Evenings with Experts

A Public Lecture Series at the Cambridge Public Library

  • First Wednesdays of each month, from February through May
    7:00 — 8:30 pm
  • Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA
  • Each talk will last about an hour with time for Q&A afterward.
  • Doors open at 6:30 pm for general seating. Seating is unassigned and will be available on a first-come basis.
  • Events are free and open to all.
  • PDF of 2018 Programs 
  • CEUs Available: APLD (1.5 credits); NOFA-AOLCP (1.5 credits); and MCH (pending).

2018 Programs

  • February 7
    The Beautiful Adaptations of Native Plants: Inviting the Wild into our Gardens
    Dan Segal, Owner of The Plantsmen Nursery
    
    Native plants have evolved a broad array of adaptations in the wild, yielding not only the ornamental features embraced in horticulture but many fascinating mechanisms for survival. Dan will take us beyond 'pretty' plant features to explore the origins of these adaptive traits, and the critical importance of regional variation. This insight helps us to select plants that are genuinely suited to our landscapes.  He will also compare and contrast large-scale nursery production that favors the cloning of cultivars, with small-scale nursery propagation that favors seed-grown straight species.  To know and source native plants effectively, understanding their propagation can be just as important as species selection. 

    Dan Segal is the owner of The Plantsmen Nursery near Ithaca, NY, specializing in native plants, local seed collection, and natural landscaping. Dan
    has collected and propagated over 1,000 species of native plants in his three decades of work as a nurseryman, giving him great insight into the fascinating variety of adaptations that plants have evolved to survive. He founded the Ithaca Native Plant Symposium in 2009. 
    This lecture co-sponsored by the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation.
  • March 7
    Lessons Learned when Field Botany Meets Design
    Uli Lorimer, Curator of the Native Flora Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

    Ecologically attuned designers are increasingly looking to nature for inspiration in the design of managed landscapes. But connecting field botany to horticulture is complex, and insights gained from observations in the wild don’t always translate directly into a cultivated garden. Uli will use the recently expanded native flora garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a cultivated pine barrens and coastal plain grassland, as a case study— sharing lessons learned along the way as the project evolved from a concept into a dynamic, living landscape. Good design allows for change and succession to occur, and flexibility in design intent is a valuable strategy because things do not always work out as planned.

    Uli Lorimer has been the Curator of Native Flora at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Garden for over a decade. He was instrumental in the expansion of the Garden’s native plant collection, using only material sourced from the wild and grown from seed. As Field Chair at BBG, he coordinates fieldwork with regional botanists and leads botanical expeditions for naturalists and horticulturists. 
    This lecture co-sponsored by Mount Auburn Cemetery
  • April 4
    Revealing a Sense of Place

    Matthew Cunningham, Principal and Founder of Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design

    Seasonal New England is rich in its unique and dynamic ecological patterns. Join us, as Matthew explores how his observations of these natural systems have influenced his firm’s creation of contextual and native plant-centric projects that grasp the rhythms of everyday life. He will show us a variety of residential landscapes, large and small, that embrace our regional flora, utilize ecologically sustainable principles, and that build connections between interior and exterior spaces to strengthen our relationship with nature. Come be inspired by these beautiful, vibrant landscapes that enhance life for both their human and their wild residents.

    Matthew Cunningham is a rising star in the world of landscape architecture. He is passionate about the landscapes of New England and is committed to excellent design with ecologically sustainable principles. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he worked at the renowned firm Reed Hilderbrand Associates before starting his own practice. Matthew was named “International Designer of the Year” by the APLD in 2017.

    This lecture co-sponsored by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects

  • May 2
    Evoking Nature: Form and Function on the High Line
    Andi Pettis, Director of Horticulture, Friends of the High Line

    The High Line in Manhattan was born of a city that is constantly reinventing itself. Built on a mile-and-a-half long elevated railroad, this dynamic landscape was inspired by the tenacity of plants in its industrial setting, and it uses a matrix of perennial and woody plants to evoke a natural landscape. Wildly successful and overwhelmingly popular, caring for this garden in the sky poses unique challenges. Andi will describe how her team uses traditional and innovative horticultural techniques, how they work to promote the park’s biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and how they foster an emotional connection to nature in this challenging urban environment. 

    As Director of Horticulture for the Friends of the High Line, Andi Pettis leads a world-class team of gardeners who care for this beloved elevated park in Manhattan. Andi’s horticulture career in New York City spans nearly two decades, including work in both private and public garden settings, park management, and teaching at the New York Botanical Garden. 

Location, Parking & Transit Info

Cambridge Public Library Location Map

Limited public parking is available under the Library, with an entrance ramp on Broadway. Fee is $1/hour.

Limited metered spaces are available in the area, including on Broadway, Cambridge Street, Quincy Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and around Cambridge Common. Cambridge resident street spaces are available throughout the area.

If you are driving, know that this is an active urban area, and allow time to park. Please carpool if you can. It reduces the competition for spaces.

Additional garage parking is available at market rates in Harvard Square (a short walk across Harvard Yard) at the Harvard Square Parking Garage and several other locations.

The closest T stop is Harvard Square on the Red Line.

View Programs from Past Years

2017 Evenings with Experts
2016 Evenings with Experts
2015 Evenings with Experts 

2014 Evenings with Experts
 
2013 Evenings with Experts  
2012 Evenings with Experts    
2011 Evenings with Experts
 

THANK YOU

To the Cambridge Public Library for its partnership in producing this series, and to all of our members for making it possible with generous support. Please Become a Member and help keep this series vibrant!