The Beautifully Natural Garden Conference 2017

Thank you to all who attended our 2017 Conference!

It was so inspiring to see so many familiar and new faces at the conference.  We feel so hopeful for the future of the environment knowing that all of these people care enough about the Earth and all of its creatures to attend the conference and are going to start or continue adding native plants to their gardens. 


Pre-registration ends on Feb 10 at 5 pm.  Pre-registering steamlines the process for you and helps us with planning. Prices until Feb 10: $25 Wild Ones members; $35 non-members. Tickets available at the door on Feb 11: $30 Wild Ones Members $40 Non-Members

DESCRIPTION  

In 2015 Doug Tallamy taught us why it’s important for us to use native plants in our landscapes. Our gardens and yards are vital for the health of the environment and are important refuges for animals that need habitat. Tallamy helped us understand the critical connection between native plants and animals. This year’s conference brings two highly esteemed speakers who will explain the importance of design in our landscapes to create life and beauty. Rick Darke and Heather Holm will teach us how to design with native plants in our landscapes.

darke-and-tallamy

Tallamy and Darke

Rick Darke, an award-winning landscape architect and co-author with Doug Tallamy of The Living Landscape, will present his Putting Wildness to Work in the Living Landscape program in two parts. His work uses nature’s layers in a landscape as a model for designed landscapes. He focuses on how all plants from the ground layer (forbs, grasses) to the middle layer (shrubs, understory trees) then to the canopy (large trees) all work together to create a beautiful, efficiently functioning ecosystem.

Part One: Looking at the Layer

Authentic wildness is a renewable resource, and as responsible stewards we need to learn how to put it to work. The richness of life in any landscape is linked to the richness of its layers from groundcovers up to the canopy layer. Rick Darke will begin with an illustrated discussion of the living layers in local and regional landscapes, as they occur naturally and as they are modified by human activity. This will provide the basis for understanding the characteristics of healthy layers and why they should be conserved and enhanced in home gardens and shared landscapes.

Part Two: Designing and Managing for Beauty, Biodiversity and Function.

Photo: Rick Darke

Photo: Rick Darke

Rick Darke will demonstrate how an understanding of living layers and relational biodiversity can be put to practical use in the making and maintenance of vibrant residential gardens and community landscapes. Strategies for employing “organic architecture” will be presented in detail.

Heather Holm, author of Pollinators of Native Plants, will present to us about how to consider native bees in our landscapes. Heather owns a Minnetonka-based landscape design and consulting firm specializing in pollinator landscapes and native landscape restorations. She is currently working with the University of Minnesota Extension faculty on a three year study to determine the types of native bees that visit
cultivated blueberries in Minnesota. The study also includes developing customized forage plantings for the native bees identified, and providing additional or enhancing existing nesting sites within the farms. Heather is an environmental educator and frequent presenter at conferences in the Midwest and Northeast. She writes for Houzz, a social media website, about pollinators, beneficial insects and native plants. Heather is currently working on another book which will be released in 2017, stay tuned!

Heather Holm on Selecting Native Trees and Shrubs that Support Birds and Pollinators

Learn about the habitat and food requirements of birds and pollinators, and what native trees and shrubs provide these resources. Holm will also discuss the types of native pollinators that visit our gardens and how we can foster all parts of their life cycles, including providing food, water and nesting habitat.

Schedule for the Day

12-12:30 registration
12:30-2:00 Rick Darke, Part
2-2:30 Snack/Break
2:30-3:45 Rick Darke, Part Two
3:45-4:00 Break/Snack
4:00-5:30 Heather

Please note that we will be unable to provide meals. We suggest having an early lunch and bring snacks. We will have coffee/tea and light refreshments available.

This conference is made possible thanks to West Cook Wild Ones members, our plant sale, and PlanItGreen.

It is hosted by Triton College Sustainability Center

Location: Triton College Performing Arts Ctr (E. Campus) 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL