Tuesday, September 5 – Thursday, September 14 – Gardens of Genoa, The Italian Riviera, & Florence

Join the American Horticultural Society September 5 – 14 on this adventure in exquisite Italian gardens, palaces, and art museums.

Our itinerary begins in Italy’s northwestern port city of Genoa. We’ll experience the many delights of the Liguria region, enjoy the stylish resort areas of the Italian Riviera, and venture into Tuscany. In Florence we’ll see the Boboli Gardens, created by Cosimo I de Medici; the Uffizi Gallery, home to an astounding collection of Renaissance art; and villas and palaces with extraordinary gardens including the well-known Villa Gemberaia and Palazzo del Principe.

Your AHS Host is Katy Moss Warner, President Emeritus of the AHS, and world traveller. Katy has hosted many garden tours for the AHS and is known for her enthusiasm for travel, gardening, music, and art.

Our tour organizer is Susie Orso, who has arranged and led dozens of AHS Travel Study programs. She and Katy have worked closely together to craft this special program that is being offered exclusively to our AHS travellers. Susie is British by birth and lives in Florence with her Italian husband, and it is through her contacts that many of our visits will be possible.  Image below from www.planetware.com.

Top-rated Hotels:

In Genoa we will be guests at The Hotel Melia, a contemporary designer property that is both peaceful and centrally located.
Our next stop will be the Grand Hotel Miramare in Santa Margherita Ligure, on the water in the heart of the Italian Riviera.
Our final nights will be spent at the elegant Hotel Villa Cora in Florence, set in a park overlooking the Boboli Gardens.
For complete information visit http://www.ahs.org/gardening-programs/travel-study/italy2017

Tuesday, May 30 – Thursday, June 1 – Triennial Garden Symposium

Join Mount Vernon for a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn more about historic gardens and landscapes! The Triennial Garden Symposium, May 30 through June 1, features renowned speakers specializing in historic landscape exploration, preservation, and public interpretation. The symposium includes a private reception on the piazza, tours of the Mansion and newly opened Library, an elegant dinner in the Ford Orientation Center, and more behind the scenes experiences.

This conference offers a broad scope of historic garden and landscape topics. Experts will examine, discuss and evaluate a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to: 18th-century bulbs, the search for lost gardens, maintaining plants throughout the winter, and the gardens of 18th-century Virginia. Tickets to this symposium are $250. The ticket includes meals and a private reception on the Mansion piazza.

Featured experts include:

Nicholas Luccketti is the Principal Archaeologist with the James River Institute for Archaeology in Williamsburg.

Kent Brinkley is a Virginia native and an award-winning landscape architect, lecturer and author of The Gardens of Colonial Williamsburg, whose professional career spans over thirty years.

William D. Rieley serves as the Landscape Architect for The Garden Club of Virginia, a position he has held since 1998.

Scott Kunst is the owner of Old House Gardens, the country’s premier source for heirloom flower bulbs.

Fiona McAnally examines issues of food policy, supporting groups such as the Tennessee Fruit and Vegetable Association and the Tennessee Food Policy Council, while pursuing her interests in southern garden history, food history, and agriculture.

Wesley Greene founded the Colonial Garden and Garden Shop where costumed employees interpret 18th-century plants, tools and cultural technique and sell heritage plants, seeds, bulbs and garden related items.

Jack Gary is the Director of Archaeology and Landscapes at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, where he leads an interdisciplinary team of archaeologists and scholars in order to discover the site’s hidden landscapes.

Peter J. Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 38 years of experience in the restoration and interpretation of historic landscapes.

Dean Norton has researched 18th-century landscape design and gardening practices at Mount Vernon for more than 35 years.

For more information on registration and lodging options contact Melissa Wood at 703-799-5203 or email mwood@mountvernon.org.  Image from www.uncc.edu.

Wednesday, March 29, 6:00 pm – Creation of Metropolitan Parks System

On Wednesday, March 29, the Wakefield Estate’s Stone Soup and Speaker Series continues with remarks by Alan Banks, Supervisory Park Ranger at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline. Banks will explore how industrial developments in the 19th century led Milton’s own visionary Charles Eliot to create Trustees of the Reservation and ultimately, the Boston Metropolitan Parks System, one of the first of its type in the world.

This year’s Stone Soup & Speaker Series, held on the last Wednesday of the month through April, is looking closely at several key periods of our local history to highlight stories of our past that reveal important connections to our present and future.

