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Plants go to War
Tuesday 11 April 2017, 01:30pm - 03:00pm




Where: The Gardens at Elm Bank - Parkman Room

Judith Sumner will lead an exploration of military history from a botanical perspective, from victory gardens and agriculture to drugs, rubber, coal, paper, timber, and fibers, the many plant products that supplied the military and the home front during a time of intense need and high demand.  Join us for a unique view of World War II through a botanical lens.


Judith Sumner is a botanist who specializes in ethnobotany, flowering plants, plant adaptations, and garden history. She has taught extensively both at the college level and at botanical gardens, including the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Garden in the Woods. Judith graduated from Vassar College and completed graduate studies in botany at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and at the British Museum (Natural History) and did extensive field work in the Pacific region on the genus Pittosporum.  

Judith has published monographic studies in the American Journal of Botany, Pollen et Spores, and Allertonia, as well as monographing two families for Flora Vitiensis Nova.  Her other projects and areas of interest have included field studies in the Great Smoky Mountains, work with AID/Santo Domingo on developing petroleum-rich plants, and a commitment to science education. Judith served as a visiting scientist for several summers in the LEAP (Learning About Plants) program at Harvard for Boston school teachers and has served as a National Public Radio Science Mentor. She has spent summers working with teachers the Museum Institutes for Teaching Science (MITS) program and conducting workshops on science writing. 

Judith has been a guest on the Martha Stewart Living television show, the PBS program "Cultivating Life" with Sean Conway, the Annenberg Channel, and various other PBS and educational programs. She recently presented a First Friday lecture at the Boston Museum of Science and was a featured lecturer at the Herb Society (USA) annual meeting. Her recent Arnold Arboretum lecture on victory gardens is available for viewing online at the WGBH Forum website. Her column “The Gardener’s Kitchen” (under the pseudonym Laura Craig) appeared in Horticulture magazine for several years. She also contributes online to the blog and Herbarium website of the Herbal Academy of New England.

Learn more about Judith at

Member Cost: $12
Non Member Cost $20


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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.

2018 Calendar & Courses

2018 Masshort Courses

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Mass Hort Classes & Events

Thu Mar 22 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Rev Up for Spring: Seed Sowing, Growing and More!
Thu Mar 29 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Vegetable Gardening: Planning, Preparing and Maintaining Your Victory Garden
Tue Apr 03 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Improve Your Watercolor Skills - Morning Course
Tue Apr 03 @12:30PM - 03:30PM
Improve Your Watercolor Skills - Afternoon Course
Thu Apr 05 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Landscaping and Planting Design
Thu Apr 05 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Tips for a Great Jump Start on Your Lawn
Sat Apr 21 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
Grafting Fruit Trees
Thu May 03 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Sun May 06 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Early Season Gardening Workshop
Thu May 17 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Greenhouse Growing
Tue May 22 @ 1:00PM - 05:00PM
Landscaping for Watershed Health
Wed May 30 @ 9:00AM - 03:00PM
Spring Landscape Tour
Wed Jun 06 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Hands-On Floral Design
Thu Jun 07 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Bio-control of Lily Leaf Beetles
Tue Jun 12 @ 1:00PM - 04:30PM
Eco Printing: Fiber art workshop
Tue Jun 26 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Explore the Teaching Herb Garden
Wed Jul 11 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
The Art of Planting Design
Wed Jul 18 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Summer Stroll: Garden tour
Sun Jul 22 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
What's Buggin' Me?
Sat Aug 04 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Fall Planting Workshop
Thu Aug 09 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
A Summer Stroll: Garden Tour
Sun Aug 12 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Meditations in Ink with Bruce Iverson