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Press and Media

Welcome to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society's Press Room. Here you will find information about the Society and upcoming events.

For Press Inquiries please contact:

Katherine Macdonald
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Boston Globe Covers Mass Hort's Digital Prints Release

Carol Stocker of the Boston Globe let the newspaper's readers know about the access to Mass Hort's Digital Prints in her latest coverage of local gardening and horticultural news.  Read the full article here.

Fund for Wellesley Grant helping gardeners give back

Gardeners Give Back
Katya Portnaya (l), student gardener, and Joan Parker, master gardener, harvest produce at the Elm Bank Reservation's vegetable garden, to be given to the Wellesley Food Pantry. The Fund for Wellesley, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and the Wellesley Food Pantry are collaborating in the initiative. Wicked Local staff photo / Kate Flock



As the twice-weekly harvest drew to a close Monday, master gardener Susan Hammond walked back to the Garden to Table garden at Elm Bank and asked everyone who was left to guess how much the day’s harvest had yielded.

Bryce Hawes, the intern at the garden, was the closest. His guess of 75 pounds was just half a pound off from the 75.5 that would soon be headed to the Wellesley Food Pantry.

"We forget that there are always people in need," Hawes said Monday as he surveyed the wide variety of organic foods being grown in the garden. "That tends to be forgotten when we drive past suburban life."

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society has, for five years now, been providing fresh produce on a weekly basis to the Wellesley Food Pantry. This week will be a small part of what Horticulture Director John Forti said will ultimately be approximately 2,000 pounds that will end up in the hands of food pantry clients.

Another 2,000 pounds goes to the Natick Food Pantry, he said, when gardeners return for their Thursday harvests throughout the summer and into the early fall.

(read the full artcle here)

The Gardens at Elm Bank Opens for the Season May 1st

WELLESLEY, MA April 20, 2015 - The Gardens at Elm Bank will open May 1st with a focus on kids and families this season, announced Katherine Macdonald, President of Massachusetts Horticultural Society. This beautiful garden destination, located in Metro West and fifteen miles from downtown Boston, offers over 16 acres of gardens and historic landscapes. The Gardens at Elm Bank are open from May 1 through Columbus Day, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am – 4pm. Admission is free for Mass Hort Members, for Visitors: Adults: $8, Children under 12 free with adult. The entrance is located at 900 Washington Street (Route 16), Wellesley, MA.

This summer, families will enjoy daily garden tours free with membership or daily admission. Tours meet at 11 am at the new Visitors' Center located in the "Flora" cottage adjacent to the parking lot. Youth and Family Programs will be held on Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am – 11 am, and will meet in Weezie's Children's Garden.

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The goddess statues, Flora, Ceres, and Pomona, overlook the Maple Grove at The Gardens at Elm Bank.

John Forti, Mass Hort Director of Education and Horticulture noted: "I am excited to explore new ways by which we can engage all of our visitors with hands-on outdoor education that can inspire a sense of place shared by the generations. Each year we will be planting the seeds of our intention with an annual theme, beginning with our 2015 theme of "Youth and Family Engagement". This will be evident in our public programs, educational outreach, and most importantly throughout the landscapes and gardens of Elm Bank. When you visit Elm Bank in the coming season, you can explore inspiring, new pathways to learning, including daily garden tours of the site, family discovery guides, and hands-on garden programs in our children's garden."

The Gardens at Elm Bank are a wonderful natural resource for people of all ages to enjoy, whether you are interested in plants or gardening or just relaxing in the beautiful landscape. Located at 900 Washington Street in Wellesley (Route 16), on the 36-acre Cheney estate in the Elm Bank Reservation, the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate includes twelve display gardens, some highlights include the Italianate Garden designed by the Olmsted Brothers, The Bressingham Garden, a magnificent four-season perennial garden displaying a mixture of perennials, trees, and shrubs, the magical Weezies' Children's garden with butterfly garden, and our Garden to Table display vegetable garden. Yet to be restored is an Asian Garden with old boat house and bridge designed by the Olmsted Brothers in an area called the canal. The 36-acres is adjacent to the Elm Bank Reservation's woodland trails that follow along the Charles River.

Check out Mass Hort's web site ( for membership information and educational activities and events offered at the gardens. There is something for everyone! A June 2nd Garden to Table program offers an open-air cooking demonstration by area chef, John Lawrence, of Peppers Fine Food Catering where you will learn how to prepare delicious meals using the freshest fruits, herbs and vegetables—and enjoy them too.

