2018 Convention – Trips

Gesneriads POP in New England!
July 3 to July 7, 2018

Several plant-filled trips are planned for the days leading up to Convention 2018, and you won’t want to miss them!

On Monday, July 2, we’ll have a combined tour of Garden in the Woods, the greenhouses of Bob and Dee Stewart, and Russell’s Garden Center. Everyone on the tours will see all three, but we’ll divide into two smaller groups to make the greenhouse tours at the Stewarts more manageable. As the first half-group visits with Bob and Dee at their home, the second half will tour Garden in the Woods. We’ll rejoin at Garden in the Woods for a scrumptious boxed lunch, then reverse the tours so that the morning Garden in the Woods group gets to visit at the Stewarts. After joining up again, we’ll ride together a short distance to visit Russell’s Garden Center, then return to the hotel. Here are some details about Monday’s tour sites:

Bob and Dee Stewart are avid plant people and extremely knowledgeable about the many gesneriad species, begonias, orchids and other plants that they grow in their spectacular greenhouses, including one section that was created to specifically grow gesneriads that demand cooler temperatures. Please note that the greenhouse is not wheelchair accessible and the bathroom requires climbing up a set of stairs.

Garden in the Woods is home to the New England Wild Flower Society, the nation’s oldest conservation organization. There are more than 1,000 plant species native to New England on display in a 45-acre naturalistic setting. You will be able to stroll along the paths to various smaller gardens within the large garden, catch a turtle enjoying the warmth of the sun at the lily pond, see various pitcher plants in the bog area, or enjoy the New England Garden of Rare and Endangered Plants. A group walking tour led by a staff guide will be available. For those who need mobility assistance, an optional golf-cart tour is available that can accommodate up to 5 people.

Russell’s Garden Center started as a farm market in 1876 and developed into a wholesale business delivering vegetables and flowers to Boston’s Haymarket Square. Family owned and operated, it is now one of the largest garden centers in the region. We’ll have time to visit the indoor and outdoor plant areas and browse through Russell’s many unique shops before we head back to the hotel.

On Tuesday, July 3, there will be two half-day trips: A morning trip to Logee’s Greenhouses (about a one hour bus trip, but worth the ride), and afternoon trips for one or two groups to visit the Stewarts depending on the number who register for the tour. William D. Logee started Logee’s Greenhouse in Danielson, Connecticut, in 1892. Originally focused on cut flowers, Logee quickly expanded to tropical and unusual plants. By the 1900s, Logee’s had become a well-known supplier of begonias, gesneriads, herbs, tropicals and house plants, including many unusual varieties. Byron Martin, one of the current owners and descendant of William, will be our guide, giving us an inside view of the
many greenhouses, including some not normally open to the public. Note: Access can be difficult for folks with limited mobility and/or with wheelchairs. Some of the retail space is not wheelchair accessible.

On Saturday, July 7, a delicious New England Seafood Bake at the Dolphin Restaurant caps off a great convention week. Join old and new friends as we feast on a menu that includes a raw bar (oysters, clams and shrimp), clam chowder, steamed lobster (bib provided!), steamed mussels, grilled breast of chicken with herb marinade, corn on the cob, baked potato, garden salad, coffee or tea, and apple pie and ice cream. A vegetarian plated dinner option is also available. A cash bar will be open.

Phyllis Savage ~ Local Convention Chair

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