Lecture Series

The Vollmer Center
Cylburn Arboretum
4915 Greenspring Ave.
Baltimore, MD.21209

Members are required to show a current MEMBERSHIP CARD for free admission to lectures
Guest of members also receive free admisiion
Admission for non-member is $10
For more information call:410-821-5561
E-mail Programs

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013


Plant Sale and Seed Swap 6:30 - 7:15
at the entrance to the Vollmer. For members and paying guest

“Breaking the Rules: Ecological Landscape Design and Traditional Horticulture”

Ecological or natural landscape design means more than simply expanding the conventional design palette to the use of native plants.  Based on the observation of how plants develop in nature, new design, implementation, and management techniques emerge, many of which are diametrically opposed to traditional horticultural practices. This presentation examines how alternative approaches on everything from selecting, arranging, and spacing plants to the simple act of weeding can yield more easily maintained landscapes that express the beauty and ecological richness of our native landscapes and native flora.

LARRY WEANER has been creating native landscapes since 1977. His firm Larry Weaner Landscape Associates has a national reputation for combining ecological restoration with the traditions of fine garden design. In 2008 the firm received the top three design awards from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, and the firm’s work has been profiled by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Garden Design, and American Gardener, among other publications. Larry is an active guest lecturer and instructor for horticultural and environmental organizations throughout the United States, and his landscapes and gardens have been toured by numerous organizations, including The Garden Conservancy, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and the American Horticultural Society. In 1990, he founded New Directions in the American Landscape, an educational programming series with a national following amongst landscape professionals.

PLANT SWAP 6:30 - 7:15
Start dividing plants and collecting seeds from your garden to share at our annual plant and seed swap that will take place in front of the Vollmer Center prior to the September meeting. Collected seeds should be stored in labeled sealed envelopes, and plants should be in clean containers clearly labeled with botanical name.  This is a one for one swap.

OCTOBER 8, 2013

This program in memory of Sid Silber

John Lonsdale
"Woodland Treasures"

John will discuss some of the choice and beautiful woodland plants that he grows at Edgewood Gardens, his family's 1.7-acre garden in southeastern Pennsylvania (USDA Zone 6b).  Plants to be shown include large and small species of bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, herbaceous perennials and small trees and shrubs suitable for a variety of site conditions.  Primary flowering periods are February   through July and September through November. 
At its peak in April and May, the woodland garden at Edgewood provides spectacular color as well as the more subdued greens and silvers of the "quieter" but no less valuable plants.  The presentation will focus on methods for successful cultivation and propagation by division or seed.  Genera discussed include Trillium, Helleborus, Hepatica, Erythronium, Cypripedium, Epimedium, Cyclamen, Corydalis, Asarum, Anemonella, Arisaema and Phlox.  Photographs of many of his woodland treasures can be found at the Web site:  www.edgewoodgardens.net

John Lonsdale grew up in Sheffield, England and moved to the U.S. in 1995.  He has developed a remarkable garden and plant collection in the genera listed above.  He has been active as a participant and lecturer in many horticultural organizations including the Alpine Garden Society, the Daphne Society, the Cyclamen Society and the North American Rock Garden Society.  Lonsdale holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and works in the pharmaceutical industry to discover novel antibiotics.  He lives in Exton, Penn. with his wife and three daughters.

                                                                                                                                              Cyclamen coum

NOVEMBER 12, 2013


Donald Hyatt

"America's Treasure: Our Native Azaleas"

The rich flora of North America boasts seventeen species of native deciduous azaleas.  Although some have been cultivated widely in Europe and used in hybridizing since the 1800’s, these native azaleas are becoming increasingly valued as adaptable landscape plants in our own country.

 Don Hyatt will share his appreciation for the range of flower color and form of our native azaleas as they exist in the wild. He will discuss tips on how to tell the species apart as well as specific cultural requirements to assist home gardeners. 

Donald Hyatt has been gardening at his family home in McLean, VA, since early childhood. . For nearly 20 years, he has focused much of his free time documenting the beauty and diversity of North American azalea and rhododendron populations.

DECEMBER 10, 2013


Sponsored by

Ben Flanner    CANCELED

"The Many Hats of Rooftop Farming"

Imagine two acres of rooftop gardens in Brooklyn, N.Y. producing vegetables.  This successful business venture and urban adventure was co-founded by Ben Flanner, who will share the story of the world’s largest rooftop farm—Brooklyn Grange.

Ben Flanner /vimeo


January Plant Forum - January 26, 2014
HSM-PPA Winter Seminar - February 22, 2014


MARCH 11, 2014

"Phalaenopsis Orchids and Beyond"

One of the easiest orchids to grow, Phalaenopsis has become so popular in recent years that it’s now commonplace in grocery and hardware stores. Riley will share over fifty years of experience with these and other orchids that thrive under similar conditions.

Clark Riley has been an active orchid grower since 1957. At the age of six, he got his first plant, a Cypripedium pubescens from a perennial nursery. The plant died a miserable death in a short time, but not before blooming and cementing a love of orchids that has lasted over half a century. He has labored ever since to make amends by promoting the sound cultivation of Cypripedia. He grows a wide range of orchids, including several thousand terrestrials, hardy species, and ladyslippers, Brazilian Laelias, and specialty Phalaenopsis, often from seed. He was the producer of a book and CD of Proceeding of the North American Native Terrestrial Orchid Conference. He is a member of the Maryland Orchid Society, the American Orchid Society, the International Phalaenopsis Alliance, and a frequent contributor to the Orchid List Digest. He can be reached at drriley@aol.com or visit his web site at http://cyps.us.

APRIL 8, 2014


"Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot"

Dr. Crane, former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will explore the history of the Ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline and ultimate resurgence. He will also highlight the cultural and social significance of the Ginkgo.

Professor Crane’s work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. From 1992 to 1999 he was director of the Field Museum in Chicago with overall responsibility for the museum’s scientific programs. From 1999 to 2006 he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Crane was elected to the Royal Society (the U.K. academy of sciences) in 1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina. He was knighted in the U.K. for services to horticulture and conservation in 2004. He currently serves on the Boards of the the Field Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. He is also a Distinguished Counsellor to the Board of the New York Botanical Garden.  His new book, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot was released on March 4, 2013. Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, he explores the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees.


Book Sale and signing: Ginkgo:The Tree That Forgot Time


MAY 13, 2014






"The Beauty of French Gardens Revealed "

On her most recent garden journey, Simon visits France to discover the beauty and meaning of French gardens. Her well-illustrated talk will take us “dans le jardin” to explore not only the splendid gardens of the past but also some of the most vibrant French gardens of today.

Paula Adelsberger Simon graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from MICA where began her career teaching Illustration. During this time her focus turned to graphic design and she attained the position of art director for Baltimore Magazine. In 1985 she started her own company, Highmeadow Design, specializing in design for marketing and communications for institutions and corporations in the Baltimore area. Her further studies in landscape design lead to numerous recreational trail development projects. Paula has applied her talents to the local horticultural community through her work for the Horticultural Society of Maryland and the Rawlings Conservatory. As a personal artistic pursuit Paula has traveled across Europe and Japan to discover and photograph gardens, returning home to share her artistic and cultural impressions of these garden journeys through her illustrated talks.

Before the May 13th program, in the Vollmer Center Circle driveway
FOR The Parks & People Foundation.  This was our third year participating in the drive
which provides tools that are housed in “libraries” for loan to gardeners in Baltimore City.

Sunday, June1, 2014

Annual Garden Tour

Fall 2014
Lecture Series