“Striking a Balance” Symposium Recap, by Joan Stubenrauch, Symposium Co-Chair:
This successful day was a culmination of the efforts of so many. Speakers Rick Darke, Claudia West, and Christina Salwitz were exceptional. Sean Orcutt from the Mark Twain House and Museum was a joy to work with. Delicacy Caterers did a great job accommodating food allergies; lunch was varied and tasty with leftover food donated to a Hartford shelter.
Heartfelt thanks to my husband, Ken who is my moral support as well as a hands-on volunteer. Special thanks to my Co-Chair, Nancy DuBrule-Clemente, Leslie Shields, Jody Morgan, Bonnie Hoskins and family, Lea Anne Morin, Cheryl Marino, Diane Erling, Mary Anna Martell and Barb Skomorowski.
This is my last stint as chair of the Symposium Committee. Nancy DuBrule-Clemente will take the helm in 2020. I have truly enjoyed my role and the hard-working group of volunteers I’ve worked alongside. I know Nancy will bring new ideas to future Symposiums and I will stand ready to serve as a volunteer in the future.
Below is a summary of the speakers presentations:
Gardening is ever-changing. With introductions of new design styles, new plants and new methods it can all get a bit confusing:
- I want my yard to support pollinators, butterflies, and other creatures – but I also want the plants I want, even if they don’t fulfill an “environmental function”
- Should I only stick to native plants? What about the non-natives that so intrigue me?
- I want to reduce my maintenance but I also want lots of gardens. Is that possible?
- Should I have perennial borders, or focus on plant communities?
- I love unusual plants and want lots of interesting foliage – can I do that and still be able to manage my gardens?
These and many more ideas were discussed on Saturday, February 3, 2018, when the Connecticut Horticultural Society present three experts who DUG DEEP into contemporary thought about gardens to help you find your comfort zone amid a wide array of styles and choices. Featured speakers included:
Rick Darke: The Living Landscape
Gardeners today want a home landscape that nourishes and fosters wildlife. But they also want beauty, a space for the kids to play, privacy, and maybe even a vegetable patch. Sure, it’s a tall order and Rick Darke can show you where to begin. Learn the strategies for making and maintaining a diverse, layered landscape—one that offers beauty on many levels, provides outdoor rooms and turf areas for children and pets, incorporates fragrance and edible plants, and provides cover, shelter and sustenance for wildlife. For a complete list of Rick’s books and other fine points, visit: www.rickdarke.com
Christina Salwitz: For the Love of Horticulture
Christina will talk about plants and combinations that WOW us. Her visually sumptuous slideshow will explore the flora, fauna and cultural artifacts that join us all in our love of horticulture. She is a “Hort-Head” of the first order, a writer of plant passions and a container gardening fashionista! Christina makes gardening about saving labor, time, and money; and above all having fun. She is the co-author of two books: “Fine Foliage” and “Foliage First” and she has recently traveled to England to photograph many famous gardens. If you follow her on Facebook, you will be constantly delighted by the gorgeous plant combinations that she creates and displays. Visit personalgardencoach.wordpress.com/about/ for more info.
Claudia West: Creating Stunning Plant Communities that Stand the Test of Time
Plants are the foundation of healthy ecosystems and they bring beauty and joy to our lives. But great plants alone don’t automatically create lasting ecological benefits in our gardens. Claudia West will talk about spectacular perennials and grasses and how to use them in natural combinations that increase the ornamental, functional, and ecological value of your landscape. She has worked on all sides of the green industry—as a designer, a grower, installer, and land manager—grounding her innovative work in pragmatic solutions that address the realities of our urbanizing world. Enjoy and be inspired! Claudia is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, “Planting in a Post-Wild World.” https://phytostudio.com/
Breakfast and Lunch Buffets are included and prepared by Delicacy Caterers, West Hartford. For the past two years, Delicacy has been named Best Chef & Caterer by ‘Hartford Magazine.’