The UW–Madison Arboretum is presenting their highly respected Native Gardening Conference on Sunday, September 21. This year's theme is “Native by Design: Gardening for a Sustainable Future.” I've attended this event in the past as both a participant and a speaker and found it well-worth my time.
The conference is a day filled with demonstrations, workshops and tours for gardeners who want to use native plants in their home landscapes. Participants can choose from workshop sessions about native garden design, attracting native pollinators, native trees and shrubs, planting and maintenance, sustainable practices, invasive species management, plant disease, and wild edible landscaping. There will be information suitable for both urban and rural situations. I can attest from my experience that it is a great chance to meet and connect with fellow gardeners and go home with practical tips, information and inspiration.
A keynote address follows the sessions. I've heard some of the top names in the field speak at past conferences and found that part of the day to be worth the price of admission alone. This year's keynoter is Doug Tallamy and his topic is “Your Role in Building Biological Corridors: Networks for Life.”
Tallamy advocates for "sustaining regional biodiversity through native home landscaping, which can provide important habitat connectors", according to the Arboretum's press release. Tallamy is professor and chair of the Entomology and Wildlife Ecology Department, University of Delaware. Tallamy's latest book, "The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden," was co-authored by Rick Darke, a previous Arboretum Conference keynoter.
The all-day conference runs from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Advanced registration is required by Sept. 15, and lunch is included as part of the conference fee. For complete information and registration visit uwarboretum.org/education/native_gardening_conference/