Events in Norfolk and Across New England

The 350 Greater Franklin Node
Dates:  First and Third Thursday of every month, 2020
Time:   7:00 – 9:00 pm
Place:  First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut St, Franklin, MA

Stop Mulch-scaping and Start Landscaping
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date:  Thurs Jan 23, 2020
Time:  7:00-8:30 pm
Place:  Mass Hort, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Price:  $20 with membership card

At some unknown point in time, mulch – black, orange, brown, etc. – became a part of the landscape, but wouldn’t you rather have plants? Anywhere you can spread mulch, you can dig a hole and put in a groundcover plant. Groundcover plants = living mulches. Think of the money, time and work you’ll save on mulching every spring. Groundcovers will make your gardening life easier and your garden easy on the eyes, but only if you do it right. Take this class to learn what to do before you start to replace your boring old mulch with fabulous new groundcovers. You’ll learn which ones are right for your garden with an inspiring Powerpoint presentation and comprehensive list of plants organized by size and type.

Joanne Neale is a former attorney and the owner of Needham-based Garden MentorSM. ( Since 2000, she has provided over 600 Metrowest homeowners with garden designs, consulting on plant identification and care, and personal plant shopping services. Her gardening philosophy is based on low maintenance, sustainability and organic methods. Joanne was a speaker at the 2017 Boston Flower and Garden Show and has been featured on WHDH 7and in the Boston Globe, Needham Times, and Improper Bostonian. Her articles on plants and gardening have been published in PITH + VIGOR, and she has won awards for her garden photography. Her Needham landscape, with woodland and shade gardens, mini-meadow, raised perennial beds and extensive bulb plantings, was included on the first Needham Women’s Club Garden Tour in 2012.
Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Designing a Winter Landscape
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date:  Wed Jan 22 and Jan 29, 2020
Time:  10:00am -2:00 pm
Place:  Mass Hort, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Price:  $145 with membership card

Maria von Brincken will help you design an outdoor space that uses texture, color, and mass planting to create visual interest throughout the winter. Winter gardens also create a backdrop for seasonal flower gardens. Featuring our Bressingham Garden, her design work, and others, Maria will introduce you to lay-out and plant lists that will inspire your garden planning during these cold months. Weather permitting, dress for a tutorial walk in our winter gardens. There will be class time for you to experiment with winter planting combinations and layout that could work in your own gardens.

This is a two day workshop, January 22nd & January 29th.

Maria von Brincken, principle of Maria von Brincken Landscape Garden Design, is an award-winning certified designer (APLD and LI) celebrating her 21st year in professional practice. Maria specializes in custom beautiful spaces and colorful flower gardens using native and ornamental plants.

Trained as a fine artist, color theorist, and organic gardener Maria brings years of critical design thinking to her landscape solutions. Her design has been featured in Fine Gardening Magazine, Landscape Ideas You Can Use and others. 

Her lectures and workshops have been featured at Mass Hort, Boston The Flower Show, Radcliffe Seminars and the LI, Conn. Master Gardener’s Conference, Perennial Plant Conference, ELA- just to name a few. Her lectures, classes, and workshops teach successful ways of thinking and techniques. Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Flora in Winter
Dates:  Jan 23-26, 2020
Place:  Worcester Art Museum

Members: Free during exhibition hours
Non-Members: $25
Youth (4-17): $8
Institutional Members: $12
Business Partners: $12
EBT: No Cost

Thursday, January 23 – Sunday, January 26, 2020
Get a welcome taste of spring during the 18th-annual Flora in Winter! One of our most highly anticipated events, this four-day extravaganza features captivating and imaginative flower arrangements inspired by works of art and created by the region’s top floral designers.

Friday, January 24, 2020
A Celebration! “Flora Euphoria”
Members / Business Partners / Institutional Members / EBT $25,
Nonmembers $40, Youth 4-17 $10, Salisbury Members Free.
Don’t miss our exclusive evening celebration of Flora in Winter, inspired by the exhibition Photo Revolution: Andy Warhol to Cindy Sherman! The festivities include entertainment, live music, hearty hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar. Valet available at Lancaster Street entrance for $5 per car. Tickets sold online and at the door.

