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Mass Hort Publishes 2015 Field Trials Results

From GreenhosueGrower.com

The New England Trial Garden displayed a total of 230 entries this year: 160 annuals and 70 perennials. The annuals are tried in the ground and in 12-inch patio pots. The perennials stay in the ground for two years to monitor their hardiness in the New England climate. New this year was the trial promoting 50 heirloom varieties of tomato, squash and peppers, including local varieties from New England.

Read the full article here.


The Massachusetts Horticultural Society Digitized Its Botanical Prints

massachusetts horticultural society

Lilium canadense, red and yellow forms. / Photo provided by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

More than 1,000 rare botanical prints are now online for your viewing pleasure, courtesy of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Public Library, and the Digital Commonwealth.

The oldest prints date back to 1620, and continue through 1969. Previously, most of the illustrations were only viewed by horticultural scholars and scientists during visits to the Mass Hort library. It took three months to digitize and catalog the prints, which have been divided into categories like plants, flowers, fruit, orchids, lilies, roses, cherries, and grapes.

Read the full story in Boston Magazine

Massachusetts Horticultural Society shares its collection of Botanical Prints

Massachusetts Horticultural Society shares its collection of Botanical Prints through the Digital Commonwealth

Lilly196Thanks to three months of collaboration between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Public Library, and Digital Commonwealth, more than 1,000 rare images from the oldest horticultural library in the nation are now available at the click of a button.

With prints dating from 1620 to 1969, Mass Hort’s Botanical Print Collection captures more than three centuries in the evolution of botanical illustration, offering an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and authors in the field of horticultural. The digital portal will also create opportunities for the public to explore images that until now have been seen only by experts and aficionados, and to cultivate an appreciation for the art and science of horticulture from the comfort of their own homes.

Tom Blake, Digital Projects Manager, Boston Public Library, commented that “Digital Commonwealth enables Massachusetts cultural institutions to develop a virtual presence, enhancing education and research by creating a community of support, offering professional advice, and facilitating collaboration. The Digital Commonwealth portal facilitates worldwide access to the cultural heritage of Massachusetts. Our repository provides an affordable option to organizations that are unable to host one locally.”

The Horticultural Library at Massachusetts Horticultural Society was the first in the United States.  It was established soon after the Society was founded in 1829 to share horticulture knowledge and beauty through its prints, books, extensive collection of seed catalogs, and other rare materials. Its horticultural holdings provide invaluable resources to our members, scholars, historians and general public

Noticing that interest in botanical prints had grown during the intervening 140 years, the Society mounted its first major exhibit in 1968.  It continued in 1969, when a group of lily prints was shown to the North American Lily Society at its annual meeting

Digitization and online access to special collections is an important strategy for any cultural heritage organization as it allows us to reach our users beyond our buildings and business hours. Today, with the help of Digital Commonwealth, Mass Hort’s Library will meet the 21st Century digital needs of students, researchers, authors and the public.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s botanical prints are available online at the Digital Commonwealth repository at https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/collections/commonwealth:k930hm897. These images are available for the purposes of viewing and studying and not for commercial use.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Library collection includes over 20,000 volumes at our library in the Education Center of our Elm Bank horticulture center and gardens. Additionally, at a separate archival storage facility, the Society maintains 5,000 rare books, manuscripts, prints, seed catalogs, glass slides, and early transactions of horticultural institutions.

Many of the books transferred to the Chicago Botanical Garden’s Lenhardt Library Rare Book Collection in the early 2000’s by Mass Hort are now available online through the Illinois Digital Archives at http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/ncbglib01; search on “Massachusetts Horticultural Society.”

Digital Commonwealth is a non-profit collaborative organization that provides resources and services to support the creation, management, and dissemination of cultural heritage materials held by Massachusetts libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives. Digital Commonwealth currently has over 130 member institutions from across the state.

The Massachusetts Horticultural Society Library at 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA is supported by members and donors. Please help us maintain our collection with a tax deductible donation or by calling Elaine Lawrence, Director of Development at 617-933-4945.



