Past Event resources

Our First Open Gardens Day September 2022

Approximately 100 people visited the 12 gardens that participated in our first Open Gardens Day. The gardens ranged from professionally designed landscapes to do-it-yourself backyards, from gardens many years in the making to ones recently begun. A huge thank you to the homeowners and garden designers of the twelve participating gardens for opening your yards to the public, providing so much useful information, and answering our endless questions.


We're thinking of doing it again, perhaps next June when gardens will be showing off a different palate.


If you were inspired by your visits to these gardens, here are a few resources you may find helpful this fall:

  1. Our What to Plant page

  2. Why to Leave the Leaves this fall, and how to manage them.

  3. Our step-by-step plan for creating a small pollinator garden--it begins with fall!

Chris Cratsley on Fireflies from Lexington and Beyond: Their magic, mystery and conservation June 27, 2022 (remote talk) and July 6 (field walk).

To watch a recording of the June 27 talk, click here.


Here are some additional resources provided by Dr. Cratsley during the events:

Our Second Native Plant Sale April-May, 2022

The Pollinator Plant Kits we sold in collaboration with the Lexington Conservation Department were again very popular this year. All 112 kits available were sold out well ahead of the June 4 pick up date! We offered both sun kits (50 kits sold, containing Foxglove Beardtongue, Spotted Bee Balm, Clustered Mountain Mint, Showy Goldenrod) and shade kits (62 kits sold, containing Foam Flower, Woodland Phlox, Hairy Beardtongue, Blue stemmed Goldenrod). Grown at a certified organic native perennial farm in New Hampshire, they arrived as robust, healthy young plants, and are now being planted across Lexington.


Plant descriptions and growing instructions can be found here: sun kits and shade kits.


Thank you to Amber Carr, Lexington's Conservation Coordinator, for her leadership; the Conservation Commission, for fronting the funds to order the plants; the Recreation Department, for facilitating the online sales; and to DPW staff for their vital logistical support. We plan to hold another sale next year. For more ideas on sourcing native plants for your garden, take a look at our Where to Buy Plants page.

No Mow May 2022

Letting grasses and wildflowers grow and bloom during May to provide resources for spring-emerging insects, including endangered native bees.

33 homes in Lexington participated.

Dan Jaffe Wilder on Kill Your Lawn May 11, 2022

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Dan suggested a wide range of alternative lawn species. To see his extensive list, click here.

Uli Lorimer on Native Plants for Your Garden April 20, 2022

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

James Lowenthal on It's Nighttime--It's Supposed to be Dark! February 24, 2022.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.


Here are some additional resources provided by Dr. Lowenthal and Lexington Living Landscapes during the presentation:

  • The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide, and is a great source of information and resources.

  • The IDA’s Massachusetts Chapter, headed by Dr. Lowenthal, is the best way to connect with activists within the state to learn about what others are doing at the state, municipal, and neighborhood levels.

  • You can explore light pollution any where on earth with this great interactive map.

  • Read the reports prepared for the UN 2020 Conference on Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society, including a review of what’s known about the impacts of light pollution on people and wildlife.

  • To learn about a bill addressing light pollution currently under consideration on Beacon Hill and how you can help, read the Sierra Club’s March 2022 Dark Skies Advocate’s Guide.

Rebecca McMackin on The Language of Flowers: An Introduction to Pollination Ecology January 26, 2022.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

To hear her talk for Grow Native Massachusetts: Managing an Urban Landscape for Biodiversity, regarding Brooklyn Bridge Park, click here. You can sign up for Rebecca's newsletter from her website here.

Native plant seed giveaway October 3-9, 2021

Thank you for coming by our information table at several recent events in Lexington: the LexFarm Harvest Festival, Sustaintability Day at the Lexington Farmers' Market, and Lexington Re-Discovery Day on Mass Ave.


At these events, we distributed locally grown seed from several species of native plants. For more information about those species and how to grow them, click here.

Self-guided garden tour: A Meadow Designed to Brighten Up a Sidewalk summer through frost, daylight hours

Read local landscape designer Holly Samuels' account of planning, creating, and maintaining a private meadow garden over the past three years here--and then go visit it! The garden runs along the sidewalk in front of the owner's house and can be easily viewed & appreciated from there.

Anna Fialkoff on Gardening for Wildlife in the Autumn and Year-Round October 7, 2021.

How to balance beauty, wildlife value, and your garden workload. To watch a recording of this event, click here.

Pollinator Week 2021 photo album June 21-27, 2021

We invited our community members to share their photos of local pollinators in action. The contributions were many and beautiful. Enjoy the album here.

Partridge Pea Seeds April 19-May 2, 2021

Many of you picked up seed Partridge Pea seed packets to try out in your home gardens.


Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) is an annual plant native to most of the eastern U.S. It grows to about 2' high, with an abundance of cheery yellow flowers in the latter half of the summer that are magnets for bees. Many native plant gardeners like it as a “bridge” plant, helping suppress weeds and fill in spaces between perennials until the latter become well established. For more information and planting instructions, click here.

Our First Native Plant Sale April-May, 2021

The Pollinator Plant Kits we sold in collaboration with the Lexington Conservation Department were very popular. All 1200 plants were sold and planted in gardens throughout Lexington and nearby towns! We offered four species, chosen for bloom time and attractiveness to pollinators: Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders), Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot), Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (narrow-leaved mountain-mint), and Solidago caesia (blue-stemmed goldenrod). Grown at a certified organic native perennial farm in New Hampshire, they arrived as robust, healthy young plants.


Thank you to Amber Carr, Lexington's Conservation Coordinator, for her leadership; the Conservation Commission, for fronting the funds to order the plants; and to DPW staff for their vital logistical support. We hope to hold another sale next spring. For more ideas on sourcing native plants for your garden, take a look at our Where to Buy Plants page.

Chip Osborne on "Organic Lawn Care" March 25, 2021.

To watch a recording of this event, click here. For more resources, including books and websites, see our Green Lawn Care page under Resources for Homeowners.

See also our list of green landscapers working in Lexington.

Robert Gegear on “More than just the buzz: Using native plant-pollinator systems as a tool for biodiversity conservation” Part of the Lexington Nature Speaker Series. February 25, 2021.

To watch a recording of this event, click here. Resources referenced during the talk include Dr. Gegear's guide to native bumblebees and his list of native plant species that support them.


To help you find these plants, see the Metrowest Conservation Alliance’s Where to Find Plants from Dr. Gegear’s Plant List.

Doug Tallamy on "Nature's Best Hope" January 28, 2021.

To watch a recording of this event, click here.

For inspiration on what to do next or how to get started, check out our suggestions.

So many great questions were asked during the Question and Answer period, there wasn't time to address them all live. We have since compiled them into three groups by topic (plants, insects & birds, and management) and asked our in house experts to share their knowledge and suggestions:

  1. Plants

  2. Insects and Birds

  3. Management