique and living history of plants that have a defining presence in our region. It explores the significance of heirloom/open-pollinated plants and gives voice to the history they keep alive.

John Forti is a nationally recognized lecturer, garden historian, ethnobotanist and garden writer. He is the Director of Horticulture for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the oldest horticultural society in the nation. Before taking on this new position, he was the Curator/Director of Historic Landscapes at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH. He previously served as the Director of Horticulture at Plimoth Plantation Museum where the gardens and seed program he created brought international attention to the preservation of Pilgrim and Wampanoag heirloom crops. Thousands on Facebook follow his posts where he blogs as The Heirloom Gardener – John Forti.

Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $10, Non-Members $15.  Register online at|427|433/heirloom-and-native-plants-a-living-history?filter_reset=1

Monday, November 16, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Understanding Roots: Exploring Plants Underground

In this Ecological Landscape Alliance webinar based upon Robert Kourik’s two books on the subject, Understanding Roots: Exploring Plants Underground uncovers one of the greatest mysteries below the soil surface―the secret lives and magical workings of the roots that move and grow invisibly beneath our feet.

Roots do more than just keep a plant from falling over: they gather water and nutrients, exude wondrous elixirs to create good soil, make friends with microbes and fungi, communicate with other roots, and adapt themselves to all manner of soils, winds, and climates, nourishing and sustaining our gardens, lawns, and woodlands. During the presentation, Kourik will share enchanting and revealing root drawings, from prairies, grasslands, and deserts, as well as drawings based on excavations of vegetable, fruit, nut, and ornamental tree roots. Through detailed illustrations, Kourik will describe how roots work their magic to improve soil nutrients and will discuss soil microbes and their mysterious relationship to roots. This presentation will also explore the question of whether deep roots really gather more unique nutrients than shallow roots. Kourik will explain the latest research about the mysteries of mycorrhizal (good fungal) association. Practical tips will provide guidance on the use of inputs such as fertilizer, compost, water, and mulch to help plants flourish.

Robert Kourik credits the School of Hard Knocks for much of his early life skills training (and numerous continuing-education credits). He learned various horticulture-related skills from the inside-out by working with clients throughout California and the rest of the country for over 25 years. During that time Kourik took on design projects of all sizes, shapes and textures—water gardens, paths and patios, elegant arbors, habitat gardens, innovative home playgrounds, outdoor barbecue areas, deer-resistant gardens and low-profile, attractive deer fences, to name just a few.

In the late 1970s, with only a high school diploma, Kourik wrote a landscape book which has become a classic in its field and helped to define the genera of gardening now known as edible landscaping. Kourik believes that it was a lack of formal college training in horticulture that allowed him to envision and interpret this new interdisciplinary and original approach to gardening and landscaping. Throughout his career, Kourik has focused primarily on organic, natural, sustainable, integrated systems, permaculture and appropriate horticulture methods. Kourik is the author of several books including: Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally; Roots Demystified; Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates; and just published, Understanding Roots. Robert writes and interacts with landscapes in the San Francisco Bay area in California.

Free for ELA members, $10 for nonmembers – See more at:

Holiday Wreaths 2015 – Ribbon Quest

Orders are coming in for our beautiful Garden Club of the Back Bay holiday wreaths, and we are busily acquiring ribbon to make the bows which grace the greenery.  This year we have purchased quality ribbon from at least five different wholesale and retail establishments, hoping to provide the widest range of choice for our customers and for our decorators.  We can never guarantee that ribbon available one year will reappear the next – sometimes the styles have been discontinued, sometimes the prices have risen out of range – but we do promise to consult with buyers to execute orders which match their expectations.  To order on line, visit


Massachusetts Horticultural Society Print Collection

Thanks to three months of collaboration between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Public Library, and Digital Commonwealth, more than 1,000 rare images from the oldest horticultural library in the nation are now available at the click of a button.

With prints dating from 1620 to 1969, Mass Hort’s Botanical Print Collection captures more than three centuries in the evolution of botanical illustration, offering an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and authors in the field of horticultural. The digital portal will also create opportunities for the public to explore images that until now have been seen only by experts and aficionados, and to cultivate an appreciation for the art and science of horticulture from the comfort of their own homes.

The Horticultural Library at Massachusetts Horticultural Society was the first in the United States. It was established soon after the Society was founded in 1829 to share horticulture knowledge and beauty through its prints, books, extensive collection of seed catalogs, and other rare materials. Its horticultural holdings provide invaluable resources to our members, scholars, historians and general public.

Noticing that interest in botanical prints had grown during the intervening 140 years, the Society mounted its first major exhibit in 1968. It continued in 1969, when a group of lily prints was shown to the North American Lily Society at its annual meeting.

Digitization and online access to special collections is an important strategy for any cultural heritage organization as it allows us to reach our users beyond our buildings and business hours. Today, with the help of Digital Commonwealth, Mass Hort’s Library will meet the 21st Century digital needs of students, researchers, authors and the public.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s botanical prints are available online at the Digital Commonwealth repository at These images are available for the purposes of viewing and studying and not for commercial use.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Library collection includes over 20,000 volumes at our library in the Education Center of our Elm Bank horticulture center and gardens. Additionally, at a separate archival storage facility, the Society maintains 5,000 rare books, manuscripts, prints, seed catalogs, glass slides, and early transactions of horticultural institutions.

Many of the books transferred to the Chicago Botanical Garden’s Lenhardt Library Rare Book Collection in the early 2000’s by Mass Hort are now available online through the Illinois Digital Archives at; search on “Massachusetts Horticultural Society.”

Digital Commonwealth is a non-profit collaborative organization that provides resources and services to support the creation, management, and dissemination of cultural heritage materials held by Massachusetts libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives. Digital Commonwealth currently has over 130 member institutions from across the state.


Thursday, November 12, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Prepping for the Holidays

Learn how to select and use fresh fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, woody herbs from your garden and locally grown evergreens and berries to decorate your home for Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society talk on Thursday, November 12 from 7 – 8:30 will cover gathering, preparing and using seasonal plant material as well as mechanics and containers. Two arrangements will be demonstrated

Betsy Williams teaches, lectures and writes about living with herbs and flowers. A life long gardener, herb grower and cook, Betsy trained as a florist in Boston and England. She combines her floral, gardening and cooking skills with an extensive knowledge of history, plant lore and seasonal celebrations. An entertaining lecturer, she weaves stories and legends throughout her informative talks and demonstrations.

She has presented at Monticello, The American Horticultural Society’s Youth Symposium, the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival and International Herb Association as well as Colonial Williamsburg, the Ozark Folk Center and the New England, Rhode Island and Cincinnati Flower Shows.  Image from

Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $10, Non-Members $15. Register online at

Thursday, November 19, 7:00 pm – Berry Basics

John Howell, former horticulturist at UMass Extension, will speak to the North Quabbin Garden Club on Thursday, November 19 at the Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main Street in Athol, on the basics of growing strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  Free, and the public is invited to attend.