Shown here are three works which the Society deemed worthy to feature in its popular exhibitions in Horticultural Hall in 1968 and in the traveling exhibit of 1988, when they were displayed in the gallery concourse of the State Street Bank & Trust Company’s headquarters.

Hort Print1Representing the 18th century is #128, Magdalena Bouchard’s “Melopepo verrucosus”, an engraving of a pumpkin.  It is taken from Volume I of Hortus Romanus, an eight volume set which was published in Rome from 1772 to 1793. The engravings in Volume I were hand painted by Georgio Bonelli, who is generally given the most credit for the work’s success.


Hort Print2The aquatint, “Gooseberries”, #104, was engraved for Pomona Britannica, which was published in 1812.  Depicting the fruit growing around London and in the gardens of Hampton Court, it is considered one of the finest color plate books in existence.



Hort Print3Pierre-Joseph Redoute’, the most celebrated flower painter of his age, hand colored #264, “Rosa Kamtschatica”, the stipple engraving by Chapuy, for the three volume Les Roses, which was published from 1817 to 18


Fall Line Up of Events at Mass Hort

September 9, 2015, WELLESLEY, MA.  

Massachusetts Horticultural Society has a great fall lineup of speakers and events for everyone to enjoy. Beginning September 16th, Sir Peter Crane, the Dean of the Yale School of Forestry will speak about the Ginkgo Tree and his new book: Ginkgo, The Tree That Time Forgot. There will be a reception before the lecture and will conclude with a book signing. On Sunday, September 20, Mass Hort’s Fall Harvest Dinner will help support their Garden to Table Program. Celebrity Chef Mary Dumont will cook up a feast for all to enjoy, featuring local foods and beverages. This a long-table outdoor harvest dinner will take place in the Maple Grove under the stars.  Sunday, Sunday, September 27, the Princess Giorgiana Corsini will visit the Italianate Garden for a reception, followed by a lecture by the Princess on Italian Gardens and the Renaissance.  Thursday, October 15, Honorary Medals Dinner: Kris S. Jarantoski, Vice President and Director of the Chicago Botanic Garden and keynote speakerwill be honored as the George Robert White Medal of Honor for excellence.

Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot
, by Professor Sir Peter Crane

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm


Join us for a reception and lecture with Professor Sir Peter Crane, author of Ginkgo: The Tree that Time Forgot and Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale.


One of the world's most unique trees, the ginkgo has remained unchanged for more than two hundred million years. Its history spans as far back as the dinosaurs and includes survival through the ice ages. Once found isolated in China, the ginkgo is a beloved ornamental tree throughout the world, known for its unusual leaves, edible nuts and long-life span. Sir Peter Crane will lecture on this tree's story, and its connection to cultures through medicine, art and religious inspiration.


Members $20, non-members: $25

trial garden

Or call 617-933-4973

Location:  Mass Hort Society, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley

Fall Harvest Festival Dinner

Sunday, September 20, 5:00 - 8:30pm 

DumontCome and celebrate all that is local and abundant! Chef Mary Dumont will prepare a harvest meal from local farms and our vegetable garden at Elm Bank. Local beverages will be highlighted, including Stormalong Cider from Sherborn, and a special wet hops brew from Elm Bank.


Join us for an evening celebrating the fall harvest and building community in the Gardens at Elm Bank! Showcasing the best of local agriculture and seasonal heirloom foods, come share a place at our tables enjoying fine open-air dining, hand-crafted beverages, and music and dancing under the goddesses in the Maple Grove! Twilight tours of the gardens will lead to us to gather together for a festive seated dinner culminating in a magical illuminated candle labyrinth!


This event supports the Garden to Table program which strives to build strong local food systems from the seeds planted to the food grown and harvested and shared within the community.


