The Door County Master Gardeners (DCMGA) present an informative and entertaining fall seminar, “A New Look at American Home Gardens” with Ed Lyon, director of the UW Allen Centennial Gardens on Saturday, November 3.
Over time, traditional home landscapes have become smaller. Trends in gardening and interests in plant usage have changed. Homeowners have become concerned about the locality, safety and quality of their food. Recent research is showing that America’s love affair with the lawn, regardless of their regionalism, is “killing” soils, depleting resources, polluting the environment and creating social barriers within their neighborhoods.
“Sustainable” and “native” are trendy buzzwords among gardeners and non-gardeners alike, as well as the green industry. Overemphasizing the trend, the market has almost given plants labeled “ornamental” or “exotic” bad names. But what does native mean? What makes a plant native? Are native plantsalways the best choices in a home landscape? Is the urban landscape the same as the rural landscape? Can good plants go bad? What is at the heart of this controversy and what is the validity of the claims?
This year’s DCMGA seminar speaker, Ed Lyon, is the director of the Allen Centennial Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin, a position he has held since 2008. Ed earned his first degree from Cornell University in Agricultural Economics and Animal Science. He returned to school in the late 1990’s earning a MS in Horticulture at UW-Madison under the direction of Dr. Dennis Stimart. He worked in the Allen Centennial Gardens under the direction of Dr. Stimart while pursuing his degree and consequently decided to focus his studies on public garden administration. Ed has served as Symposia & Special Programs Coordinator for Chicago Botanic Garden, Director of Education for Olbrich Botanical Gardens and most recently, Executive Director for the Rotary Botanical Gardens.
Ed Lyon draws from his experience as gardener, horticulturist, public garden administrator, designer, writer and consultant to dispel myths and demonstrate the differences using both plants and gardens as examples. What works in one setting may become a nightmare in another. Knowing the real story, and avoiding potentially misleading trends can help you make the best choices for your home garden.
The seminar opens with a two-hour program called “The Front Lawn Challenge: Taking a New Look at an Old Space.” Whether it is the resurgence of interest in home grown produce in a “return to the Victory Garden,” or a desire to become more ecologically responsible, or a passion that makes the front garden as relevant as the back; many homeowners are re-examining the use of their front lawn, boulevards and terraces. Ed Lyon’s small Main Street front yard and terrace are an example among many others that he will share, examining the issues and showing a plethora of examples of other Midwest gardeners who have converted front yard spaces to a variety of uses.
Following questions and a break for lunch, participants will again join Ed for an hour-and-a-half, in looking at “Natural Beauty,” a program designed to help gardeners make smart choices, not trendy ones when designing, building or maintaining their home gardens.
The seminar will take place in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday, November 3 in the beautiful Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek. The day will begin with registration at 8:30 am and end at 2 pm, with a break in the middle for a refreshing box lunch and snacks. Members of the public are invited to attend. The cost of the program is $35 and includes a box lunch. For more information and to register, contact Bill or Sarah Freyman at 920.868.1749 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration fees are due by Tuesday, October 30, so please contact the Freymans early if you wish to attend.