SHIRLEY -- Would you like to help protect our precious water resources, while at the same time creating lush, beautiful gardens that attract birds and butterflies?

Join the Gardeners Exchange for "Rain Gardens and More: Beautiful Water-Saving Designs," on Saturday, July 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Hazen Memorial Library.

Guest speaker Dori Smith of Gardens for Life Landscape Design will explain how rain gardens use water flowing from your roof, driveway, or lawn, to take advantage of our natural abundance of rainfall, rather than wasting it as runoff. These gardens are easy to care for, and can often solve problems such as erosion, icy walkways, or wet basements.

Using inspirational PowerPoint slides, she will review design options, construction details, and appropriate native plants. Attendees are welcome to bring photos or descriptions of their own landscapes to use as case studies.

Trained in design and horticulture, with a certificate from Tower Hill Botanic Garden's "New England School of Gardening" and an advanced certificate in native plants from the New England Wildflower Society, Smith is a member of the NEWFS Educational Committee, and is accredited as an Organic Land Care Professional by Northeast Organic Farming Association.

She has installed more than 15 rain gardens in Boston's western suburbs, and has published in the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Sanctuary magazine.


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Beekeeping Basics

On Saturday, Aug.18, the Gardeners Exchange hosts Bethany Dominick, owner of Bethany's Bees in Townsend, for a presentation on The Basics of Beekeeping. The meeting will be held at the Hazen Memorial Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Besides offering an introduction to apiculture, Dominick will share information about the properties of beeswax and honey, and the uses of essential oils. In addition, she will demonstrate how to make lip balms and Dead Sea salt and honey body scrubs, and will share recipes for you to use at home. Many of her products will be on sale at the meeting.

The first half of the meeting will be followed by the Gardeners Exchange's annual members-only container garden contest, for which nonmembers may stay and root for their favorite entries.

The Gardeners Exchange is a community garden club located in North Central Massachusetts. First-time attendees to meetings are not required to join, but membership is encouraged. Annual membership dues are only $15 per individual or $25 per couple. Membership benefits include special garden tours, lectures, hands-on workshops, and spring and fall dividends in the form of perennials and perennial bulbs. Members also receive discounts at many area nurseries and garden centers.

For more information on this and other Gardeners Exchange programs, visit the GE website at http://www.gardeners-exchange.org, or contact Dina Samfield: 978-448-9311.