NESBA Exhibits at the Newport Flower Show.

A NESBA members’ juried exhibit at the 2018 Newport Flower Show took place at Rosecliff Mansion in Newport RI on Friday June 22  thru Sunday June 24, 2018.

Members Maria Bablyak, Celeste Hurley and Rita Edmunds, and Irene as well as exhibit chair Joan Pierce helped to set up the exhibit in the beautiful "summer cottage" in Newport.

Plan Ahead for next summer's NESBA exhibit at Fruitlands Musum- Shaker Plants

List for seeds, Shaker herbs and medicinal herbs

Miller, Amy Bess, Shaker Medicinal Herbs; A Compendium of History Lore and Uses: Published in Association with Hancock Shaker Village.

Shaker Herbs and Seeds
Fruitlands Museum
Harvard, MA

Fruitlands Museum, Harvard, MA

Fruitlands Museum, founded in 1914 by Clara Endicott Sears, takes its name from an experimental utopian community led by Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane which took place on this site in 1843. Recently, Fruitlands became a Trustees of Reservations site.
The Fruitlands campus includes:

· The Fruitlands Farmhouse, the site of the experiment in communal living led by Alcott and Lane in 1843
· The Shaker Museum, the first Shaker museum in the country and home to the largest archive of Harvard Shaker documents in the world, housed in an historic building moved here from the Harvard Shaker community.
· The Native American Museum, which houses a significant collection of artifacts that honor the spiritual presence and cultural history of the first Americans including New England Native culture and a survey of culture in the Plains, Southwest and Northwest.
· The Art Museum, including a collection of over 100 Hudson River School landscape paintings and over 230 nineteenth century vernacular portraits, the second largest collection in the country along with a variety of rotating exhibits throughout the year.
· The Wayside Visitor Center, exhibiting information on Fruitlands’ landscape and environment and providing classroom space for education programs and classes.

About the Shakers:
After the Shakers arrived in the United States in 1774, they established numerous communities in the late-18th century through the entire 19th century. The first villages organized in Upstate New York and the New England states. Communities of Shakers were governed by area bishoprics and within the communities individuals were grouped into "family" units and worked together to manage daily activities. The Shakers peaked in population by the early 1850s. With the turmoil of the American Civil War and subsequent Industrial Revolution, Shakerism went into severe decline.

The Shakers’ heavenly desires guided their earthly economic pursuits. In their many industries, the Shakers emphasized cleanliness, order, hard work, ingenuity and quality. The outside world soon began to recognize the superiority of Shaker fruits, vegetables, herbal medicines, brooms, cheese, candies, hand-crafted boxes, woven cloth, straw bonnets, buttons, buckles, leather, barrels, bricks, lead pipes and furniture. Although they never intended to make large profits, Shaker goods and services became an economic boon for the communes.

Seed Production:
The Shakers were avid gardeners who saved the best seeds to cultivate the following year. Historian D. A. Buckingham states that Joseph Turner of Watervliet is the first known Shaker to package seeds for sale, making him the first American seed salesman. The Watervliet Shakers were the first people in the United States to sell garden seeds commercially. About this same time the Shaker community at New Lebanon began selling their surplus seeds. Shakers also did this at Canterbury, New Hampshire, and Hancock, Massachusetts as well as in other locations. The Shakers introduced the innovation of placing tiny seeds in small paper envelopes bearing printed planting instructions for best results as well as storage and sometimes cooking suggestions. The Shakers were the first to use paper envelope-style packets as a strategy to sell and distribute seeds.

Herb and Medicinal Plant Industry
Many patients started avoiding conventional doctors, fearful of the treatment they might receive, and turned to local “root and herb” doctors who had studied with Native American healers and learned to use native medicinal plants in their practices along with traditional European herbs. Several major books about native medicinal plants were published and some became best-sellers. This was very important to the Shakers and to the growth of their medicinal herb industry. The Shakers themselves weren’t responsible for prescribing or dispensing herbs. Their business was to produce what the doctor ordered, and by the mid-1800s doctors were ordering hundreds of different herbs.

The Shakers sold tins of dried culinary herbs such as sage, summer savory, sweet marjoram, and thyme and the seeds of caraway, cayenne pepper, clary sage, coriander, dill, fennel, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, pot marigold, rosemary, rue, sweet basil and others. They were most famous, however, not for their culinary herbs nor for their herb seeds but for their extensive line of medical herb products.

In the early years of the nineteenth century all Shaker communities collected herbs for their own use. It wasn’t until 1820 that the herb business took off, continuing through the century. Shakers sold hundreds of kinds of dried herbs, herb extracts, herb oils and herbal patent medicines, earning an income that rivaled or exceeded that of their horticultural specialty, vegetable seeds.

Shaker Plants:

A Peek into History: Shaker Herbs - Mother Earth Living
-great plant list

"If you would have a lovely garden, you should live a lovely life." —Shaker saying

Glorianna Davenport, owner of Tidmarsh Farms speaks to NESBA members

Glorianna Davenport Co Founder of the MIT Media Lab and owner of Tidmarsh Farms gave a talk on restoration of the working cranberry farm into the largest freshwater ecological project in the northeast.

Tidmarsh is a 600-acre property near Plymouth, Massachusetts. After over a century as a large operational cranberry farm, Tidmarsh is now being restored to natural wetland. Researchers in the Media Lab's group Responsive Elements Lab are developing sensor networks that document ecological processes and allow people to experience the data at different spatial and temporal scales. Small, distributed, low-power sensor devices capture climate, soil, water, and other environmental data, while others stream audio from high in the trees and underwater. Visit any time from dawn till dusk and again after midnight; if you're lucky you might just catch an April storm, a flock of birds, or an army of frogs.

