CSNPC Schedule

2015 Central South Native Plant Conference
Thursday - Saturday, October 29-31


 

Pre-Conference Workshops

The Nature of Drawing
Thursday, October 29
Preston Montague
8:30-4:30 p.m.
Members $90 | Non-members $115 | Full-Time Students $75 (lunch included)
Botanical illustration is a powerful tool for understanding and communicating nature's design. Whether for scientific documentation, self-expression, or both, botanical illustration captures those moments in nature that inspire us. The Nature of Drawing will introduce you to the observation and drawing techniques necessary to illustrate the plants and animals that nourish your love for nature. Designed for enthusiasts with little to no artistic training, this beginners’ course will teach you the fundamentals of drawing in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. All materials provided.

A Garden of Stories: Write Your Life
Thursday, October 29
Janisse Ray
9-4 p.m.
Members $90 | Non-members $115 | Full-Time Students $75 (lunch included)
Here is a unique opportunity to focus for a day on art, creativity and the imagination, enjoy Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and work with a nature writer one-on-one. Maybe you've been journaling. Maybe you've been collecting anecdotes and images and metaphors. In this class you will get a chance to focus on your writing: how to transform your ideas into compelling, useful stories, using the material you have collected. Janisse will use writing prompts, brainstorming and advice from her own career to fuel the day. The class will cover the basics of creative nonfiction, including memoir and legacy writing. Come prepared to write, with your favorite writing tools.

 

2015 Schedule

 

Day One: Friday, October 30
Day Two: Saturday, October 31
  • 7-8 a.m. - Early Morning Birding - Helena Uber-Wamble, Education Manager,, Birmingham Audubon Society
  • 7:45-8:30 a.m. - Registration/Coffee
  • 8:45 - Welcome - Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer with Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion
  • 8:45-9 a.m. – Certificate in Native Plant Studies Graduation

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  • 7-8 a.m. - Early Morning Birding - Greg Harber, Chairman, Audubon Teaches Nature Committee, Birmingham Audubon Society
  • 7:45-8:30 a.m. - Registration/Coffee
  • 8:30-8:45 a.m. - Annoucements and a Tribute to Jan Midgley - Fred Spicer, Executive Director, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, John Manion, Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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Day One Plenary
Day Two Plenary
  • 9-10 a.m. - Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for More Resilient Landscapes - Thomas Rainer, Assistant Principal for Rhodeside & Harwell, instructor at George Washington University and Author. This groundbreaking talk presents a powerful alternative to traditional horticulture-designed plantings that function like naturally-occurring plant communities. Join landscape architect Thomas Rainer, a leading voice in ecological landscape design, to learn how plants fit together in nature and how to use this knowledge to create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful, and diverse. As practical as it is inspiring, this talk explores a new synthesis of ecology and horticulture, resulting in an intentionally designed and managed community where population dynamics are encouraged within an aesthetic framework.
  • 10-10:15 a.m. - BREAK
  • 10:15-11:15 a.m. - A Native Plant Palette: A Look into the Progressive Use of Native Plantings within Traditional Garden Types - Lea Ann Macknally, President of Macknally Land Design. Increased water demand, loss of habitat and excessive landscape maintenance are compelling reasons to create residential gardens that maximize ecological benefit and minimize negative impacts. It’s time to reject the notion that a garden that includes native species must look “wild." This presentation will focus on expanding the plant palette used in traditional and formal gardens to be richer and more ecologically sound.
  • 11:15-12:15 p.m. - Thinking of Heirloom Varietals as Natives - Janisse Ray, Author, 2015 Inductee to the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Heirloom seeds have become hugely popular in response to the realization that agrodiversity is suffering a steep decline. What is often overlooked is the highly beneficial role of native plants as the foundation of a garden. Janisse will speak about the juncture of heirloom preservation and ecosystem restoration: why to use vintage vegetables, flowers, and fruits in native gardens. Janisse will talk about some heirlooms that thrive in southern gardens and will tell some uplifting and hopeful stories along the way.
  • 12:15-1:30 p.m. - Lunch, plant and book sales

 

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  • 8:45-9:45 a.m. - Bizarre Natives - Larry Mellichamp, retired Professor of Botany and Horticulture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Author. Hey, wildflower gardener! Are you bored with your borages, complacent with your colic-root, and tired of your tiarellas? Then take a walk on the wild side with Dr. M and experience the bizarre behavior of some of our southeastern native plants. Get hit with a pie while you food shop, see an ant eat the top off the precious propagule of a prairie toadshade, marvel at the mop-top hairdo on a twinleaf seed, wade in southern water up to your keister to “get inside” a prostrate pitcher plant, and feel the thrill of finding little flies in the throat of a forgiving pipevine flower. Native plants can be weird and wonderful, and you can grow and watch them right in your own back yard.
  • 9:45-10 a.m. - BREAK
  • 10-11 a.m. - Is the Deep South the Missing Link in the Monarch Migration? - Bill Finch, Author, Columnist, Radio & TV personality. A key ingredient in restoring the monarch butterfly migration is right beneath our feet. Understanding and restoring southeastern native plants and ecosystems is as critical to the health of monarchs as restoring milkweeds in the Midwest and saving overwintering sites in Mexico. Bill will present some 45 species of monarch larval food plants found along the northern Gulf Coast, 15 or more endemic to the longleaf pine ecosystem, many of them unrecognized or ignored by monarch restorationists. He will examine the phenomenon of monarchs overwintering on the northern Gulf Coast, and also how late-blooming native members of the Asteraceae, and other species, are critical to monarch survival in fall and winter. Bill will also discuss other butterfly species (e.g. Gulf fritillaries, red admirals, zebra longwings and many swallowtails) with annually-expanding populations and their dependence on southeastern plants early and late in the year. The importance of restoring west-to -east, as well as south-to-north corridors from Mexico through the Southeast to New England will be emphasized. This information will enable us to envision a new type of butterfly garden that supports, rather than undermines, native butterfly habits and migratory patterns.
  • 11-noon - Horton Heard a Who and So Will You: A Cosmic Confluence of Cell Biology, Chemistry and Botany - Jeff Lowenfels, Founder of Plant a Row for the Hungry, Garden Columnist and Author. Based loosely on the award winning Teaming with Nutrients, this fascinating and entertaining exploration of the science behind how plants eat will lead you where you have never been before both horticulturally and spiritually. You will never again look at plants (or your own life) in the same way.
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. - Lunch, plant and book sales and poster session
  • 1:15-Plant pickup for Field Trip participants

