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Winter Classes for Gardeners

Winter! Staying warm indoors, I can still study the garden.

These five organizations, who limit class sizes, are taking registrations now:
• Arnold Arboretum (Jamaica Plain: 617-524-1718 x 160 or
• The New England Wildflower Society (Framingham: 508-877-7630 x 3303 or
• Massachusetts Horticultural Society (Wellesley, 617-933-4921 or
• Wellesley College Friends of Horticulture (Wellesley, 781- 283-3094 or
• Tower Hill Botanic Garden (Boylston, 508.869.6111 x 24 or

These groups offer one-time weekend and evening events on a huge variety of topics from basic garden design to special types like water-saving rain gardens, from growing lady-slipper orchids to native plants for four-season gardens, from Incorporating Natural Processes of Succession into the Landscape Garden to "creating the landscape of home."

They also offer extended courses for credit in botany, taxonomy, plant physiology, conservation biology and landscape design. Two that fascinate me are on winter tree observation and lichen identification.

Beaver Brook Association (Hollis, NH) offers regular events; their 10-week Accomplished Gardener course, starting March 3, deals with botany, soils and fertilizer, garden design, organics, compost, vegetables, invasive plants, and perennials (603-465-7787 or

The Ecological Landscape Association (617-436-5838) offers "roundtable" events (see — and on March 3 and 4, their Winter Conference in MARLBOROUGH (more info available soon at For homeowners as well as green professionals, numerous presentations will cover subjects like soil ecology, biology and management of pests, great plants for New England, invasive plant control, and design for livability. Concurrently the Eco-Marketplace showcases sustainable technology and products.

On March 9, the University of Connecticut will hold their annual Conference for the Garden Enthusiast (Storrs, CT; 860-486-6271 or Horticultural celebrities will speak on subjects including woody ornamentals, surviving the winter with orchids, delectable native fruits, and perennial garden design demystified. Pre-registration by March 2 costs less. (There's also a conference on perennials the day before, mainly for horticulture professionals; see

Closer to home — and often free — The Nashua River Watershed Association (Pepperell, 978-448-0299) frequently has events of interest to a gardener too, but they don't schedule so far ahead as the others. Watch — or for the most up-to-date information, email and ask to be put on their news list.

© Copyright 2005 Catherine Holmes Clark

Published in the six Nashoba Publications papers on Friday, 23 December 2005

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