Adult Education

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a community resource for education, offering a variety of learning opportunities including lectures, classes, workshops, and tours of our living collections and historical landscape. Join us as we explore the biology and horticulture of woody plants, and delve into topics related to Earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history, the environment, conservation biology, and key social issues associated with current science.

Featured Programs

With Mary: The Audubon of Botany


Marjorie G. Jones, JD, MA, Biographer

1 Session: Wednesday, July 13, 7:00–8:15pm

Known as the “Audubon of Botany,” Philadelphia, Quaker Mary Morris Vaux Walcott (1860–1940) was a gifted artist whose stunning watercolors comprise a catalog of North American wildflowers. Walcott was catapulted to the highest levels of society and national politics by a late and bold marriage to the secretary of the Smithsonian. Along with an early (1887) transcontinental travelogue, never-before published correspondence with fellow Quaker and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, and Commissioner Mary Walcott’s reports for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Marjorie Jones’ biography reveals rich intersections of history, religion, politics, women’s studies, science, and art during the transformative times in which Walcott lived. Enjoy this talk accompanied by exquisite images of Walcott’s paintings. Also view the exhibition by the New England Society of Botanical Artists, on display (July 8–September 11) in the Hunnewell Building lecture hall.
Fee Free members, $5 nonmember
Register at or call 617.384.5277.

Presented jointly by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Friends of Wellesley College Botanic Gardens, and New England Wild Flower Society


Drought-Tolerant Plants for the Dog Days of Summer

Jen Kettell

Drought-Tolerant Plants for the Dog Days of Summer

Jen Kettell,Arborist and Horticultural Educator
1 Session: Wednesday, July 27, 6:30–8:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

When the dog days of summer hit, many of us are faced with water bans that limit our ability to water our lush gardens. We find ourselves carefully monitoring the water level in rain barrels and hoping for the next rainfall. What if we started to incorporate plants that just need less water? In this lecture, Jen Kettell will share the effects of drought on woody plants and describe plant adaptations for dealing with drought. Most importantly, she will introduce you to a new palette of plant material that will decrease your water use while increasing species diversity and beauty in your home landscape.

Fee $25 member, $35 nonmember Register at or call 617-384-5277.


Tree Mob: Endless Watermelons


Endless Watermelons

Endless watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and zucchini are ubiquitous signs of an American summer. How did that happen? Most of the foods in our diet, including the aforementioned summer staples, are recently introduced species that are not native to the Americas. In this Tree Mob, we will consider the geographic and evolutionary origins of our favorite food plants and the changes that occur in certain plant traits during the process of plant domestication. Then, we’ll discuss what the recent human-mediated movement of so many species of plants around the world means in an ecological context. Meet with Lori Shapiro of the Pierce Lab at Harvard University in the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden at Acc. # 332-84*B, Vitis vinifera x amurensis ‘Beihong’ on Wednesday, June 29 at 6:00pm.