Monday, January 10, 2011

Upcoming Conferences in the New England Area

'Tis the season for landscaping conferences and meetings.  Before we get too busy with the physical work, the wintertime is a time to do some learning and meet others who are doing similar work, as well as seeing what new plants and products are out there. 

The following is a listing of some of the conferences happening in the New England area over the next 3 months.  There may be others, but these are the ones that have crossed my desk recently. 

22nd Annual Landscape Design Symposium on January 20th and 21st, 2011, titled: Uncharted Territory: An Expansive Approach to Environmental Landscape Design.  This series of symposia was developed by Larry Weaner, one of the top people in the area of naturalistic design and the use of native species in the landscape.  This 2-day event features 11 speakers covering a range of topics including history, plant selection, sustainable practices and natural landscape design.  The conference is held at Connecticut College in New London, CT.

For the landscape professional you can't beat the 3-day long New England Grows, from Feb 2-4, 2011 at the new Boston Convention and Exposition Center.  This is a huge show featuring both landscape equipment and supplies, plant materials, and consulting services.  In addition there are a series of talks covering a wide range of landscape industry topics.

Natural Landscape Design: Meadows & Woods, Feb 16-18th, at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA, is another Larry Weaner sponsored course.  This is focused on the landscape design professional who wants to learn more about the natural design process and management of a naturalistic design, especially in the context of Meadows and/or Woods. 

The ELA  (Ecological Landscaping Association) conference is March 3, 2011.  This one day conference is focused on using ecological methods in the landscape and is accessible to anyone interested in improving the ecological functioning of their landscape.  In addition to a very good line up of speakers, there is a marketplace where you can see many new products and speak with the vendors.  This conference is in Springfield, MA, so you can connect with people outside the Boston area.  This was the very first landscaping conference I attended 6 years ago, and I have been there every year since.

2010 Flower Show
And finally there is the New England Spring Flower Show, March 16-20, 2011, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.  This event is sponsored in part by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.  This year the theme is "A Burst of Color: Celebrating the Container Garden".  Program detail do not appear to be available yet, but the topic of container gardening should be well suited to the Flower Show format.  Last year I saw some crazy items and got some good ideas. 

Check out the links for more information about each of these meetings.  Except for the Tower Hill course, I am planning to attend all of these events.  People ask me 'what do you do in the off-season', I tell them I attend conferences and get juiced-up for the spring.  What are some other meetings that should not be missed this winter?

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