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.



GFL Lecture Series: Bird-Friendly Gardens

Bird-Friendly Gardens
with Nanette Masi
Sunday, April 2, 2017
1 – 2:30 pm
To buy tickets online click here.

Nanette Masi, owner
Back to Nature Landscape Design

What are the simple secrets to transforming your yard into a bird buffet and at the same time enhancing the beauty of your landscape? Discover how you can brighten your gardens with the colors and music of birds by using ornamental native plants. Add year-round beauty, and provide the best nutrition and cover birds need to thrive in our own New England gardens.

Does your landscape offer a “must-visit” invitation to your feathered friends? What are the secrets to transforming your yard into a bird buffet while at the same time enhancing the beauty of your landscape? Discover how you can brighten your gardens with a variety of colorful birds and surround yourself with their music by using ornamental native plants.

Native plants have evolved along with our local songbirds over eons. They’re well-adapted to our soil and weather conditions, making them the perfect choice for inviting birds into your backyard. We can add year-round beauty to our gardens while providing the best nutrition and cover local birds need to survive and thrive in New England.

Nanette Masi, M.Ed. shares her love of nature, photography, & education through her landscape design firm ‘Back to Nature.’ Her mission is to help people re-connect to the natural world, to enjoy the rewards of bird- & butterfly-watching, and to learn organic methods of gardening for their own health and the health of their community. With degrees in Botany, Ecology, & Science Education, certification as an organic landscape professional through NOFA, & years of organic gardening and design experience, she has been a guiding force in the creation of wildlife habitat gardens throughout the region, as well as a resource for schools, towns, conservation organizations & gardening associations.



GFL Lecture: Kill Your Lawn!

Kill Your Lawn
with Mark Richardson
Sunday, March 26, 2017
1 – 2:30 pm
To buy tickets online click here.

Mark Richardson, Horticulture Director
New England Wild Flower Society

Lawns are a soul-crushing timesuck, read the headline of a recent article on washingtonpost.com. Lawns are resource-heavy, requiring irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides to thrive in our climate. Learn why you should “kill your lawn” and how to replace it with beautiful, environmentally friendly native plantings.

According to NASA, in the United States more surface area is covered by lawn than by any other single irrigated crop. Lawns are resource-heavy, requiring irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides to thrive in our climate. Learn why you should kill your lawn and how to replace it with beautiful and environmentally friendly native plantings.

Mark Richardson is New England Wild Flower Society’s Horticulture Director. He oversees the Society’s botanic garden, Garden in the Woods, and its native plant nursery operation, Nasami Farm. Mark studied ornamental horticulture at University of Rhode Island while helping to run a mid-sized ornamental plant nursery before finding his true passion in public horticulture. He led undergraduate programs at Longwood Gardens, where he overhauled the curriculum of the Professional Gardener Program, and oversaw adult education at Brookside Gardens. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Delaware’s Longwood Graduate Program.


Friends’ Meeting March 14: CANCELED


Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, in the Auditorium
Potluck Lunch at 12 Noon

Program: Presentation by Don Wilding, Cape Cod Historian, Writer and Public Speaker

“A Cape Cod Sampler – The Portland Gale and The Blizzard of ’78”
In this special presentation, Don takes a look at the wreck of the steamship Portland in November 1898, and the Blizzard of ’78 on Cape Cod.

Since the start of the millennium, Don Wilding has been telling stories of Cape Cod Outer Beach history through lectures, video, and the written word.

​An award-winning writer and editor for Massachusetts newspapers for 30 years, Don pens the popular “Shore Lore” history column for the Cape Codder newspaper of Orleans, and is the author of the book, “Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: How ‘The Outermost House’ Inspired a National Seashore.” His next book, “A Brief History of Eastham,” is due to be published by The History Press in the summer of 2017.

​To visit Don Wilding’s website click here.


GFL Lecture with Claudia Thompson

Claudia Thompson

Lessons from the Garden:
What Native Plants Have Taught Me
with Claudia Thompson
Sunday, March 12, 2017
1 – 2:30 pm
To buy tickets online click here.

Claudia Thompson, President
Grow Native Massachusetts

Integrating more native plants into our gardens and managed landscapes is today’s model for being ecologically smart and helping to sustain life for birds, butterflies, pollinators, and wildlife. But creating a beautiful and vibrant landscape utilizing natives requires so much more than simply substituting these indigenous species for our old favorite horticultural exotics.

