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 2016 Lectures  

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

Past Programs in 2016 — our 2017 programs will be announced later this year!

  • February 3
    Native Plant Gardens: Learning by Example
    Carolyn Summers, Author of Designing Gardens with Flora of the American East
    Landscaping with native plants is becoming the rule rather than the exception, but good examples can be hard to find. Come for a visual tour of some truly instructive native plant gardens, large and small, public and private. A diversity of styles, ranging from formal to naturalistic, will illustrate the usage of native plants in both residential and public landscapes. Our tour will travel from Sara Stein’s Garden in Pound Ridge, NY, to the New World Garden designed by Larry Weaner, to the High Line in NYC, and include many others along the way. Accompanied by design and how-to tips, this talk will be valuable for everyone from novice gardeners to seasoned professionals.

    Carolyn Summers is an adjunct professor at
    Go Native U, a joint project of Westchester Community College and The Native Plant Center. She and her husband recently opened their country home, Flying Trillium Gardens and Preserve, for public tours and to showcase the importance of native plants to all landscapes.
  • March 2
    Restoring Nature's Relationships at Home

    Douglas Tallamy, Author of 
    Bringing Nature Home; Co-author of  The Living Landscape

    If we are to make our residential landscapes truly living ecosystems once again, we need to understand the specialized relationships that make plants and animals interdependent. Who better to take us on an in-depth journey into this fascinating and complex world than Doug Tallamy? He will give us detailed examples of these co-evolutionary relationships, showing us how they determine the stability and complexity of local food webs— providing birds with insects and berries, dispersing bloodroot seeds, pollinating goldenrod, and much more. This knowledge equips us to knowingly select plants and to construct landscapes that restore nature’s relationships at home.

    Doug Tallamy is a Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Biology at the University of Delaware. His groundbreaking book, Bringing Nature Home, was published in 2007 and continues to have national impact; it was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. In 2014, he co-authored The Living Landscape with Rick Darke. Doug’s conservation work and science-based advocacy for native plants has earned him much recognition and numerous awards. 
  • April 6
    Spring Wildflowers: Ephemeral Beauty with a Purpose

    Carol Gracie, Author of  Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast
    Our native spring wildflowers evolved in the once contiguous forests that stretched the length of the East Coast and west to the prairies. Their flowering coincides with increased sunlight and warmth before the forest canopy leafs out, and their associations with the early-flying insects of spring are remarkable. Come learn about the life cycles of selected species in detail— and why many populations are in a marked decline due to human activity. By understanding their evolutionary relationships to forest habitat, we can better protect these ephemeral beauties on all lands, and integrate them into our woodland gardens.

    Carol Gracie is a botanist and highly-skilled photographer. In addition to
    Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History, she has authored several field guides. Her botanizing in South and Central America has led to seven tropical plant species and one genus being named for her. 
    Co-sponsored by The Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation
  • May 4
    Planting in a Post-Wild World
    Claudia West, Co-author of  Planting in a Post-Wild World
    Few wild places remain in today’s world, making it ever more important to bring ecological principles back into the design of our managed landscapes. Much more than simply using native plants, this work necessitates understanding plant communities and embracing a new form of design that marries horticulture with ecology.  Join us as we translate the ecological principles of wild plant communities into design and management tools to inform our native plantings. Using the work of several European ecologists and planting designers, we explore the science behind stable and lasting plant combinations—to help you create the landscapes you envision.

    Claudia West co-authored
    Planting in a Post-Wild World with Thomas Rainer. As the Ecological Sales Manager at North Creek Nurseries, Claudia works closely with ecological design and restoration professionals throughout the northeast— focused on stable, layered planting designs and the extensive use of native plants.
    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

2015 Evenings with Experts 
2014 Evenings with Experts
2013 Evenings with Experts  
2012 Evenings with Experts    
2011 Evenings with Experts


To the Cambridge Community Foundation, the Cambridge Public Library, and to all of our members for helping to sponsor this series. Please Become a Member and help keep this series vibrant!