“What’s past is prologue.” After decades of landscape design that emphasized form over function, often at the expense of environmental quality, it is now commonplace for our landscapes to reflect many of the principles developed by early 20th-century naturalistic landscape designers like Warren Manning and Will Curtis, founder of Garden in the Woods. Learn about the intriguing connections between the wild gardens of old and the new naturalism of today, and about the plants that support our efforts to develop beautiful, ecologically-sensitive gardens, on Friday, May 8, at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Naturalistic Garden Symposium. The day will include:
Wild Gardens: Past, Present, and Future
Rick Darke, President of RICK DARKE LLC, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm that blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the design and management of living landscapes
William Robinson’s 1870 classic The Wild Garden challenged tradition by suggesting that managed, self-perpetuating plant populations were essential to resource-conserving gardens. This concept resonated with progressive British, northern European, and American gardeners alike, inspiring diverse naturalistic designs. Rick Darke will look at how wild gardening has evolved and why it is more relevant than ever to today’s and tomorrow’s conservation-based gardens.
The Natural History of Spring Wildflowers: A Closer Look
Carol Gracie, naturalist and author of Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast: A Natural History
The wildflowers that brighten our woodlands in spring are more than just a delight for the eye and a lift for the winter-weary spirit. Each has a role in the environment, including interesting interactions with pollinators and seed dispersers. Learn about the fascinating life histories of some favorite spring wildflowers as we examine them in depth.
A Sense of Where You Are: Finding a New Naturalism
Tobias Wolf, award-winning landscape architect and the owner of Wolf Landscape Architecture
What if we asked our landscapes to do more than just look good? Gardens and landscapes can support biodiversity, cleanse and absorb stormwater, and improve soil health. Just as important, they can invite us outdoors and help us feel connected to the world around us. Landscape architect Tobias Wolf will share his experience in shaping landscapes that combine ecological performance with a distinct sense of time and place. He will show how urban and suburban landscapes can incorporate the qualities we value in wild places, and how design that is informed by the structure and function of native plant communities can bring new vitality to public spaces and private gardens.
Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch. $92 for NEWFS members, $115 for nonmembers. Register online at http://www.newfs.org/learn/our-programs/naturalistic-garden-symposium.