The third annual Anne Allen Memorial Horticultural Lecture will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. March 12 in the Parish Hall of the First Church in Belmont Unitarian Universalist, 404 Concord Ave.
The speaker will be Dr. Michael S. Dosmann, who will share his experience and understanding of plant exploration in “Tales from the Plant Explorer: Adventures in Plant Collecting Around the World.” The lecture is free and honors the gardening legacy of Anne Allen.
Dosmann is Keeper of the Living Collections at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University — one of Earth’s most celebrated temperate woody plant collections. Among his many roles as Keeper is that of a plant explorer, studying species in the wild and making acquisitions to cultivate at the Arboretum for conservation, research and educational purposes. He has conducted numerous expeditions throughout East Asia and North America, and is the 2019 recipient of the David Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. Dosmann is an ardent curation and collections advocate for museums and gardens and also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Public Gardens Association. His talk will focus on the importance of plant exploration today. Plant exploration — going into the wild to document plant diversity — is not just a Victorian Era activity but is very much alive and well in 2020. As a veteran plant explorer, Dosmann uses examples from his own expeditions around the world to compare the historic and modern plant hunter and places these activities in the context of scholarship, global change, and the search for improved garden plants.
Anne Allen was an Honorary Member of the Belmont Garden Club. Like her mother before her, Allen gave the use of the family greenhouse to the Belmont Garden Club. Twelve members on a two-year rotating basis had a bench in the greenhouse for their own use. The “GreenHouse Group” as it came to be known also took care of a bench where members could winter large plants and prepared special group and individual entries for the New England flower show. Many members sharpened their horticultural knowledge and skill working under Allen’s gentle guidance. Allen was also known for helping to initiate and provide guidance to the Chenery Middle School indoor garden. She was active in many civic groups besides the Belmont Garden Club including the Belmont Historical Society, the League of Women Voters and the Belmont Woman’s Club. Allen’s family made a memorial bequest to the Belmont Garden Club to fund a horticultural lecture in her memory. The First Church in Belmont agreed to co-sponsor the event and other memorial gifts and donations have allowed the lecture series to continue as a free event.
There is parking in the church parking lot and on Concord Avenue. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.