Meetings take place the second Monday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church (office entrance), 74 Pleasant 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
May 18 – Annual Spring Plant Sale
June – Catered meal and end-of-year activities. Date TBD
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. The grounds and gardens of Elm Bank are handicap-accessible. Gardens are Open May 1 – October 8, Tuesday-Sunday, 10-4. Admission is free to MassHort members and $10 for non-members. Seasonal garden tours and daily programs are offered.
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.
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.
MAY 9 – Polishing the Masterpieces: The Trustees’ Public Gardens
Lucinda (Cindy) Brockway, Program Director for Cultural Resources, The Trustees (formerly Trustees of Reservations)
In Massachusetts, you find history under every rock and on every corner. From the tracks of dinosaurs and the settlements of Mohicans to the stone walls of colonial farmers, The Trustees care for and share an incredible array of places and things that illuminate who we were, who we are now, and who we will be. Historic homes, magnificent gardens and cultural landscapes all come under the purview of The Trustees.
APRIL 11 – Raising Spectacular Roses Organically and Without Chemicals
Eric Eisenhauer, Qualified Rosarian, Massachusetts Master Gardener
This presentation is highly photographic. Emphasis is on the beauty of “old rose” blossoms and their extraordinary scent. A 100% organic, chemical-free approach is presented. Key steps in the growing of roses are emphasized, as well as garden design concepts to enhance their beauty. Content is based on three decades of hands-on learning gleaned from years or trial and error. Concentration is on Ornamental Roses: namely, English, Floribunda, Grandiflora and Hybrid Tea roses.
MARCH 14 – Arlington’s Tree Canopy and Why It Matters – CANCELLED
Tim Lecuivre, Arlington Tree Warden and John Ellis, Member, Arlington Tree Committee
Gardeners appreciate the immense value of trees for so many reasons. Trees growing in our own yards, parks and streets are probably the ones which we know and love the most. Thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and grant-supported interns, Arlington’s tree inventory was completed in the summer of 2017. Tim and John will describe the fascinating inventory process using Geographic Information Systems mapping software and present us with the results.
FEBRUARY 14 – Greening Arlington: Working with Our Department of Public Works
Teresa DeBenedictis, Asst. Director, Arlington Department of Public Works and Charlotte Milan, Recycling Coordinator
Through the Club’s local beautification projects, we work closely with and benefit from the assistance and cooperation of Arlington’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Teresa and Charlotte will describe the role of the DPW and how the Club and DPW work together to continue to enhance Arlington’s horticultural appeal. Returning for an encore performance, Charlotte will keep us up-to-date on the town’s recycling efforts and how Club members can do their part.
JANUARY 10 – Vegetable Gardening
Susan Hammond, Lifetime Massachusetts Master Gardener; Co-founder, Medford Food Pantry Garden
Vegetable gardening is something everyone from the novice to the experienced gardener can enjoy. It can be a way to bring fresh food to your table, teach children where food comes from and a way to beautify your yard! Susan will look at different types of vegetable gardens and discuss layout, variety choices and growing techniques.
DECEMBER 13 – Good Bug – Bad Bug
Bruce Wenning, Horticulturalist, The Country Club, Brookline
Bruce will cover the major groups of insect pests plaguing gardeners and the insects’ life cycles. Bio-controls and low toxicity control measures will be reviewed. Bruce, who has degrees in both plant pathology and entomology, will also talk about the “good” insects, the ones we want to live in our gardens.
NOVEMBER 8 – The History of the Tulip
Ila Cox, Plant lover, gardener and student of the plant industry
Let’s explore the history of this wandering beauty! From its cradle in the Himalayan foothills, we follow the tulip’s journey over the centuries through Persia to Western Europe in the 16th Century. It’s in Holland where the tulip becomes a principal actor in an economic drama of historic proportion. “Tulipmania” has direct relevance for our 21st Century.
OCTOBER 11 – Water Features in the Home Landscape
Jay Bearfield, Master Craftsman/Artist, Liquid Landscape Designs
Learn about various options to introduce decorative water elements into your home landscape. From small patio containers to large water gardens, you can augment your gardens with the right style of feature befitting your garden’s theme, its care requirements and your budget.
SEPTEMBER 13 – Lessons from Fairsted: Taking Care of an Olmsted-Designed Landscape
Mona McKindley, Federal gardener and landscape design historian
Mona will share successes and failures of work done at Mr. Olmsted’s Brookline home, Fairsted, to preserve and restore this historical space. The character of the design, the design intent and the character-defining features are all important to understand in order to proceed. How does one know when an Olmsted-designed, natural style area needs work done? How do you dress it up for special events? We will find common ground with the issues and landscape work done in Arlington’s Olmsted-designed Town Hall Gardens.
