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Spring Garden Tour

Massachusetts Horticultural Society and Historic New England present a guided garden tour of three historic estates on May 30, 2018.

The tour includes the 1804 greenhouses at Lyman Estate in Waltham, the gardens at the Eustis Estate in Milton and the Cheney Estate at Elm Bank, home of the Society in Wellesley. Lunch on the porch of the Eustis Estate and explore the first floor of the mansion before heading to Wellesley.

Friends of Fairsted & Arnold Arboretum Present a Lecture on The Blue Garden

Renewal of the Blue Garden in Newport, Rhode Island

The Friends of Fairsted are pleased to partner with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University on the recent restoration of The Blue Garden in Newport, Rhode Island to present a free lecture on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 7 p.m at the Hunnewelll Buiding, Arnold Arboretum. Reception to follow.

Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. with the Olmsted Brothers firm, designed the Blue Garden from 1912-1918 for the Newport estate of Arthur Curtiss James and his wife Harriet. The garden room, enclosed in an evergreen screen, features a plantng palette of blues and purples "with some whites" and shades of green foliage. The garden, opened in August 1913 with a celebration called "The Blue Masque," was heralded in numerous magaine articles and photographs that depicted its architectural and horticultural riches. By 2012, the garden was almost forgoten, subsumed under a thick covering of weeds and invasive trees. This lecture will present the story of the people who created the Blue Garden and how the restoration team used original plans, drawings and photographs and drawings to reinterpret the design and rebuild the garden in all its glory, while meeting contemporary sustainable standards.

Lecture “Learning to Look: The Art of Garden Observation”

The Joint Council of Wellesley Garden Clubs presents a lecture by Pat Webster, an artist, writer and experienced gardener on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the Wellesley Free Library. Webster will explore the connections between landscape and history throughout her work. Glen Villa Gardens, Pat’s 750-acre private property situated in the Quebec Eastern Townships, provides a canvas for Pat’s love of horticulture and her artistic reflections on the deep history of the land.



What is a Park For?

Olmsted, Obama, and the Meanings of Urban Landscape

Carlo Rotella, Director of the American Studies Program, Boston College

Tuesday, April 3, 2018
6:00pm Reception | 7:00pm Lecture
Wheelock College, Brookline Campus
43 Hawes Street, corner of Hawes and Monmouth Streets, Brookline, MA
Registration is strongly encouraged and seating is limited. Register here.

In 2017 Barack Obama announced that he would build his presidential library in Chicago’s Jackson Park, one of most important big-city parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Despite widespread admiration for the Obamas and hopes that the library will give the area a much-needed economic boost, this plan has raised concerns about drastically transforming such a vital piece of the nation's system of urban public green spaces. The resulting debate takes up fundamental questions about the meaning of urban landscape: How do we balance a park's various purposes? What is the relationship between the park and the surrounding neighborhoods? What—and who—is a park for? Finding answers requires digging not only into the archives that hold records of the South Side’s spatial and social histories but also into the imaginations of South Siders whose identities have been shaped by the enormous green fact of Jackson Park.

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