New, Exciting Gardening Options Revealed At Arboretum Symposium
New, Eco-Friendly Watering System, New Asters, Trillium, Coneflowers
LISLE, IL (January 23, 2009) – Got old problems in the garden? Get new solutions.
Gardeners can find out what’s the best and brightest this year at the annual Midwest Gardening Symposium at The Morton Arboretum March 13-15, 2009, with presentations, a downtown flower show tour, a Green Garden Party with chef demonstrations, delicious local organic herbs and beverages, and exhibitions throughout the weekend.
“Our lineup of illustrated talks and demonstrations will help you discover how to use green solutions in stylish ways; how to make an ‘eco-gorgeous’ garden,” says Karla Lynch, Arboretum Manager of Horticulture Education. “We’ll reveal how to use good design principles to create more sustainable gardens with plenty of “curb appeal” using eco-friendly techniques, plants, and products, including some that are cutting-edge!
The talk, “Waterwise Gardening” unveils a new, state-of-the-art water-capture system for homeowners that’s just coming on the market in the Chicago area this year, Lynch says. It’s a “new age” aerated cistern, with a pump that hooks directly into an existing irrigation system or water feature. The water is held in a closed tank and therefore does not attract mosquitoes. A cistern gathers rainwater like a rain barrel but is much larger (some cisterns hold more than 500 gallons of water), and some versions under development will feature solar-powered equipment.
“I think we’ll start to see this kind of irrigation system more in the future,” Lynch says.
Students get their chance to see photos of, and learn about several new selections of coneflowers, asters, hydrangeas, bottlebrush buckeye, and trillium, and how to use a broad range of native plants in a sophisticated, elegant manner in the talk, “Taming the Best and the Brightest.” Rick Lewandowski, director of Mt. Cuba Center, a Delaware estate garden where native plant conservation is key, discusses the facility’s work in hybridizing native plants, bringing several to market, and how gardeners can design with them effectively.
Learn the latest trends in vegetable gardening at home in “Putting Down Healthy Roots.” The session will introduce three aspects, including a brand-new service that shows homeowners how to vegetable garden, or does the gardening for you. Additionally, students will learn about community-supported agriculture in which people buy shares in a community garden, and local farmer’s markets where food is grown organically using safer pest controls.
Break out of the traditional techniques for developing an outdoor space and create “destinations” with the keynote presentation featuring “The Authentic Garden.” Join author Claire Sawyers for a book-signing afterwards.
An exciting two-part program called “Design Challenge” will provide students interesting design ideas, straight from the pros! Design experts will show and describe the landscape design plans they created for six homeowners in Geneva, Sugar Grove, Downers Grove, Evanston, Naperville, and Vernon Hills. Each plan features sustainable, eco-friendly designs and materials. The goal is to demonstrate how to move toward a greener landscape that looks great. The landscaping would keep more rainwater on the sites, use less gasoline-powered machinery and fewer chemicals to maintain, and would attract and support more native insects and birds.
In “Tough And Lovely,” Arboretum experts reveal plants that look great and tolerate dry sites particularly well, whether in sun or shade.
In “New Designs For A New Generation,” students learn about an incredible, futuristic, one-of-a-kind house and garden in downtown Chicago that’s the ultimate in green technology. The architect, Jonathan Boyer of Farr and Associates, also was involved in designing the Center for Green Technology in Chicago.
Costs to attend the Midwest Gardening Symposium talks range from $149 to $274 (Arboretum members get discounts) which includes continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon refreshments and all presentation handouts.
An outstanding new addition is the Green Garden Party. Exhibitors showcase their new eco-friendly landscape and garden products, while party-goers enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Come and mingle with the guest speakers, handle the new products, and get questions answered. Cash bar available. Friday, March 13 from 4 – 6 p.m. Cost is $27.
Students may also tour the Chicago Flower and Garden Show on Sunday, March 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for an additional $79 ($59 for Arboretum members).
To register for presentations, Green Garden Party, or Flower and Garden Show tour, call 630/719-2468 or visit www.mortonarb.org, and under Plan Visit, choose Events and Activities, and then Gardening Symposium.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time or sunset, whichever is earlier. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit www.mortonarb.org, click About, and then Press Room, or call to learn more.