After a quick refresher about why gardening with native plants is so important, we will take an in-depth look at the lessons these plants have taught me over twenty-five years of gardening. Success rests on understanding their unique needs, ecology and adaptations. In turn, this can help us to create gardens that work synergistically with ecological processes rather than in conflict with them. This program will reaffirm your commitment to the joy and importance of native plants in our managed landscapes, and give you valuable tips for working with them. Yes, we can create gardens that use native plants successfully and to their best advantage!

Claudia’s Biography:
Ms. Thompson is the President of Grow Native Massachusetts, an organization that she founded in 2010 as the culmination of an extensive career in the environmental sector. She began her career as a teacher and environmental educator. More recently, she served as the Director of Education for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Director of Drumlin Farm for Mass Audubon, and as a board member for the New England Wild Flower Society. Her motivation for starting Grow Native Massachusetts comes from her conviction that the wise stewardship of our lands begins at home. We need a 21st century attitude toward conservation that changes the paradigm of thinking of the human and natural world as separate spheres, and that embraces our role in ecosystem dynamics.

Claudia’s happiest moments are spent in her own gardens, watching a diverse array of hawks, migrating songbirds, and even rare species such as woodcocks— all utilizing the habitat she and her husband have created on a relatively small parcel in urban Cambridge.


Read on the Wild Side continues March 8 with The Genius of Birds

Join us on Wednesday, March 8, 2017
1 – 3 pm when Jan Evans will lead a discussion of THE GENIUS OF BIRDS by Jennifer Ackerman

Jan writes,
​Well-researched and beautifully written, Ackerman’s work contends that the bird world is rife with examples of various levels of unexpected intelligence. From tool-making to navigation, from playing tricks to memorizing large volumes of detail, many different bird species contribute to Ackerman’s contention that to be called a “bird brain” is indeed a compliment rather than a criticism.

As Grant McCreary of BirdersLibrary.com says, “…birds are often seen as interesting, and occasionally smart. But genius?” Ackerman clarifies her use of this term for us: “In this book, genius is defined as the knack for knowing what you’re doing – for ‘catching on’ to your surroundings, making sense of things, and figuring out how to solve your problems.” She tells “the story of birds with extraordinary abilities or skills” in six areas: technical, social, musical, artistic, spatial, and adaptive.

Food for thought, and lots to talk about! We’ll be in the Hay Room. Everyone is welcome, and there’s no charge!

Questions? Contact the Friends at friendsofccmnh@gmail.com, or call the Museum office at 508-896-3867.

Lively discussion ensues at the January Read on the Wild Side meeting


GFL Lecture Series begins March 5th

Gardening for Life’s popular lecture series returns for 2017 with five programs on Sundays during March and April.

To see the full schedule of lectures click here.
To purchase discounted tickets for the entire series ($45 for all 5 lectures) click here.
Please note that after March 5th only individual lecture tickets will be available!

The 2017 series begins with
Waterwise Landscape Designs with Trevor Smith
Sunday March 5, 1-2:30, CCMNH auditorium

To purchase a discounted individual ticket ($12) for Waterwise Landscape Designs click here.
Individual lecture tickets will also be available at the door for $15 on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Waterwise Landscape Designs
Trevor Smith, owner
Land Escapes Ecological Landscaping

Water is simultaneously part of our daily routine and the stuff of mystery. We use it to cook our food, wash our dishes, and brush our teeth; yet few of us can stand on the beach and not lose themselves watching the breakers roll in.  In the face of climate change, water is becoming much more of an issue. We either have too much rainfall all at once or too little when we really need it, and it sometimes seems that this life-giving resource has turned against us.

Get reacquainted with water! Learn simple methods to capture and reuse stormwater and manage it on your property. We will discuss rain harvesting, permeable pavements, green roofs and rain gardens.

Trevor Smith is the owner of Land Escapes, a full service ecological landscaping company. He is a past-President of the Ecological Landscape Alliance. His professional credentials include LEED Green Associate with USGBC, Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist, Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP), GLTi Certified Green Roof/Wall System Installer, and Landscape For Life Certified Trainer.