Staff Picks this Holiday!

Nobody loves nature and the Bartlett more than our staff! Our suggestions are all a little different and truly reflect what we like and enjoy. From our homestead to yours, we wish you a wonderful holiday this season.


Jane von Trapp, CEO

Product: Felco Classic F-2 Pruners

Any gardener will tell you the importance of having a great pruner! As an avid gardener, Jane has been using the Felco Classic F-2 Pruners for years. She swears by this reliable hand pruner. This pruner has a beautiful natural cutting action and is comfortable to use. It is also simple to clean, sturdy and ergonomic too. A pruner that won’t disappoint! And if you need a book to help you with your pruning efforts, Jane recommends Lee Reich’s The Pruning Book.

Would you like to learn more essential gardening skills? Did you know that the Bartlett offers a spring gardening series. Please check back in early 2019 for dates and times. In the meantime, join our mailing list on our website to never miss an event.


Amanda Baez – Senior Educational Associate

Product: Take Along Guides Book Set (12 books) by Nature Watch

These Take Along Guides are wonderful to stimulate questioning and wonder while having fun. Each book focuses on a specific area of interest, ranging from Planets to Animal Tracks. They have projects included and space for young explorers to record their findings. One of the most useful parts of this book is the ruler included on the back! Amanda’s personal favorites from this collection are the "Tracks, Scats and Signs," "Birds, Nests and Eggs," and “Trees, Leaves, and Bark.”

We offer custom youth educational programs at the Bartlett. If you join us, maybe Amanda will even share one of her favorite books! In the meantime, please visit our website to learn more.

Cat Friendly Tree

Angela MacManus, Database Manager & Membership/Donor Steward

Product: Kitty Kat Safe Holiday Decorative Rosemary Tree

Angela loves her kittens! Did you know that some holiday trees and plants can be toxic to your pets? She recommends cat-friendly “alternative” living holiday trees for small and high up places. A rosemary cone is a great choice to keep your pets safe, and at the same time decorate your home for the holidays.

Here’s a valuable link to read about which holiday plants might not be the best choice if you have pets - learn more.

If you are a current member, you may qualify for discounts at local nurseries to help you with your safe, decorative tree. Click here to learn about membership benefits. Also, don’t forget to mark your calendar for our annual plant sale May 11, 2019


Andrea Chusid, Director of Development

Product: Creativity For Kids “Glow N’ Grow Terrarium”

Terrariums make a perfect introduction to the larger worlds of nature and imagination. Andrea has found a great one from Creativity for Kids – it even glows in the dark! A great family project and a terrific way to develop a little botanist, observing and nurturing this itty-bitty cool landscape.

Want to learn about how to make a Terrarium from scratch? We have an adult “All About Terrariums” lecture coming up on December 12. This two-hour class will be run by the renowned Tovah Martin. She is a perennial, heirloom, vegetable, and cottage gardener of fanatical proportions. Click here to learn more.

Log Splitter

Rosa Lawrence, Business Associate & Facilities Rentals

Product: 5 Ton Electric Log Splitter by Homelite. 

Love the heat of some firewood? But maybe you don’t love splitting wood? Rosa has found the perfect new winter toy – her 5 Ton Homelite Log Splitter. This fabulous tool does the trick and keeps Rosa stocked up on lots of firewood all winter long! She has even named it her Charles Bronson! The reason for the name is that in the old movie The Magnificent 7, when Charles Bronson makes his first appearance, he is splitting logs, of course manually with an ax.

Even if you are not ready to split wood this winter, don’t forget to contact Rosa regarding private events, large or small at the Bartlett beautiful grounds – all can be booked in advance by calling Rosa at 203.487.5264.


Mike Belletzkie, Educational Director

Product: Mike’s Recipe for Homemade Blue Sage Tea

Herbs and concoctions this holiday? Our Educational Director always enjoys sharing his favorite brews from homegrown fruits and herbs. He suggests you cozy up with a good book and drink a little tea this winter.


• 20-30 fresh Pineapple sage young leaves

• 5-10 fresh sweet mint leaves

• 2-3 tablespoons fresh chamomile flowers

• 5-7 blueberries

• Bartlett honey to taste


Rip up sage and mint leaves into quarter sized pieces. Cut blueberries in half. Add leaves, flowers, and berries to infuser. Add to hot water. Let steep for 15-20 minutes. Tea will turn a deep purple/blue color. Pour and add Bartlett honey to taste.

Health Benefits (As with all homeopathic medicine, please check with your doctors before using herbs as remedies.):

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)

• Calms the nervous system
• Improves digestive health and treats heartburn
• Treats anxiety
• Lowers blood pressure

Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

• Promotes sleep and treats insomnia
• Boosts immunity
• Reduces muscle spasms
• Soothes stomach ache
• Reduces stress

Sweet mint (Mentha spp.)

• Relieves congestion
• Soothes stomach ache
• Aids in digestion

Blueberries (Vaccinium spp.)

• Antioxidant
• Lowers blood pressure
• Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease

ArborEarthDay is April 27, 2019. A fantastic day to join us at the Bartlett for a free family nature festival. Save the date! Come learn about composting, plants, trees, and more. Our “herbie” master gardeners will be there to answer your questions about using herbs. Perhaps Mike will share more recipes to make your own tea?


Suzanne Wind – Media & Marketing Specialist

Product: Innocheer Kids Gardening Tools - 7 –piece set

Get your kids in touch with nature and playing in the dirt with a new gardening toolkit! The perfect size for your little budding gardeners. Suzanne’s daughter loves her 7-piece gardening toolkit with a watering can too. The tools are sturdy, and she can help dig holes and plant seeds and bulbs. A perfect way to get her off electronics and help her find her way to developing her little green thumb!

Gardening is a sure way to inspire your child to attend one of the Bartlett’s fabulous outdoor nature summer experiences. Youth camp registration will open up in early 2019. Stay tuned!


Paul Goldberg, Educational Associate

Product: “Winter Tree Finder” by May Theilgaard Watts and Tom Watts.

Tree smarts for everyone! Identifying deciduous trees in the spring, summer, and fall can sometimes be a breeze, but in the winter? No leaves! What should you do? Paul recommends this gem of a pocketbook. A little book that takes you through a step-by-step process for nailing an ID based on twigs, buds, fruits, and other features. Become a tree expert in minutes!

If you are interested in learning more about the Bartlett trees, check back in early spring for our 2019 Champion Tree Tours. An excellent way to get to know the amazing trees around the Arboretum property.


Regina Campfield, Volunteer Coordinator

Product: PotLifter from GardEners Supply Company

What’s Regina’s secret to moving larger planters or heavy shrubs? A PotLifter does the trick! A safe easy way to move things without hurting your back. This great little tool can easily lift over 200 pounds with two people. If you still have pots that need to be moved inside for winter, hurry to get your PotLifter today.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Bartlett, please reach out to Regina at She’s got lots of great tasks to get you involved. Don’t worry - she promises no heavy lifting that will hurt your back! :)