Monthly Programs – 2013

Monthly programs take place at each Somerville Garden Club monthly meeting. The SGC meets on the second Wednesday of every month 7:00–9:00pm at the Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland St., second floor. The meetings are open to the public and are wheelchair accessible.

January 9 – Annual Potluck Dinner – 7:00 -9:00 pm – Celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Somerville Garden Club! Bring an appetizer, veggie, pasta, entree, or dessert to share. There will also be a photo presentation of SGC’s public planting sites. Bring your prepared food dish before 7:00 pm if possible.

February 13 – Lynette Tsiang, a landscape designer from Lexington, MA, will give a presentation on Chinese gardens from urban renewal and contemporary parks, to classical Scholar Gardens featuring landscapes of mountains and water. The presentation will focus on historical context and design principles unique to Chinese gardens.

March 13 – Ann McGovern, Consumer Waste Reduction Coordinator from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Agency, will talk about improving your soil while getting rid of nearly half of your household garbage at the same time. She will give a demonstration on “Easy Composting – How to Turn Garbage into Gold.”

April 10 – Noah Wilson-Rich, Ph.D., is founder of Best Bees Company in South Boston. He will discuss “Urban Beekeeping”. Best Bees provides the delivery, installation, and management of honey bee hives for gardeners in rural, suburban, and urban habitats in eastern Massachusetts, and does research to improve honey bee health. Noah also helps set up hives in schools for educational purposes.

May 8 – At the Somerville Garden Club monthly meeting on May 8, members of the club will share four hands-on gardening projects. The mini-workshops include: making May wine from sweet woodruff, making botanical illustrations of plants using water color, planting vegetables from seeds, and making plant labels using recycled materials. Each of the four demonstrations will be offered in fifteen-minute workshops, giving participants a chance to enjoy all four if they wish.

June 12 – This talk will focus on small scale rainwater harvesting systems appropriate for urban gardeners, from simple gravity systems to more sophisticated systems with pumps, controls and monitoring elements. Josh will briefly cover basic design principles, materials, and construction techniques for durable, low-maintenance rainwater harvesting systems. Josh will also touch on recent local projects he has designed and built featuring solar-powered pump systems, rainwater sheds, and bicycle powered water pumps.

July 10 – Steph Zabel, a community herbalist and educator in Somerville, MA, will be talking about “An Herbalist’s Perspective on Weedy Species: Appreciating the Uninvited Plants in Our Gardens and Cityscapes”. These so-called invasives or weeds can be foods or medicines and even help repair damaged ecosystems.

August 14 – The August meeting focuses on the garden bounty grown by Somerville Garden Club members. Members will bring in samples of fresh or cooked produce from their own gardens to share, and will also talk about growing the produce and how it was prepared. There will also be a group exchange of gardening questions and answers.

September 11 – Dan Jaffe, propagator and stock bed grower at the New England Wild Flower Society, will discuss his ideas on disregarding traditional design rules and adopting a new approach to garden design by looking to nature for inspiration. He will share his expertise on creating a design-less, low maintenance garden with an ecological approach; a garden that does not require many inputs in the way of watering, fertilizing, or extra coddling on your part.

October 9 – Brian Lieb, Plant Growth Facility Manager at Harvard University’s Weld Hill Research Building at the Arnold Arboretum, will talk on the care and varieties of the Asiatic Lady’s Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum) and will touch on Phragmipedium (the genus of South American slippers) and Cypripedium (the slippers that grow in temperate regions around the world).

November 13 – Somerville Garden Club member, Tom Sopko, will demonstrate how to assemble winter holiday table top floral arrangements using plant materials from his yard in Somerville, winter evergreens and candles.

December 4 – Claudia Thompson, founder of the organization Grow Native Massachusetts, will talk about the importance of growing native plants and the importance of managing the invasion of alien plants.