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Botanical Garden Symposium Brings International Experts to Des Moines

9/25/2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (Monday, Sept. 25) — Four distinguished horticulturists will speak at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden’s fourth Annual Symposium Saturday, Oct. 21. With the theme “Just Keep Planting,” sessions will focus on how gardeners can keep outdoor spaces purposeful and fresh season after season.

The Annual Symposium is the Botanical Garden’s signature educational event, catering to home gardeners, professionals and students alike. Each fall, the Botanical Garden hosts a wide variety of speakers who discuss current topics that impact home horticulture, plant sciences and/or ecology.

“The Symposium is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for everyone to expand their gardening and horticulture know-how,” says Botanical Garden President and CEO Stephanie Jutila. “No matter the skill level, all will be inspired to pour time and effort into their gardens after this year’s event.”

This year’s Symposium features keynote speaker James Hitchmough, a British expert in large-scale prairie plantings who helped create the gardens at well-known venues such as the 2012 London Olympic Park and Oxford Botanic Garden. His talk, A British Take on Designed Prairie-like Vegetation, will explore the surprising ways British prairie landscapes differ from Iowa’s, and offer ways to implement more semi-herbaceous plants into existing landscapes.

Brie Arthur, leader of the national suburban Foodscape movement — a model of community development that incorporates sustainable, local food production — will teach attendees how to pair edibles with traditional ornamental plants to increase biodiversity, add purpose to everyday spaces and understand the value of homegrown food.

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Stephanie Cohen, an expert on perennials (and self-proclaimed “Perennial Diva”), will deliver a talk titled Fallscaping: The Last Hurrah, where she will show attendees how to take advantage of the often-neglected tail-end of the gardening season. Cohen will highlight how to best incorporate perennials, grasses, bulbs and more to create a beautifully, thoughtfully planned fall finale.

Andrew Bunting, assistant director of the garden and director of plant collections at the Chicago Botanic Garden, will illustrate the evolution of his nationally featured home garden, Belvidere, over a 15-year period. He will delve into his unique design approach and the many interesting plant choices he made along the way. He will also discuss Vassar Farm, a joint project between Andrew and his neighbors that was featured in The Wall Street Journal.

To learn more about the Symposium or register, visit dmbotanicalgarden.com/symposium or call 515-323-6290. The member rate is $80; nonmembers $95 and students $45. Members of the Brenton Arboretum, Reiman Gardens and the Iowa Arboretum also receive the Botanical Garden member rate.

The Symposium is made possible through the generosity of County Landscapes, Kemin Industries, Inc., Cynde and Richard Schreiber and Des Moines Marriott Downtown.

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