Monday Reminder – Place Your Holiday Wreath Order Today

It’s Thanksgiving week, and even now you’re juggling your calendar figuring out when to shop, when to cook, what to wear, and should you bother polishing the silver.  Take one task off your list and order your wreath today by clicking HERE. 

Our ordering deadline is Thanksgiving Day for fully decorated wreaths, although, since our wreath chairs will be by the computer this weekend, a Friday or Saturday order will be entertained.  Email the details to, and the paperwork and check may follow (or pay through PayPal right on this site.)


Thursday, December 5, 7:00 pm – The Wonderful World of Wild North American Orchids

Bill Brumback (New England Wild Flower Society) and Dr. Dennis Whigham (Smithsonian Institution) will present a lively talk on how a strong research and educational partnership between the Wild Flower Society and the Smithsonian Institution is spurring new research and contributing to the founding of the North American Orchid Conservation Center. The talk will also feature interesting information on the ecology and interactions of orchids in the wild, and show common and rare orchids of our region.  The lecture will take place in the Orientation Room of the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street in Boston, on Thursday, December 5 at 7 pm.

Tuesday, December 3, 6:00 pm – Deck the Halls with Bert Ford

The Friendly Garden Club of Beverly presents Deck the Halls with FTD Designer Bert Ford on Tuesday, December 3, beginning at 6 pm at the Cove Community Center, 19 Corning Street in Beverly.  Refreshments will be served, and there will be a Greens Basket, Boutique and Raffles.

Bert Ford AIFD is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Plant Science. Bert and his wife Susan are the owners of Ford Flower Company in Salem, New Hampshire.

His interest in flowers and plants began at an early age. His grandfather, an immigrant from England to the United States, taught him rose growing techniques. It’s not surprising that his passion for flowers motivated him to enter his first designs in a competition hosted by the Garden Club of Salem New Hampshire, at the age of 10.

Bert’s designs incorporate nature, art and current trends and have been featured in industry publications and selection guides. As a member of Teleflora’s Team of Education Specialist, he has commentated and presented design programs throughout the country. In addition to floral designing, he shares his extensive knowledge of buying and selling techniques, floral shop operation and management. Artistic and energetic, Bert is well respected for his down-to-earth approach presenting a broad spectrum of floral topics to ensure success in the industry.

Inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers in 2001, Bert presented a sympathy program titled “Fond Farewells” at AIFD’s National Symposium in Washington, D.C. in 2006. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.  Contact Margi Monagle at 978-712-0712 or visit

Saturday, December 7, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, and Sunday, December 8, 12:00 noon – 4:30 pm – Medford Jingle Bell Festival and House Tour

Take a tour of some of Medford’s finest properties. You may tour on Saturday or Sunday. Saturday’s tour is held in the evening and followed by a dinner at Medford City Hall. Sunday’s tour is followed by the raffle drawings. Information is listed below:

Saturday Evening House Tour
December 7, 2013
4:00 p.m. departure from City Hall (by bus)
Followed by dinner and reception beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Tickets: $50.00

Sunday Afternoon House Tour
December 8, 2013
12:00 p.m. departure from City Hall (by bus)
Followed by raffle drawing at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25.00 ($30.00 on day of event)

Please call 781-475-2162 or 781-789-2878 to reserve your tickets. Tickets may also be purchased at City Hall during the holiday display hours. For more information visit

Saturday, December 7, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm – Fitchburg Historical Society House Tour

The Fitchburg Historical Society Annual House Tour will be Saturday December 7, 2013, from 11 – 4. Tickets are on sale at the Historical Society website, This year’s tour will include private residences built during all eras of Fitchburg’s past. There is exquisite woodwork and stonework in some of the homes and a variety of styles; past tours have featured Tudor, colonial, Victorian, an expanded cape and a Cotswold Cottage.  Once again, they will feature a tea room where you can relax and connect with your friends. Come join them for this lovely tour of Fitchburg homes!,_Looking_East,_Fitchburg,_MA.jpg

Friday, December 6, 7:00 pm – A Night of Illumination at Tower Hill Botanic Garden

The Trustees of Tower Hill Botanic Garden welcome you to A Night of Illumination at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on Friday, December 6, at 7 pm.  A Fire Dancer will perform at 8 pm.  Dress in festive attire, and light fare will be served.  Tickets $100 (Silver), $500 (Gold), and $1,000 (Platinum).  RSVP by December 2 by calling 508-869-6111, ext. 136.*43RkfqYcT5KAd5*nTRd5xTUd3DyyvLoMmINonc*criSdHbZgOn5I7JZnNpr28CkD3qalaaGN8jbkZqOW4KGzRKFaV/firedance03.jpg

Holiday Wreaths – The Final Week to Order

This is it, folks.  Next Thursday, November 28, is our wreath deadline date, and The Garden Club of the Back Bay doesn’t want you to miss your opportunity to order a luxurious fully decorated holiday wreath.  We hate to nag, but we’ll nag you now.  You may be able to stop by during wreath week and pick up a plain wreath, or a wreath with bow, if supplies last, but we limit the number of fully decorated wreaths to 225, and we are almost at that number today.  Don’t delay!  Click here for ordering information.


