tovah-martin

Sunday, September 16th at 3 p.m.

Author and gardening expert Tovah Martin tells us our gardens could be so fulfilling, if we plugged in. Created to coincide with the publication of Martin’s latest book, The Garden in Every Sense and Season, this lecture explores the garden on all levels. Learn to garden with eyes wide open, ears to the ground, and hands outstretched. Tailored to the current season to make the experience dynamic, this lecture will lead attendees through an odyssey of exploration to awaken the senses and arouse their abilities of perception. Sharing advice and ideas to deeply enhance the gardening experience while also incorporating a “Smellathon” to help get nostrils in gear, this lecture is beautiful and fun as well as highly practical.

An accredited Organic Land Care Professional through NOFA, Tovah gardens fanatically and organically both indoors and throughout her seven-acre Connecticut garden. People, Places, Plants magazine called her “one of the top 10 most influential educators in gardening” and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society honored her with its Gold Medal “for extraordinary service to horticulture, especially greenhouses and indoor plants.” Martin has written more than a dozen gardening books and served as garden editor for Victoria Magazine. In addition, her articles appear in a broad range of magazines and periodicals. She is a repeat guest on the CBS Sunday Early Show. She also teaches houseplant cultivation to Master Gardeners and lectures extensively throughout the country.

Copies of The Garden In Every Sense and Season will be available for purchase and signing.

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tree

Friday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library

Augie Pampel will describe his work as the Tree Warden of Essex including planning and planting of trees around town. In addition, and just in time for planting this spring, Augie will talk about best practices for selecting and planting healthy, beautiful trees in your own yard. Bring your tree questions!

bluebirds

Want to invite more wildlife to your yard? Join a park ranger and a wildlife biologist on Wednesday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. for a how-to presentation on simple ways to bring birds, butterflies and other colorful creatures to your home. Learn what to feed birds, how to provide nest materials, which flowers to plant for butterflies – plus much more. With spring just around the corner, this is a great time to start planning! Free informational booklets and handouts will be provided to all attendees.

Kris Vagos works at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge as a Wildlife Biologist.  She grew up in southern New Hampshire and attended Boston College for her undergraduate work in Biology and Environmental Studies.  After school, Kris volunteered and worked throughout the United States and other parts of the world.  She was a research assistant at the University of New Hampshire and got her Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management.  Her thesis project focused on what makes non-native shrubs invasive in New England.  Before moving to Connecticut, Kris lived along the southern coast of Maine and worked for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

Shaun Roche is the Visitor Services Manager at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge where he focuses on education and outreach. Shaun grew up in Waterbury and attended Central Connecticut State University where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public history. He worked for the National Park Service at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York for more than six year before transferring to the Fish and Wildlife Service and coming back to Connecticut in 2011.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

DDdigitalFriday, January 12 at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects

In recent years, the effort to use native plants has become a subject of such great controversy among the landscape architecture community that it’s become something of a flashpoint, a source of such disagreement that merely hearing the words ‘native’ and ‘plants’ in the same sentence can cause reasonable, seasoned professionals to curl their lips in disdain.  New York Landscape Designer Diana Drake hopes to use this opportunity to share why she considers it important, from an ecological standpoint, to use native plants, and to talk about some of the differences inherent in designs that take advantage of using them.

Diana Drake has worked as a landscape designer for two decades, managing large and small public projects with the firms of Judith Heintz Landscape Architecture and Wallace Roberts & Todd in New York City, specializing in selecting the best-suited plants for outdoor spaces, whether campus, park, public plaza, rooftop garden or residential property.  Since 2013 she’s been working cooperatively with Judith Heintz and Napat Sitisara as sassafras55. Her commitment to using native plant species deepened as she taught planting design at Columbia University with Darrel Morrison, adding to her earlier stint at the Center for Plant Conservation, and her hands-on training at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.  With sassafras55, Ms. Drake currently is involved with the all-native plantings of East Midtown Plaza in Manhattan, the Queens Borough Municipal Parking Field, and the Kearny Point Industrial Park Landscape in New Jersey. Throughout this entire period, she’s been learning first-hand via her experiments in her garden lab in Old Lyme. She holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

This Essex Library program is free and open to the public. Centerbrook Architects is located at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. Please call the Library at 860 767-1560 to register or for more information.

dumbarton-oaks-garden-fountainKarlGercens

Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.

The Essex Library will welcome documentary filmmaker and six-time Emmy Award winner, Karyl Evans, who will screen her latest film and discuss Beatrix Farrand’s work with Landscape Architect Shavaun Towers who also appears in the film on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects’ office.

 

This compelling film is the first ever to chronicle the life of Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959), the niece of Edith Wharton and the most successful female landscape architect in early 20th century America. Farrand grew up in the privileged world of the East Coast elite and fought through the challenges of working in a male-dominated profession to design over 200 landscape commissions during her remarkable 50-year career.

The documentary includes never-before-seen archival materials and recent photographs of over 60 Beatrix Farrand related sites, taking viewers on an inspiring journey across the country to explore her personal story and many of her most spectacular gardens, including Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C.; the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden; Garland Farm in Bar Harbor, Maine; the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Bar Harbor, Maine; and her California gardens. The narrated film also includes interviews with Beatrix Farrand scholars.

Karyl Evans’ undergraduate degree is in Horticulture / Landscape Architecture. She earned her Master’s Degree in Filmmaking from San Diego State University. Ms. Evans was a full-time Professor at Southern Connecticut State University for two years, teaching film production and theory. Karyl is a Fellow at Yale University and is one of the organizers of the New Haven Documentary Film Festival at Yale.

Landscape Architect Shavaun Towers PLA, FASLA, graduated from Smith College with a BA in Architecture and received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a founding Partner of Towers | Golde Landscape Architects in New Haven and has taught at Yale University Schools of Architecture and Forestry as well as the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

This event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is requested. Please call the Essex Library for more information or to register at (860) 767-1560. The event will be held in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects’ office at 67 Main St. in Centerbrook. Heartfelt thanks to our event co-sponsors: the Essex Garden Club and Centerbrook Architects.

NancyBallekMackinnon

Thursday, March 16th at 7 p.m.
Edible, Native, & Sustainable are the three themes that keep reoccurring in the 2017 gardening narrative. Nancy will discuss these and other trends in garden design and horticulture. Explore new and old varieties for beautiful and productive gardens. This free and open to all event is co-sponsored with the Essex Garden Club.

Nancy Ballek Mackinnon is a partner in Ballek’s Garden Center in East Haddam, Connecticut, located on a farm that has been in the family since 1662. She received a degree in environmental horticulture and landscape design from the University of Connecticut graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1978, and joined Ballek’s Garden Center soon after. Nancy is the author of the “The Gardener’s Book of Charts, Tables & Lists: A Complete Gardening Guide” created to make it easier for horticulturists to select the right plant for the right place.