Members: $65, non-members: $75.


trial garden


Or call 617-933-4973


Location: Mass Hort Society, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley

Culture of the Gardens in the Italian Renaissance, with Princess Giorgiana Corisini

Sunday 27 September 2015, 5:00- 7:00pm


Giorgiana CorsiniWe are delighted to welcome Princess Giorgiana Corsini who will speak on the history and culture of gardens in the Renaissance. Princess Giorgiana and Prince Filippo Corsini come from an historical Florentine family dating back to the twelfth century. Their Palace del Prato in central Florence dates back to the 14th century and its extensive gardens are highlighted by symmetrical box hedges, ancient statuary and potted citrus plants. She brings rich understanding and hands-on experience in gardening and will, no doubt, give ideas to elegantly enhance our New England gardens.


Giorgiana Corsini is an expert with hands-on experience in both Renaissance Italian classical gardens and aristocratic wineries in Tuscany. She travels and lectures throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. Join us for a reception and lecture. Space is limited, please register by September 22.


Members: $20, non-members: $25.


Sustainable Edible Landscapes




Or call 617-933-4973


Location: Mass Hort Society, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley





Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6:30 pm


Each year, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society presents the Honorary Medals Dinner where the leading horticulturist are honored.  The event gives us the opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions of horticulturalists, plant innovators, and those who have made significant contributions to the enjoyment and appreciation of plants and the environment.  The 2015 honorees include: The George Robert White Awardee, Kris S. Jarantoski, Executive Vice President and Director of the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Keynote speaker;The Thomas Roland Medal, Joann Vieira, Director of Horticulture, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, The Jackson Dawson Memorial Award, The American Chestnut Foundation; Gold Medal Awardees: Roger Cook,  of This Old House,  Mrs. Dorrance H. Hamilton, for her support of excellence in horticulture through the Preservation Society of Newport County, Flower Show, Mrs. Maureen Ruettgers, for her support of excellence in horticulture at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and Silver Medals to the Preservation Society of Newport County, Flower Show for promoting the appreciation and understanding of horticulture to the general public, and Suzanne Thatcher of Russell’s Nurseries for her noteworthy service in horticulture.


The Honorary Medals Dinner helps support the mission of Mass Hort.


Dinner: $130.00 per person.


honorary medals

Or call 617-933-4973


Location: Mass Hort Society, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA





Mass Hort Opens New Visitors Center at The Gardens at Elm Bank

Welcome to The Gardens at Elm Bank new Visitors Center! The Vistors Center is located in Flora, the Tudor-style shingle and stucco gardener'scottage, which was built by Benjamin Cheney in 1876. It is adjacent to the parking lot. The staff is there to greet garden visitors and provide information about the property and Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Opening for the garden season, May 1- Columbus Day, the gardens are opened Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Garden admission is $8.00 per adult, children under 12 free. Members enjoy free admission. Memberships may be purchased in the Visitors Center (or online): individuals:  $55 and family:  $90.  Memberships and admissions help support the care and maintenance of The Gardens at Elm Bank and Mass Hort's educational mission.

All parking is in the two main parking lots opposite the Visitors Center. We have established new traffic and walking patterns.  

Also, Flora has a new members lounge so you can relax before or after your garden visit. Thank you to donations by Diane Valle, Susan Mooney, and Needham Bank and many others for their help with making our new Visitors Center a reality.


Art Gallery Opens in Flora Visitors Center

The Flora Visitors Center Art Gallery is currently featuring watercolors by Wellesley artist Yale Nicolls. Yale Nicolls is a watercolorist who has participated in many juried shows throughout New England. She is a board member and past president of Wellesley Society of Artists, and is a member of the Rhode Island and New England Water Color Societies. Enjoy her beautiful paintings of flowers in this show- many were painted from The Gardens at Elm Bank.  

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

Mass Hort Shop

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Botanical Prints
Now on Sale
The Perfect Gift
Visit the Store

Friends of Mass Hort Events

Thu Apr 26 @ 2:00PM - 03:00PM
2018 Gardening Webinars by Kerry Ann Mendez