By Carol Stocker
Landscape architects and historians from around the country converged on the Boston Athenaeum Saturday night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Library of American Landscape History, the foremost publisher in the genre, which is headquartered in Amherst. The non-profit has published a cannon of 26 books on the history of landscape design in this country, working with the University of Massachusetts Press. They include the award winning "A Genius for Place: American Landscapes of the Country Place Era," by Robin Karson, LALH's founder and executive director, who briefly addressed the gathering.
Also in attendance were Iris Gestram, executive director of the National Association for Olmsted Parks in Washington, director Mark Zelonis of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Bob Cook, former director of the Arnold Arboretum, Meg Winslow, archivist for the Mount Auburn Cemetery, and Lee Farrow Cook of the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic National Park Service site, named Fairsted.
Nancy Turner, the LALH's founding president, was honored. "I met Robin when she came to write about my Fletcher Steele garden," recalled Turner in an interview. The famous Boston landscape designer had had an office on Louisburg Square, but had retired to Pittsford, N.Y., near her estate, and created his last garden there for her. Karson documented it in her great book, "Fletcher Steele, Landscape Architect." Written shortly after Steele's death in 1971, the book documented many of his gardens before they were lost. Steele gardens were generally high maintenance and seldom survived their owners, "but Mabel Choate preserved her Naumkeag," said Turner. She referred to the The Trustees of Reservations' Steele garden in Stockbridge, famed for its series of white Art Deco staircases and waterfalls framed by birch trees..
Turner now lives in Connecticut. Does her own Pittsford garden still exist? "I don't know. I never went back to look. There has been a tremendous increase in the cost of maintenance." She smiled. "Gardens are like sand castles. It survives in Robin's book," she said as she flipped though the book's pages, which featured photos of her well planted granite staircase, orchard, and a series of terraces that led to a round reflecting pool. "It's very quiet, a placid place that reflected the final year of Fletcher Steele's life."
It was after completing this survey of Steele's rapidly vanishing gardens that Karson decided there needed to be an organization that published books on American historical landscapes. She was able to start one with Turner's support, and has kept it going for 20 years, during which she has assembled the most important authors of books on landscape architecture in this country.
New books include "Community by Design; The Olmsted Firm and the Planning of Brookline," by Elisabeth Hope Cushing, Roger G. Reed and Boston University professor Keith N. Morgan, who was at the party. After designing Central Park, Olmsted deserted New York for Brookline, which had proudly anointed itself "the richest town in the world." Little has been previously published on the importance of Brookline as a laboratory and model for the Olmsted firm's work. This book will detail how his son and namesake saw the town as a grounds for experimenting in the new profession of city planning.
It will be followed next year by a study of another important locally based designer. "Arthur A. Shurcliff and the Making of the Colonial Williamsburg Landscape," by Elizabeth Hope Cushing, will spotlight this under-appreciated force in the Colonial Revival house and garden movement. His projects included aspects of the Charles River Esplanade, the Franklin Park Zoo, and, at the end of his life, the iconic gardens at Colonial Williamsburg.
Next year will also see the LAHL's publication of "The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System," by Francis R. Kowsky, cq writing about Buffalo, N.Y. "We try to focus the study on individual places," explained Karson. It will be the first in a series edited by Ethan Carr called "Designing the American Park." Another new series will deal with environmental design.
Interest in the history of American landscape architecture has blossomed in the last three decades, said Carr at the gathering. He linked it to the resurgence of interest in New York's Central Park and it's history. That park, which sunk to an all-time low in the 1970's, is now in the best shape of its history, thanks in part to LALH board member Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, the founder of the powerful Central Park Conservancy.
Boston's Emerald Necklace, another Olmsted masterpiece, has also enjoyed rejuvenation and scholarly attention. The Frederick Law Olmsted Papers Project will soon publish Volume Eight of Olmsted Sr's letters, dealing with the 1880's when the Emerald Necklace was created, said Carr, who is the editor.
The U. Mass professor is also the editor of one of LALH's prizewinning books, "Mission 66: Modernism and the National Park Dilemma." And what is the dilemma? "Too little money, too many visitors," said Carr succinctly. "And too many cars."
People always ask me, "Is The Flower Show worth going to this year?" And I always say, "Yes!" I love the Boston Flower & Garden Show. It's one of the classiest and best in the nation (and I've been to a lot of flower shows in other places).
This grand old Boston tradition runs through Sunday at the Seaport World Trade Center. It's a great place to find some spring gardens in full bloom after the teasing unseasonably warm March weather we have enjoyed.
The 137-year old non-profit show met its demise in 2009 for financial reasons but was resurrected the following year by the Paragon Group, event marketers and producers, under the guidance of Carolyn Weston, who directed the old show. The operation has been a success. Thank you, Paragon Group.
The many display gardens by landscape professions showing their wares are designed on the theme: "First Impressions: Adding Wow Factor to Outdoors Spaces." Mahoney's has an entrance exhibit illustrating front yard garden panache and orange tuplips flanked by Jameson Landscape and an outstanding garden by Heimlich Nurseries, which has supported the show for generations with it annual large flowering landscapes. Newer participants include Markus Specimen Tree, Crystal Brinson, Ahronian Landscaping & Medway Garden Center, the Garden Design School, Quintessential Gardens, and Liquid Landscape Designs, which features some unusual rock and glass mashups. Peter Sadeck won the Allen C. Haskell award for his spectacular green archway featuring live parrots. The Newport Flower Show exhibit also had great showmanship.
The clever miniature gardens viewed through a peephole like display window are also enchanting. Gloria Freitas Steidinger of the Easton Garden Club won in this catagory for her miniature creation of "Shangrila." As usual, this feature was organized by Debby Hogan and her husband, noted landscape designer and nurseryman Warren Leach, who will be speaking at 11 a.m. Thursday.
There are dozens of other continuous lectures. I am particularly looking forward to Saturday's 1 p.m. lecture by Mike & Angie Chute on gardening with the new low maintenance roses.
Flower arranging also has a strong presence. Professional florists in one invitational have made living hats from flowers and foliage fashioned after those bizarre forward tilting caps called "fascinators" you saw at Kate and WIll's Royal Wedding last year.
