Native by Design:
Gardening for a Sustainable Future

Sunday, September 21, 2014 | 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Using the Arboretum's Wisconsin Native Plant Garden as an outdoor classroom, this conference offers workshops, take-home tips, and living examples to inspire you and help you become a successful native plant gardener.

Experts will lead you step-by-step through developing, maintaining, and improving your garden. Beginners through experienced gardeners are welcome. Come with questions, learn from fellow gardeners, and go home with inspiration and practical resources. Lunch provided. Dress for the weather.

Keynote address by Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, and author of Bringing Nature Home: How you can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.

Session Descriptions

Session I (select 1)

How to Design a Native Garden, with Evelyn Howell
Learn how to begin a native garden, including how to analyze your site, employ basic design principles of native gardening and choose the right combination of plants.

Dr. Howell is a professor of Landscape Architecture at UW–Madison. Her background is in plant community ecology and interests focus on natural landscaping, exotic species control, prairie restoration and vegetation assessment.

Native Pollinators in Your Garden, with Christy Stewart
Learn about the importance of insect pollinators (particularly native bees) in home gardens and how to attract them.

Christy Stewart is a research technician with the USDA Agricultural Research Service working on vegetable breeding and genetics. Previously, she spent 15 years researching plant/pollinator interactions.

Native Trees and Shrubs, with Molly Fifield Murray
Using nature’s example you can create beautiful, diverse gardens drawing upon species adapted to our area. We will cover plant choices, planting tips, and using woody plants to increase diversity.

Molly Fifield Murray is the Arboretum outreach and education manager. Trained in landscape restoration and native garden design, she has taught about and designed native wildflower gardens as an educator and design consultant.

Session II (select 1)

Planting and Maintaining a Native Garden, with Susan Carpenter
Explore native gardening in the home landscape from initial planting to long-term maintenance. Learn how to maintain diversity, manage invasives, and enhance plantings as your garden develops.

Susan Carpenter is the Native Plant Gardener at the Arboretum. She works with students and volunteers to install, maintain, and monitor the gardens.

Sustainable Garden Practices, with Susan Kilmer
This hands-on workshop will guide you through the basics of sustainable land care for your property. Learn the six principles of sustainable gardening to conserve water, manage yard waste, and reduce energy use. We’ll explore design tips and techniques to sustain your garden in changing climate conditions.

Susan Kilmer is the Arboretum horticulturist and grows native plants for restoration, research and the native plant garden.

Invasive Species Management, with Michael Hansen
Learn about invasive species, how they are managed at the Arboretum and which management practices individual landowners/gardeners can use on their land.

Michael Hansen is the Arboretum landcare manager. He has more than 15 years of experience in land management with a focus on prairie ecology and restoration.

Session III (select 1)

Plant Disease, with Brian Hudelson
In this session, you will learn about common plant diseases, and what to do (or not do) to minimize damage in your garden.

Dr. Hudelson is affectionately known as “Dr. Death” because of his love of plant diseases. He is the director of the Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinic (PDDC).

Edible Restoration, with Judy Kingsbury
Combine your love of native plants with your love of eating. Learn which native plants bring both beauty and flavor to your life, provided you beat the wildlife to the harvest. Judy will share ideas for wild edible landscaping of yards large and small, sunny and shady, with samples to taste.

Judy Kingsbury has spent the past 12 years bringing together native plant gardening and native plant eating in her own gardens.

Native Plant Garden Tour
Experts will lead the group through our diverse gardens, pointing out highlights for native gardeners and answering your questions.


Your Role in Building Biological Corridors: Networks for Life, with Doug Tallamy
Biodiversity is essential to sustaining human societies because other living things support our ecosystems. Yet throughout the U.S., we have fragmented habitats because of the way we have landscaped our cities, suburbs, and farmland. This is a problem because isolated habitats cannot support populations large enough to survive normal environmental stresses. We can reconnect viable habitats by expanding existing greenways, building riparian corridors, and by changing the landscaping paradigm that dominates our yards and corporate landscapes. Replacing half of the area that is now in barren lawn with plants that are best at supporting food webs would create over 20 million acres of connectivity and go a long way toward sustaining biodiversity in the future.

Doug Tallamy is Professor & Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware. He is the author of Bringing Nature Home: How you can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, and co-author (with Richard Darke) of The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden.