Session 1

The Design and Care of Living Landscapes

Rick Darke

Our garden is our home habitat. If it is designed to support a variety of life it will be full of surprise, adding intrigue and interest to every day. This richly illustrated talk will present ideas for the design and care of landscapes that are beautiful and joyfully livable.

Session 2

Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home

Doug Tallamy

Specialized relationships between animals and plants are the norm in nature rather than the exception. It is specialized relationships that provide our birds with insects and berries, that disperse our bloodroot seeds, that pollinate our goldenrod, and so on. Plants that evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants that evolved elsewhere. Tallamy will explain why this is so, why specialized food relationships determine the stability and complexity of the local food webs that support animal diversity, why our yards and gardens are essential parts of the ecosystems that sustain us, how we can use our residential landscapes to connect the isolated habitat fragments around us. It is time to create landscapes that enhance local ecosystems rather than destroy them.

Session 3

Planting Choices and Strategies for Layered Midwest Landscapes

Rick Darke

The long-term health, beauty and durability of gardens is dependent upon the informed selection of plants suited to local purpose. This presentation will discuss the aesthetics, growth characteristics, adaptability, and design potential of a wide range of plants capable of enlivening and enriching layered Midwest landscapes. 

Session 4

Creating Living Landscapes

Doug Tallamy

Once you have decided to share your property with other species, how do you go about doing that? Can we bring life into urban areas? How do you reconstruct complex food webs in your yard? How can we get more plants into your landscape without it looking wild and messy? Will living landscapes be more prone to insect damage and vermin? Are they higher maintenance? Tallamy will answer these questions and more to help you make your yard a fascinating part of nature.