MAY 20 – Annual Plant Sale
9:00 a.m. – noon, Jason Russell House, corner Mass. Ave. and Jason St. Rain or shine!
MAY 10 – Chocolate: From Tree to Table
Betsy Grecoe’s presentation will cover how chocolate is grown, harvested and made into our favorite treats. We will be treated to taste testing of chocolate samples and receive a recipe booklet to take home.
APRIL 12 – Designing Beautiful and Abundant Landscapes
Local resident Ben Barkan, Owner and Founder of Home Harvest, will educate us on soil health, understanding sustainability, and medicinal herbs.
MARCH 10 – Books in Bloom
This popular event returns to the Robbins Library. Join the Friends of the Robbins Library and the Arlington Garden Club for an evening of stunning floral displays, each creatively designed to interpret a chosen book. The event takes place in the Library’s elegant Reading Room and Rotunda enhanced by the music of the Morningside Music Studio Jazz Combo. Hors d’oeuvres will be available, and beverages will be for sale. Tickets are $30.00 in advance or $35.00 at the door and are on sale now from the Circulation Desk at both the Robbins and Fox Libraries, The Book Rack (781-646-2665), or order from Patsy Kraemer of the Garden Club (Patsy@patsykraemer.com 781-858-8629). Make your check payable to Arlington Garden Club. Tickets may also be purchased online from Eventbrite.
Proceeds from this event will benefit Arlington’s Libraries and the Arlington Garden Club civic development projects.
MARCH 8 – Welcome Spring Flowers!
Mary Huntoon is an accredited Master Judge for National Garden Clubs Inc. and a NGC Flower Show School Instructor in Design. She will create several arrangements that will be raffled off at the end of her presentation.
FEBRUARY 8 – Undiscovered Cuba
Our President Patsy Kraemer and her husband Chuck recently traveled to Cuba. A travelogue of their trip provides an introduction to this mysterious destination that recently opened its doors to visitors from the United States.
JANUARY 11 – So You Want to be an Organic Farmer?
Brian Turnbaugh, owner of Good Roots Farm in Lincoln MA, will share his journey from idea to reality.
DECEMBER 14 – Holiday Luncheon
Join your fellow Club members for a catered lunch and social.
NOVEMBER 9 – Ice Garden Photography
Mary Kocol is a local fine art and editorial photographer based in Somerville. Her Ice Garden series was first exhibited at Gallery NAGA in Boston in September 2013. It has been added to collections of the Fitchburg Art Museum, Yale-New Haven Art Program and several private collectors. Her day job is as photographer at Harvard College Library’s Preservation Department.
OCTOBER 12 – Creating an Urban Wildlife Refuge: Combining History with the Unexpected
Over the past 15 years Paul Kwiatkowski from Mt. Auburn Cemetery has worked on numerous habitat improvements and conservation initiatives and has written many articles on conservation efforts.
SEPTEMBER 14 – A Collector’s Guide to Hostas
Join Joan and Jana from Enchanted Gardens as they present a program about Hostas. Did you know there are over 7,000 named varieties of Hostas? They will show photos of award-winning gardens and explain how to design beautiful gardens using hostas and companion plants.
JUNE 21 – Day and Evening Groups’ Joint Year-End Dinner
6 pm at the Town Hall Auditorium
MAY 26 – Evening Group
Pruning for the Home Gardener
Jen Kettell, Owner, Jen Kettell Horticulture Education and Consulting; Mass. Certified Horticulturist; ISA Certified Arborist. Formerly with Arnold Arboretum, Jen now shares her passion for teaching horticulture through classes, workshops and lectures.
Do your good intentions with regard to your plants sometimes go awry? Did someone give you a brand-new, impressive-looking pair of hand pruners for your birthday… and they have become a sort of knick-knack in your tool shed? Do you sometimes stand in front of your shrubs with your head cocked to the side thinking, “Should I take out this branch—no, maybe this one. Ohh, was that too much?” If any of these apply to you and all you want is to do what is best for your plants, Jen will show pruning basics – outside on some real shrubs, we hope.
MAY 11 – Day Group
Development of a Low-Maintenance Lawn Seed
Jackson Madnick, President, Pearl’s Premium Ultra Low Maintenance Lawn Seed
We will learn about the research behind the development of this alternative grass seed, and its eco-friendly benefits.
APRIL 28 – Evening Group
Gardening with Native Plants and Why it Matters
Claudia Thompson, Founder and President, Grow Native Massachusetts.
