Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Horticulture Symposium: The Living Landscape

On Saturday, February 21, the Indianapolis Museum of Art will host an interesting event that's all about native plants: Horticulture Symposium: The Living Landscape. For all details and registration info, CLICK HERE.

I will assure you that this will be a fun, informative, and interesting day. For one, the event is nestled within a truly world class art museum that boasts some 54,000 individual works in its collection. There are always major exhibits; CLICK HERE for a roster of current exhibitions. I became connected with the museum in 2013, when I was invited to come and give a pictorial lecture entitled Nature as Art. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the museum, to me, is their living collections. The museum sits on 150 acres of grounds, and the plants - and animals - found there are treated as living art. Thanks in large part to the hard work and vision of Chad Franer, the grounds are heavily planted with native species.

And that's the theme of this symposium - native plants. The keynote is none other than the dean of native plants, Dr. Doug Tallamy. The symposium borrowed its title from Doug's latest book, coauthored with Rick Darke: The Living Landscape. In it, the authors lay out a plan for creating beautiful landscapes that foster a rich environment for native fauna. Those of you that attended last year's Midwest Native Plant Conference in Dayton heard Rick Darke's slant on the book. This symposium offers a chance to hear Doug's views on the same. Having heard Doug numerous times, I guarantee the talk will be outstanding.

Kevin Tungesvick will offer a program entitled Native Plants from Around Indiana, and it's sure to be full of useful information for those seeking to enrich the yardscape with beautiful natives. Irvin Etienne will give a talk labeled Nativars - Strangers in a Strange Land. We'll get the lowdown on what the horticultural industry is doing to manipulate - hopefully for good - our native plants.

And yours truly will present For the Birds, a look at some of the interesting avian visitors to Midwestern backyards, what we can do to help them, and how suburban plots can factor into a larger picture of bird conservation. Illustrated liberally with tasty photos, of course.

Again, CLICK HERE for full conference details, and I hope that you can make it out.

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As always, click the image to enlarge At the onset of last Monday's aquatic expedition (perhaps more on that later) to Rocky Fork ...