The flower show's Ikabana display is completely serene and inspiring. There are also several competitive amateur flower shows, including two by members of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, and a garden photography competition, all run by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, under the title: Blooms! This also includes a children's education section that will include a scavenger hunt and horticultural activities near the Mass. Hort. desk, trustee Betsy Madsen pointed out.
Mass. Hort. provides many volunteers, and showcases hobby gardeners' plants in its amateur section, including a wonderful cotton plant with bolls of ripe cotton grown by Elaine and Sidney Koretsky of Brookline.
The New England Flower Show, which has employed thousands of local volunteers over its many decades, has deep roots in the community. Two charismatic volunteer leaders who died in the last year were honored among the Mass. Hort. exhibits. Chestnut Hill's wonderful Corliss Knapp Engle, who died in November after a lifetime of horticultural contributions, had a garden photography award named after her, which was won by Debbie Ross of Winnetka, Il., for her photograph of lodge pole pine.
There was also a write-up about the many contributions of long-time Weston resident Susan Beth Emery Dumaine, who died in February in Kentucky where she had retired. She was whip smart, energetic and funny. Among her many local horticultural contributions, Dumaine for many years ran (and policed) nomenclature at the flower show so all plants were correctly labeled. It was painstaking work.
Fittingly, Mass. Hort. Executive director Kathy Macdonald was on hand at the show where she praised a new high tech form of plant labels being used here and at the Elm Bank headquarters. "You scan the plant labels (called hortycodes) with your smart phone and and it tells you about the plant and there's even an audio link with the correct pronunciation." I think Susan Dumaine would have loved it.
For more information about the Flower Show visit http://www.bostonflowershow.com.
Globe Garden Writer Carol Stocker will be on line live today, Friday, Aug. 19, to answer your gardening questions from 1 to 2 p.m. Afterwards a transcript of the questions and answers will be posted and archived.
When "Martha Stewart Living" magazine editor Stephen Orr accepted his achievement award from the Horticultural Society of New York April 12 he used the occasion to praise an absent fellow honoree, longtime Houghton Mifflin garden book editor Frances Tenenbaum of Cambridge."Frances created the American garden book!"
She was represented by her daughter, Cambridge book designer Jane Tenenbaum. Also attending were author Phyllis Meras of Martha's Vineyard, Ken Carpenter, Maire Gorman, Nancy Grant-Mahoney, John Mendelson, Becky Saikia-Wilson, as well as Betsy Groban and another colleague from Houghton Mifflin, Lisa A. White, Charles A. Wall of McGraw Hill, plus Susan Twarog of Secret Gardens of Cambridge, an annual fundraiser Tenenbaum launched 20 years ago for the Friends of the Cambridge Public Library.
"Before Frances, the only gardenwriters known in America were British," said Sara Hobel in a phone interview before the event. She is director of the Society, which increases awareness and stewardship of New York City's green spaces. "Our library is full of her books."
"Fire & Ice" was the theme of the New York Flower Show Dinner Dance at 583 Park Avenue. The annual event is known for outrageous seven foot tall centerpieces by top floral designers, who this year created either towering infernos of red roses, ranunculus, and radiant Rothschild lilies or frosty white flowering fruit trees. The wittiest table, by Rod Winterrowd, took "Dinner at the Burton's, Gstaad, circa 1965" as its theme. It featured framed photos of Liz and Dick at each place setting, along with antlers and snow dusted evergreens on a cozy faux fur tablecloth. Another table used small taxidermied birds as napkin rings.A third featured a tiered red cake topped with a black raven - but this was just a statue.
Other honorees were David Easton, an Architect and Interior Designer, and Alex Timbers, an Obie and drama Desk award winning writer and director.
Frances Tenenbaum grew up on Long Island, graduated from the University of Michigan, and earned a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. While she was in college, she wrote occasional articles for the New York Herald Tribune.
After the war, married with two children, she worked as a freelance journalist and editor, and wrote her first book, Gardening with Wild Flowers (published by Scribners). Frances then became personally and professionally involved in horticulture. After moving to Massachusetts, she started as an editor at Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston.
During her long career in publishing, Frances became one of the nation’s leading garden editors, acquiring and editing dozens of titles on every aspect of popular horticulture and landscaping. "She was very canny. She chose good projects," said Wall. "We did some books that were my idea,"said Meras, one of her long time authors. "But when the books were her idea, they always sold well."
Frances published handsome books on the eccentric author and illustrator, Tasha Tudor, republished Celia Thaxter’s An Island Garden (first published by Houghton 100 years ago), and pruned the valuable but dreary Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Gardening into a single handsome reference and an extensive series of in-depth, full-color books on specific gardening topics. For decades, Taylor’s Guides have been acknowledged as the last word for aspiring and accomplished gardeners alike. "When I was first starting out, I would look through Frances' Taylor guides and think, 'How am I going to learn the names of all these plants?' " Orr remarked when accepting his award Tuesday.
In addition to her latest honor from the New York Horticultural Society, Frances has earned awards from the Massachusetts and American horticultural societies, and the Garden Writers Association of America. When the GWAA listed the 25 most important garden books over the previous 25 years, it included four Houghton Mifflin books, all acquired and edited by Frances.
Frances’s children have followed her bookish tradition. Jane is a book designer in Cambridge, Mass.; David is a science journalist and book author in Madison, Wis.
Past Honorees of the Horticultural Society of New York include, Christo and Jean-Claude, Contemporary artists; Mario Buatta, Interior Designer; John Berendt, author of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; Bunny Williams, interior designer; Nancy Clarke, White House Chief Floral Designer; Dr. Shirley Sherwood, botanist, author and one of the premier collectors of botanical art; Elizabeth Scholtz, esteemed Director Emeritus of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and long-time HSNY Benefactor; Chris Giftos, former Floral Master at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Charlotte Moss, Interior Designer; Suzy Bales, author The Garden in Winter; Tony Ingrao & Randy Kemper, Interior Designers.
The New York Flower Show Dinner Dance was Chaired by CeCe Black, Elizabeth Scholtz, Sheila Stephenson and Elizabeth Stribling.
The Horticultural Society of New York’s programs help to expand New York City’s greening efforts and to ensure the benefits of horticulture, from the beautification of home and garden. Their program also includes the community enhancement of public green space, the growing of fresh vegetables on urban farms and the job opportunities of landscape and design and maintenance. Funds raised help support, Green City, Green Work, Apple Seed, The Barbara A. Margolis Library, The Art Gallery and Horticulture Services.
