2014 Programs

Homestead garden
Homestead Garden

Garden Days
Sunday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Join us for our annual celebration of Emily Dickinson's love of gardening!


Sunday, June 8, 5:30-7:30 pm
Monday, June 9, 9 am to noon AND 5:30-7:30 pm
Tuesday, June 10, 9 am to noon AND 5:30-7:30 pm
Wednesday, June 11, 9 am to noon

Take part in one of Emily Dickinson’s favorite pastimes—gardening! Join us for our annual effort to prepare the Museum’s historic grounds for summer.   Volunteers with all levels of experience are welcome to plant, weed, and beautify under the direction of landscape historian, Marta McDowell, author of Emily Dickinson’s Gardens. To sign up, please contact Lucy Abbott, program coordinator, at labbott@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or 413-542-2034.


Family Garden Day
Sunday, June 8, 1-4 pm

Emily Dickinson would be delighted to see her garden filled with children!  Join us for an afternoon of gardening activities for all ages.  Our featured events include a children’s garden tour at 1:30 pm and a historic garden tour at 2:30 pm led by Marta McDowell.  McDowell will also sign copies of her new book Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life.  Visitors are also invited to start their own herbarium, just as Dickinson did as a young girl.


Afternoon Reflections

Monday, June 9, 1-4 pm
Tuesday, June 10, 1-4 pm

Experience the garden as a place of reflection and creative inspiration.  Visitors are invited to read, to write, to sketch or paint (please bring your own art supplies) while enjoying the beauty of the Museum grounds.


Garden Celebration

Wednesday, June 11, 3-5 pm
A pottery demonstration by Guy Wolff, Master Potter in the Garden, and a reception for volunteers

Garden Week concludes with a demonstration by master potter Guy Wolff, who specializes in crafting historic flower pots.  We’ll also recognize our hard-working volunteers with a thank-you reception. Come see what they’ve accomplished!  

About Marta McDowell

Marta McDowell
Marta McDowell

Marta McDowell lives, gardens and writes in Chatham, New Jersey. She teaches landscape history and gardening at the New York Botanical Garden, where she was named “Instructor of the Year” in 2011. Her book, Emily Dickinson’s Gardens, was published by McGraw-Hill in 2005, and she was an advisor for the New York Botanical Garden’s 2010 show. Her latest book, Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life, was published by Timber Press in last fall. Marta is active in the Chatham Community Garden and is on the board of the NJ Historical Foundation at the Cross Estate in Bernardsville.  Her husband, Kirke Bent, summarizes her biography as “I am therefore I dig.”

About Guy Wolff:

From material for a 2013 book on Guy Wolff, Guy Wolff: Master Potter in the Garden, by Suzanne Staubach:
“If you mention Guy Wolff to a serious gardener, that gardener will almost certainly admit to either owning a Guy Wolff flowerpot or coveting one. Wolff’s pots—some small and perfect for a sunny windowsill, others massive and just right for a favorite outdoor spot—are widely considered to be the epitome of gardenware. Their classical proportions, simple decoration, and the marks of Wolff’s hands all combine to make plants look their best. His pots possess an honesty and liveliness that machine-made flowerpots lack.

“In gardening circles, Guy Wolff is a highly revered horticultural icon; gardeners flock to his lectures and demonstrations. His work also appeals to lovers of design and fine arts: visit the personal gardens of landscape designers, and you will see Guy Wolff pots. Step inside the gates of estate gardens, and you will see Guy Wolff pots. Yet he is a potter’s potter. He’s a big ware thrower, a skill few have today. He thinks deeply about what he calls the architecture of pots and the importance of handmade objects in our lives.”