Native plants are increasingly recognized as important to our gardens and landscapes – why? Claudia will give us an overview of their essential role in ecosystem health, starting with the concept of co-evolution between plants and animals and ending with a tour of her garden in Cambridge. She will explain the differences among native, naturalized and invasive plants and explore the food web that links plants to insects, birds, wildlife and humans. You will “get” why native plants are so important and understand what you can do in your own garden to make the world a better place.
APRIL 13 – Day Group
Say it with Flowers
Thelma Shoneman, nationally accredited flower show judge and exhibitor for over 21 years at MFA’s Art in Bloom.
In 2015, Thelma was selected to design an arrangement for MFA Director Malcom Rodger’s favorite painting “Views of Modern Rome”. Thelma will create six expressive designs, explaining techniques and elements as she works her magic.
MARCH 31 – JOINT DAY/EVENING PROGRAM
Senior Center, Main Room, 2nd Floor
Your two Vice-Presidents of Programs have teamed up to bring you a highly regarded speaker for a joint Day/Evening Program at 7pm. We are pleased to present:
Design Tips for Knockout, Easy-Care Gardens
Kerry Ann Mendez, featured on HGTV and in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. Recipient, 2014 Gold Medal Mass. Horticultural Society, she is also the author of 3 gardening books and has been a keynote speaker at many garden conferences, flower and garden shows.
Gorgeous, low-maintenance gardens are no accident. Learn proven design tricks for sensational gardens that will be the talk of the neighborhood. Topics include selecting great plants, incorporating focal points, vertical interest, sustainable practices, natural repellents, the how’s and when’s of using fertilizer, and more.
MARCH 9 – No Day Group Meeting – See March 31
FEBRUARY 26 – No Evening Group Meeting
FEBRUARY 10 – Day Group
Gardening Tools, Books, Catalogs, and Nurseries
Garden Club Members
This is an opportunity to share ideas and experience with other Club members. We all want answers to: What are the best sources for ideas on garden design? Where can I find unique flowers for my garden? What’s your favorite tool?
JANUARY 29 – No Evening Group Meeting
JANUARY 13 – Day Group
Ins and Outs of Recycling
Charlotte Milan, Recycling Coordinator, Department of Public Works, Town of Arlington
Get the latest information on recycling guidelines and future trends for Arlington.
DECEMBER – No Evening Group Meeting
DECEMBER 9 – Day Group
Join your fellow Club members for a catered lunch and social.
NOVEMBER 19 – Evening Group
Classic Vertical Gardening: Plants that Flower Up & Around
Maria von Brincken, Certified Landscape Designer by profession and an artist and gardener by obsession.
Vine and wall plants grow on structures that create the walls of outdoor rooms. Ornamental vines – perennial, annual, and edible – add texture, flower, and fragrance, and sometimes fruit to the structures. Slides show examples of vertical gardening from both historical and modern gardens and choice examples of individual plants.
NOVEMBER 11 – Day Group
Displays for Books in Bloom
Garden Club Participants
Club members who designed floral interpretations of books for Books in Bloom will share the ideas and techniques behind their displays.
OCTOBER 29 – Evening Group
The Essentials of Landscape Design
Sally Naish, Certified Landscape Designer; Principal, Light & Shade Garden Design, Inc.; AGC Board Member
Discover the essential elements of landscape design that can be applied to any residential setting. We’ll look at how to assess a site, be it a whole property or a single planting bed, then use that information to guide plant selection and the creation of a planting plan.
OCTOBER 14 – Day Group
Problems with Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases
Sandy Bonzagni, 25-year member of the Acton Garden Club, contracted Lyme Disease in 2008 and was hospitalized for 5 days. Since then she has become an advocate for education and testing throughout the Acton Public Schools and the Mass. Federation of Garden Clubs. She will focus on why these diseases are so difficult to diagnose and the controversy surrounding how to handle the treatments.
SEPTEMBER 24 – Evening Group
Orchids Made Simple
Paul Steen, Lifetime Master Gardener; former President, Mass. Master Gardener Assoc.; retired physician
Paul’s talk will start with the basics of orchid care simplified so that beginners can easily start this fascinating gardening specialty. It covers the six easiest orchids to grow with specific hints on how to care for them. Handout included.
SEPTEMBER 9 – Day Group
Common Invasives in Arlington and Surrounding Areas
Karro Frost, Conservation Planning Botanist with Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
With a Masters in Environment Technology and Society from Clark University, Karro has spent the past 20 years working on wetlands and rare plants. She currently focuses on the impact of invasive plants on plant communities with rare plants. She will address invasives that are common in Arlington and surrounding areas.