Chevy Chase, MD - Ruth Kassinger's popular book "Paradise Under Glass" tells the story of a homeowner who, starting with zero gardening knowledge, built a lush plant conservatory onto her Maryland home that became a center for family life and most importantly her own revitalization after a bout with cancer. Recently I visited Ruth in her home conservatory here, which was built out from an L between her living room and kitchen. It was exactly as depicted in her book and on its cover. Her husband even purchased artist Linda Button's oil painting used on the cover and hung it up right next to the conservatory room for comparison. (The line drawings throughout the book are by Eva-Maria Ruhl.)
Ruth told me that her speaking engagements included one at the U.S. Botanical Garden on the Washington Mall where she first got the idea to build her own private green oasis as "the perfect antidote to the losses and changes of middle age" (which included her much loved sister's cancer death at 45).
Ruth searched out a builder, dealt with zoning ordinances and got houseplant advice from her local nursery. Sinking her teeth into the subject, she also visited specialty growers in Florida, Connecticut and California to discover which low maintenance kinds of plants would perform well in her growing conditions.
Ruth's project surprised herself as much as her family because she had never before been interested in gardening or houseplants and hated earthworms and insects. But the indoor garden she envisioned would be a clean, bright cocoon for healing. And so it is. But it's not insect free like she thought it would be. In creating the micro-environment where we now sipped out tea, Ruth taught herself how to grow butterflies in her conservatory and how to combat scale and spider mites.
The first appearance of bugs in her paradise set off a frenzied over-reaction, colored, she admitted, by her belief that she and her doctors had been slow to diagnose her breast cancer. She wanted those bugs killed fast. But after researching the most toxic of insect killers, a kind of chemo for the greenhouse, she came to her senses and now employs Neem and other less poisonous Integrated Pest Management techniques. In fact, she told me, she was awaiting a shipment of green lacewings (Chrysoperla rufilabris). These small delicate looking flying beneficial insects help keep pets in check naturally. Sliding glass doors keep them out of the rest of the house.
The conservatory also has an unusual water feature: a small resistance pool where Ruth swims. Modern filtration features keep off-smelling chlorine to a minimum. Another slightly sci-fi feature is the vertical green wall of many different kinds of small plants growing in pockets of fiber and recycling water that Ruth built herself. It copies expensive installations in Europe that are very popular. Green walls lend texture and life to any surface, and I am sure we will be seeing more of them in this country as the technology spreads.
Creating her conservatory taught Ruth that nothing in a garden, even an indoor garden, is static. Her original idea of paradise was to create an unchanging cocoon. But after making constant experiments with her own biosphere project, she has concluded that "Paradise" is a place where there's always something new to respond to, and to look forward to. Life is change.
Now Ruth Kassinger, an award winning science writer, is working on her next book, which will try to explain in popular terms how plants work, how they are different from animals, and how breeders are using this knowledge to create plants that never existed before.
She is exploring whether there is a difference between organic and chemical fertilizer from the plant's point of view, she said. "Also, a bit of information on Round-Up. The No-Till crowd recommends Round-Up for keeping down the weeds in a no-till situation -- this is from Dr. Ray Weil, University of Maryland professor, co-author of the major textbook on soil science, and a man deeply committed to protecting ecosystems."
Kassinger has become a horticultural detective and I'm waiting to see what she comes up with. Since much of gardening is "muck and mysticism," as the late plantsman Fred McGourty used to say, Ruth Kassinger's ability to bring the scientific side of horticulture to the general public is both welcomed and needed.
By Carol Stocker
So how is The Boston Flower & Garden Show now that it has settled into its second season at the Seaport World Trade Center? It's smaller than its predecessor, which used to cover five acres at the Bayside Expo each March. But it is still big enough that my feet hurt by the time I see everything. Which means it's big enough.
This late winter tonic commands a lot of skill and creativity, especially among the show's more than two dozen major exhibitors. The theme is container gardening. Best in Show goes to Peter R. Sadeck's spooky woodland garden which features a dark cedar swamp and a forest of dead tree trunks serving as "containers" or nurse trees for the next generation of wild woodies. An exquisite life size moss maiden is perched magically atop one of the 12-foot tall ash trunks that suggest a requiem for an old growth forest. Two live owls add to the Gothic atmosphere, along with a giant peregrine-gyrfalcon hybrid. Sadeck's flower show exhibits always make surprising use of live birds, and this might be the best one yet.
Stranger still, while Sedack's wildlife handler Mala Isaac was introducing onlookers to the beautiful barn owl, a center employee came in with a small wild saw-whet owl he had found in a nearby parking lot, where it had perhaps been hit by a car. At first stunned, the owl darted free when it regained its wits. "I guess it can fly after all," said Isaac as it landed on a rafter 40 feet above the exhibit. I hope the hall has a mouse population so the little saw-whet owl can find something to eat at night when they turn the lights out.
The gorgeous garden created by Miskovsky Landscaping of Falmouth and Allen C. Haskell Horticulturalists of New Bedford also has birds, their signature free flying white fantail pigeons who roost in a white dovecote. But the aesthetic highpoint of this exhibit is a lofty tree house by Mike Duffany, with its own window box, staircase and daybed. At ground level shady seating nook is nestled underneath. Talented Paul Miskovsky and David Haskell last teamed up for the 2007 New England Spring Flower Show and its good to have them back for this show.
Nearby, the always entertaining sculptor Jill Nooney of Fine Garden Art in Lee, N.H., has given a transcendent spin to the show's theme of container gardening by using organic containers ranging from emu eggs to lobster shells. A human skull sports a bird's nest and a crown of seaweed.
The 2011 Newport Flower Show has mounted an ambitious exhibit to promoted its own 16-year-old show, which will be held June 24 - 26 on the grounds of the historic Rosecliff mansion in Newport. This display features a large tree hung with candelabras as decorations and a Grand Dame from the Edwardian era dressed in a gown of fresh cut flowers.
Michael C. Jardin Fine Gardens of Lakeville and Earthworks of Leverett both have built wonderful rock formations using native granite and The Magma Design Group of Pawtucket, RI, built a photographic stone moon gate that could be the focal point of any garden. Cape Cod Life, the Mashpee based magazine, landscaped with native plants around a seaside structure to introduce a whiff of summer on the Cape.
