GFL visits Chatham Bars Inn Farm

On a perfect Cape Cod morning ​f​​​ive​ members of Gardening for Life met at the Chatham Bars Inn Farm​ in Brewster. ​Although tours are not usually available during the summer,  employee Mallory Kender gave us an extra gracious one because we were from CCMNH!  A Brewster native who returned to the Cape after college, Mallory offered us opportunities to smell and taste some of the beautiful flowers and vegetables as we walked around the grounds while she responded to our many questions, including “Why aren’t the blueberry bushes protected?” The answer, “There is enough here to share with the birds and other critters,” was a statement that greatly pleased the Gardening for Life visitors!

Mallory Kender

Before we left, Mallory packed up for us a box of the biggest cherry tomatoes in many warm shades I have ever seen, which we then shared at Dee Anson’s family homestead, a short distance down the road.  Just as the Gardening for Life members often have coffee together after a work shift, Dee provided us with many treats in her antique-filled dining room, including a delicious lemon cake whose recipe has been a favorite of her family for several generations.

For me, who will be returning to Baltimore at the end of the summer, the morning reinforced how beautiful Brewster is and how enjoyable it is to look behind its gates to see the many choices there are here for a life enhanced by nature.

Post and photos by Doris Shiffman

Ann Harris, Doris Shiffman, Alice Berry, Shirley Vautin, Dee Anson


Butterfly House Donation

Alice Berry, Vice President of the Friends of CCMNH, presents a check for $1500 to Marjorie Williams, Senior Aquarist & Butterfly House Lead, and Bob Dwyer, Executive Director of CCMNH.  The donation supports the introduction of several new butterfly species, including Red Admirals and Cecropia moths, to the Butterfly House for the 2017 season.

Photo by Teresa Izzo


Friends tour Heritage Gardens

The Friends’ spring Field Trip took them to Heritage Gardens in May.  They toured the rhododendron gardens, the antique auto collection, and the American Art & Carousel gallery.  Although the rhodies were in full bloom, it seems the hit of the tour was the carousel.  Claire Tyner and Kathy Budreski displayed their skilled horsemanship.

Afterwards, the group had lunch at the Daniel Webster Inn before heading for home.

Keep your eyes open for information on the Friends’ fall field trip.

Photos by Julie O’Neil


2017 Plant Sale Highlights

Whew! The Plant Sale & Native Plant Marketplace 2017 was terrific.

Lined up and waiting to open

At 9:00 nearly 40 people were lined up and waiting for the door to open. By the end of the day, hundreds of plants had headed for new homes with happy customers, and the Friends had brought in more than $4500 to support the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

Sales were brisk under the tent

Dozens of plants donated from the gardens of CCMNH Friends and supporters made a beautiful display under the big tent, where Gardening For Life volunteers offered help and information to shoppers.

Just a sample of the available inventory

Michael Talbot

A highlight of the sale was the presence of Michael Talbot of Talbot Ecological Land Care, who provided expert advice to the buyers of the nearly 1000 native plants that were potted up for sale by volunteers in early spring.

And the folks from Edible Landscapes presented an array of familiar and unfamiliar herbs, peppers, squash, and dozens of other edibles, and information on how to grow and eat them.


Edible Landscapes

Thank you to all our donors, especially
Orleans United Methodist Church
Garden Club of Brewster
Agway of Cape Cod
Bayberry Gardens
Wilkinson Ecological Design
Snow’s Home & Garden
and Crocker Nurseries

Thank you donors!

Now let’s hope for sun and just enough rain. Happy gardening!
Attachments area


Native Plants Potted

A hearty thank you to all who swam out for Potting Day 2017!

We had a dozen CCMNH Friends & volunteers in the morning, and whizzed through the planting. In fact, several volunteers had to be forced to go in out of the rain and have lunch, so that there would be enough left for the visiting Vermont teenagers (photo above) who were on a service trip to the Cape.

About 14 teenagers descended on the tent after lunch and in an hour and a half had potted up the remaining 200 seedlings, before heading out through the rain for a hike to Wing’s Island.

Everyone was good-natured despite the constant drizzle and occasional downpour.

If you missed Potting Day, you can join us any Thursday morning at 9 for Thirsty Thursdays, when we water, weed, and do other interesting gardeny things.


Native Plants Potting Day

Tuesday April 25, 10 am

Gardening for Life will gather to pot up native seedlings to be sold at the Friends annual Plant Sale and Native Plant Marketplace June 3.

There will be lots to do, anyone willing to get their hands dirty to support the Friends are welcome to join in the fun!

For more info about the plant sale click here.



GFL Lecture Series: Native Plants

Attractive Plants for Cape Cod Gardens
with Michael Talbot
Sunday, April 9, 2017
1 – 2:30 pm
To buy tickets online click here.

Michael Talbot, owner
Talbot Ecological Land Care

Ready to add native plants to your garden? You can have an attractive, functional landscape that protects and even enhances the fragile environment of the Cape and the Islands. Ecological land care and design is safer for families and pets, and for the wildlife – such as birds and butterflies – that add interest and beauty to our lives.

The Cape-friendly landscape starts with an understanding of the site, the soils, the surrounding environment and the people who will use and enjoy it.  You can use native and appropriate plants with multiple seasons of interest in ways that reflect the varied habitats of our region, while still following the principles of attractive landscape design and maximum usefulness to people.

Michael Talbot, a recognized expert on Conservation Design and Restoration, was an early pioneer of organic lawn and landscape care on Cape Cod. He was a co-founder of the Ecological Landscaping Association, and he is a visiting lecturer at the University of Maine’s Landscape Horticulture Program. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, the Society of Wetland Scientists and the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions.

Michael is the author of dozens of articles on horticultural topics. He has appeared on many radio and television programs, including The Victory Garden and New England Chronicle, sharing his expertise on ecological landscape design and care.