Evenings with Experts

A Public Lecture Series at the Cambridge Public Library

  • First Wednesdays of each month, from February through May
    7:00 — 8:30 pm
  • Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA
  • Each talk will last about an hour with time for Q&A afterward.
  • Doors open at 6:30 pm for general seating. Seating is unassigned and will be available on a first-come basis.
  • Events are free and open to all. 

Download a Flyer of 2017 Lectures  

  • CEUs Available: APLD (1.5 credits); NOFA-AOLCP (4 credits); and MCH

2017 Programs

  • February 1
    Nurturing the Liberated Landscape
    Larry Weaner, Author of Garden Revolution & Founder of Larry Weaner Landscape Associates
    All too often we think of gardens and landscapes as static compositions of carefully placed and managed plants.  But a more dynamic and rewarding approach takes advantage of the unique characteristics of plant species and communities, working with ecological processes, not against them.  Learn how designer Larry Weaner utilizes the natural adaptations and reproductive abilities of plants to create engaging, ever-evolving landscapes that bring new meaning to partnering with nature.  Using examples from his own property and from client projects, Larry will share how this give-and-take approach results in compelling, low-maintenance landscapes that free plants to perform according to their natural abilities and liberate people from having to cater to their landscapes’ every need.

    Larry Weaner has been creating native landscapes since 1977. His work is nationally recognized and has received awards from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Cultural Landscape Foundation, Garden Club of America, and others. His new book, Garden Revolution, is a “must read” for all who seek to integrate landscape design with ecological processes.
    This lecture co-sponsored by Mount Auburn Cemetery.
  • March 1
    The Art and Science of Growing Native Plants from Seed: Why, When, and How
    Randi Eckel, Founder of Toadshade Wildflower Farm

    As we incorporate more native plants into our landscapes, there are so many good reasons to use plants propagated from seed. But wild plants have evolved with a dizzying array of mechanisms, including chemical-induced dormancy and mandatory cold stratification, to ensure that their seeds disperse, persevere, and germinate at just the right time under natural conditions.  These mechanisms are not in place to frustrate would-be plant propagators, but must be understood by gardeners to successfully grow native plants from seed. Come for a far-reaching discussion of the issues surrounding seed collection, procurement, and propagation, with information that will encourage the novice and challenge the professional alike.

    Randi Eckel has been studying native plant seed propagation and plant-insect interactions for over thirty years.  She is the founder of Toadshade Wildflower Farm, which supplies both seeds and plants of species native to eastern North Americ
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    This lecture co-sponsored by the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation.

  • April 5
    How Native Plant Cultivars Affect Pollinators

    Annie White, Ecological Landscape Designer & Adjunct Professor, University of Vermont  

    Initiatives to address pollinator decline are widespread and native plants are the preferred choice for pollinator habitat restoration. The growing demand for natives, coupled with a longstanding desire of horticulturalists for enhanced bloom, color, or other characteristics, has led to the increased selection and breeding of native cultivars. Although these cultivars are typically marketed for their ecological benefits, until now there have been no scientific studies to support or refute these claims. So are native cultivars as valuable in pollinator habitat gardens as the true native species? Annie White will help answer this question by sharing the results of four years of field data. Her research is groundbreaking and remarkable.

    Annie White is the founder of Nectar Landscape Design Studio and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Vermont. She earned her MS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her recent PhD in Plant & Soil Science from the University of Vermont was focused on this exceptional new research on native plant cultivars.

  • May 3
    The Challenge of a Public Native Plant Garden: Maintenance, Interpretation, and Compromise
    Michael Hagen, Curator of the Native Plant Garden at the NYBG

    The New York Botanical Garden’s new Native Plant Garden opened in 2013. Designed by Oehme van Sweden, it includes a diversity of microclimates on 3.5 acres of varied terrain with a planting plan of almost 100,000 native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, ferns, and grasses. Curator Michael Hagen will explain how this garden is successfully maintained, and their criteria for what constitutes “native” in species selection and the use of cultivars. This very public landscape presents native plants in a contemporary style, with an emphasis on aesthetics over recreating habitat. Michael will share his observations about how the public perceives and responds to the value of this native plant palette, along with ideas for inspiring others to “go native.”

    Michael Hagen is Curator of both the Native Plant Garden and the Rock Garden at NYBG. He previously served as Staff Horticulturist for over 11 years at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, New York and was Garden Manager at Rocky Hills in Mt. Kisco, a preservation project of the Garden Conservancy.
    This lecture co-sponsored by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects.

Location, Parking & Transit Info

Cambridge Public Library Location Map

Limited public parking is available under the Library, with an entrance ramp on Broadway. Fee is $1/hour.

Limited metered spaces are available in the area, including on Broadway, Cambridge Street, Quincy Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and around Cambridge Common. Cambridge resident street spaces are available throughout the area.

If you are driving, know that this is an active urban area, and allow time to park. Please carpool if you can. It reduces the competition for spaces.

Additional garage parking is available at market rates in Harvard Square (a short walk across Harvard Yard) at the Harvard Square Parking Garage and several other locations.

The closest T stop is Harvard Square on the Red Line.

View Programs from Past Years

2016 Evenings with Experts
2015 Evenings with Experts 

2014 Evenings with Experts
 
2013 Evenings with Experts  
2012 Evenings with Experts    
2011 Evenings with Experts
 

THANK YOU

To the Cambridge Public Library for its partnership in producing this series, and to all of our members for making it possible with generous support. Please Become a Member and help keep this series vibrant!