Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ annual Native Plant and Sustainability Conference brings together national experts for a one-day forum on plants, landscapes and our roles as environmental stewards.
This year’s keynote speaker, Mike McGrath, is the host of the nationally syndicated weekly public radio show “You Bet Your Garden,” an hour of chemical-free horticultural hijinks. He is also the garden editor for WTOP News Radio in Washington, D.C., contributing editor and columnist for Greenprints Magazine, former editor-in-chief of Organic Gardening Magazine and author of books on tomatoes, compost and kitchen gardening.
Please register for the Native Plant and Sustainability Conference in advance by calling 412/441-4442, ext. 3925 or by clicking the link below. Registration is $95 for Phipps members and $110 for nonmembers on or before Thurs., Sept. 28. After Sept. 28, the cost is $105 for Phipps members and $120 for nonmembers. Registration includes morning coffee and light breakfast items, as well as a lunch buffet with vegetarian and gluten-free options. If you have additional dietary requests, please contact us.
Questions? Please contact our education staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This conference counts as a 3.5 hour elective credit for several Phipps certificate programs: Native Plant Landscapes, Sustainable Horticulture, and Landscape and Garden Design. CEU credits for PCH and LA CES are pending; please inquire for more information.
8:00 – 8:40 a.m.
8:40 – 9 a.m.
9 – 10 a.m.
It’s Easy to Make Your Own Garden Gold! with Mike McGrath
Compost is the perfect plant food: it fights plant diseases better than any chemical fungicide; keeps weeds at bay as well or better than plant-killing, house-staining wood and bark mulches; and perfectly sets off the beauty of your plants and landscape with its rich, black color. Mike McGrath will reveal all the secrets of successful composting in a funny, fast-paced workshop that will enable you to easily make your own garden gold and learn how to get the best bulk compost when you need more than you can make.
10 – 10:15 a.m.
10:15 – 11 a.m.
A Sustainable Campus: Carnegie Mellon University
Glade Run’s Horticultural Therapy Program
11 a.m. – noon
Pollination: A Photographic Primer For Gardening Success with Judy Semroc
This program presents detailed information through macro photography on how natural pollination works and how to attract beneficial pollinators, including birds, butterflies and other insects, to your home landscape. A variety of information is addressed, including natural history, beneficial plant selections and how to landscape for native plants.
Noon – 1 p.m.
Lunch and Book Sale
1 – 2 p.m.
Underused and Underrated Native Perennials with James Brown
As awareness and use of native plants increases, many more species are being made available to the home gardener. Join James to take a look beyond commonly grown wildflowers and delve deeper into the richness of our native flora to explore the beauty, benefits, and use of these exciting plants and their cultivars.
2 – 2:15 p.m.
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Lessons from the Lurie Garden with Jennifer Davit
Chicago’s Lurie Garden is known for its stunning beauty in all four seasons, but also for its dedication to sustainability. This five-acre perennial garden designed by Piet Oudolf is maintained naturally without the use of any fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides and is watered minimally. From plant selection to gardening methods, Jennifer will show how you can apply the principles of the Lurie Garden to your home garden and enjoy the benefits that sustainable gardening delivers.
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.
James Brown and his wife Kimberly own New Moon Nursery, a wholesale perennial liner company with a focus on plants native to the eastern United States. It has been his pleasure to work in the horticulture industry for 25 years, though most days he is having too much fun to consider it work. He started propagating plants at age 14 for a local “mom and pop” garden center; that ignited his interest in horticulture, and it was his love of the natural world that lead him to his passion for native plants. When not propagating plants, James is probably out kayaking.
Jennifer Davit became Phipps' curator of horticulture in January 2017 and has worked in horticulture and public gardens for 20 years. She served as director of the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park from 2010 – 2015 and as conservatory and rainforest manager at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden from 2003 – 2009. Davit has a master's degree in public garden management from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and a bachelor's degree in biology from Wright State University in Dayton, OH.
Mike McGrath is the host of the nationally syndicated weekly public radio show You Bet Your Garden, an hour of chemical-free horticultural hijinks. He is also the garden editor for WTOP News Radio in Washington, D.C.; a contributing editor and columnist for Greenprints Magazine; a former editor-in-chief of Organic Gardening Magazine; and an author of books on tomatoes, compost and kitchen gardening.
Judy Semroc currently works in the Natural Areas Division for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History as a conservation specialist. She is the founder of Operation Botanic Rescue, a volunteer plant rescue group, and Chrysalis in Time‚ the first Ohio chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). In 2013, Judy was the recipient of the Outstanding Staff Achievement Award for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Judy has co-authored two natural history guides, Dragonflies & Damselflies of Northeast Ohio (2008) and Goldenrods of Northeast Ohio: A Field Guide to Identification & Natural History (2017).
*Cancellation policy: In order to receive a full refund, less a $10 administrative fee, you must cancel by Thurs., Oct. 5. After this date, there will be no refunds.
Photos © Paul g. Wiegman