Somerville Garden Club

Grow Native Massachusetts Lecture Series

A Public Lecture Series at the Cambridge Public Library

First Wednesdays —February through June.
7:00 – 8:30 pm

Events are free and open to all.

For more information you can consult the Grow Native Massachusetts website:

February 1
Creating Beautiful Gardens Filled with Life
Carolyn Summers, Author of Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East

Instructive examples of gardens full of native plants are hard to find. Tonight, landscape architect Carolyn Summers fills that void with a plethora of images and commentary to fire our imaginations. She reviews the science behind the essential life support function of indigenous plants, takes us on a journey through a variety of formal gardens and more “naturalistic” landscapes, and illustrates the effective use of our northeastern native flora so that we can better visualize their full design potential. Ms. Summers is an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College and has been an effective advocate for native plants in the urban landscapes of New York City.

March 7
Invasive Plants: Just Too Overwhelming?
Seth Wilkinson, Founder of Wilkinson Ecological Design

Invasive plants can cause catastrophic habitat loss and pose an imminent threat to the rare plants and botanical heritage of our Commonwealth.  Managing these species can be costly, complicated and overwhelming. The most effective strategies are always the result of a clear and organized plan, whether you are responsible for 400 square feet or 40 acres. Join us for an interactive presentation that explores why and how to tackle this challenge, including invasive plant protocols and treatment strategies. Seth Wilkinson is a widely respected expert in ecological restoration and has served on the board of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions for the past decade.

April 4
Our Native Pollinators: Intriguing Insects and More
Ellen Sousa, Author of The Green Garden

Scientists now consider our residential landscapes to be a “final frontier” in providing essential habitat for at-risk pollinator species that are vital to environmental health and a functioning food web. Come learn about the best plants for helping to feed and shelter our native pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. There are many easy ways to support pollinator populations in your garden, utilizing a few important principles in your landscaping practices. Ellen Sousa is a garden coach, habitat naturalist, and author, whose writings appear in numerous journals and blogs.

May 2
Sexual Secrets: Tales of Species, Seedlings, and Sports
Wayne Mezitt, Chairman, Weston Nurseries

The world of plant propagation is cloaked in mystery. What really is a cultivar, a hybrid, or a straight species plant? How are nursery crops typically grown and new plants introduced to the market? Join us to hear an expert nurseryman’s point of view, how plants are selected and bred for new characteristics, and what it really takes to successfully propagate both native and non-native trees, shrubs, and plants for the consumer market. Wayne Mezitt is Chairman of Weston Nurseries, and has over 50 years experience in his family’s business.

June 6
The Rare Plants of Massachusetts
Bryan Connolly, Massachusetts State Botanist

From its calcareous cobbles to its coastal plains, Massachusetts has a broad diversity of eco-regions and is home to 1,814 species of native plants. Of these, 254 (or 14%) are vulnerable to extinction and protected by the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. Even more are species of conservation concern. Tonight, we get a valuable overview of these many vulnerable plants and the threats they face—from habitat destruction to invasive plants to climate change. We have significant challenges ahead of us if we are to ensure their survival. Bryan Connolly is the State Botanist for the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.

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