Soup is served at 6:00 pm followed by the talk at 6:30 pm. $10 suggested donation. Space is limited and this year’s series has been very popular, verging on “standing room only” attendance. Pre-registration is important and required. To RSVP or for more information, please call 617-333-0924. The Wakefield Estate is located at 1465 Brush Hill Road in Milton.


Through Sunday, May 7 – Chocolate: The Exhibition

Now through May 7 at the Museum of Science, Blue Wing, Level 1 is Chocolate: The Exhibition. A gift for the gods. A symbol of wealth and luxury. An economic livelihood. Bonbons. Hot fudge. Candy bars.

For thousands of years, humans have been fascinated with the delicious phenomenon that we call “chocolate.” Today, most of us know it as a candy or a sweet dessert. But this wasn’t always so. Test your chocolate knowledge and discover the complete story behind the tasty treat we crave in our newest temporary exhibition, Chocolate.

Indulge in more than 200 objects and highly detailed replicas including pre-Columbian ceramics, European silver and porcelain servers, nineteenth and twentieth-century advertising, and botanical representations. These, along with immersive, interactive components and media, reveal the rich history of chocolate around the world.

Uncover facets of this sumptuous sweet that you’ve never thought about before. In this bilingual exhibition, explore the plant, the products, and the culture of chocolate through the lenses of science, history, and popular culture.

Chocolate and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago. This exhibition was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. For complete information, hours, and admission prices, visit www.mos.org.

Wednesday, March 29, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Gibson House 21st Annual Benefit

The Friends of the Gibson House invite you to the Twenty-First Annual Benefit on Wednesday, March 29 from 6 – 8 at The Chilton Club, 287 Dartmouth Street in Boston.  This elegant, fun affair is a major fundraising opportunity for the museum, and all proceeds support the mission of preserving and sharing this unique time capsule of Boston life.  Wine and hors d’oeuvre will be served.   Tickets ($125 per person) may be purchased online at http://www.thegibsonhouse.org/2017-benefit.html

The event features twelve unique raffle prizes to benefit the Museum as well, hosted by Robert B. Dimmick, Etiquetteer. You do not need to be present to win.  More information may be found at  http://www.thegibsonhouse.org/2017-benefit-raffle.html

This year’s honoree is Robert J. Allison, Professor of History and former Chair of the History Department at Suffolk University. Valet parking is available at the 287 Dartmouth Street entrance for $22, including tip.  Jacket and tie required.

Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – How Native Plant Cultivars Affect Pollinators

On Wednesday, April 5 at 7 pm at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway in Cambridge, Grow Native Massachusetts presents a free talk by Annie White, a Landscape Designer and University of Vermont Adjunct Professor.

Initiatives to address pollinator decline are widespread and native plants are the preferred choice for pollinator habitat restoration. The growing demand for natives, coupled with a longstanding desire of horticulturalists for enhanced bloom, color, or other characteristics, has led to the increased selection and breeding of native cultivars. Although these cultivars are typically marketed for their ecological benefits, until now there have been no scientific studies to support or refute these claims. So are native cultivars as valuable in pollinator habitat gardens as the true native species?

Annie White will help answer this question by sharing the results of four years of field data. Her research is groundbreaking and remarkable. She is the founder of Nectar Landscape Design Studio and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Vermont. She earned her MS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her recent PhD in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont was focused on this exceptional new research on native plant cultivars. For more information visit http://grownativemass.org.

Saturday, March 25, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Plants, Pollinators, and How to Support Them

On Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 pm at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, Joseph Tychonievich explains the interesting ways plants have evolved to attract their preferred pollinators. Along with a tour of nature’s most creative (and sometimes disgusting) methods of connecting pollinators and plants, Joseph discusses ways to foster biodiversity in your own garden and shows examples of managing garden pests by letting other insects do the dirty work.

A life long gardener and lover of plants, Joseph earned his BS in horticulture from Ohio State University, went on to work for Shibamichi Honten Nursery in Saitama, Japan, has been a repeated guest on public radio’s food show The Splendid Table, wrote a book, Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener,  Timber Press, 2013), spent two years working at the famed rare plants nursery Arrowhead Alpines and was named by Organic Gardening Magazine as one of “…six young horticulturists who are helping to shape how America gardens.” Joseph’s most recent book is Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style (Timber Press, 2016). Currently Joseph lives and gardens with his husband and an adorable black cat in SE Michigan. $15 for Tower Hill members, $25 for nonmembers. Register online at www.towerhillbg.org.

Make and Take, 2017 on the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Make and Take on the Rose Kennedy Greenway is a joyful celebration of creation that is meant to spark discussion about how things were, are, and can be made.