Members were enthusiastic about the program:

"In these times when the environment is under constant assault, it is heartening to hear about an amazing effort to help our planet, using sound science and impressive partnerships."
Kathy Cade

"Glorianna's informative talk on the restoration of an area of old cranberry bog to hopefully healthy waterways and it's environment is an ambitious project! It is fascinating on so many levels, and it will be interesting to see if some of the information from the project can be useful to other local bog owners as they face the future of cranberry growing in Massachusetts."
Lucy Sur

To me the most interesting part was the whole idea of restoring the area into a natural habitat, instead of developing the land into a mall or housing. We need to protect nature." 
Jitka Persinov

After the program members met at Tidmarsh Farm for a day of sketching and painting.

Artist Linda Karlsberg talks to NESBA members about her work

Members attending give their thoughts on her presentation:

"Linda Karlsberg's presentation on Saturday was terrific. Her method of investigating the effects of light on well-defined subjects, as she illustrated with her extensive series of beautiful water lily and lotus paintings, was clearly presented and inspiring. "
Pamela Harrington

"Linda's blossom and leaf images were set within the larger context of three dimensions of the water on which the leaves are floating."
Deborah Cassady

"The backgrounds (habitats) used in Linda's compositions contributed significantly to making her water lily blossoms shine and pop."
Celeste Hurley

"All of Linda's work was beauriful, but I was particularly impressed with and inspired by her use of the total canvas, to frame a river/pond scene with plant closeups. Something that has been done but infrequently in our more traditional botanical art. Think Esther Klahne's pond painting, and Kathy Miranda's work. "
Rita Edmunds

Two NESBA members show at the Arnold Arboretum, Boston, MA

Impressions of Woody Plants:
Disjunction, Two Artists, and the Arnold Arboretum

Copper Etchings by Bobbi Angell and Watercolor Paintings by Beverly Duncan
May 11 – July 22, 2018
Opening Reception, Saturday, May 19, 1:00-3:00pm

Workshop with the Artists, Saturday, June 9, 1:00-3:00pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

The word disjunction, defined as the relationship between two distinct alternatives, can be applied to botanical artists Bobbi Angell and Beverly Duncan: their media--copper and watercolor, their plant focuses--exotic and native, their backgrounds--botany and art. In the end though, as in this Arnold Arboretum exhibition, it is all about the wonder of woody plants, and the artists' approaches to creating images. Angell is attracted to unusual, cultivated specimens due to her long history working with botanists and horticulturalists. Her subjects, all Asian natives, several of which were introduced into cultivation by the Arboretum, represent the remarkable history of plant collecting around the world. All can be found in the collections of the Arboretum. Her drawings are developed into finely crafted copper etchings, which are then printed in limited editions. Duncan is drawn to the familiarity of native plants. She translates the common and recognizable into intimate portraits in detailed watercolor paintings.Her sketches capture the various stages in the life of a native plant. For this exhibition, Duncan focused on paintings of seedlings, the delicate early life of a tree or shrub. All her subjects can also be found as mature trees on the grounds of the Arnold Arboretum. Bobbi Angell has been drawing plants since 1978, illustrating floras, monographs, and new species for botanists at The New York Botanical Garden, Harvard University, and Smithsonian Institution. Drawing herbarium specimens has been the focus of her work. Angell's copper plate etchings reflect her interest in fine detail. They have allowed her a satisfying and natural extension of her compositional style. Beverly Duncan is an award-winning botanical artist, the first to receive Best in Show at the annual exhibition of the Horticultural Society in New York and the American Society of Botanical Artists. Her work is in corporate and private collections around the world. Duncan exhibited and received recognition at the 2014 royal Horticultural Exhibit in London. She teaches Botanical Drawing and Painting classes, and has illustrated commissions for numerous books and magazines.

Note - The Hunnewell lecture hall is used for programs, classes, and other events. Please call 617 384-5209 for accessibility.

Free, no registration required

The New England Society of Botanical Artists Exhibit at the Boston Flower and Garden Show

Savor Spring

200 Seaport Blvd
Boston, MA

March 14 -18

The annual participation in this show is a highlight event in the NESBA calendar.  The exhibit is open to all members and is always well received by the public.  

Setting up for the Boston Flower Show

March 14-18: Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA 

NESBA members visit the Arnold Arboretum

A fabulous time was had by all on our visit to see the historic botanical pieces from the Arboretum’s library. First greeted by director of the arboretum, William Friedman, and then guided through the collection by librarian Lisa Pierson, we were treated to see works by Hooker, Martuis, Humbolt, Jacquin, Knoop, Catesby, Rousseau and more. Lisa graciously invited any of our NESBA members to book appointments with her to peruse these artifacts.

Calendar of Upcoming NESBA Shows

Boston Flower Show   March 14-18

Subject: any
Intent to Exhibit open now-
Deadline for submission : February 7, 2018

Newport Flower Show June 22-24

Click Subject information:
Call for Entry to Follow
To enter Newport Flower Show, submit digital images to Joyce Westner;

Seasons of the Leaf: Oct 9-Nov 19

Subject: leaves representing a wide variety of genera in any or all seasons
Call for Entry opens in April
Deadline for submission  5/15
Sept 27 deadline for jpg/tif of your work to Kay Kopper