Meeting Information

Meetings take place the third Wednesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the Masonic Hall, 19 Academy Street, Arlington.  Held September through May, meetings typically begin with a professional speaker, followed by a brief business meeting and a light lunch. 


Upcoming Programs & Events

NOVEMBER 17 – Fessenden’s Herb and Spice Factory on Arlington’s Mill Brook

Richard Duffy – Historian and author

Richard Duffy will share the discovery in recent years of long-lost business records of the mid-1800s from the Philip Fessenden spice mill in West Cambridge (Arlington) that provide a vividly detailed picture of this fascinating enterprise.

Learn about Fessenden’s raw botanical materials, some of his remarkable customers and the place of his business in the Boston market for herbs, spices, and other stone-ground specialty products. 



Here are some programs which might interest members:

Adopt A Tree

The Arlington Tree Committee still looking for volunteers. The fall is a very important time to keep watering new street trees (until the ground is frozen).

Other Garden Related Events 

Massachusetts Horticultural Society
Offers many garden-related lectures and events throughout the year, many but not all of which are held at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s headquarters at Elm Bank in Wellesley, MA.  Seasonal garden tours and daily programs are also held Gardens at Elm Bank, 36 acres on the Elm Bank Reservation at 900 Washington Street in Wellesley, MA 02482.
The site includes open fields and meadows, streams and pools, wooded areas and formal gardens. Mass Hort is uniquely positioned, not only to protect these natural resources, but also to develop spaces that enhance visitors’ appreciation of the landscape and the surrounding Charles River. 

Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association
Master Gardeners are experienced and trained volunteers who provide horticultural information and education resources to the gardening public, offer technical support for horticulture projects and contribute outreach programs for community events.

The first Master Gardener (MG) program was started in 1972 in Seattle, Washington by Cooperative Extension Agents as a means of more effectively addressing questions posed to them by eager home gardeners. Within a few years the program was adopted throughout Washington and by many other states. Today, Master Gardeners are in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several Canadian provinces.  The vast majority of Master Gardener programs are run by the Cooperative Extension Services of land-grant universities. MG programs are usually organized county by county, with extension agents and university professors serving as program instructors.

Programs You May Have Missed

OCTOBER 20 – Nancy Brais.

Ergonomics for Gardening; Keep diggin’ what you love in comfort and safety. Ergonomics is fitting the task to the person to maximize the safety, productivity and comfort for doing the task.

SEPTEMBER 15 – Maureen Bovet on Greater Boston Parks and Gardens

Maureen is passionate about gardens and has compiled her beautiful photos to illustrate the bounty of public garden spaces we enjoy in southern New England.  These will include her favorites, the ones she visits each year and in as many seasons as she can.  This will be a great opportunity to plan some garden visits before the winds blow cold!

APRIL 21 – Jen Kettell on Pruning

“Avoiding the Green Helmet”

Jen Kettell, of Radiant Leaf Consulting, will help us learn how to prune shrubs at this time of year. In some ways, Jen says, pruning flowering shrubs can be a bit more complicated than pruning trees. When shrubs have been improperly pruned or just left to their own devices, they begin to resemble what she calls “the green helmet”.

In this virtual workshop you will learn how to avoid the green helmet by selective and timely pruning using her 10-step guide along with the appropriate tools and personal protective gear.

MARCH 17 – Mystic River Watershed Association

MyRWA is an environmental organization based in Arlington, which works for a vibrant, healthy and resilient Mystic River watershed for the benefit of all community members. Learn about some of its initiatives that impact Arlington, including, park, plant and garden-based strategies to reduce flooding and stormwater pollution which you might have seen around town.

FEBRUARY 17 – Hot Topics in Waste Diversion

Arlington’s Recycling Coordinator Charlotte Milan has early memories of making crafts out of ordinary household objects. As a natural maker, she sees value in stuff that’s lying around that others might consider trash. Charlotte values collaborating with colleagues and volunteers to find all kinds of creative ways to promote waste diversion.

 Arlington’s School Sustainability Coordinator Rachel Oliveri grew up in a family of educators and reuse/repair enthusiasts. She loves supporting students who work as a team to advocate for the environment at their schools and in their community. She feels lucky to work with Charlotte and connect Arlington youth and their families to local waste diversion projects.