Join us on June 7, July 23, and August 13 for a picnic and music in the gardens, sponsored by Wellesley Bank Charitable Foundation.


Founded in 1829, The Massachusetts Horticultural Society's mission is to develop the public's enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of plants, gardens, design, and the environment. Mass Hort is a 501 (c) (3) educational nonprofit and is supported by membership, sponsorships, and donations.

The historic and contemporary gardens at The Gardens at Elm Bank demonstrate how plants and design are an integral part of everyday life for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Gardens connect people to plants and to the environment through sustainable design, interpretation, cultural practices, and pure enjoyment. Mass Hort offers educational programming to engage both adults and children so they may learn about plants and gardening, and contemporary issues such as health, sustainability, and stewardship of our natural world.

Come, learn, and grow at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society as we celebrate our 186th year. Please join us in the garden, the exhibit hall or the classroom to enjoy and explore the wonderful world of plants and gardens.

John Forti Named Director of Horticulture and Education at Massachusetts Horticultural Society

August 22, 2014, WELLESLEY, MA.  The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is excited to announce that John Forti has been named the Director of Horticulture and Education, a major step in the implementation of our 10-year strategic plan.

John FortiJohn will be an exceptional addition to our dedicated staff, instrumental in realizing goals for our historic landscapes, teaching gardens, the garden-to-table initiative, education programs, and the development of tourism on our property. A nationally recognized lecturer, garden historian, ethnobotanist and garden writer, Forti comes to us from the Strawberry Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH, where he created numerous award-winning gardens and educational programs in the role of the Curator of Historic Landscapes. He previously served as the Director of Horticulture at Plimoth Plantation Museum, where he created a gardens and seed program that brought international attention to the preservation of Pilgrim and Wampanoag heirloom crops.
John founded and serves as the board chair for Slow Food Seacoast. He serves on the bio-diversity committee for Slow Food USA and recently represented the group as an international delegate among the 150 nations at the Terra Madre or "Farmers United Nations" in Italy. He is chair of the board for the Herb Society of America’s New England Unit, and won the 2014 Award for Excellence in Horticulture from the national office.
"I met John soon after I joined Mass Hort, and was immediately struck by his enthusiasm and passion for horticulture and this legacy institution," said Katherine K. Macdonald, President and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. "John has a wonderful way of engaging with the public, and a clear commitment to helping people of all ages understand the natural world through our relationships with plants."

"For the last 185 years the Massachusetts Horticultural Society has influenced our communities, and fostered a love of horticulture that has touched all of us," John noted. "Since I was a child growing up on the North River in Norwell, MA, our regional landscapes and a passion for gardening (in large part fostered by Mass Hort) helped to shape the course and quality of my life."

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s legacy continues in the 21st century: improving horticulture for the public good, inspiring gardeners and horticulturalist, and providing a setting, whether in the classroom, the garden, or the exhibit hall, for the public to learn and appreciate horticulture.

"New generations of young farmers, market gardeners and artisanal producers are hungry for mentors.  Young children face even greater challenges in an age when studies show that kids know fewer than 10 animals and plants in their own backyards, but recognize over 1,000 corporate logos.  But there are solutions, and I am excited to help create landscapes and programs that re-engage the generations and help them to learn from one another in the garden.  I look forward to working with garden clubs, master gardeners, school administrators, and our region’s horticultural & environmental groups to build resilient communities around our horticultural heritage and our cultural inheritance of heirloom and native plants," John commented.

Founded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and to developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment. Located on 36 acres in the historic Elm Bank Reservation, Wellesley/Dover, MA,  The Gardens at Elm Bank provide a place where people of all backgrounds can come together for inspiration and education. Our public gardens are a place of beauty, discovery, quiet reflection, and appreciation of garden design. Massachusetts Horticultural Society is a 501 ( c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

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About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Massachusetts Horticultural Society LogoFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

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2015 Calendar & Courses

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Latest Mass Hort Events

Sun Nov 29 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Wed Dec 02 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Thu Dec 03 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Thu Dec 03 @ 4:00PM - 05:00PM
Children's Horticulture Workshop
Fri Dec 04 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Sat Dec 05 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Sun Dec 06 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Wed Dec 09 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Thu Dec 10 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Thu Dec 10 @ 4:00PM - 05:00PM
Children's Horticulture Workshop
Fri Dec 11 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Sat Dec 12 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Sat Dec 12 @11:00AM - 12:00PM
Children's Horticulture Workshop
Sun Dec 13 @10:00AM - 06:00PM
Festival of Trees and Snow Village
Mon Dec 21 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Winter Solstice Walk

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