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:
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 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.
WELLESLEY, MA. March 22, 2014 The Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit “Eden on the Charles” at this year’s Boston Flower & Garden Show (March 12-16, 2014), received the Allen C. Haskell Award, The Landscape Design Council of Massachusetts Emily Seaber Parcher Award, the Ecological Landscape Alliance Environmental Vision Award, and the New England Nursery Association Award, and the Massachusetts Agriculture Ribbon.
Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit, Eden on the Charles,
highlighted two love stories that took place at Mass Hort’s Elm Bank
Estate in Dover, MA, illustrating the show them of “Romance in the
Garden”. The exhibit’s design depicts the courtship of Ray and Betty
Frost canoeing down the Charles River at Elm Bank and stopping for a
picnic along the shore. Descendants and family of Mr. & Mrs. Frost
attended the show on Saturday, March 15 to see the exhibit that honored
Mass Hort design team, led by Landscape Institute/BAC designers Suzanne Higham and including Heather Heimarck (Landscape Institute Executive Director), Julia Esteves, Piera Sassaroli, with Jeff Dube and Bill Cuddy and Mass Hort staff David Fiske, Charlie Harris, and Clark Bryan did a superb job demonstrating landscape design and horticultural concepts.
Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit was designed to engage the public in the beauty of plants, gardens, and landscape design and to highlight the talents of landscape designers and green industry professionals in the practice and love of horticulture.
Mass Hort’s Exhibit - A Collaboration with Designers and Organizations
Several skilled designers contributed to Mass Hort’s exhibit: Julia Esteves is a Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP) and owner of Juliagarden Landscape Design, a landscape design, build and maintain business in Osterville, MA; Heather Heimarck, Landscape Institute, Piera Sassaroli, owner of Piera’s Landscape Design of Boston, is a designer based out of both Boston and Milan, Italy; Jeff Dube will be returning to The University of Michigan in the fall to complete his Masters of Landscape Architecture; Suzanne Higham is owner of Frog Hollow, a landscape design, installation and maintenance company based in Georgetown, MA; and Bill Cuddy is owner of WJC Services, a full service design, building, and maintenance landscape company in Rowley, MA.
Donations of materials and assistance were provided by Boston Architectural College, the Landscape Institute, Ball Seed, Northeast Nurseries, Inc., Weston Nurseries, Bartlett Tree Experts, Northwoods Canoe Company, Szczechowicz Landscape Services, and Stonewood Products, Inc. Painting by Julia Blake.
Founded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society mission is to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and to developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment. Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a 501(c ) (3)educational organization, is located at 900 Washington Street, Wellesley on 36-acres in the historic Elm Bank Reservation, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information please visit: www.masshort.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wellesley, MA February 28, 2014 - Love is in the air at the Boston Flower & Garden Show, where the theme Romance in the Garden will provide the backdrop to this year’s festivities from March 12th to 16th.
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit, Eden on the Charles, adds to the romance with two love stories that are close to its heart. The first is that of Dr. William and Mrs. Alice Cheney Baltzell, who established a happy home at Elm Bank. Alice was the daughter of Benjamin P. Cheney who founded the estate in 1875. It was Alice and her husband who transformed the property into the beautiful landscape we enjoy today.
The second story belongs to someone with an equally special connection to the property: Ray Frost, the son of the Baltzell’s estate superintendent, Henry Frost. When the Frosts moved to Elm Bank in 1935 from Beverly, MA., Ray and his childhood sweetheart, Betty, decided to continue their courtship long distance. During Betty’s frequent visits to the property, the two would embark on canoeing excursions along the Charles. This early romance at Elm Bank blossomed into a marriage that lasted seventy years.
Katherine Macdonald, President of Massachusetts Horticultural Society, was contacted in 2011 by Ray Frost of Beverly. Kathy commented: “Ray called to tell me about his connection to Elm Bank and that he lived here a long time ago with his family. He would often help his father with his work at Elm Bank and in competitions at the New England Spring Flower Show, where Henry would exhibit his skill as a horticulturist. Henry was working for Alice Baltzell in 1938 during the horrendous hurricane that battered New England.”
Ray had slides showing the damage to the property and he proposed that he visit Mass Hort to give a presentation to the staff. He was ninety-two at the time and drove down from Beverly to Wellesley to share his treasures. During the presentation, Ray said: “The damage to Elm Bank in 1938 broke Alice Baltzell’s heart.”
