Arboretum Hosts Native Gardening Conference September 15

bumble bee foraging on native monarda

Learn Sustainable Gardening Practices and How to Use Native Plants in Home Landscapes

The UW–Madison Arboretum will host its 2019 Native Gardening Conference, “Native by Design: Gardening for a Sustainable Future,” on September 15.

Held in the fall when the prairies are at their seasonal peak, the conference offers a day of expert-led workshops and tours to help all gardeners, from beginner to experienced, learn to create beautiful restorative landscapes that play a broader ecological role and support biodiversity.

The all-day conference runs from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and costs $65. Advanced registration is required by September 5. Morning coffee, lunch, and afternoon coffee are included in the conference fee.

Native plants have many benefits for the home landscape and the broader community. They are adapted to local climate, soil and other environmental factors. Because they evolved with other native species, some perform unique roles in local ecosystems. Native plant gardens use less water and no fertilizer or pesticide. They are a valuable resource for hundreds of wild pollinator species, and they support local food webs and biodiversity as well as migratory animals, including rare and threatened species.

Arboretum, UW–Madison and other area experts will lead workshops suitable for a variety of gardens and home environments, from small urban yards to rural acreage. Session options will cover native garden design (Evelyn Howell, professor, landscape architecture, UW–Madison), native shrubs and trees (David Stevens, Longenecker Horticultural Gardens curator), citizen science in your yard (Jessica Ross, Arboretum citizen science coordinator), garden planting and maintenance (Susan Carpenter, Arboretum native plant gardener), native plants for birds (Mariette Nowak, author), native plant identification (Catherine Woodward, faculty associate, botany, UW–Madison), hardscaping to enhance gardens and manage water (Sean Pratt, landscape designer, Ganshert Nursery and Landscapes LLC), understanding ecology through art (Nancy Aten, landscape architect, and Dan Collins, program manager and restoration consultant, Landscapes of Place), and a tour of the Arboretum’s Wisconsin Native Plant Garden.

A keynote address follows the sessions. Judy Nauseef will give this year’s keynote, “Native Plants to Love and Learn to Love.” Nauseef will focus on how to choose native plants and incorporate them into your garden. Some plants challenge us while others bring early success. Native plant gardening is a process of discovery.

Nauseef is a landscape designer and writer working in Eastern Iowa. She is a Fellow of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and an Iowa Certified Nursery Professional. She writes about plants and garden design. Her recent book, Gardening with Native Plants in the Upper Midwest: Bringing the Tallgrass Prairie Home, provides a guide to adding native plants to the residential landscape.

Conference information and registration»