bumble bee foraging on native monarda

Note: As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we are awaiting guidance and recommendations from UW–Madison about reopening the Visitor Center and offering in-person programs. We are exploring the possibility of a virtual Native Gardening Conference for 2021. As soon as we know more we will update information. For more information about programming during the coronavirus pandemic, see our COVID-19 updates.

“Native by Design: Gardening for a Sustainable Future” is held every September at the Arboretum. This Native Gardening Conference promotes sustainable gardening practices and use of native plants in home landscapes. Expert-led workshops inspire and inform gardeners, homeowners, and landowners to create and maintain native gardens or small-scale restorations on their own property. The program welcomes people with a range of interests and experience.

The all-day event features expert-led workshops, a keynote speaker, tours of the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden, an extensive resource packet, and ample time for Q&A. Presentations cover a wide range of topics: garden design, native trees and shrubs, citizen science in your garden, garden planting and maintenance, native plants for birds, native plant identification, hardscaping, and understanding garden ecology through art.