We are proud to welcome the following horticultural luminaries to this year’s symposium.
THOMAS WOLTZ, FASLA, CLARB
Designing the Productive Landscape: Balancing Ecology, Culture and Agriculture
Ecological restoration, connectivity and biodiversity in the midst of productive farmland has been a hallmark of Nelson Boyd Woltz Landscape Architects (NWB) designs for twenty years. Thomas Woltz will review NBW public park projects in Tennessee, and New York that are pioneering change in local and state laws – proposing the use of agricultural practices as managements tools in parks and cultural landscapes, creating jobs for ecologists and farmers side by side. Design examples from the US, Tasmania, and New Zealand will include pastoral grazing, vineyards, orchards and field crops interwoven with restoration of wetlands, native warm-season grasslands, pollinator meadows, and reforestation.
Thomas Woltz, owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, has forged a body of work that infuses places where people live, work and play with narratives of the land that inspire stewardship. He integrates the beauty and function of built form and craftsmanship, with an understanding of complex biological systems and restoration ecology, that has yielded hundreds of acres of reconstructed wetlands, reforested land, native meadows, and flourishing wildlife habitat. Many of these projects focus on restoration of damaged ecological infrastructure within working farmland and create models of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.
Woltz was educated at the University of Virginia in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, fine art, and architectural history. He holds Master’s Degrees in Landscape Architecture and Architecture. After working in Venice, Italy and Paris, France, he returned to the States to launch his career in landscape architecture. Current work includes projects at Hudson Yards (NYC), Memorial Park (Houston), Aga Khan Garden (Alberta, Canada), and Cornwall Park (Auckland, New Zealand).
He was named the Design Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal Magazine in 2013. In 2011, he was invested into the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows, among the highest honors achieved in the profession.
Wild and Neat: Bridging the Gap between Great Design and Ecology
Our definition of beauty and harmony is deeply rooted in the natural world and the cultural landscapes we evolve in. Join us for an inspiring visual tour through the inherently beautiful and emotionally resonant landscape archetypes. We will analyze the most stunning examples and translate their principles into powerful design tools for smaller and more formal garden spaces. Learn how to create deeply emotional planting that is based on how plants actually grow in nature and creates more sustainable solutions for a healthier planet.
Claudia West is a leading voice in the emerging field of ecological planting design. Known for her passionate advocacy of plant-driven design, Claudia applies the technologies of plant systems to bring essential natural functions back into our cities and towns. She has worked on all sides of the green industry—as a designer, grower, installer, and land manager—grounding her innovative work in pragmatic solutions that address the realities of our urbanizing world. She is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, “Planting in a Post-Wild World.”
Having grown up on the grounds of a family-owned nursery, florist business, and design/build firm in eastern Germany, Claudia was propagating plants before she could walk. Her love of American native plants brought her to the U.S. where she worked at Blue Mount Nurseries in Maryland and immersed herself in the study of American flora and mid-Atlantic ecosystems. Claudia holds a Master’s Degree of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.
Her intense studies of plant habitats and the science of plant community-based design strategies, at the renowned school for horticulture in Weihenstephan, Germany, built a solid foundation for her current work. Before co-founding Phyto Studio (with Thomas Ranier), Claudia was ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, a wholesale perennial grower in Landenberg, PA. Her work was focused on bridging the gap between growers, designers, and land managers as well as introducing more functional and beautiful ecological plants into the nursery trade.
Fungal Solutions to Common Garden Problems: Techniques for Harmonizing the Biology of the Landscape
Mushrooms and other fungi can be used to increase soil fertility, suppress plant pathogens, and also attack invasive garden pests. Knowing how to cultivate these organisms and applying them to your planning is important and could be a game changer for pesticide and fertilizer free designs. Viewing the landscape through the eyes of a mycologist, attendees will gain the insight and knowledge to become intuitively involved with the biology of the space, creating more harmonious plant communities that protect themselves as well as vectors for beneficial insects. Tradd mixes his experience as a mushroom researcher with his expertise in garden and landscape design to help you plan and materialize your own biological masterpiece!
Tradd Cotter is at the forefront of mycoremediation technology, using mushroom cultivation and fungi-based technology to help break down pollutants and decontaminate the environment. He is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener, who founded Mushroom Mountain, a world class laboratory and research facility in South Carolina. The laboratory, which has been constructed to EPA and FDA standards, occupies over 50,000 square feet to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries, mycoremediation, and medicinal research projects.
Mushroom Mountain is a company that focuses on the needs of the planet, developing food and systems for filtering water, creating prototypes for novel antibiotic discovery, isolating target specific myco-pesticides to replace chemical pesticides for problematic insects, and many other projects that use fungi to harmonize our coexistence with nature.
The Foodscape Revolution
Foodscaping is a design practice that aims to make the most of your existing landscape by incorporating your favorite edibles within the ornamental garden and containers. Brie will explain easy to apply strategies like planting bed edges to deter browsing mammals. The best ornamental and edible pairings will be featured along with space saving methods for patios such as the Live Wall and Tower Garden. Get inspired to join the foodscape revolution and start growing your favorite fruits and vegetables alongside with the flowers!
As a leader of the national Foodscape movement, Brie Arthur challenges all to “think outside the box” with her ideas of adding edibles into your garden or yard. Her book, “Foodscape Revolution: Finding a Better Way to Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden” promotes the future of growing with ecological, economic and nutritional sensibilities.
Originally from southeastern Michigan, Brie Arthur studied Landscape Design and Horticulture at Purdue University. With more than a decade of experience as a grower and propagator, she now shares her knowledge and passion by communicating the value of gardening across the US.
Arthur, the first recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s Emerging Horticultural Professional Award, in 2017, is taking her movement to schools nationwide through her nonprofit, Brie Grows, which connects professional horticultural resources to school gardening curricula.