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Education & Classes


In effort to serve Mass Hort’s mission to develop the public’s understanding of plants and the environment, we host classes throughout the year for all interest levels.

We offer hands-on workshops as well as lectures, classes for vegetable growers, potted ornamental enthusiasts, and home-owners looking to boost their curb appeal. We have everything from botanical art workshops and book signings to floral design courses and composting classes.

Northeast Region Perennial Plant Symposium
Friday 23 September 2016, 08:00am - 05:00pm

September 23, 2016
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Mass Hort’s Gardens at Elm Bank

Wellesley, Massachusetts

Presented by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society &
the Perennial Plant Association

On Friday, September 23, Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association are teaming up to offer a day-long symposium entitled, "Perennial Inspirations & Concepts." The symposium is open to all levels of gardeners and professionals. Five of the best writers and creative plantsmen from across the country will be there, and you’re invited to listen, learn and ask questions. New this year: Continuing Education Units (CEU)s available.

Meet the authors and award-winning presenters: 

Moving Beyond Pretty: Plants with Bonus Points
Susan Martin of Gardener Sue’s News

When the plant catalogs begin to arrive, our eyes are filled with botanical eye candy of every color, shape and size. We want them all, of course. The challenge is to look beyond the pretty flowers and actively seek out plants that deliver more...more color in shade, food pollinators, greater durability, and visual interest through all four seasons. As you begin to see plants from a new perspective, consider developing new ways of marketing and merchandising them according to the benefits they offer, not just their pretty colors. We’re moving beyond pretty and into the realm of more.

GET OUT!! Designing Landscapes 
that Bring Everyone Outside Again 
Julie Moir Messervy, Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio

Faced with hectic schedules and distracting digital devices, designers and homeowners need to create enticing, stimulating landscapes where people can connect with nature once more. Join award-winning landscape designer and author Julie Moir Messervy as she describes the five paths she’s taking to help people create and enjoy their outdoor surroundings, illustrating her points with her studio’s wide-ranging residential and institutional projects.

Plant Science That Will Make You a Better Gardener
Joseph Tychonievich, Greensparrow Gardens

All too often the best research on how to grow plants never leaves the ivory tower nor gets translated into language most gardeners use. In this talk we’ll delve into some of the most interesting and useful research from academic horticulture from using growing degree days to scheduling garden chores and efficiently battling pests to the latest research on improving soil, and explaining how to put it to use to make your gardening life easier and more effective. 

Perennial Plant Communities
and the ‘Know’ Maintenance Approach

Roy Diblik, Northwind Perennial Farm

Roy’s thoughtful way to design perennial plantings welcomes fresh contemporary styles and plant diversity integrated with responsible concerns. By using regionally dependable perennials and native plants, endless natural plant patterns can be constructed, each relating to time and cost to maintain. Roy will discuss the developing partnership between the gardener, the plants, and nature, always knowing the beauty is in the doing.

Zonal Denial, Hot Topics:
Expanding the Seasonal Palette

Dan Benarcik, Chanticleer

There is nothing like pushing the limits in seasonal garden borders and container designs and this is a great way to start. When you combine the hottest, sexiet tropical beauties with a sharp looking pot, add fertilizer, water and lots of summer heat, be prepared to watch out! You will look at some of Dan’s favorite performers from the tropics, as well as some temperate annuals. Dan will also speak about culture, combinations and design.

Continuing Educatation Units (CEU)s available:

The Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association offers
1 MCH CEU for full day attendance.

The Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals offers
2 MCLP CEU’s for full day attendance.

The APLD has approved the Messervy design talk for 1.5 CEUs.  The other sessions have been approved for 1 CEU each.


Register before September 16: $99
Register on or after September 16: $114

Price includes lunch, must pre-register 

trial garden

Adult Education: We offer lectures, hands-on workshops, and art and design classes. Programs are offered to novice levels through professional. Look here for a listing of upcoming classes!

Thursday Night at the Hort: Our weekly lecture series brings a horticultural expert to our site nearly every Thursday night. We feature topics from growing your own food and boosting your home’s curb appeal to growing in small places and using ecologically-sound growing methods.

Seed to Table: Start with a seed, end with a meal. The Seed to Table program provides education and hands-on experience growing and using food and beverage plants.

Programs for Kids: Mass Hort welcomes gardeners of all ages! Visit our Programs for Kids page to learn more about our award-winning Children’s Garden and our youth programs such as a daily summer children’s hour!

Programs for Schools: Mass Hort is excited to come to your community and bring plant science workshops to your school. We also host field trips for students and offer teacher workshops through our School Garden Initiative. Learn about all of these efforts on our Programs for Schools page.

Library: Mass Hort is home to one of the largest and oldest horticultural libraries in the country. Our 20,000-volume library is located at our headquarters in Wellesley. Click here to find more information and library hours.

About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded 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.

2017-2018 Calendar & Courses

2017-2018 Calendar and Courses

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