Horticulture Symposium

Horticulture Symposium
9 am

Join fellow garden enthusiasts for an inspiring day of presentations on a wide range of horticultural topics from in-depth plant lectures to inspiring design ideas. This year’s keynote lecture will be presented by Michael S. Dosmann, Keeper of the Living Collections at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Registration for this event opens at 8:30 am. 

Newfields Members: $89
Public: $99
Students: $49

Saturday, February 10
The Toby

Symposium Schedule

8:15 am – Registration and Morning Refreshments

9:00 am – Welcome and Opening Remarks

Jonathan Wright, Ruth Lilly Deputy Director for Horticulture and Natural Resources

9:15 am – Tales from the Plant Explorer

Michael Dosmann, Keeper of the Living Collections at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum

Though we no longer live in the Victorian Era, plant exploration – going into the wilds to search for new plants – is as important as ever. Listen as veteran plant explorer Michael Dosmann uses examples from his own expeditions around the world to compare the historic and modern plant hunter, putting activities in the context of scholarship, global change, and the search for improved garden plants.

10:15 am – Morning Break

10:45 am – Vegetable Gardens: Plants, People, and Food

David Mattern, Assistant Horticulturist at Chanticleer

We often assimilate vegetable gardens with other ornamental-themed gardens at a public garden, but vegetable gardens offer much more than aesthetics alone: they also grow food! Learn how the vegetable garden at Chanticleer seeks to educate, inspire, and feed the staff, visitors, and local community. Throughout the presentation, David will share vegetable gardening tips, tricks, and techniques of how he cares for the vegetable garden.

11:45 am – Buffet Lunch is provided – Deer Zink Special Events Pavilion

Stretch your legs and enjoy the bold, beautiful color of Orchids. Ian Wilhite, Newfields orchid specialist, will be in the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse to answer your questions share a few tips and tricks.

1:20 pm – Announcements if Necessary – The Toby

1:30 pm – Design Evolution: Understanding a Garden Aesthetic

Patty Schneider, Horticulturist at The Garden at Newfields

If you have ever wondered how to get into the head of a garden designer to see the process of developing a display from idea to reality, here is your chance. Patty Schneider will share tips on sources from which she gleans inspiration, what design principles and tools are most helpful in her own process, and how she organizes her designs to remain focused from inception to planting.

2:30 pm – Afternoon Break

2:45 pm – Do Your Garden Plants Have a Backstory?

Michael Dosmann, Keeper of the Living Collections at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum

Museums assign value to their collections by understanding each piece’s backstory – for instance, where did it come from, who created or collected it, what does it represent, what feelings does it elicit from an audience? The plants in our gardens can – and should – do the same, but too often have become generic and mundane because we (or our clients) have lost the personal connections to these plant’s backstories. Michael Dosmann will provide his own perspective on how to re-engage with our garden plants in ways that make it personal.

3:45 pm – Closing Remarks

About the Speakers

Michael Dosmann is the Keeper of the Living Collections at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, the oldest public arboretum in North America. As Keeper, he responsibly stewards, develops, and enhances an amzing collection of some 15,000 trees, shrubs, and vines collected from around the temperate world, shaping the landscape’s design and its use. He is also a plant explorer who studies, documents, and collects woody species for integration in the Arboretum’s living Collection; he frequently writes and lectures about this and other topics related to botanical gardens and their work. A 1996 graduate of Purdue University in public horticulture, Michael also has an MS from Iowa State University (1998) and a PhD from Cornell University (2006), also in horticultural fields.

David Mattern is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Landscape Contracting with an emphasis on design, and a minor in Horticulture. He is also a graduate of the Professional Gardener Training Program at Longwood Gardens. David is currently an Assistant Horticulturist at Chanticleer Garden. Some of his responsibilities include caring for the Chanticleer house and terraces, as well as the vegetable garden.

Patty Schneider, Horticulturist at The Garden at Newfields, is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate who has held several responsibilities in her 10 years at Newfields, including curating and maintaining the Richard Wood Formal Garden; managing the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park; and most recently curating design and maintenance of the Tanner Orchard, Border Garden, and pioneering new seasonal displays for the historic Lilly House. She enjoys leading monthly seasonal programs with the Newfields preschool, and is passionate about mixed plantings that emphasize textural contrast with a hint of whimsy.