The Kansas City Garden Symposium is hosted annually by Gardeners Connect.
The full-day symposium is planned for Saturday, March 16, in Arrupe Hall on the campus of Rockhurst University, 54th Street and Troost Avenue in Kansas City, MO.
For $99, the event includes four speakers, six presentations, lunch, and a gift bag.
A garden design workshop is planned for the day before the symposium, on Friday, March 15. During a 6-hour class on “The Garden Room Method,” instructor Lisa Nunamaker will lead a hands-on workshop guiding students on how to unravel the design process to help delineate living and planting spaces.
The deadline to sign up for either event is March 9, 2024.
The theme for the 2024 Symposium is Vivid Gardens, Midwest Moxie. The four speakers will address conservation, using native plants in gardens, using tropicals to add colorful splash to gardens, small-garden vegetable growing, and the best of the All-America Selections plants.
The speaker lineup includes:
• Julie Copley, conservationist at Powell Gardens, plans to discuss the connection of native plants, conservation and gardening. She led the transformation of the Susan Lordi Marker Native Plant Garden. The garden reflects the beauty of our region’s flora in a formalized landscape design.
• Susie Van de Reit, a St. Louis garden designer who specializes in using native plants and has designed a sample garden for native plant advocacy group Wild Ones, will discuss garden design using native plants. Since 2014, she has operated St. Louis Native Plants LLC. She is a member of Grow Native! and Wild Ones, organizations that advocate for growing native plants. She has served as Education Subcommittee chair of Grow Native! and has participated with the St. Louis Audubon Society’s “Bring Conservation Home” program as a habitat adviser.
• Irvin Etienne, curator of herbaceous plants and seasonal garden design for the museum at the Garden at Newfields at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, who will focus on adding eye-popping, attention-getting color and texture to our gardens with tropicals and annuals. He calls it “pure tropicalissmo,” and that program is titled “Carmen Miranda in the Midwest.” He also plans to broaden our horizons with a program titled is “The Joy of Containers.”
• John Porter, an AAS judge, Garden Professors blog contributor a former Nebraska horticulture agent and regular guest on Nebraska Extension’s long-running “Backyard Farmer” show on Nebraska Public Broadcasting. He will present two programs: “Small-Scale Intensive Vegetable Garden Production” and “All-America Selections Trials and Exciting New Plants.”