The New England Orchid Societies, Mahoney's Garden Centers, Heimlich Nurseries, the Bonsais Study Group, Katsura Gardens of Plymouth and Crystal Brinson of Fairhaven all display impressive plant material while Cass School of Floral Design in Watertown will conduct flower arranging mini-demos every couple of hours. To see some really spectacular formal arrangements, wend your way through the back doorways to Mass Hort's "Blooms!" Floral Design Divisions.
The Miniature Garden Competition, a longtime favorite at the old Flower Shows in Boston, has been resurrected nearby. In 2008 when the New England Spring Flower Show closed its doors for the last time, it was thought that these diminutive Edens were gone forever. But late last year the Massachusetts Horticultural Society asked long time Miniature Gardens exhibitors Debi Hogan and Warren Leach of Seekonk to work with them to bring these popular gardens to the new Boston Flower and Garden Show. (Warren is a co-owner of the very fabulous Tranquil Lake Nursery in Rehoboth.)
The Boston Flower Show is owned and produced by Paragon Group, and is managed as a Trade Show. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society partners with Paragon Group to keep horticulture front and center and to also keep some aspects of the traditional New England Spring Flower Show alive, particularly the floral design classes, and potted plants and gardens that have been such part of the old show for more than a century.
The Miniature Gardens have always been a popular part of this Amateur Design Division of the show. Each garden is designed to resemble an actual vista with plants and accessories scaled down to one twelfth size, and is viewed through a small window. The four groups of exhibitors have painted a background for their box, grown the plants, and assembled the final plan at the show. The Holbrow family have made a particularly charming miniature garden based on the spring display of trailing nasturtiums in Isabella Stewart Gardener’s courtyard on the Fenway in Boston. Exhibiting at the Flower Show in Boston is a family tradition that goes back more than a century to Charles E. Holbrow, a Brighton greenhouse grower who won a silver cup from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in the 1890s.
Carolyn Weston has continued doing a fine job as the show's director. Katherine Macdonald, the new executive director of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in Wellesley, has also been on hand running "Blooms!" - Mass Hort's show within the show which includes all of Thursday's lectures and programs.
The Boston Flower And Garden Show is open Thursday, March 17, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Friday, March 18, 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, March 19, 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, March 20, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Tickets prices are: Adults $20; Seniors (65+) $17; Children 6-17 $10; and Under 6 Free. Massachusetts Horticultural Society members receive free tickets. For more information visit, www.masshort.org/Blooms_and_the_Boston_Flower_&_Garden_Show
If you are in New York and a fan of garden antiques, stop by at the Barbara Israel Garden Antiques booth at the famous annual Winter Antiques Show, which is at the Park Avenue Armory at 67th Street through Jan. 30.
Her stuff is amazing! When I was there at the preview last week, the show stopper was a 19th century bas relief carved marble Italian wellhead with a bronze overthrow of floral design. Planting containers included a pair of mid-19th century Versailles urns by the Paris based Durenne foundry, on pedestals. and a terra-cotta planter ornamented by entwined serpents from traditional Celtic design which was designed by Arts & Crafts Symbolist Mary Seton Watts and exhibited at the 1893 Colombian Exposition in Chicago. The always popular animal sculptures included a cast iron Newfoundland and stone panther, both life size. And amusing giant stone frog was from the 1950's but most articles more made in the 19th century and brought over from Europe by garden lovers on the Grand Tour.
The garden ornaments and artwork was selling fast and the price tags were hefty. But Barbara Israel Garden Antiques has also come out with a line of affordable reproductions of its treasures, called Garden Traditions. Visit the website at www.gardentraditions.us for information. The Massachusetts dealer is Tracker Home Decor of Pease's Point Way in South Edgartown. Original antiques can be viewed by appointment at Katonah, NY., where Barbara Israel also puts out a scholarly newsletter, Focal Points.
Barbara Israel has long been a leading expert on the subject of garden antiques and ornaments. Her 1999 book, "Antique Garden Ornament; Two Centuries of America Taste," was a groundbreaking work, noted Ronald Lee Fleming of the Townscape Institute in Cambridge, who also attended the opening.
"I wanted people to realize it was a serious academic art," Israel said when we talked at the show, which is the most prestigious of its kind in the country. She traces her interest to childhood. "One of my grandmothers would take me to an estate in New Jersey which had nine foot tall statues of the first 12 Roman Emperors. My sister and I would play and peek out around them. I was curious why they were there."
On Jan. 1, Edward “Ned’’ Friedman became the new director of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, only the eighth in its 138-year history. Friedman is a tenured professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard.
In outreach to the public, he has initiated a New Director’s Lecture Series at the Arnold Arboretum
All lectures are free and take place in the Hunnewell Lecture Hall, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130.
Advance registration is required. Contact Pamela Thompson, 617.384.5277. http://calendar.arboretum.harvard.edu/index.php
Here is a lecture schedule and an interview by garden writer Carol Stocker with Ned Friedman:
Restoring Hawaii’s Marvels of Evolution
Robert Robichaux, University of Arizona
Monday, February 7, 6:30–8:30pm
Botanist Robert Robichaux of the Hawaiian Silversword Foundation and University of Arizona discusses recent efforts to restore Hawaii’s marvels of plant evolution.
Evolving in splendid isolation over millions of years, Hawaii’s native plants exhibit patterns of diversity that are unrivaled elsewhere on Earth. Especially striking are the many examples of adaptive radiation, in which original immigrants to the islands evolved into dazzling arrays of plants exhibiting great variation in form and habitat preference. Yet, Hawaii’s native plants face an uncertain future. Many native plants, such as the exquisitely beautiful silverswords and lobeliads, now teeter on the edge of extinction.
The Good, the Bad, and Occasionally the Dead: Humanity’s Relationship with Earth’s Nitrogen
Alan Townsend, University of Colorado, Boulder
Monday, February 28, 6:30–8:30pm
Hear about the occasionally odd, often dramatic history of humanity’s relationship with phosphorous and nitrogen.
How do we live the lives we want while maintaining healthy ecosystems that can support future generations? These challenges will define the coming century, and one of them lies at the heart of the most fundamental of human needs: the need to eat, the good these chemical elements do and the harm they cause, and ultimately, the reasons to have hope for a better future.