Friday, December 6, 6:45 pm – Conifer Swamps of Central and Western Massachusetts

Glenn Motzkin, botanist/ecologist, will address the New England Botanical Club on Friday, December 6, beginning at 6:45 at Harvard University, in the Haller Lecture Hall (Room 102), Geological Museum, 24 Oxford Street in Cambridge.  The door is to the right of the Harvard Museum of Natural History entrance.

Glenn Motzkin is a plant ecologist interested in patterns of species distribution, vegetation dynamics, disturbance history, and the application of historical ecology to conservation in New England. Glenn has studied a wide range of natural communities, with particular interests in the history and dynamics of uncommon communities that support rare species and are priorities for conservation. Glenn is currently an independent ecological consultant, having previously worked as Plant Ecologist at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA. Glenn serves as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.

He received his BA in American Civilization, Brown University (1982)  and an MS in Forest Ecology at University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1990).

Saturday, November 23, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm – A Williamsburg Candle Ring Workshop

Decorate your holiday table with a lush wreath of boxwood, flowers and berries accented with seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and preserved leaves. This Tower Hill Botanic Garden class will take place Saturday, November 23 from 10 – 1 at Tower Hill, 11 French Drive in Boylston.

Working in a base of wet floral foam attached to a plastic tray, we will combine flowers and leaves in rich autumn colors with vegetables, fruits, nuts, boxwood and berries to create a striking harvest centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. The finished wreath measures about 15 inches across. The center of the ring will comfortably hold candles or a compote.  Kept watered, the wreath can easily be converted to a long lasting Christmas centerpiece.  All materials included. Be sure to bring floral scissors and an apron. Cost for THBG members is $70, nonmembers $80. Call 508-869-6111 to put your name on the list.

Monday, December 2, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted Volume VIII: The Early Boston Years, 1882 – 1890

Frederick Law Olmsted relocated from New York to Boston in the early 1880s. With the help of his stepson and partner, John Charles Olmsted, his professional office grew to become the first of its kind: a modern landscape architecture practice with projects throughout the country. During the period covered in Volume VIII of the Olmsted Papers, Olmsted and his partners designed the park system of Boston and Brookline—including the Back Bay Fens, Franklin Park, and the Muddy River Improvement.

Though Olmsted would never provide a definitive treatise on landscape architecture, this volume contains some of his most mature and powerful statements on the practice of landscape architecture. Join The Arnold Arboretum and the sponsors below on Monday, December 2 at the Weld Hill Research Building for a lecture, panel discussion and celebration of this newly published landscape design resource.  Fee: $10 (Students: Call 617.384.5277 to register for free.)

Doors open at 6:00pm. Light refreshments served.  Books available for purchase and signing.  Weld Hill Research Building is located at 1300 Centre Street, Roslindale, MA.

Sponsored by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Friends of Fairsted, and National Association for Olmsted Parks in collaboration with the City of Boston, Parks and Recreation Department, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Town of Brookline, Parks and Open Space Division.

Thursday, December 5, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Yuletide House Tour

The Community Garden Club of Cohasset presents it annual Yuletide House Tour on Thursday, December 5, featuring five spectacular homes and a festive yuletide marketplace with original items to purchase as gifts.  Complementary refreshments are served as well.  Tickets and more complete information are available by calling Lee Drew at 781-383-0361, or emailing  Image from

Saturday, November 23, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm – City of Boston’s Household Hazardous Waste Recycling

Drop off your hazardous waste on Saturday, November 23, from 9 – 2 at the West Roxbury Public Works Yard, 315 Gardner Street in West Roxbury at Millennium Park. No latex or acrylic paints, please. For Boston residents only, no commercial waste accepted, and proof of residency required. For more information please call the Mayor’s hotline at 617-635-4500, or visit Thank you for yet another great photo.