Workshop: Leaf Manipulation, with Thelma Shoneman
Thursday, Jan. 23

Conference Room
$50—Limited to 24 people
Online registration required at
Create a living “quilt square” design to take home, while learning leaf manipulation—such as pleating and weaving using fresh foliage—from an expert. Bring your own clippers, stapler, and imagination.

Workshop: Groovy Felt Flower, with Ellen Donaldson
Studio 100
Online registration required at
Create fun and colorful felt flower pins in this Flora-inspired workshop!
For all ages. All materials included.

Friday, Jan. 24
Flora Live Interpretation in the Gallery: Two Impressions, One Renoir
Members $20, Nonmembers $40 (includes Flora admission)—Limited to 30 people
Online registration required at
Enjoy coffee and pastry in the Café before watching expert floral designers Julie Lapham and Sarah Ribeiro create separate interpretations of a 19th-century masterpiece.

Lecture: Elemental Flora, with Kim Cutler
Conference Room
Flora in Winter co-chair Kim Cutler reveals how floral designers look for clues (such as color, line, and texture) in works of art when creating interpretive flower arrangements. This talk will be illustrated with stunning examples from past Floras.

Saturday, Jan. 25
Flower Power Art Carts
10am-1pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Face Painting in Lancaster Lobby
Chenille Stem Flower Making in Salisbury Hall
Join Museum educators in these interactive drop-in activities.

Fresh, Festive, Fantastic: A Mix of Traditional and “Way Out” Floral Creations for Home Entertaining
9:30am (coffee and pastry); 10-11:30am (demo); 11:30am-12:30pm (tour)
Conference Room
Members $20, Nonmembers $40 (includes Flora admission)
Online registration required at
Sally Jablonski, of Herbert E. Berg Florist and World Cup of Flower Arranging finalist, shows how to create centerpieces for your dining room table or entertaining spaces—using her award-winning design techniques. Program includes refreshments and a docent-led tour of Flora.

Foundations of Botanical Drawing and Painting
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
6 Wed.: Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26; Mar. 4, 11 , 2020 (Snow date: Wed., March 18) 
9:30am -1:30 pm
Mass Hort, Putnam Classroom, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
$295 with membership card

Foundations of Botanical Drawing and Painting All abilities are welcome! Through demonstrations and tutorials, our lead instructor and Education Director Sarah Roche will introduce you to the traditional art and science of botanical drawing and painting. Instruction includes drawing, composition, and watercolor techniques. Topic for Fall class: Leaves 101. Go back to basics and focus on leaves. How can you make them bend realistically? Where does the light fall? How do you paint veins? Build on this knowledge to produce realistic watercolor renderings. Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Guided Hydroponic Tour, Little Leaf Farm – SOLD OUT
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date: Thurs Feb 6, 2020
Time:  11:00am -12:30 pm
Place:  Little Leaf Farm, 105 Walker Road, Shirley, MA
Price:  $20 with membership card

Wildlife Feeders – Family Workshop
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date:   Sat Feb 8, 2020
Time:  10:00am -11:30 am
Place: Mass Hort, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Price:  $35 with membership card
Kick off your Saturday with Family Programming at The Gardens at Elm Bank. As a family you’ll create a craft project to take home, take part in a garden lesson and enjoy the beauty of the gardens in each season. Put a fun twist on an everyday birdhouse by creating a delicious snack for backyard wildlife.

Please note: only one craft per family/purchase will be provided. Each purchase is good for any combination of adults and children, as long as one adult is participating. Pre-registration is required for appropriate supplies to be ordered. Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Wine Tasting and Talk of Boston Developed Heirloom Grape Varieties
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date:   Sat Feb 8, 2020
Time:  3:00pm -5:30 pm
Place: Mass Hort, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Price:  $55 with membership card

Join us for an afternoon of wine and knowledge as we explore heirloom grapes and the wines they create.