The centerpiece of Make and Take is a 3D printer, perched on a glowing and translucent white acrylic box. Within the enclosure of the installation, which is reminiscent of both a vending machine and a museum case, plastic filament is algorithmically and mechanically composed into a rooster figurine.

The work speaks to the democratization of manufacturing. With technologies like the 3D printer used for Make and Take, individuals can now produce objects once made exclusively by wealthy enterprises. Make and Take shines a light on how accessible technologies make it possible for everyone to design and realize their ideas with significantly fewer resources. In encountering Make and Take, the public is invited to view a marvel of modern technology: the ability to ‘print’ physical objects. The 3D printer, while remaining to be a curiosity, can be purchased for the cost of a laptop. It is on its way to democratizing manufacturing and fabrication just as the computer and the Internet have democratized information.

The 3D-printed rooster – dispensed for free by the installation – was adapted from 3D scanning a porcelain artifact from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The original object belongs to a class of objects catalogued as “China for Export,” which denotes a class of porcelain created in China by Chinese artisans specifically for export to Europe and the Americas. The Chinese artisan(s) behind the porcelain is unknown, but now – through digital scanning and 3D printing – their work is shared with the world.

Chris Templeman is an artist, engineer, and educator. Raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Chris now lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts. He works out of Artisan’s Asylum along with his collaborators at New American Public Art. In his engineering practice, Chris refines available technology for different contexts, making it more accessible in the process. Providing access to technology is a main theme in his work. Make and Take is his first major public art piece. Chris finds the most contentment in transforming his ideas into tangible objects. He welcomes opportunities to share the promise and perils of 3D printing through discussion and practice.

The exhibit is made possible with additional support from The Barr Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, KHJ Brand Activation, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Garden How-To Free On Line Smart Gardening Workshops

Horticulture Magazine has a series of free download’s on its website which give you access to great garden speakers from the comfort of your own home. No new live workshops are currently scheduled as of this date, but you may access recordings of past workshops at http://www.hortmag.com/smart-gardening-workshops

Here are highlights of two presentations of interest. We will feature more in the coming weeks:

Growing, Gardening & Designing with Wildflowers
In this wildflower workshop for gardeners and modern farmers, Miriam Goldberger, founder and co-owner of Wildflower Farm, covers how to grow wildflowers from seed, including easy winter sowing techniques and wildflower seedling identification, plus how to choose the best wildflowers to grow in your garden. The author of Taming Wildflowers, Miriam will talk about why monarch butterflies and other endangered pollinators need milkweed and other wildflowers in order to survive. You’ll also learn how to harvest wildflowers and design your own wildflower wedding bouquets, boutonnieres and table arrangements.

Ideas for Creating Serene Gardens—Simplicity, Sanctuary & Delight
We all know that being in nature enhances our well-being, but how do we create an outdoor haven that allows us to enjoy those healthful benefits of nature in our back yards? Landscape designer Jan Johnsen, author of Heaven is a Garden—Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection, will share intriguing techniques and ideas she has learned in her 40-year career to help you make an “unhurried garden” of your own. Jan writes the popular Serenity in the Garden blog and Facebook page.

Garden How-To Free Online Smart Gardening Workshops

Horticulture Magazine has a series of free download’s on its website which give you access to great garden speakers from the comfort of your own home. No new live workshops are currently scheduled as of this date, but you may access recordings of past workshops at http://www.hortmag.com/smart-gardening-workshops

Here are highlights of two presentations of interest. We will feature more in the coming weeks:

Good Berry, Bad Berry: Identifying Wild Edible Plants in Your Area
Foraging is hot right now, but did you know there are berries in your own back yard that you can eat? Have you walked your local greenway and wondered if the berries you spied were edible? Good Berry, Bad Berry is a homeowners guide to who’s edible, who’s toxic, and how to tell the difference. There are a few recipes with good berries that you probably never knew were edible. Beautyberry jelly anyone? This presentation by Helen Yoest takes the audience through examples of identifying wild edible plants…in your own area.

The Downsized Veggie Garden: How to Garden Small Wherever You Live, Whatever Your Space
The downsized garden is about adjusting your growing to small quarters. The audience will see what other creative gardeners have done to find room to grow herbs, tomatoes and other produce in a very small space. Decks, patios and windowsills are all included. New containers make growing on a deck a piece of cake—examples include using containers made to sit on the railing and stacking containers vertically to save space. Presenter Kate Copsey is the author of The Downsized Veggie Garden (February 2016, St. Lynn’s Press).