The “Horticultural History Tour” symposium, a series of five lectures, will be held at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society headquarters at Elm Bank, in Wellesley on Saturday. The day-long lecture series on Garden and Landscape History runs 9:00am - 4:00pm at Hunnewell Carriage House in The Gardens at Elm Bank 900 Washington Street Wellesley, MA Info and registration at www.MassHort.org. 617-933-4995.
In conjunction, The Massachusetts State Senate, on the Motion of Dover Senator James Timilty, has certified that November 13 is Garden History Day in Massachusetts.
The symposium will be hosted by John Furlong, FALA, emeritus director, Landscape Institute, Arnold Arboretum, faculty member Boston Architectural College.
At 9:00 AM Gerry Wright as Frederick Law Olmsted presents a biography of the landscape architect who was influenced by the natural landscapes of New England throughout his life. In 1850, at age 28, he traveled to England and was smitten with the countryside and a “democratic park” in Birkenhead . Omlsted’s two styles of landscape architecture were the creation of the “pastoral” and the “picturesque”. Beyond the creation for beauty, there was a sense of “service deeply rooted in his planning of public places. N.Y. City ’s Central Park, Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum and to the two 200 acre country estates on the Charles River in Wellesley and Dover are among the legacies of Olmsted and his firm.
At 10:30 AM Allyson Hayward , garden historian and author of Norah Lindsay: The Life and Art of a Garden Designer will deliver a new talk on two important New England estates, the Hunnewell estate, known as Wellesley, and Elm Bank, the Cheney/Baltzell estate which is now the home of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Today, these landscapes reveal a layering of New England ’s garden history. Ms. Hayward will take you on an armchair tour of these exciting gardens with an illustrated lecture tracing the landscapes dating from 1850 to the present. You will revel in the beauty of the initial vision of Horatio Hollis Hunnewell and his Italian Garden and Pinetum at Wellesley . The lecture will continue with images of Elm Bank from its Victorian grandeur to its transformation into a 1920s grandiose playground for Boston society, complete with theme gardens that portrayed the owners’ sense of taste and style.
At 11:30 AM David Barnett, PhD., President and CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery, will present Wilson’s China: A Century On, published by The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew , 2009. Wilson was the Arnold Arboretum’s principal plant collector from 1906, and in 1927, on the death of Director Charles Sprague Sargent, was appointed the self-styled “Keep” of the Arboretum. In addition to introducing over 1,200 plants, Wilson was a popular author and lecturer and a Mass Hort Trustee . His remarkable achievements are a continuing inspiration to botanists, horticulturist and landscapers. The slides have been loaned to Mass Hort through the courtesy of the English authors, Tony Kirkham and Mark Flanagan, respectively Head of the Arboretum at Kew and Keeper of the Royal Gardens in Windsor Great Park .
12:30 PM Lunch – Catered by Cuisine Chez Vous
1:30 PM Elizabeth S. Eustis is a garden historian and guest curator, former Trustee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, past President of the New England Wild Flower Society and faculty member of The Landscape Institute. She will speak on Romanticism in the landscape, the subject of a 2010 exhibition that she co-curated for the Morgan Library in New York , Romantic Gardens: Art, Nature and Garden Design, with a catalogue published by David R. Godine. Following the transition from formal classicism to more naturalistic garden design, Romanticism added a new emphasis on emotional and spiritual response to the landscape. The pervasive influence of Romanticism inspired artificial ruins, garden cemeteries, wild gardens, and contributed powerfully to the public parks movement. This talk will be extensively illustrated by recent photographs and historic works of art.
3:00 PM Local author Meg Muckenhoupt will lead attendees through the verdant world of her book, Boston’s Gardens & Green Spaces (Union Park Press, 2010). She examines the role of public spaces throughout Boston ’s historic and contemporary landscape.