Past Event resources 

Watch recordings of lectures we've hosted, and descriptions of community events we've organized.

Event Recordings

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:

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. 

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 Organic Lawn Care page under Resources for Homeowners. 

See also our list of green landscapers working in Lexington.

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.

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

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:

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.

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.


Additional resources provided by Dr. Cratsley:

What Every Homeowner Should Know about their trees November 14, 2022


In our most co-sponsored event to date (Along with our usual hosting partner, Cary Memorial Library, this event was co-sponsored by the Lexington Tree Committee, Lexington Friends of Trees, Trees Medford, Newton Tree Conservancy, Speak for the Trees, Wellesley Natural Resources Commission, and Weston Tree Advisory Group), Aborists Stephen Vernon of Harrison McPhee Inc. and Greg Mosman of Barrett Tree Service East Inc. discussed a variety of topics related to tree health and value. The conversation was led by LLL's Charlie Wyman and the Lexington Tree Committee's Nancy Sofen. 


To watch a recording of the talk, click here.

Desiree Narango on Landscaping for Birds and Pollinators at Home December 6, 2022

Co-Presented with the Massachusetts Pollinator Network.

To watch a recording of the talk, click here.

David Bloniarz on Beyond Beauty: Establishing the Value of Urban and Suburban Trees January 11, 2023

David Bloniarz, research scientist with the USDA Forest Service, examined many ways in which trees in urban and suburban landscapes improve our neighborhoods and quality of life. He described scientific methods that can be used to determine the benefits of trees and calculate a monetary value for these ecosystem services, and demonstrated how to use several i-Tree software tools.  

To watch a recording of the talk, click here.

For a list of follow-up resources with links, including a pdf of the presentation slides, click here.

Dave Goulson on Silent Earth: Saving Our Insects January 21, 2023

Presented along with the Massachusetts Pollinator Network, Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, Mass Audubon, and Cary Memorial Library.


To watch a recording of the talk, click here.

Trevor Smith on Gardening for Wildlife in an Era of Climate Change March 6, 2023

Presented along with Lexington Field and Garden Club and Cary Memorial Library


To watch a recording of the talk, click here.

Amy Meltzer on Gardening With Native Plants, Why and How: Providing Habitat for Pollinators, Birds and Other Essential Wildlife March 18, 2023

Presented along with Cary Memorial Library


To watch a recording of the talk, click here. Additional materials Amy shared, as discussed in the session, can be found here

Nick Dorian on The Secret Lives of Wild Bees June 6, 2023

Presented along with Cary Memorial Library


To watch a recording of the talk, click here


The Tufts Pollinator Initiative that Nick leads contains a wealth of information about bees and pollinator gardens, including the instructions he shared for the right way to leave stems for nesting bees


Nick and his colleague Max McCarthy's bee-watching and identification site can be found here

Community Events

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 Native 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.

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

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. 

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.

Our Second Native Plant Sale April-May, 2022

 

All 112 Native Plant Kits we made available in collaboration with the Lexington Conservation Department 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 funds; the Recreation Department, for facilitating the online sales; and to DPW staff for their logistical support. For more ideas on sourcing native plants for your garden, take a look at our Where to Buy Plants page.

Where did all the plants end up? We asked people who bought plant kits in either 2021 or 2022 to share where they planted their plants. 60 people responded, which represents almost half of the people who bought kits. The map shows how the plants are distributed around town. Some neighborhoods have quite a few! 

We'll to add to this map in 2023.

Lexington locations where kits purchased in 2021 & 2022 have been planted.

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.

Lexington No Mow May map

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:

Community Conversation About Lawns October 2022


Homeowners are rethinking their lawns. Is a beautiful green carpet of grass worth the time, money, and environmental impact it entails? A monoculture of non-native turf grasses – the centerpiece of suburban landscapes for decades – offers little benefit to wildlife, and the water, fertilizers, and pesticides applied to lawns come with a significant environmental cost. Forty Lexington homeowners came together to explore options, ranging from more environmentally friendly methods of tending traditional lawns, to converting them to native ground covers, or to ripping them up and putting in more complex, native plant landscapes.

Our Third Native Plant Sale March-May, 2023

 

All the native plants we made available in collaboration with the Lexington Conservation Department sold out well ahead of the May 13 pick up date! We offered both sun kits (50 kits sold, containing 3 plants each of pussytoes, rose milkweed, scarlet bee balm, and purple coneflower) and shade kits (65 kits sold, containing 3 plants each of wild columbine, Jacob's ladder, hairy beardtongue, and wild geranium), and new this year a la carte offerings: 30 each sold of common wood sedge and St. John's Wort. 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..

 

In addition, Holly Samuels, who oversees the Lexington's Native Plant Nursery, brought numerous young plants for sale including: Echinacea pallida (pale coneflower), Penstemon hirsutus (northeastern beardtongue), Allium cernuum (nodding onion), and Pycnanthemum incanum (hoary mountain mint). Most of these sold out as well!


A great many native plants are being added planted througout Lexington.


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

Our Second Open Gardens Day September 2022

 

We got lucky with the weather in this otherwise rainy year. On a beautiful Saturday, 14 homeowners and garden designers made private home gardens available to visit and ask questions. 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 those who hosted this year's many enthusiastic and curious visitors. 


A reminder: You can visit our two demonstration gardens: the Bikeway Pollinator Meadow and the Hastings Park Garden, where you will find plant labels and other informative signage, on any day of the year.