Our Constitution’s Intelligent Design
U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III
Monday, March 28, 6:30–8:30pm
**FOR MEMBERS ONLY** Join online at arboretum.harvard.edu/membership or call 617-384-5767.
In 2005 Judge John Jones presided over the landmark case of Kitzmiller v. Dover, and thereafter rendered an opinion holding that it is unconstitutional to teach the concept of intelligent design as an alternative to the theory of evolution. In the aftermath of that ruling, Judge Jones, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, was subjected to intense criticism. Judge Jones will highlight some of the lessons he learned from these experiences, including the development of his passion for judicial independence, and a belief in the need for better civics education, particularly related to our three branches of government
Recommended reading related to this talk:
· Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (available online), Monkey Girl by Edward Humes,
· 40 Days and 40 Nights by Matthew Chapman,
· The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything by Gordy Slack
· The Devil in Dover by Lauri Lebo.
Ned Freidman spoke to us of his passion for bringing more scientific research to the grounds of the 265-acre Arnold and about the new lecture series he has started.
Q. We know you are a research scientist, but are you also a gardener?
A. I love to garden. I am almost competitive about gardening. My wife and I canned 80 quarts of tomatoes this year from just nine plants. We make jam from our fruit trees. We live now in Boulder, Colo., where the season is short but the sunlight is intense. I also grow hops and brew my own beer there.
Q. What kind of tomatoes do you grow?
A. Celebrity, Sweet 100’s. No heirlooms or anything unusual because my wife is a botanist, too, and she studies Solanum plants, which are related to tomatoes, and we don’t want to transmit any plant diseases to her research projects.
Q. What have you done at the University of Colorado?
A. I’m a plain old garden variety professor studying the evolutionary origins of flowering plants (mostly trees) and how they reproduce. We’ve come up with some big surprises.
Q. What are your goals for the Arnold Arboretum?
A. The new Weld Hill building will open with a spectacular set of labs as a base for bringing undergraduates and post-docs and plant researchers to the Arboretum. They’ll be able to do microscopy and molecular biology right at the Arboretum. My job will be to get the new research building on Weld Hill up and running, but also to get science out of the building and into the schools and community.
A. I want to do outreach to public school teachers about the history of evolution. I want to get a National Science Foundation S.T.E.M. grant (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) for our graduate students to partner with science teachers in the public schools. I will do more on adult education, too. I will have a monthly community night when I will bring in someone very special from around the world for Boston. We’ll do it in an evolutionary way.
Q. Do you actually take care of the trees?
A. We have talented arborists for that, and we’re well-staffed, with 75 employees. But I hope they’ll let me up in the bucket for a bird’s eye view.
Q. Do you worry about the Asian long horned beetle?
A. I was visiting when they found those four infected trees in the hospital parking lot across the street. I don’t know where they came from. I was so impressed by the way the staff snapped into action. They knew what species the beetles preferred and the date that each tree had been previously checked. They checked all the trees again, and the beetles hadn’t spread to the Arboretum, but the trees there are so attentively checked by a full staff that it would never go undetected. We wouldn’t be playing “catch-up.’’ But we want to continue to educate our neighbors to keep an eye on their own trees.
Q. Given all the new threats to trees today by changing climate and imported pests and diseases, what kind of tree would you plant for the future?
A. My favorite tree is the ginko. I did my dissertation on it. It’s tough, pollution- and pest-tolerant, it has beautiful gold coloring in the fall. There’s a stretch of streets linked with ginkos in Yokahama and they look beautiful. Goethe wrote a tremendous love poem to a much younger woman about the ginko leaf. It’s a mysterious and romantic plant.
Q. Are you as cheerful as you seem?
A. I’m very cheerful. I have always felt I’ve been the luckiest person in the world because I get to spend my life with plants.
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society announces Jan 6 that it has named Katherine K. Macdonald as the organization’s new executive director. She brings both public company and not-for-profit management experience and was president of KMAC Marketing. Prior to that, she was vice president of marketing for Thompson Island Outward Bound, a non-profit focused on experiential education.
“We are thrilled. Kathy is a talented strategist with experience in both the non-profit and for- profit sectors. She has a proven track record of being able to transform mission and vision into actions,” said Betsy Ridge Madsen, president of the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. “Mass Hort has moved through some challenging times to achieve institutional stability. Because of her combination of business acumen and non-profit spirit, we are confident that Kathy’s leadership will successfully drive and expand the organization’s educational miss
Macdonald spent six years with Thompson Island Outward Bound where she was responsible for generating $3 million of annual revenue that supported the core mission. She also helped develop an environmental program that combined Outward Bound’s philosophy with environmental studies, to encourage teambuilding and environmental stewardship. Her business career spans more than twenty five years, and includes entrepreneurship, technology start ups, the Xerox Corporation, and the hospitality industry. Most recently, she was president of KMAC Marketing, which provides strategic planning and marketing assistance to profit- and not-for-profit organizations.
“I see an extraordinary opportunity to leverage the turnaround that is already underway at Mass Hort as a launching pad for the organization’s renaissance,” Macdonald said. “Mass Hort has been part of the environmental movement since 1829, and now is the time to make its voice heard in the contemporary conversation. My goal for Mass Hort is straightforward: to use the organization’s considerable resources to meet society’s changing needs. To that end, I believe Mass Hort must sharpen its focus on sustainability, protecting natural resources, health, and environmental stewardship.”
“Mass Hort is here today because of the hard work, perseverance and tenacity of many people,” said Macdonald. “The Society’s trustees and staff, Master Gardeners, donors, and its many volunteers have seen the organization through a difficult period. I see my job as delivering on the promise of Mass Hort on their behalf.”
Macdonald holds an MBA from Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University. Long active in civic affairs in Wellesley, Macdonald has been an elected Town Meeting member for 24 years. She has served on multiple committees, including the Advisory/Finance Committee, the Wellesley Housing Development Corporation, and the Community Preservation Committee. She has managed several initiative campaigns including one, in 2002, for the Massachusetts League of Women Voters that focused on campaign television advertising. Macdonald and her husband Kevin have lived in Wellesley for more than 30 years. They have two adult children, Brian and Bridget.
Headquartered at the historic Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley and Dover, Mass Hort welcomes visitors. Mass Hort’s Blooms! at the Boston Flower and Garden Show, an annual Boston tradition, is held in March at The Seaport World Trade Center. Katherine K. Macdonald named New Executive Director of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Visit www.MassHort.org to learn more.