Thursday, November 21, 6:00 pm – Holiday Centerpieces Workshop

Learn how to use a ring of mixed greens to form the foundation for your holiday centerpiece at Weston Nurseries, 93 East Main Street in Hopkinton, on Thursday, November 21 beginning at 6 pm. They’ll show you how to interchange décor with picks, glitter and more to move from one celebration to the next. This is recycling at its best! Of course, it goes without saying that there will be some treats, wine, soft drinks and plenty of lively conversation. Call a friend and have a Girls’ Nite Out together. Cost is $35, and you may sign up by telephoning 508-293-8091. Directions can be found at  Image from

Friday, November 29, 7:30 am – Turkey Trot

Join veteran trip leaders Larry and Joan Duprey for this look for late fall birds at one of the premier Massachusetts birding destinations, Plum Island. Warm up with a stop for some “chowda” before the end of the day. Carpool at 7:30 am from the Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts. Sponsored by the Athol Bird and Nature Club. For more information visit

Wednesday, December 4, 1:00 pm – The Botanic Garden and Southeast Asian Cooking

Items for a Southeast Asian meal in the middle of a New England winter are relatively easy to source in our global world.  this is possible because of research pioneered in botanic gardens, often overlooked immigrant entrepreneurs, and consumers who equate consuming ethnic food with cultural cosmopolitanism.  Professor Alex Orquiza, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies at Wellesley College, shows how many of the plants from the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens connect to our everyday lives, with individual histories that include both old and new cultural exchanges.  The Wednesday, December 4 talk, beginning at 1 pm at the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens Visitors Center, includes a cooking demonstration.  Professor Orquiza is completing his first book, A Pacific Palate: Food, Culture, and American Imperialism in the Philippines, 1898-1935.  WCBG members free, nonmembers $10.  Sign up by calling 781-283-3094, or visit

Holiday Wreaths – Customize, Customize, Customize

Garden Club of the Back Bay members love a challenge.  Tell us your colors – burgundy bow?  Perhaps a red that isn’t brick but isn’t purple but isn’t too “fire engine”?  How about the accents?  Lots of glitz, no glitz, just a bit of sparkle?  Hate birds?  Love birds?  Modern room calling out for a statement piece, or traditional New England not too flashy?  Just let us know when you place your order.  We’ve done wreaths which appeal to children, wreaths which can be seen in a dark doorway, wreaths for the side of a wind blown barn, wreaths for an ocean view.  Some customers send us swatches, some have brought a vintage toy or bauble to incorporate, or sent photographs from magazines.  We’ll do our best.  Order here.


Thursday, November 28, 9:00 am – First Annual Franklin Park Turkey Trot

Run or walk the beautiful paths of “jewel” of the Emerald Necklace to start your Thanksgiving Day! The scenic 3.1 mile route includes the most beautiful and historic views of Franklin Park. You can work off your Thanksgiving calories before you sit down at the table! Tech t-shirt to first 100 registrants. Great prizes for fast finishes and costumes. Race starts at 9 am on Thursday, November 28 at the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse, One Circuit Drive in Dorchester. For more information, and to register, visit

Sunday, December 8, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Made in the Shade: Sargent’s Watercolors of Italian Villa Gardens

Join Teresa Carbone, co-curator of “John Singer Sargent Watercolors,” and follow Sargent’s footsteps through some of Italy’s most beautiful and renowned Renaissance and Baroque gardens. See how the artist selected his subjects, where he stood when painting them, and what he surprisingly chose to edit out. Teresa Carbone is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, managing curator, Arts of the Americas, Brooklyn Museum. The program will take place at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston on Sunday, December 8, from 2 – 3 in the Remis Auditorium. $10 MFA members, seniors and students, $13 general public.

To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975; to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk.

Wednesday, November 20, 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Food Chain Restoration in the Face of Climate Change

Recent years have brought spikes in the frequency of strange weather patterns and severe storms, with many blaming the increase on human-caused climate change. Farmer, author and activist Gary Paul Nabhan proposes that we look to the past for solutions-at crops and techniques used in regions that have historically endured this kind of weather. Hear his thoughts about the need for increased biodiversity on farmlands and strategies to relink the food chain at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University on Wednesday, November 20 at 7:30 pm in the Hunnewell Building. Read his opinions in Grist and the New York Times.
Fee $10 Arboretum member, $15 nonmember  Students: call 617.384.5277 to register free.

Tuesday, November 19, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Jamaica Plain’s Historic Walter Street Burying Ground

The Jamaica Plain Historical Society will present a talk on the Walter Street Burying Ground on Tuesday, November 19, from 7 – 8 at the Loring-Greenough House, 12 South Street, Jamaica Plain.  The Loring-Greenough House, Jamaica Plain’s 1760 colonial mansion, once had a family graveyard on its grounds. However, it had to be relocated as the area developed. The “residents” were moved to what was orginally the graveyard of the Second Parish Church in Roxbury, the Walter Street Burial Ground. The talk will focus on who is buried at the Walter Street Burial Ground, what graves have survived the test of time and what is still unknown about the site. Chris Child, Genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society will be the speaker.  Free and open to the public.  For more information visit

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