Saturday, April 10, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm – The Lowdown on Gardening Down Low

An important symposium will take place Saturday, April 10, from 9 am – 2 pm, at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, Vermont, sponsored by The New England Wild Flower Society, The Friends of the Horticulture Farm, The Hardy Plant Club, and The Fells, North American Rock Garden Society Master Gardeners.

Three inspiring gardeners share their experience and knowledge about creating that all-important lower layer in the garden.  Whether you are looking for tips about plants that tolerate shade under a canopy, native groundcovers that require low maintenance, or “survivalist” plants that grow in alpine crevices, you will benefit from our experts’ advice at this day-long symposium.

Crevice Gardening with Anne Spiegel

Gardening first in the northeast, then moving on to the Rockies, Cascades, Wallowas and the Alps, and Dolomites in Europe, Ann is now back in the New York hills, not far from Poughkeepsie, in a dry, windy 4b zone. Her garden is on a steep area of stepped ledges, ending in a small cliff.  Anne shares her knowledge of crevice gardening, using both wild and garden plants that thrive in her harsh conditions, where it is never possible to water.

Under the Canopy: Shade Gardening with Native Plants with Scott LaFleur

In his role as Botanic Garden Director for New England Wild Flower Society at Garden in the Woods, Scott knows that not all shade is created equal. Scott discusses the layers of a woodland garden and how to plan and plant accordingly. Discover how to look past flowers to texture, shades of green, and the interaction of light.

Groundcovers for Northeast Gardeners with Mary Crain Penniman

With a lifetime of experience in horticulture, art, botany, and environmental protection, Mary Crain shares a wealth of knowledge with her presentation on choice groundcover plants for low maintenance. The natural world gives us myriad examples of ground covering plants that New Englanders can model in their own gardens. There is a right groundcover for every place. This presentation explores the subject, asking which are the most choice plants and which are the hardest workers.

About the Speakers:

Anne Spiegel

With her wide ranging experience, gardening in high rocky places around the US and Europe, Anne brings a wealth of information to those interested in growing plants in challenging spots. Active in the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) since 1984, she is one of their most highly recommended lecturers.  Anne has taught at the New York Botanical Garden, is past president of the Berkshire Chapter of NARGS and has taught Master Gardener classes as well.

Scott LaFleur

Now Botanic Garden Director at New England Wild Flower Society, Scott started his own horticultural business following formal education at UNH.  He went on to develop and implement a $1.5 million master plan for a 145-acre Vermont farm, which encompassed ponds, a three-mile trail system, numerous gardens, a greenhouse, and the reshaping of over 60 acres of rocky hillside into rolling green hills. Scott deftly used native plant materials and ecological design that handled the site’s challenging climate and 1,700-foot elevation.  At Garden in the Woods, Scott worked with visiting artists and designers to install innovative special exhibits such as ROCK ON in 2006, and ART GOES WILD in 2007. The “Idea Garden” from ART GOES WILD, with roof plantings on a garden shed and sedge replacing lawn has been a huge success.

Mary Crain Penniman

After beginning studies in art and botany, Mary Crain earned a BS in amenity horticulture then headed to England for an apprenticeship and studies with the Royal Horticultural Society at Wisley Gardens and the University of London.  After a Project at Callaway Gardens, more studies at Conway School of Landscape Design, Mary Crain worked for Mass. Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Watershed Management conducting habitat evaluation and field reconnaissance around sensitive resources for over 10 years. In 2002 she launched her landscape design business, which is focused on residential ‘whole site’ planning, often involving environmental elements such as wetland or woodland restoration. Naturalistic plantings combined with traditional stone masonry around antique properties is her design practice speciality.

The spring symposium is presented by The Vermont-New Hampshire Chapter of The New England Wild Flower Society and will be held Saturday, April 10, 2010 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center VT, which is located at exit 4 off Interstate 89.

The fee which includes lunch, free parking and the symposium packet, is $53 for non-members and $47 for members of the cosponsoring organizations: The Friends of the Horticulture Farm, the Hardy Plant Club, The Fells North American Rock Garden Society, Master Gardeners and New England Wild Flower Society.

TO REGISTER please send your check, payable to NEWFS-VT (preferred) or Visa or Master Card number and expiration date, with your name, address, phone number and e-mail address (for confirmation and directions) all clearly written to Thelma Hewitt, PO Box 2333, New London, NH 03257.   No refunds after April 1.