What stood out most about Ray’s presentation were the stories about his life as a young man at Elm Bank and his courtship with Betty ― from one misadventure getting his car stuck in the mud when trying to drive Betty back home to Beverly, to another watching their canoe float away down the Charles as they sat enjoying a picnic. The staff was moved by his love story; he called Elm Bank, “Eden on Earth”. Ray’s lifelong sweetheart, Betty, passed way soon after Ray’s visit in 2011, and Ray died in November of 2012.
Inspired by Ray and Betty, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s exhibit concept is “Eden on the Charles”, an intimate picnic area on the banks of the Charles River. The exhibit uses plants to evoke both romance and intimacy. Through variations of texture and gradation of hue - white to pink to red – the exhibit creates a mood of romance around the isolated spot on the banks of the river. The exterior pathway mimics the Charles River, and draws the eye through the exhibit to emphasize shapes, unify design elements, and highlight various horticultural features.
Several skilled designers have contributed to Mass Hort’s exhibit: Julia Esteves is owner of Julia Garden, Osterville, MA is a landscape designer and a Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP); Piera Sassaroli of Piera’s Landscape Design, Boston, MA is a designer based out of both Boston and Milan, Italy; Jeff Dube will be returning to The University of Michigan in the fall to complete his Masters of Landscape Architecture; Suzanne Higham is owner of Frog Hollow, a landscape design, installation and maintenance company based in Georgetown, MA; and Bill Cuddy is owner of WJC Services, a full service design, building, and maintenance landscape company in Rowley, MA.
Donations of materials and assistance were provided by Boston Architectural College, the Landscape Institute, Ball Seed, Northeast Nurseries, Inc., Weston Nurseries, Bartlett Tree Experts, Northwoods Canoe Company, Szczechowicz Landscape Services, and Stonewood Products, Inc.
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. Massachusetts Horticultural Society is located at 900 Washington Street, Wellesley on 36-acres in the historic Elm Bank Reservation, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Please visit us at the show!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WELLESLEY, MA, October 26, 2013. A dozen volunteers from the Wellesley Congregation Church, as known as Village Church gathered early Saturday morning to join the hundreds of volunteers planting "Marathon Daffodils" along the Boston Marathon route. About a dozen volunteer bulb planters, under the direction of Deborah Brown, worked to plant over 1,200 bulbs on the Village Church property overlooking Route 16.
Marathon Daffodils is a grassroots effort to plant 100,000 daffodils along the Marathon route, from Hopkinton to Boston. "The Marathon Daffodils project is a collaborative effort to strengthen our community by bringing beauty to where there was unfathomable loss, mayhem and sadness," notes founder, Diane Valle of Charleston. Massachusetts Horticultural Society, one of the sponsoring organizations of the Marathon Daffodil project, is helping to organize the communities of Natick and Wellesley.
Deborah Brown, Wellesley resident and member of the Wellesley Gardener's Guild, is the volunteer captain for Marathon Daffodils, Wellesley commented: "Volunteers are enthusiastic about this project. Everyone can participate with little skill and their efforts will bring a wonderful yellow spectacle next April along the Marathon route." Deborah has been working with the Town and Institutions along the way for permission to plant specific locations, for oversight, determining quantity to be planted, and enlisting volunteer planters. Wellesley's share of the planting-10,000 bulbs! Deborah was on hand with her son Duncan, to help with Saturday's planting at the Village Church. Brian Paige of Paige Landscaping Company donated services to help to prepare the beds.
Marathon Daffodils is building a team of thousands to help plant "Marathon Daffodils" from Hopkinton to Boston for the Boston Marathon 2014. The goal is to line the 26.2 mile Boston Marathon Route with bright yellow, cheerful flowers will serve as an inspiration to runners, residents, participants and visitors.
Additional Wellesley plantings are taking place along Route 16. Last week, the Friendly Aid location was planted with the help of the Needham Junior Women's Club. To learn more about Marathon Daffodils and the Wellesley plantings, please visit masshort.org/education.
Massachusetts Horticultural Society is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage the science and practice of horticulture and to develop the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment. Projects for the public good are central to the 184-year legacy of the organization.
|Kathy Macdonald, President of Mass Hort
and Deborah Brown with a portion
of the bulbs to be planted.
|Carter and Madeline Blessing|
|Kathy Macdonald and Duncan Brown||Phyllis Gibson, Village Church member planting bulbs|
|Laurel and Henry Lyle|