FEBRUARY 17 – Floral Interpretations

Noted flower arranger Thelma Shoneman will show us how to make flower interpretations of our favorite music pieces.  On March 27th the Robbins Library will host an evening soiree, a fundraiser for our Arlington libraries as well as the Friends of the Robbins Gardens, representing all types of music, from operas to musicals to children’s books with scores.  You’ll be seeing reminders of that often in coming months. 

JANUARY 20 –  Historian, food designer, and former TV chef for Boston’s Good Day Show Lou Greenstein will demonstrate —“Using Carved Vegetables and Fruit as Centerpieces” – to our members.  His creations will become property of the club to raffle, auction off, or eat! (Remember that January is a bag-lunch meal with the board supplying desserts and beverages.)

DECEMBER 16 – Catered Luncheon

Instead of our usual meeting format, December will see us celebrating the holidays that bring us joy during the winter.  There will be a catered luncheon as well as music and lots of socializatio

NOVEMBER 18 – Botanical Art: Then and Now

Diane Piktialis and Joyce Westner are members of the New England Society of Botanical Artists as well as numerous other botanical institutions.  They are lovers of art and gardening, and the art of gardening, and will do demonstrations along with their talk.

OCTOBER 21 –  Easy First Steps to an Earthy Friendly Garden

Speaker:Rebecca Warner

Ms. Warner, a home gardener and blogger, will give us a quick recipe for marking peat-free potting mix for use in containers.

SEPTEMBER 16 – Spring Bulbs – Daffodils and Beyond

Speaker: Betty Sanders

Betty is a Lifetime Massachusetts Master Gardener and a nationally accredited flower-show judge. She has studied gardening everywhere from the Arnold Arboretum to the New York Botanical Garden and the New England Wildflower Society (now the Native Plant Trust. She is also a scientist, with a chemistry degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. With a large font of knowledge and a dose of humor, Betty will teach (and re-teach) us about bulb planting and start planning our spring gardens.


JUNE – Catered meal and end-of-year activities. June 6th at 6:00PM

MAY 8 – Birds in Your Backyard

Through colorful digital images, lecture and demonstration, Betsy Grecoe will reveal interesting facts about the birds you can expect at your feeder, how to feed, house and care for them, and especially how to landscape and plant to attract those birds.

APRIL 10 – Pressed Flower Workshop 

In this hands-on workshop, Cheryl Monroe, a licensed adult educator and Master Gardener, will lead us in the use of pressed flowers to make arrangements that will be computer-scanned and then sent back to us as greeting cards.  There will be a $5 charge for any member who would like to participate in the workshop part of the presentation.

MARCH 13 – Pets and Plants

April Daley, Master Gardener and former veterinary nurse, will help us understand what “toxic” and “poisonous” mean with respect to our pets. She will provide us with a method to evaluate the pet, the plant, and horticultural practices to assess how much risk is involved in each situation.

FEBRUARY 13 – Mass Audubon’s Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary and Its Connections to Arlington

Garden club members, Jan Ford and Lally Bennett will present a program originally prepared for the Historical Society, but of special interest to all in Arlington.

JANUARY 9 – A Visit with Isabella Stewart Gardner: America’s First Patroness of the Art

Clad in period attire, Jessa Piaia, portrayer of women in history, uses drama to reveal the accomplishments, struggles, and contributions of women in American history.

DECEMBER 12 – Holiday celebration with catered luncheon

NOVEMBER 14 – Wrapping Up Your Garden

Betty Sanders, former President, Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, has extensive gardening experience, and she lectures widely. She is also a National Garden Clubs instructor and an accredited national flower show judge.
Wrapping up your garden speaks specifically to preparing your garden ready for winter and spring.

OCTOBER 10 – Hip, Hip, Hydrangeas, Part 1

Andi Ross is an artistic landscape designer, certified land-care professional, private garden host, horticulturist, oil painter, as well as speaker.  She is passionate about all things plants, a self-identified plant geek.  This is the first in a series of talks about hydrangeas.

SEPTEMBER 12 – Compost:  Why It Can Be the Only Fertilizer You Need

Adam Jankauskas is the Founder of City Compost.  Motivated by the limited access to clean, healthy food, and problems facing the industrialized food system, in 2013 he left his role in technology to pursue composting and the development of nutrient-rich soil.  He works to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, return nutrients to the soil, and live an overall more sustainable life-style.


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