March 16: A Day to Be Inspired & Learn Resilient Garden Design & Care with Natureworks

The Natureworks design team will be digging in to creative solutions for resilient gardens for our changing climate here in Connecticut. Be inspired to reduce your lawn and create an organic, ecologically balanced habitat in your own yard. Learn how to design and choose plants that work for different conditions, and make a happy habitat for all.

Date: Saturday, March 16th, 2024
Time: 9 am-3:30 pm
Cost:  $55 all-day pass with advance registration / $65 at the door on the day of the workshop
Location: Zion Episcopal Church, 326 Notch Hill Rd., North Branford, CT 06471
Register now!

9:15 Welcome from Nancy

9:30-10:30  Redesigning Gardens for Resilience and Beauty
Instructor: Nancy DuBrule-Clemente
Using the redesign in 2023 of two of the Natureworks gardens, Nancy will introduce the basic principles of garden design with an ecological purpose. These two gardens, the Rock garden along the road and the Children’s garden, were designed in very different ways. Nancy will show you her drawn plan of the renovated rock garden, which features beautiful, drought tolerant plants that can handle road salt and severe conditions while supporting pollinators too. The Children’s garden was redesigned by three experienced retail team members by breaking the rules of design and planting a mix of favorite plants and shrubs to showcase. Both methods of design are perfectly acceptable ways to transition areas of your yard into a beautiful habitat.
10:30-10:45 Questions/discussion

10:45-11:45 Redesigning the Front Garden Borders at Natureworks
Instructor: Leslie Martino
Natureworks garden designer Leslie Martino undertook a major renovation project when she agreed to redesign three gardens at Natureworks. She took a more formal approach and will explain her process. Stone walls were removed, large plants were relocated, and a detailed planting plan was drawn up for these new beds. Leslie will walk you through both the design process and the actual steps involved in this project which is continuing in the spring of 2024. You will learn practical steps to take in your own garden at home. 
11:45-12:00 Questions/discussion

12:00-12:45 Lunch (bring a brown bag lunch, we will supply beverages)

12:45-1:45 The Natureworks Native Plant Sampler Garden 
Instructors: Susan Sternberg and Nancy DuBrule-Clemente
In 2023, Natureworks garden designer Susan Sternberg installed a new, all native garden at Natureworks. This was planned to showcase many of the native plants we use in our designs and as a test plot to study how they perform. In this workshop, Susan will talk about her process, what she has learned, and what she would like to change in 2024. Nancy will dive into the various definitions of native plants and how to choose them for your garden as well as managing seeds of self-sowing plants. This will be an interesting discussion of many aspects of gardening with native plants.
1:45-2:00 Questions/discussion

2:00-3:00  How to Reduce Lawn and Create a Mini-Meadow at HomeInstructor: Diane St John
Natureworks store manager Diane broke the rules when she planted her meadow in 2012. She will teach you her method, called the ‘speed method’ and show photographs over the evolution of her meadow in the past 11 years. Mini meadows attract birds, bees, butterflies, dragonflies and other wildlife. They are serene, low maintenance spaces you can enjoy all year round. Meadow spaces are much more resilient than lawn. Diane will inspire you to take a piece of your lawn and convert it to a mini-meadow, full of life!
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