Pre-registration is required. A Zoom option is available for all programs.

A Month On Mt. Desert, 1855: Revisiting The Tracy Log Book
John Taylor
Thursday, July 11 at 4:00 pm
Exhibit opening to follow at 5:00pm
Garland Farm

$10 members / $20 non-members / free for students
Discounted admission also applies to members of the

Mount Desert Island Historical Society

John Bigelow Taylor is a photographer and publisher. He lives with his partner, Dianne Dubler, in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. Together they have produced the photography for over 300 books. Mr. Taylor is the great-great-grandson of Charles Tracy, who along with Frederic Church and 26 others visited Mt. Desert in the summer of 1855. The Tracy party, as it was known, is often cited as the first summer visitors to the island. Charles Tracy’s diary – what he called his Log Book – recounts the visit in wonderful detail. The diary, now in the Morgan Library, was enhanced with a charming series of 19 cartoons created by Church – no doubt to entertain young members of the party on a rainy Somesville day.

The originals, which remain in the Tracy family’s archives, have been reproduced in a large format to be displayed for 2 years at Garland Farm. Mr. Taylor will discuss the Log Book and its history of publication including the 1997 edition, edited by Anne Mazlish, and a new forthcoming edition.

Click here to pre-register (required).


Planting Fields: A Country Place and Its Makers
The Beatrix Farrand Society Annual Lecture
Witold Rybcznski
Thursday, August 8 at 4:00 pm

Holy Family Chapel, Seal Harbor
Free admission

The Country Place Era is a landscape history term that refers to the period from about 1890 to 1930 when wealthy Americans built country estates that were noted for their exceptional houses and gardens. Planting Fields, on Long Island’s North Shore, is both exemplary and unusual. Unlike most country places, this was not the result of a concentrated building campaign but of a three decade evolution that involved two sets of owners, two separate houses, three architects, four landscape architects, and several artistic talents, each reinforcing and expanding the work of their predecessors.

Witold Rybczynski is the author of more than twenty books, including an award-winning biography of Frederick Law Olmsted. His latest is The Story of Architecture which the New York Times Book Review called an “expansive account that traces the influence of social, technological, and economic shifts on architecture across the centuries.” He is an emeritus professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon
Melissa Sevigny
Thursday, August 22 at 4:00pm

Garland Farm
$10 members / $20 non-members / free for students

Melissa Sevigny will join us virtually for this program, which will be live-streamed in the barn at Garland Farm.

In the summer of 1938, botanists Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter set off to run the Colorado River, accompanied by an ambitious and entrepreneurial expedition leader, a zoologist, and two amateur boatmen. With its churning waters and treacherous boulders, the Colorado was famed as the most dangerous river in the world. Journalists and veteran river runners boldly proclaimed that the motley crew would never make it out alive. But for Clover and Jotter, the expedition held a tantalizing appeal: no one had yet surveyed the plant life of the Grand Canyon, and they were determined to be the first. Through the vibrant letters and diaries of the two women, science journalist Melissa L. Sevigny traces their daring forty-three-day journey down the river, during which they meticulously cataloged the thorny plants that thrived in the Grand Canyon’s secret nooks and crannies.

Melissa L. Sevigny is a science reporter and author of three books, most recently Brave the Wild River (W.W. Norton, 2023), which won the National Outdoor Book Award for history. She’s worked as a science communicator in the fields of space exploration, water policy, and sustainable agriculture. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Click here to pre-register (required).


The Next Century of Stewardship at Dumbarton Oaks
Jonathan Kavalier
Thursday, August 29 at 4:00 pm

Neighborhood House, Northeast Harbor
$10 members / $20 non-members / free for students

Jonathan Kavalier has served as Director of Gardens and Grounds at Dumbarton Oaks since 2018, and has spent the past 24 years working in public garden management and horticulture in the Washington DC area and abroad. Jonathan will offer a virtual exploration of Dumbarton Oaks as he shares the design history and management over the past century, along with contemporary guiding principles that are influencing future stewardship preservation priorities. He will present challenges and opportunities that come with historical gardening in a 21st century context, and highlight some of the work the gardeners at Dumbarton Oaks are pursuing to ensure its preservation and relevance in the next century. Jonathan is the editor of the revised Beatrix Farrand’s Plant Book of Dumbarton Oaks (2022). A book sale and signing will follow the program.

Click here to pre-register (required).


The Art of the Seed
K Greene, Hudson Valley Seed Company
Thursday, September 5 at 4:00pm

Garland Farm
$10 members / $20 non-members / free for students

Hudson Valley Seed Company is known not only for their beautiful seeds, but also for their wonderful packaging. Each year, the company commissions contemporary artists from around the United States to tell the story of a particular seed variety. That art and those seeds combine to create an Art Pack, a unique celebration of the diverse stories of seeds and their stewards. Greene, creative director and company co-founder, will discuss the artistic value of seeds, plants, and the stories surrounding them. A full display of seeds from Hudson Valley will be available for sale after the talk.

Click here to pre-register (required).


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Directions to Garland Farm

GPS Address:

475 Bay View Drive

Bar Harbor, ME 04609

+44° 25′ 43.81″, -68° 19′ 25.22″

Garland Farm is located on Route 3 on Mount Desert Island. From the island bridge, go east toward Bar Harbor for approximately 2 miles and turn left on Bay View Drive. Turn left into the parking area in the field and follow footpath to barn.

From downtown Bar Harbor, go north on Route 3 passing Hadley Point Road (about 7 miles). Continue .7 miles, turn right on Bay View Drive, then left into the parking area. Do not park on Bay View Drive.

Accessible parking is available with advance notice. Please call 207-288-0237.

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