Presented by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association

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The program is presented by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association.

September 8, 2017

9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

The Program will be held at:

Mass Hort's Horticultural Center 
900 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482-5725

Mass Hort’s Horticultural Center is southwest of Wellesley on Washington Street, which is Route 16. Visit for directions. 


Contact Steven Still
Perennial Plant Association

On September 8, 2017, the Perennial Plant Association and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society are teaming up to offer a day-long symposium entitled, "Perennial Inspirations & Concepts." Five of the best writers and creative plantsmen from across the country will be there, and you’re invited to listen, learn and ask questions. Meet the authors and award-winning presenters.

Registration is $99 on or before August 25, 2017. After August 25, price increases to $125Lunch, breaks, and admission to the gardens are included. 

The program will be held at Mass Hort’s Horticultural Center (900 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482-5725) and you'll enjoy exploring the Gardens at Elm Bank while you're there.

CEUs Available: More information coming soon.

8:00 am to 8:45 am Registration
9:00 am to 10:00 am
Container Design Trends and the Best New Container Varieties
Presented by Barbara Pierson, White Flower Farm

Every year at White Flower Farm we trial more than 85 new varieties specifically bred for container performance both in our display gardens and at home. Join Barb for an insiders’ view of how the latest varieties really perform both in the greenhouse and outdoors in containers and raised beds. From Artemisia to Zinnia, the focus is on flower power, texture and foliage. The latest designs and introductions for 2018 will be shown from recent photo shoots. Herbs, veggies, tropicals and perennials all act as important design elements in this comprehensive coverage of containers.
10:00 am to 10:30 am Break

10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Planting The Year Round Pollinator Garden
Presented by Karen Bussolini

There is a growing awareness that pollinators are important, and that they’re in trouble. We know that pollinators need flowers and that they are responsible for much of the food we eat, but we’re maybe a little vague on the details. Pollinators, particularly insect pollinators, do need flowers – lots of flowers, and the right kinds of flowers – so diversity and quantity are big factors. But let’s back up a bit. Why are there flowers in the first place? And for that matter, why are there fruits and berries? Surely they didn’t evolve just for human pleasure and sustenance. There’s more to it, and it’s a fascinating story of interrelationships. 

Some pollinators are better at the job than others, just as some flowers are more valuable food sources. Bees and other insects are key – they give a snapshot of the health of the entire ecosystem. Like all living things, they need good habitat – nesting places, resting places, hibernation sites, mating opportunities, and food and water, all in a non-toxic environment.

This is not a bee i.d. presentation, its about best plants and practices. Gardeners are uniquely able to support the entire life cycle of beneficial insects and other pollinators. Good plant choices and land care, coupled with simple awareness of the living world buzzing all around us make all the difference. After all, we’re not just cultivating flowers, we’re cultivating habitat.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Enjoy lunch and an opportunity to stroll the gardens.
Join us for a brief session on garden maintainence tips by Mary Anne Brady of Cranesbill Nursery, and David Fiske, Mass Hort's Gardens Curator.
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Succulent Love
Presented by Katherine Tracey, Avant Gardens
Practically carefree, with low water needs and available in amazing forms in nuanced colors which mix and match beautifully… that’s why succulents have been the rage in horticulture in recent years. Katherine will share some of her favorite ways of using both hardy and tender succulents in northeastern gardens, including using them as ingredients in mixed planters, vertical gardens and lately as the subject of long lasting cut material for floral arrangements.

2:00 pm to 2:30 pm - Break
2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Designing a Meadow Garden with New England Native Plants

Presented by Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Linden L.A.N.D. Group

Join Rebecca as she walks through the process of designing, installing and maintaining meadow gardens that serve as an interface between the built and natural, are modeled on regional native plant communities, are rich in biodiversity, low in maintenance, and still legible as intentional designs. She will discuss two different meadows that Linden L.A.N.D. Group designed and installed in Vermont: one 12,500 square feet, and one 2,800 square feet. You'll have access to plant lists, designs and inside knowledge of lessons learned.

