Gardening Seminars



Author, lecturer, and entomologist, Dr. Doug Tallamy, is a nationally known expert on creating backyard ecosystems.  He will share his knowledge of designing home landscapes for beauty and biodiversity in two seminars on Saturday, February 25.

We’ll have a great selection of educational presentations at our in-depth Gardening Seminars on Friday and Saturday in the Fulton and Pope Rooms on the bottom floor of the convention center.

Download Our Friday Seminar Schedule

Download Our Saturday Seminar Schedule

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fulton Room

10:30  Arkansas’ Magical Botanical Garden of the Ozarks  – Lissa Morrison, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Manager and Designer

The story of the evolution and the making of the beautiful Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, is not only interesting, but inspiring. Lissa Morrison, BGO’s  Garden Manager and Designer will share the history, development, and value of northwest Arkansas’ magical botanical gardens.

11:45  Let’s Get Growing – Vegetable Gardening is Cool Again – Janet Carson,  University of Arkansas Horticulture Specialist

 Janet will introduce you to the basics of vegetable gardening so you can begin growing fresh, healthful food for your family.  She will give helpful tips based on her own growing of vegetables in an urban setting.  From how to get started to dealing with potential problems, Janet will give you the confidence to begin growing at least some of your own food at home.

1:00  Healthy Yard / Healthy Planet –Sustainable Gardening –   Lissa Morrison. Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Manager and Designer

Today many gardeners realize that our horticultural choices do make a difference in the health of our planet.  Too often, because of lack of knowledge, our landscapes have become ecologically unbalanced.  Lissa Morrison encourages and teaches how to landscape for biodiversity and sustainability.  Her mission is to help all gardeners create a healthy oasis in their own environments.

Pope Room

10:30  The Pollination Life of Birds – Dr. Dan Scheiman, Bird Conservation Director,  Audubon Arkansas

The decline of bees and Monarch butterflies grabs national attention because they are such important pollinators. However, some birds also play the role of pollinator. Dr. Scheiman will talk about the tight relationship between nectarivorous birds and the plants they feed on and help pollinate using examples from around the world.

11:45  If Trees Could Talk—Oh Wait.  .  .  They Do – Jane Gulley. Pulaski County Master Gardener

 “Trees are great storytellers”, says Jane Gulley, and she’s not just talking about murmuring pines.  Trees record a significant part of our history, and trees themselves have often figured in choices we make about where and how to live in our world.  Individual trees are also frequently connected to our personal family or community histories.  Join Jane for a fascinating discussion of how trees have influenced history.

1:00   Birding Basics – Dr. Dan Scheiman, Bird Conservation Director, Audubon Arkansas

Bird watching is one of the most popular hobbies in the nation. Millions of people enjoy watching birds in their yards. Dr. Dan “The Bird Man” Scheiman will review the tools and skills you need to sharpen your bird identification abilities and learn to enjoy birds in your backyard and beyond.

2:15   Building a Successful Farmers’ Market From the Ground Up  – Debra Bolding, Co-Manager for Howard County Farmer’s Market, Miller County Master Gardener

Debra will give an overview of the critical considerations for building a successful market.  She will provide a “tool kit” with forms, checklists, and references to help in planning a new farmers’ market. The Howard County Farmer’s Market received the Master Gardener Project of the Year Award in 2010. The market has broad community involvement and support and is active in promoting healthy nutrition and organic home gardening.  Cooking demonstrations are held in a certified kitchen at the market and a demonstration garden and newly-completed greenhouse serve as sites for gardening workshops and related market activities.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Fulton Room

10:30  Creating Living Landscapes – Dr. Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware

We will not keep our ecosystems running if we do not save the creatures that run them. You can make your property a showpiece without losing its ecological function in the local ecosystem by using and understanding the role of native plants in our landscapes. Many people are concerned that natives are more prone to insect damage, are messy and not attractive, will attract vermin, and cannot be used formally.  Tallamy will dispel these misconceptions and suggest ways to make native plants a part of even the most formal landscapes.

This presentation is co-sponsored by The Arkansas Native Plant Society.

11:45 Building Pollinator Populations at Home – Dr. Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair, Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware

An important component of productive ecosystems like our own backyards is diverse and abundant community of pollinators. We hear a lot about native bees but there are actually thousands of species of moth and butterfly pollinators in our home landscapes. Tallamy will discuss the important ecological roles of these species, and discuss the plants required to support their populations in our landscapes.

This presentation is co-sponsored by The Arkansas Native Plant Society.

1:00  Growing Berries in Your BackyardDr.  Amanda McWhirt, Assistant Professor, Horticulture Department, University of Arkansas

Learn the basics of growing backyard strawberries, blackberries and blueberries in Arkansas. Variety selection, soil preparation and general plant care will be covered to help you get started growing berries in your home garden.

2:30 Screening of the documentary film, Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home – sponsored by The Arkansas Native Plant Society

This 90-minute environmental, education documentary produced by Catherine Zimmerman focuses on showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Hometown Habitat features renowned entomologist Dr. Douglas Tallamy, whose research, books and lectures on the use of non-native plants in landscaping, sound the alarm about habitat and species loss. Tallamy provides the narrative thread that challenges the notion that humans are here and nature is someplace else. “It doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t be that way.” Inspiring stories of community commitment to conservation landscaping illustrate Tallamy’s vision by showing how humans and nature can co-exist with mutual benefits. The message: All of us have the power to support habitat for wildlife and bring natural beauty to our patch of the earth. The goal: Build a new army of habitat heroes!

Pope Room

10:30  Cool Plants for Tight Spaces, Nooks & Crannies, and other Areas You Haven’t Thought About Before – Dr.Todd Lasseigne, President and CEO, Tulsa Botanic Gardens

With the amazing range of plants available to gardeners today, there truly are plants for every space.  Yet, most gardeners now are gardening with less available space, or are purposefully using less space due to time and physical constraints.  Join Dr. Lasseigne for a lively discussion focusing on the root of the issue of how we can all continue to enjoy our gardens while not fretting over limited spaces and resources.

11:45 Easy Growing Succulents for Patio or Porch – Richard and Andrea Cleaver, Culberson’s Greenhouses

As wholesale growers of many succulents, Richard and Andrea have a learned a lot about how to grow and design with these wonderful plants.  They will demonstrate how to plant a variety of succulents in containers and discuss how easy it is to care for these colorful and interesting plants.  Be sure to stay for the plant give-away following the presentation.

1:00 Year-round Gardening by Knowing Your Plants and Pushing the Envelops – Dr. Todd Lasseigne, President and CEO, Tulsa Botanic Gardens

Arkansas weather is often mild in the winter and warm and humid in the summer.  While there are sometimes challenges imposed by droughts, storms, and other events, it is possible to have a beautiful and interesting landscape throughout the year.   Join Dr. Lasseigne for a lively discussion on plants that will perform through all four seasons of the year (including winter!) so that you can enjoy your garden during any month, no matter the weather.

2:15 Terrific and Tough Annuals for Your Garden– Richard Cleaver, Culberson’s Greenhouses

Join Richard to learn about some of the best annual flowers for Arkansas landscapes.  As chair of Arkansas Green Industry Association’s Arkansas Diamond committee, Richard will announce the newest Arkansas Diamond plants.  These beauties have been chosen by local growers as outstanding plants that consistently perform well in our climate.  And you might just win a plant to try in your own yard in this session’s plant give-away.