Native by Design:
Gardening for a Sustainable Future

Sunday, September 15, 2013 | 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 native gardening resources. Lunch provided. Dress for the weather.

Keynote address by Rich Henderson, Research Ecologist with the Wisconsin DNR Bureau of Science Services.

Session Descriptions

Session I

How to Design a Native Garden, with Evelyn Howell
This session for beginners includes how to analyze your site, employ basic design principles, and choose the right plants.

Dr. Howell is a professor of Landscape Architecture at UW–Madison. Her background is in plant community ecology. She has published articles addressing natural landscaping, exotic species control, prairie restoration, and vegetation assessment.

Attracting Native Pollinators, with Hannah Gaines
Learn the importance of insect pollinators (particularly native bees) and how to attract them.

Hannah Gaines has studied the impact of habitat fragmentation and land use on insect communities. She completed two years of native bee research at Princeton University. For her doctoral research at the UW–Madison, she has studied native bees in Wisconsin cranberry bogs.

Collecting Native Seeds, with Susan Kilmer
This hands-on workshop will cover the basics of seed collecting, from when to collect, how to determine ripeness, and how to store seeds from favorite native plants.

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

Session II

Planting and Maintaining Your 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 has been the Native Plant Gardener at the Arboretum for 10 years. She works with students and volunteers to install, maintain, and monitor the gardens.

Creating Wildlife Habitat in Your Native Garden, with David Drake
Learn how to attract beneficial animals – mammals, herptiles, and insects – to your garden and discover why they are important in a healthy landscape.

Dr. Drake is an Extension Wildlife Specialist and an Associate Professor in Forest & Wildlife Ecology at UW–Madison. His research interests include the human impact on wildlife, suburban/urban wildlife, and wildlife policy.

Have a Healthy Lawn, with Jay Anderson
Learn how to create and maintain a sustainable lawn without artificial fertilizers and toxic chemicals.

Jay Anderson is owner of Bando Organics providing organic lawn care solutions since 2000. He is also a member of the Healthy Lawn Team.

Session III

Native Trees and Shrubs, with R. Bruce Allison
Learn the benefit of native trees and shrubs in your home ecosystem, possible replacements for ash trees, and drought-resistant native species.

Dr. Allison is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, adjunct professor in the UW–Madison department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, and author of numerous articles and books.

Creating a Native Woodland Garden, with Molly Fifield Murray
Explore beautiful, diverse shade gardens, drawing upon species adapted to our area. We will cover plant choices, planting methods, soil characteristics and design.

Molly Fifield Murray has been the Outreach and Education Manager at the Arboretum for 21 years. She is trained in landscape restoration and native garden and has taught about and designed native wildflower gardens.

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


Prairie and Savanna Landscapes and Gardens, with Rich Henderson
This talk will cover examples of native Wisconsin prairie and savanna communities, followed by examples of their associated plant species that are most suited for gardens, landscaping, and small restorations. The ecology of individual plants will be discussed, including their associations, phenology, stature, reproductive strategy, habitat preference/ requirements, use by wildlife and suitability for landscaping and gardening.

Rich Henderson is a Research Ecologist with the WI DNR Bureau of Science Services. He has 36 years of experience in natural area inventory and assessment and management of prairie, sedge meadow, oak savanna, and oak woodland ecosystems. He volunteers with The Prairie Enthusiasts’ land protection and land management programs and has served on the TPE Board of Directors and the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.