By Carol Stocker. In Worcester, MA, more than 28,000 trees have been removed due to the
invasion of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), turning Worcester’s once
canopied streets into stark naked roadways. Experts think a small ALB
infestation discovered and controlled this past summer in Boston may have
been from beetles that escaped out of Worcester, potentially on firewood or
Thirty-five percent of firewood is brought from another location, increasing
risk of invasion from forest pests. With winter here, people across the country are engaging in a centuries-old tradition of buying or gathering firewood to fuel home fires. In a recent
poll conducted by The Nature Conservancy, one in twenty Americans said they
moved firewood long distances (i.e., more than 50 miles, a distance widely
accepted as moving it “too far”). Moving firewood can increase the risk of
new invasive pest infestations that kill trees. To prevent the spread of
these pests, the Don’t Move Firewood campaign recommends buying firewood
that was cut locally, preferably within the same county or region of where
it will be burned.
“DCR is pleased to join the Nature Conservancy in urging everyone not to
move firewood across regions in Massachusetts and especially across state
borders,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Rick
Sullivan. “Invasive species have devastated forests in other parts of the
country, and we thank residents and visitors alike for helping prevent that
from happening in Massachusetts.”
Transporting firewood can potentially create new infestations of invasive
insects and diseases, which can lurk in firewood at any time of the year.
These tree-killing pests cannot move far on their own, but when people move
firewood that harbors them, they unwittingly enable these pests to start an
infestation far from their current range. Past invaders have devastated
native species of trees such as the American chestnut, hemlock, and American
elm- tree species, which have been part of American forests and city streets
for centuries prior to invasion of foreign pests.
“These new poll results tell us that when people learn why they shouldn’t
transport firewood long distances, the vast majority are willing to buy it
where they burn it,” said Leigh Greenwood, Don’t Move Firewood campaign
manager, The Nature Conservancy. “People have the power to save their trees.
They can help stop the spread of destructive pests by not moving firewood
and communicating this message to others.”
The poll results indicate that only 34 percent of the respondents who use
firewood have heard that they should not move firewood long distances;
however, once they are aware of the problem, 80 percent would be willing to
buy the wood in the area where they plan to burn it. In regions of the
country hardest hit by invasive pests, the number of people who have heard
the message to not move firewood has increased from 38 percent in 2007, when
the poll was previously conducted, to 59 percent in this year’s poll
results. In these same regions, from 2007 to 2010 the poll indicates there
has been a 13 percent increase in the number of people that say they never
“For the protection of our farms and working landscapes, particularly of our
maple sugaring industry, we urge residents and visitors to refrain from
moving firewood over long distances, especially in and out of Asian
longhorned beetle regulated areas this winter season,” said Massachusetts
Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Scott Soares. “We thank
The Nature Conservancy for their continued effort in getting this important
message to the public.”
“Burning a wood fire in the winter has a lot of different uses – a primary
heat source, a place for a family gathering, or part of a romantic evening
by the fire,” said Greenwood. “When firewood comes from a well managed local
forest, it’s a great alternative to using fossil fuels like oil and natural
gas. We just ask that when using firewood for these purposes, people help
protect their local trees by not risking the accidental movement of insects
and diseases that can wipe out entire forests.”
Following are tips from the Don’t Move Firewood campaign:
• Obtain firewood near the location where you will burn it – that
means the wood was cut in a nearby forest, in the same county, or at a
maximum of 50 miles from where you'll have your fire.
• Don’t be tempted to get firewood from a remote location just because
the wood looks clean and healthy. It could still harbor tiny insect eggs or
microscopic fungal spores that will start a new and deadly infestation of
• Aged or seasoned wood is not considered safe to move, but
commercially kiln-dried wood is a good option if you must transport
• If you have already moved firewood, and you now know you need to
dispose of it safely, burn it soon and completely. Make sure to rake the
storage area carefully and also burn the debris. In the future, buy from a
• Tell your friends and others about the risks of moving firewood – no
one wants to be responsible for starting a new pest infestation.
To learn more about how to prevent forest pests from destroying forests, log
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around
the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and
people. The Conservancy and its more than one million members have been
responsible for the protection of more than 18 million acres in the United
States and have helped preserve more than 117 million acres in Latin
America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Visit us on the Web at
The Beacon Hill Garden Club's $55,000 donation, its largest donation to any organization, to the Friends of the Public Garden will be used for the installation and maintenance of a remembrance grove as part of the restoration of the Brewer Fountain Plaza on Boston Common. The Beacon Hill Garden Club’s eleven-tree remembrance grove will honor deceased members including Jeanne Muller Ryan, Alex Norton, and Vera Innes. The grove will serve as a memorial for all the achievements that members, past and present, have and will accomplish during their lifetimes.
“The Remembrance Grove will allow us to honor our members, who work so hard to beautify and educate the community and provide a fund for deceased members' families to remember their loved ones,” explained Trudi Fondren, President of the Beacon Hill Garden Club.
The donation represents the Beacon Hill Garden Club’s involvement in the Garden Club of America’s centennial celebration in 2013. With trees as the theme of the celebration, each participating club began a 5-year program in 2008 to work with community organizations in planting new trees. The Beacon Hill Garden Club Remembrance Grove is a significant planting within the Brewer Fountain Plaza project, which will transform this southeastern gateway into the park and add trees to an area of the city heavily used by Boston residents, commuters, and visitors.
Henry Lee, President and founder of the Friends of the Public Garden stated, “Park care ebbs and flows. With the economy as it is today and the drastic cuts endured by the Parks Department, we have entered another ebbing time for parks and non-profits alike. But all is not dark. The generosity of the Beacon Hill Garden Club demonstrates that we can still improve the parks through fostering great relationships such as ours with the Beacon Hill Garden Club.”
The Friends of the Public Garden is a non-profit citizen's advocacy group formed in 1970 to preserve, protect and enhance the Boston Common, the Public Garden and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall in collaboration with the Mayor and the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Boston. A model public-private partnership and the first modern parks advocacy group in the Commonwealth, the Friends number over 2500 members and many volunteers.
The Beacon Hill Garden Club is committed to encouraging the love of horticulture and urban gardening, and to promoting the cultivation, preservation, and improvement of the urban landscape through educational programs and direct financial support for organizations dedicated to environmental conservation and civic improvement.
