Upcoming Lectures and Workshops

2016-2017

October 24, Monday. 6pm. Bridgewater GC. “Raised Bed Gardening.”
February 8, Wednesday. 7pm. Evening GC of West Roxbury. “Native Plants …or Not?”
February 9, Thursday. 11am. Reading GC. “Height in the Garden.”
February 14. Tuesday. 10am. Chestnut Hill GC. “Hedges.”
April 18. Tuesday. 6pm. Haverhill Garden Club. “Creating Sustainable Gardens..
May 15. Monday. 7pm. Temple Shalom. “Rethinking Uses for Annuals.”

2015-2016

October 21, Wednesday.  9am. The Garden Club of Hingham. 9 am. “Height in the Garden.”
October 27, Tuesday. 7pm. Norwell Library. “Les Quatre Vents: Frank Cabot’s Northern Garden.”
January 14, Thursday. 7pm. Mansfield GC. “Native Plants or Not?”
February 2, Tuesday. 9am.  Groton GC. “Hedges: Frames for the Landscape”
February 11, Thursday. 8.30 am. Amateur GC of Milton. “. “”Height in the Garden.”
March 1, Monday. 7.30 pm. Holliston GC. “Transforming Personal Space: From Backyard to Garden.”
March 9, Wednesday. 6pm. Colonial Club of Marlborough. “Space Design and People.”
March 16, Wednesday. 10 am.  Garden Club of The Back Bay. “A Visit to Quatre Vents: Frank Cabot’s Northern Garden.”
March 22, Wednesday. 9am.  Cohasset Garden Club. “Hedges: Frames for the Landscape”

 

Lecture Topics

Home Gardening:

Choices in Redesigning a 1920s Perennial Garden

Confronted with the ghost outline of my grandmother’s garden, my family faced many decisions about how to recreate it as a sustainable garden for the very different conditions of the new century. We wanted it to evoke the original, but be easy to maintain. This illustrated talk traces a rocky progress through different choices, some disasterous.

Rethinking Uses for Annuals

 Are perennials really the most economical and beautiful plants for a flower garden? This talk explores the special virtues of annuals in areas where winters regularly ruin plantings, as ‘rough drafts’ for permanent plantings, as the best choice where bright color is essential, and as an alternative for the gardener who delights in reinventing her garden every year.

Native Plants–or Not?–for Shady Gardens

Forests are shady. So are many residential gardens. Why not turn a dismal area into a naturalistic play space or woodland walk? In this talk we examine different kinds of shade and soil and needs for water in shady spaces. We explore the issues of naturalistic and formal designs using both native and exotic plants. Then we evaluate the pros and cons of choosing plants with specific historic origins to the design you choose. The talk concludes with analysis of gardens with different, but successful solutions to the “native or not” question. Detailed plant lists will be distributed.

Creating Sustainable Gardens

This program addresses horticultural issues raised by specific plants — weaknesses such as susceptibility to disease, tendency to invade, to attract deer and rodents; and strengths — drought tolerance and effectiveness in solving specific design problems.

Transforming Personal Space: From Backyard to Garden.

A private garden space is one where you feel you can be your true self, whether or not others can see you. What do you want to exclude? What are you cherishing, protecting, framing? In this slide talk we will look ways of separating and joining public and private spaces and techniques for creating privacy in residential gardens and small city gardens.

Raised Bed Gardening: Forget About Double Digging!

This slide lecture includes a discussion of the historical background to the practice of intensive gardening, a collection of inspirational slides of especially lovely raised beds, handouts on various methods constructing the beds, various soil mixtures and irrigation techniques, and a list of flowers and vegetables best suited to this gardening technique.

This presentation is designed both for home gardeners who long for perfection and those who plant in difficult commercial areas like gas stations and parking lots.

Height in the Garden: The Dramatic Dimension

This slide lecture illustrates ways a mundane garden can be transformed by employing strong verticals: enclosing hedges and fences, architectural elements like arches and pergolas, and dramatically tall accent trees, vines, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, and annuals.

Grass-Free Small Gardens

Designing a landscape with shrubs, sub-shrubs, and ground-covers can eliminate the chore of mowing and significantly reduce the need for supplementary water and fertilizer. This slide lecture explores ways of creating beautiful, ecologically responsible, low maintenance plantings without enraging the neighbors with horticulturally correct sunburned, shaggy lawns.

Choosing No-Fail Plants for Urban Gardens

Transforming a bleak city plot into a refreshing green retreat can be a horticultural challenge. Slides of annuals, perennials, vines, shrubs and trees thriving despite harsh urban conditions will be shown. A list of plants—some unusual, some proven winners—which flourish in specific types of difficult city conditions will be circulated and discussed.

Hedges: Frames for the Landscape

Just as a fine frame enhances a picture, a hedge makes a lovely garden even more appealing. A well designed and maintained hedge is not only intrinsically beautiful throughout the year, but also serves important design functions. Hedges can be used as contrasting settings for colorful flower beds. They can divide a garden into several rooms, making it seem larger. Because hedges shape space, they can control views, withhold surprises, and by careful spacing make near objects seem far away. This slide lecture will treat these and other uses of hedges. Pruning of formal and informal hedges will be discussed. Handouts will include lists of different types of plants suitable for hedges our area.

Visits to Great Gardens

“Quatre Vents”: Frank Cabot’s Quebec Garden.

A slide tour of the astonishing Northern garden of the founder of the Garden Conservancy and author of “The Greater Perfection.”

“Travels with the Garden Conservancy.”

Inspirational slides from fifteen trips with the Garden Conservancy Fellows Tours.

 

Civic Planting

Designing Effective Traffic Island Gardens

I design my talks and workshops on traffic islands according to the needs of the group which has invited me. I visit your city or town, discuss your traffic island planting program with your representative, and take slides of your traffic islands.

Then I create a slide lecture focused on design problems your sites have in common with those in other places—from asphalt pedestrian refuges in city business districts to shady islands in residential districts.

In the slide lectures I demonstrate how accurate site analysis can ensure traffic safety and consonance of the plantings with the spirit of the surroundings. I discuss the importance of selecting plants whose needs are appropriate to the level of maintenance the group can provide.

Pros and cons of the municipal bedding-out planting style and those of perennial and evergreen plantings are also addressed.

Design workshops can be organized according to an island by island discussion of slides of your plantings.