NATIVE PLANT CENTER
ANNOUNCES SPRING CONFERENCE AND SPRING LECTURE SERIES
The Native Plant Center (NPC), which is celebrating its
10th anniversary with a number of special events and programs, is
sponsoring a Spring conference on March 20 and is also hosting a number of
Spring lectures starting on February 29.
Radical Transformations: The Process of Natural
Landscape Establishment is the Fifth Annual Natural Landscape
Design Conference co-sponsored by The NPC and New Directions in the American
Landscape. It will be held on Thursday, March 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Everything is changing in our landscape gardens; why we create them, how
we plant them, and how we live in them are all being re-evaluated and
revolutionized. Explore how innovation, creativity and ecological
understanding can enhance the individual experiences and global impacts that
our landscapes provide.
Presentations at the conference are:
The Big Picture: Backyard
Forward; Small Places, Big Decisions by
William Shutkin. Zoom in on
Google Earth from the stratosphere to a single property and you will see,
quite literally, where the big meets the small. From the profound to the
practical, Shutkin will illustrate how local landscape decisions affect not
only our own backyards, but the planet as a whole. Our presenter is a global
leader in sustainability and social entrepreneurship. An attorney, author,
educator and non-profit leader, Shutkin’s expertise spans a variety of
fields and disciplines, from urban planning to economic development, green
design to global warming, and public policy to social justice. He has
written two books, the award-winning
The Land That Could Be: Environmentalism and Democracy in the Twenty-First
Century and A Republic
of Trees, Fields Notes
on People, Place and the Planet.
Creating Natural Landscapes for the Real World by
Larry Weaner. Are native
plant gardens automatically “low maintenance?” Are all natural gardens
“wild” in appearance? What actually is a “sustainable” landscape? We will
move beyond the buzzwords and oversimplifications to examine a practical,
step by step process for creating easily managed landscapes that seamlessly
combine ecological diversity, cultural expression, and garden art.
Weaner is recognized
nationally for his work in integrating the ecological sciences with the fine
art of garden design. He has been president of Larry Weaner Landscape Design
Associates since 1982 and has designed gardens throughout the Eastern U.S.
Larry’s projects have been featured in national and international
publications and he is a past board member and environmental committee chair
of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. He also developed
the New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL) educational series in
The Long Term:
Gardening on Earth; A Half-century of Respect for Nature
by Richard W. Lighty, Ph.D. Over a 45 year period, Lighty and his
wife Sally have designed, installed and maintained, without outside help, a
seven and one-half acre property with two and one-half acres of lawn and
gardens. Lighty will illustrate how the use of innovative techniques, many
derived directly from natural processes, has allowed them to reduce
maintenance on these extensive gardens and natural areas to approximately
eight hours per week. He is a pioneer in the introduction of native plants
for gardeners, particularly in his work as the founding director of
for the Study of Piedmont Flora in
Greenville, De. From 1983 to 1998 he managed the
center’s development emphasizing the selection, introduction and display of
The cost of the conference is $115 for NPC members;
$122 for non-members. The fee includes lunch and breaks.
Native New Yorkers: Plants and other Wildlife for your Garden lecture
series (not individual classes) will take place from February 29 through
April 4 and will include a workshop, Sow and Grow, on March 8.
The lectures by Carolyn Summers are on February 29;
March 7, 14, 28; April 4 (two hours/double session) from10: 30 to 11:30 a.m.
The presentations are supported by Poundridge Nurseries, Inc., Rosedale
Nurseries, Inc., and Sprainbrook Nursery, Inc.
For design professionals, master gardeners and
gardening enthusiasts, this six -part course provides a comprehensive
foundation for garden design using regional native plants. Issues covered
include wildlife benefits, harmful invasives and sustainable design.
Students will learn to apply basic ecological and design principles in their
own and clients’ gardens. Course participants who attend all six lectures
will receive credit toward the
Certificate of Merit.
The first unit explains the essential roles played by native plants
in the food web, roles that cannot be duplicated by exotic plants.
Safe Sex in the Garden: This lecture covers the minimal and safe use of exotics;
learn to use plant reproductive strategies to limit spread of exotics and
enhance native plant productivity.
The Garden as
This unit will cover plantings and design elements for basic wildlife
needs, discuss the role of maintenance in nurturing wildlife populations and
a brief overview of deer control.
Substitutes for Popular Plants: This will highlight some of the more obscure natives, in
addition to unusual cultivars of well-known natives.
Concepts and Styles; Grouping Natives by Habitat: Explore the design versatility of native
plants as applied to traditional vernacular styles such as Japanese and
English, as well as a brief overview of natural habitat design.
The last unit will briefly cover sources for some of the more obscure
natives, as well as a review and Q&A for the previous sessions.
The cost of the six-part Native to New York Series is
$75 for members, $82 for non-members.
The Sow and Grow Natives Workshop by Anne Megaro and Barbara Fischer
is on Saturday, March 8 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Have you tried to grow your
own meadow (or just some impatiens) from seed and failed? This class covers
the basic techniques and pitfalls of seed sowing, as well as the more
advanced requirements of many native perennials. This hands-on program
supplies you with soil, packs, seeds and bags for seeded packs. You will sow
and take home packs of Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine) and Asclepias
tuberosa (butterfly weed). Proper transplanting and aftercare will also be
The fee for the Sow and Grow Natives Workshop is $22
for members, $25 for non-members.
For information, call 914-606-7870 or visit the web at