Rising Public Concern over Asian Longhorned Beetle and Other Threats to Trees; Nature Conservancy Warns Agains Transporting Firewood and Other Materials
Most Americans live near trees, and consider them very important to their quality of life. Recent polling by The Nature Conservancy shows that the American public is well aware of invasive forest pests that kill trees, and are willing to take steps to protect trees from this threat. According to the poll, conducted in September, knowledge of the spread of forest pests such as the Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer, and of diseases like sudden oak death and thousand cankers disease, has increased by 13 percent, from 41 percent in 2005 to 54 percent in 2010. When asked about the issue of forest pests in the most general terms, 93 percent of poll respondents expressed concern. This high level of concern has not changed since 2005, despite the changing economic situation.
The poll results show that 95 percent of Americans see trees as an important part of where they live and integral to their quality of life. Seventy-seven percent of respondents live near a wooded area, and 92 percent have trees on the property where they live. Americans also engage in a variety of activities that bring them in close contact with trees, with the top three activities being gardening (81%), birding or viewing wildlife (69%), and hiking (59%).
“The poll results tell us that the public’s awareness of and concern about these invasive diseases and insects continue to increase, which is critical because it is usually citizens noticing something in their yard or nearby park that leads authorities to find new infestations of invasive bugs and diseases,” said Sarah Volkman, communications coordinator for the Forest Health Program of The Nature Conservancy. “Additionally, we are very excited to see that Americans continue to feel very connected to trees, and are willing to take a number of actions to prevent the spread of these invasive pests.”
Poll respondents said they were willing to take a number of potential actions to reduce movement of forest pests:
* Buying plants and trees only from nurseries that are certified as free from diseases and insects that kill trees (92%)
* Not taking plants or cuttings from another location to bring back to their homes or gardens (88%)
* Cleaning boots carefully after hiking in a forest (87%)
* Not taking firewood with them when they camp (80%)
Poll respondents also supported a number of suggested government actions to reduce introductions and spread of forest pests, with 82 percent in favor of policy measures that would limit trade with certain countries and 85 percent in support of government incentives for nurseries to adopt measures to prevent introduction and spread of pests.
While the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working to strengthen regulations governing international trade in the types of plants that can introduce damaging pests, key components of the new regulations have not yet received final approval.
“Improving the existing government regulations will certainly help turn back the tidal wave of new invasive pests entering the United States,” said Faith Campbell, Senior Policy Representative for The Nature Conservancy. “These regulations, combined with the actions of an informed and concerned public, can potentially save millions of trees across the country.”
The Nature Conservancy conducted this poll as part of its ongoing efforts on behalf of the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases, a group of concerned organizations and individuals that work together to abate the threat to North American forests from tree-killing insects and diseases. The polling was designed to inform future messages and outreach to best serve the public’s needs for information and education. Similar polling was conducted by The Nature Conservancy in 2005 and 2007. There was a Telephone survey of 1,400 American voters conducted in September 2010, with an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 3.5 percent. Previous polls in 2007 and 2005 with the same methodology are used for comparisons over time.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 18 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 117 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. For more information, please visit www.nature.org.
The Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases is a group of organizations and individuals that cultivates and catalyzes collaborative action among diverse interests to abate the threat to North American forests from non-native insects and diseases. For more information, please visit www.continentalforestdialogue.org.
Anne Hawley, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum director announced on Dec. 6 the appointment of landscape scholar and educator Charles Waldheim, principal, Urban Agency as the Museum’s new consulting Curator of Landscape, effective January 2011.
Charles Waldheim is a leading thinker, educator, and scholar in the field of landscape architecture. Waldheim coined the term “landscape urbanism” to describe emerging design practices at the intersection of landscape and contemporary urbanism, which is his primary research focus. He has written extensively on the topic, and has lectured across North America, Europe, and Asia. Waldheim is John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture and the current Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Waldheim is a licensed architect and a principal of Urban Agency, a consulting practice advising public and private clients on a range of issues relating to contemporary urbanism. In 2006, Waldheim received the Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture from the American Academy in Rome.
Rooted in the Gardner Museum’s connections to the urban landscape and building upon the accomplishments of the first Curator of Landscape Patrick Chassé, the appointment of Charles Waldheim/Urban Agency will further highlight and expand the importance of landscape scholarship at the Gardner and to elevate the Gardner as a center for discussion of contemporary issues related to landscape and community. The Curator of Landscape position is unque among cultural institutions and museums like the Gardner. Waldheim will join the Gardner Museum as its new consulting Curator of Landscape in January 2011—about one year before the expected opening of a new wing designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano to include new dedicated areas for programming across the museum’s five cornerstones, expanded gardens, and restoration work in the historic galleries.
Waldheim will bring new thinking, research, lectures, and exhibitions to the landscape program at the Gardner Museum. This appointment reflects a commitment by the Gardner both to engage the landscape community more directly within the context of the Gardner’s landscape history, innovation, and importance and to help the public think more deeply about the link between landscape at the Gardner Museum and the surrounding urban fabric. New programming will support emerging thinkers in the area of landscape—much like the museum’s Artists-in-Residence program, which is now in its eighteenth year and supports contemporary artists by inviting them to work, live, create, and draw inspiration for new work and new ways of thinking amidst thirty centuries of art and inspiration
“An urban gardener and thinker herself, Isabella Stewart Gardner advanced the value of landscape as a means to enrich urban life—first in her Beacon Street home and later in the Fenway with the creation of her museum,” said Anne Hawley, the Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
“Stimulating new ways of thinking in our key programming areas is central to the Gardner Museum’s mission. Charles Waldheim’s appointment will challenge us to expand our thinking about landscape and its importance in the urban fabric of Boston. He will also help us to engage our public in new ways through exhibitions, scholarship, and public programs that will set a new direction for this ‘cornerstone’ at the Gardner. We welcome Charles to the Gardner Museum as our new Curator of Landscape,” Hawley continued.
