SPEAKERS & TOPICS


THOMAS RAINER,
co-author of the book "Planting in a Post-Wild World," is a horticultural futurist fascinated by the intersection of wild plants and human culture. A landscape architect by profession and a gardener by obsession, Mr. Rainer has worked on projects such as the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, but is happiest puttering in his small garden in Washington, D.C. Mr. Rainer thinks you should use more natives, plant more daringly, and loosen up that landscape.

"PLANTING IN A POST-WILD WORLD": Mr. Rainer will speak about his refreshing and unusual approach to design, using naturalistic plantings and a layered structure. He will explain how he picks plants, both native and exotic, for their beauty and harmony, and he will talk to us about reclaiming biodiversity and habitats in our human landscapes.
 


DOUG TALLAMY, University of Delaware professor, is the author of "Bringing Nature Home." He believes that all of the space on a personís property should be treated as a wildlife preserve, because this represents the last chance we have for sustaining plants and animals that were once common throughout the United States. Studies have shown that even modest increases in the native plant cover on suburban properties significantly impacts the number and species of breeding birds, even birds of conservation concern.

"SURPRISES IN YOUR GARDEN": considered the guru of the habitat movement, Professor Tallamy will reveal how your garden can host many beneficial, and unknown, inhabitants that are necessary for a diverse eco-system. Our nationís biodiversity, vital for our own well-being, now depends more and more on human-dominated landscapes for their continued existence.


HELEN YOEST, from Raleigh, North Carolina, is a freelance garden stylist and writer who has a strong sense of curiosity, especially about plants and the gardens in which they thrive. In her book, "Plants with Benefits: An Uninhibited Guide to the Aphrodisiac Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, and Veggies in Your Garden," she separates myths from facts about 45 different plants, including their history, lore, science, and culture. Her home in Raleigh, "Helenís Haven," is a certified wildlife habitat, a monarch watch station, and also a native habitat certified by the state.

"GARDENING THROUGH THE YEARS": Ms. Yoest will give novice gardeners tips from her 40-year career, explore plants with benefits, and show gardeners with more experience how spaces can become more complex. Senior gardeners will learn how to prepare the garden to become less labor intensive, yet still remain satisfying to the gardenerís soul.


NIGEL DUNNETT is a professor of Planting Design and Vegetation Technology at the University of Sheffield, England, and is director of the universityís Green Roof Centre. His work revolves around innovative approaches to planting design and the integration of ecology and horticulture to achieve low-input, dynamic, diverse, and well-designed landscapes, tuned to nature, in both small and large scales. He was one of the lead planting design consultants for the London 2012 Olympic Park and is especially concerned about the need for gardeners to conserve and use water wisely.

"ACHIEVING A FINE BALANCE IN YOUR GARDEN": Professor Dunnett will illustrate how nature and ecological principles can work together in a sustainable landscape design. He will scale down his large projects, such as the grounds at the London Olympic Park, into simple design elements that will work in our own gardens. Layered plantings, rain gardens, and successional, on-going flowering patterns come alive under his vision.

 


JAN JOHNSEN, from Mt. Kisco, New York, uses ideas based on ancient and modern practices, in an effort to uplift people in a serene setting designed for "unplugging" and relaxing. Her book, "Heaven is a Garden," is written to help you see your backyard in a whole new light and help reawaken your senses to the wonders of nature. Ms. Johnsen studied and worked in Japan and Hawaii and has designed many gardens over the last 40 years. She believes that every garden has its own persona and unique power of place.

"SERENITY IN A GARDEN": Ms. Johnsen will demonstrate how to create our own serene and inspired garden. She believes that we all need a place where we can throw off lifeís cares and relax. She will show us how a curve can gently lead to a special spot, or how the sound of water can soothe, all helping us become healthier and happier.