The life, grapes, and wines of E. S. Rogers of Salem, MA (1826-1899) will be featured at this late-afternoon talk by J. Stephen Casscles. Stephen is a Hudson Valley winemaker at the Hudson-Chatham Winery who grows many of the heirloom grape varieties that were developed by Edward S. Rogers in 1851. During our time we will talk about Rogers’ efforts to breed superior grapes in Salem, MA., his resultant grape varieties, how they grow in the field, and the kinds of wines that they make. Rogers named grape varieties include:  ‘Salem’, ‘Agawam’, Merrimac’, ‘Massasoit’, and ‘Wilder’ .

Attendees will have a unique opportunity to taste very rare wines made from these Rogers’ grapes and compare their qualities to today’s wines. Mr. Casscles will also have his book “Grapes of the Hudson Valley and Other Cool Climate Regions” available to purchase. This book not only outlines heirloom grapes, it discusses how to grow grapes and how to make them into wine. Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Valentines Floral Design
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date:   Wed Feb12, 2020
Time:  7:00 pm -8:30 pm
Place: Mass Hort, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Price:  $50 with membership card

Using flower and foliage that you might find in your own yard and garden, learn the basic techniques of floral design in this workshop led by Barbara Rietscha, owner of Field & Vase. Flowers and supplies will be provided.

Field and Vase by Stow Greenhouses is a floral design studio specializing in fresh, locally grown, seasonal arrangements using flowers cut from our own family-owned farm which is located 30 miles west of Boston in Stow, MA. Our flowers go from the field to the vase within a day of being cut, meaning they smell sweeter and last longer in the vase. We cut the best of what is blooming each day and bring the flower field to you at your home, business or wedding.

Stow Greenhouses has grown from the wholesale cut lily farm that it was to the expanded floral design studio and cut flower farm that is today’s Field and Vase. In addition to the floral design studio and farm, we operate a retail location at the Boston Public Market, attend seasonal farmers’ markets and supply flowers to local floral designers and businesses. We grow over 90 varieties of flowers including sweet peas, peonies, dahlias, sunflowers and many other old-fashioned favorites. Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Barbara Rietscha runs the day-to-day operations of the business and oversees everything from first seeding to final arrangement. Born in PA, Barbara had a circuitous route to flower farming. After graduating from college with a chemistry degree, she moved to Central Africa to teach farmers how to raise fish. When she returned home, Barb learned how to program computers and then moved to the business side of things and got her M.B.A. After the birth of her 2nd son, she took some time off to raise her 3 sons until she and Dave bought the farm in 2010.           

Barbara has studied with Erin Benzakein of Floret and completed the program at Rittner’s School of Floral Design in Boston. She uses flowers and herbs grown on her farm as well as things foraged from the property. Her style is organic and natural and she likes to bring the garden to the vase whether it is for a bride, home or office. Barbara is motivated to educate her customers about the local flower movement as well as support local farms and businesses. She enjoys being outdoors and skiing and her retirement plan is traveling across the country in an Air Stream. 

Humans and their use of Plants – Gretel Anspach
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date:   Tues Feb18, 2020
Time:  6:30 pm -8:00 pm
Place: Mass Hort, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Price:  $40 with membership card

In this Tuesday evening class Gretel Anspach will cover how agriculture influenced civilization and how changes in the last century have impacted our food and environment. We will look ahead and discuss how the choices we make as consumers influence the future of food. Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Gretel Anspach is a Lifetime Master Gardener with the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association, a Trustee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and a recently-retired systems engineer for Raytheon. Gretel helped to establish and maintain two food production gardens that have provided fresh produce to the Marlboro Food Pantry for the last eight years.

Understanding and Controlling Invasive Plants
Sponsored by Mass Horticultural Society
Date:   Thurs Feb20, 2020
Time:  7:00 pm -8:30 pm
Place: Mass Hort, Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA
Price:  $15 with membership card

This talk will be an introduction to common invasive plants found the Northeast. Horticulturist and Ecological Landscaping Alliance Board member, Bruce Wenning, will discuss why these new pests of the landscape are dangerous to the ecology and sustainability of unmanaged landscapes, and what you can do to manage these plants at home. Register for Mass Hort Classes at

Bruce Wenning has been involved with exotic invasive plant management for 20 years organizing and working with conservation nonprofit volunteers and volunteer groups. In addition he has given field workshops about invasive plant identification and control methods for the Ecological Landscaping Alliance (ELA). He is on the ELA Board of Directors