“I look forward to contributing to the Gardner’s ongoing renewal through the development of its public programs on contemporary landscape,” said Waldheim. “Given the Gardner’s historic commitments in this area, and their extraordinary investment in new programming associated with the opening of the new venue in 2012, this is an important moment in the life of this singular institution. I look forward to making some modest contribution to keep contemporary landscape central to the life of the Gardner and to its many audiences. Given the centrality and relevance that contemporary landscape plays in design culture, urbanism, and the arts today, we are particularly fortunate that Anne Hawley and the Gardner’s leadership team have rededicated themselves to landscape as a cornerstone of their programs going forward. I look forward to working with them toarticulate the sites and subjects associated with contemporary landscape design, and to construct opportunities for audiences to interact with the medium in its multiple and various forms,” added Waldheim.
The museum’s founder Isabella Gardner believed in the value of horticulture. Her street-side conservatory at her Beacon Street home was a profusion of blooms and greenery, and she regularly supported landscape beautification projects in the Fenway. Gardner was also an urban pioneer—choosing to build her museum at the turn of the century in the Fenway neighborhood, a new section of Boston that had recently been transformed by Frederick Law Olmsted from a tidal marsh into the parks of the Back Bay Fens. The Gardner Museum was one of the first buildings in the newly formed Fenway, a landscape that defines the community for residents and visitors alike and an area which today remains an important and vibrant example of the value of urban landscape.
THE ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM, BOSTON (www.gardnermuseum.org) at 280 The Fenway Boston MA 02115, is open Tue.-Sun., 11 am-5 pm. Admission: Adults $12; Seniors $10; Students $5; Free for members, children under 18, everyone on his/her birthday, and all named Isabella. $2 off admission with same-day Museum of Fine Arts ticket stub. Info: 617-566-1401. Box Office 617-278-5156. • The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum features 5,000 objects spanning 30 centuries and many cultures—including works by Botticelli, Titian, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Degas, and Sargent, in addition to sculpture, furniture, tapestries, and manuscripts.
1. Clean up the Lawn. Rake leaves off your lawn so it is ready for new growth in the spring. If your leaf cover is not heavy, use your mower to chop up the leaves and allow them to remain on the lawn to nurture next year’s grass.
2. Put planting beds to bed. Clean up beds and cover plantings with pine boughs, bark mulch, or leaves. Fertilize spring bloomers such as peonies. Tall perennials with seed heads or berries can be left for the birds or reseeding. Ornamental grasses will look good until heavy snow beats them down.
3. Trim back trees. Prune trees back once they have gone dormant. Apply anti-desiccant spray to broadleaf evergreen shrubs and trees to prevent winterkill. If you plan to add trees and shrubs for next year, now is a good time to select and plant those that flower early in spring such as lilacs, dogwoods and fruit trees.
4. Plant for spring blossoms. Bulbs and perennials that bloom in early spring can be planted in the fall. Choose bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, crocus and lilies and perennials such as Lenten Rose and Solomon’s Seal.
5. Green your grounds. Start making small changes to make it more environmentally friendly and sustainable. Rake the lawn instead of using a leaf blower. Build compost bins for next year and get started by adding your kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, and leaves. Think about cutting back you lawn size and adding areas of meadow with mown paths instead.
6. Get the kids involved. Fall is a great time to be active with your kids outdoors. Let them help with lawn clean-up by raking leaves into jumping piles. Have them help you harvest fall goodies like squash, broccoli, pumpkins and apples. Let kids get their hands dirty by planting garlic in the garden to harvest next summer.
7. Plan changes now. Document your existing site through plans, photos, and notes. Reflect on the aspects you enjoyed this year and those you would like to change for next year. Ask your family to do the same. Then collect ideas for next year in a design scrapbook. Over the winter, work with your family to create a plan that lays out new structures, bed lines, focal points, seating areas and plantings to implement in the spring.
These tips were shared by author and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy. She was recently awarded a 2010 GWA Gold Award for Best Book Writing for her latest book, "Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love." This excellent book takes readers through Messervy's intuitive six-step process for creating a beautiful and personal 'home outside.'
Carol Stocker Answers Your Gardening Questions Live On Line 1 p.m. Friday; NEW BEDFORD PRESERVATION SOCIETY PRESENTS ITS 19th ANNUAL HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR.
Boston Globe garden writer Carol Stocker will be on line with more tips and gardening answers today at 1-2 p.m. so email your questions to boston.com at that time to get an immediate response.
Here's her top rated House and Garden Event for this weekend:
The New Bedford Preservation Society19th Annual Holiday House Tour Saturday, December 4 (4 to 8 p.m.) and Sunday, December 5 (1 to 5 p.m.).
Everyone knows Nantucket, but if you haven't discovered Historic New Bedford, an even bigger center of 18th century whaling wealth, this is your chance. Historic homes have been decked in festive holiday décore with historic characters in period costume. The magnificent Rotch-Jones Duff House and Garden Museum will be included in this year’s tour. Highlights at RJD will be a Festival of Tables and a New Bedford Museum of Glass exhibit. The "Spot the Victorian Peppermint Pig Scavenger Hunt," will again be part of the tour with proceeds from the sale of the pigs (available at tour headquarters) benefitting the society's scholarship fund. View a video of last year's tour at the society's website: www.nbpreservationsociety.org .
Both the Saturday candlelight tour and Sunday afternoon tour start at the Wamsutta Club, 427 County Street, tour headquarters, where a pre-tour holiday brunch will be held on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., along with a holiday raffle of gifts, art, handcrafted items and generous gift certificates donated by local merchants. Discounted advance tickets ($19 with $2 discount to Society members) are now on sale at the following locations: Elaine's at the Black Whale, New York Shoe Repair (for credit card sales), The Surrey Shoppe, Periwinkles, Baker Books, Davoll's General Store, The Ultimate Touch, The Woodhouse Shop, Roseland Nursery and the Marion General Store. At the door, tickets will be priced at $23. Cost of the Sunday brunch is $17 (all-inclusive, tax and tip), and reservations may be made by calling the Wamsutta Club at 508.997.7431.
The Annual Holiday House Tour is the Society’s signature fund-raising event. All proceeds benefit the work of the Society in its efforts to sustain and promote historic preservation in New Bedford through such projects as the historical building marker program, historical cemetery tours, walking/trolley tours, the Re-Leaf tree-planting program, the newly formed scholarship fund, the publication of self-guided walking tour brochures, lectures, and more.
For more information, please call the New Bedford Preservation Society office (388 County Street, New Bedford) at 508-997-6425 or visit www.nbpreservationsociety.org. Be sure to check out the New Bedford Whaling Museum, too.