Course Schedule

Class One

Newer Plants Showing Promise: Up-and-coming nativars and low-care ornamentals

New plants are what make every gardener’s heart skip a beat. But a lot of the time, a new plant requires a ridiculous amount of care and resources to look decent, if it doesn’t die within the first year. Richard Hawke of the Chicago Botanic Garden has spent much of his career trialing plants. Each year he puts new offerings into the test gardens at CBG and monitors their overall performance, determining which are worthy of your hard-earned dollar and which can be classified as unsustainable pitfall plants. Over the past few years Richard has developed a list of newer plants that have done well in the trials—plants that he feels confident enough to recommend to gardeners and even plant in his own landscape. In this lecture you’ll find out about scores of new nativars and ornamentals that require little input to perform brilliantly.

PRESENTER: Richard Hawke–Director of Ornamental Research, Chicago Botanic Garden

Class Two

Praise and Protection: Why You Should Care About Endangered Plants

Chances are you’re familiar with nursery owners Sue Milliken and Kelly Dodson and perhaps some of the plants they have introduced to the Pacific Northwest and gardeners across the country via their plant explorations abroad. But more recently, the couple has started a nonprofit organization, Far Reaches Botanical Conservancy, with goal of preserving botanically important rare and endangered plants. In this lecture you’ll learn why conservation efforts like these are important to the world of horticulture and the planet as a whole. Sue and Kelly will also share some success stories of plants that have been fostered at the conservancy and that you might be able to grow in your gardens to further the cause of preservation.

PRESENTERS: Sue Milliken and Kelly Dodson–Founders, Far Reaches Botanical Conservancy and Far Reaches Farm

Class Three

Everywhere Plants: Natives That Make Great Supporting Players

Ecological generalists—plants with broad tolerances to where they root—power the planet. Many of these species lurk in the shadows of traditional gardens or sulk in obscurity on the garden floor. But prevalence is their virtue; they have adapted to a wide range of growing conditions across a considerable geographic footprint. In this immersive class, renowned plantsman Kelly Norris will introduce you to a wide range of ecological generalists from North America and explain what makes them important to the ecology of the garden. You will learn about varied plant communities, the ecological properties that define them, and how to translate them into gardening practice.

PRESENTER: Kelly D. Norris–Award-winning plant expert, designer, and author


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