3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Perennial Herbs and Vegetables to Inspire 5 Senses
Presented by Hannah Traggis, Massachusetts Horticultural Society
Vegetable Gardening is experiencing a renaissance not paralleled since the Victory Gardens of World War II in America. Perennial herbs and vegetables have a long history in New England. For centuries, they helped to provide home gardeners and farmers with healthy food, beverage and income throughout the year and today we are seeing a resurgence in a local foods movement. As gardeners look for sustainable lawn alternatives and drought tolerant plants, perennial herbs and vegetables provide meaningful connections to history and ecology. By selling and planting them today, perennials create a living legacy of heirloom and native plants that can endure for generations. They also provide hardy plants that beckon to look, taste, touch, smell and listen to the landscape!

Karen Bussolini

Karen Bussolini is a lifelong organic gardener and lover of nature. She has had a long career as a garden photographer, speaker and writer and is a frequent contributor to The American Gardener, the magazine of The American Horticultural Society and Wildflower, published by The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. She has six books to her credit, including The Naturescaping Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Bringing Nature to Your Backyard; The Homeowner’s Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook; and Elegant Silvers, which she also co-authored. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional with an eco-friendly garden coaching practice devoted to teaching homeowners to garden more sustainably. Her focus is on creating healthy yards that are resilient, full of life, diversity and delight. 

Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Linden L.A.N.D. Group

Rebecca is one of the Northeast’s leading designers exploring the intersection between Nature and Human Living Spaces. She specializes in landscapes and interiors that promote human wellness as well as ecological habitat, clean air and water. She trained as an environmental scientist and worked with EPA for 9 years before shifting to sustainable design in 2001. As co-owner of Linden L.A.N.D. Group in Shelburne VT, she has designed over 350 green living spaces in the last 10 years with sales over $5 million. Rebecca has helped national organizations including The National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy develop sustainable landscape programs. 

Barb Pierson, White Flower Farm

 Barbara Pierson graduated from Cornell’s School of Horticulture with a degree in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture. She originally developed her passion for plants while working at her parents' nursery and has been the nursery manager at White Flower Farm since 1998. Over time, she has manipulated the crop schedules in our greenhouses to use nature's energy to get sturdy, well-rooted, and properly hardened plants for our customers.  A popular guest on television and radio, she is regularly interviewed and quoted as an expert in newspapers across the country.  She was featured in a five-part series of articles inThe New York Times about home gardening in the summer of 2010. She has been a guest on WNPR’s “The Faith Middleton Show” and Martha Stewart Radio’s “Morning Living”.  She is the face and voice of many of the how-to gardening videos available on White Flower Farm’s website. Her encyclopedic knowledge of ornamentals and edibles mean her talks are both enormously instructive and highly entertaining. 

Katherine Tracey, Avant Gardens

 For over 25 years, Katherine Tracey has been experimenting with the unexpected on the grounds of Avant Gardens, a nationally known mail order nursery and garden design/build firm in Dartmouth MA. 

Formally trained as a painter and textile designer, Katherine's appreciation for color and pattern has also informed her passion for horticulture. Driven by a life motto to grow everything at least once, she has cultivated a design aesthetic that incorporates the best uncommon plants for New England landscapes. 
She has many plant obsessions, but for 15 years now she has been fascinated by succulents, creatively using them in planters, vertical gardens and lately as the subject of long lasting cut material for arrangements.
Katherine is also a writer and a lecturer. She is a contributor to Fine Gardening Magazine, and she writes the content for Garden Foreplay, the Avant Gardens blog. A featured national lecturer in Horticulture Magazine's Plant Design Symposium, Katherine has also spoken at the New York Botanical Garden, the Hardy Plant Society of Pennsylvania, The North American Rock Garden Society, and the Boston and Rhode Island Flower Shows.

Hannah Traggis, Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Hannah Traggis is the Senior Horticulturist at Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Her work combines a lifelong love of horticulture, plant biology, and education. She assists in overseeing the cultivation of gardens at Mass Hort’s 36-acre public garden site, The Gardens at Elm Bank, in Wellesley, Mass. She shares her extensive background in organic agriculture through lectures and workshops featuring subjects such as essential horticultural and gardening skills, botany and ethnobotany, and preserving the genetic integrity of our food system through sustainable plant breeding and crop development. She is currently a master's candidate in Plant Physiology at the University of New Hampshire where she also taught Botany and the ethnobotany course, “Plants and Civilizations.” Additionally, she works to support school gardens across the region with engaging garden based school programs for children and teens, and horticultural skill workshops for educators.