 

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Day One Concurrents:

Room Locations Will Be Posted at the Conference

Day Two Concurrents:

Room Locations Will Be Posted at the Conference

  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. - Creating and Managing a Plant Community: Creative Approaches to Site Preparation, Installation, and Maintenance. Thomas Rainer, Assistant Principal for Rhodeside & Harwell, instructor at George Washington University and Author. The “tried-and-true” axioms that guide preparation, installation, and management arise from a belief that we should be able to place any kind of plant anywhere. Unique characteristics of soil like high pH or infertility are typically eradicated in favor of creating a generic, potting soil-like medium. Many of these widely accepted and blindly applied techniques actually undermine plant establishment and the long-term health of a planting. Join landscape architect Thomas Rainer to learn how to work with a site rather than fighting it. This talk explores ways to use a plant’s natural growing cycles to speed up establishment, minimize plant loss, and reduce unnecessary maintenance.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. - Potions, Poisons and Poultices - Brooke McMinn, Birmingham Botanical Gardens Plant Adventure Program Specialist. Throughout history, certain plants have been used to treat illness and injury, alter moods and even inspire love. Others have been employed to inflict enemies with malady, misfortune or even death. From potions and poisons, to decoctions and elixirs, learn ways the native flora of the southeast has historically been used for the benefit – as well as detriment of people.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. - A Brief History of the Last 500 Million Years: How Plants Came to Dominate the Land - Tom Diggs, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of North Georgia. Tom will lead a discussion focused on the evolution of land plants, including how they came to colonize the land, and their development to 350,000 or more species we see today. Included will be bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts), seedless vascular plants (ferns), gymnosperms (conifers and allies) and angiosperms (flowering plants).

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  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. -Teaming With Microbes: No More Chemicals! - Jeff Lowenfels, Founder of Plant a Row for the Hungry, Garden Columnist and Author. No one ever fertilizes the redwood forests. How did those trees grow to 350 feet and live for over 500 years without commercial fertilizers and other chemicals? Get the answer and learn the “whys” as well as the “hows” of organic gardening. No one leaves this extremely humorous presentation the same; even the reluctant spouse will be convinced by Lowenfels’ humor and the unbelievable science he presents that all gardeners need to know.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. - Foraging in the Southeast: How to Use Native Wild Edibles in Your Kitchen - Chris Bennett, Forager and Author. There is a vast array of southeastern native plants that are edible. More and more chefs in the southeast are using these plants that grow in the wild and not-so-wild. You will learn creative ways of using these plants as you think like a chef in your home kitchen. Nothing says more about where you are than what is growing in the wild.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. - Movable Gardens: Creating Beautiful Containers with Native Plants - Gloria Clemmensen, Garden Designer and Consultant. When we think of native plants, we usually think of them growing in the ground, either in the wild on in gardens. But many of these same plants can also thrive and look wonderful in containers, and mix well with favorite non-native species. Gardening in containers is especially practical for those who live in apartments, condominiums, or for those who don’t have space to garden in the ground. Movable plants, whose location may be changed easily, enables one to use containers as accents in varied locations. This class will cover design principles, potting mixes, planting techniques, maintenance tips, as well as plant and container selection. If you are a professional gardener, container plantings can be an excellent way to introduce your clients to natives.

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3:30-3:45 - BREAK

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  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. -The Amazing World of Ferns - Larry Mellichamp, retired Professor of Botany and Horticulture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Author. - Ferns are wonderful plants. They touch our lives whenever we walk through the florist door or along the forest floor. Everyone knows a fern; our grandmother had a big one on the porch that seemed to live forever. Ferns are ancient plants, but are constants in the modern garden that help give us a sense of place. In the southeastern United States we have many native ferns that are heat tolerant and though tricky to know, they are easy to grow. Think outside the box – create a fernery to help provide a setting for wildflowers using bold forms and cozy companions. This presentation will demonstrate how to know and grow ferns, describe the ten best ferns for the southeastern garden, and reveal the ten most unusual native ferns.
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. -Native Design: Translating Natural Habitats into Commercial, Educational, and Residential Landscapes - Preston Montague, Artist, Educator and Landscape Designer. Join Preston for a lively discussion about his experience using native plants in commercial, educational, and residential projects. Preston will present case studies in each of these three contexts to illustrate his approach to choosing and organizing plants based on natural habitats found throughout the southeastern US.
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. - Potions, Poisons and Poultices - Brooke McMinn, Birmingham Botanical Gardens Plant Adventure Program Specialist. Throughout history, certain plants have been used to treat illness and injury, alter moods and even inspire love. Others have been employed to inflict enemies with malady, misfortune or even death. From potions and poisons, to decoctions and elixirs, learn ways the native flora of the southeast has historically been used for the benefit – as well as detriment of people.

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  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. --Native Design: Translating Natural Habitats into Commercial, Educational, and Residential Landscapes - Preston Montague, Artist, Educator and Landscape Designer. Join Preston for a lively discussion about his experience using native plants in commercial, educational, and residential projects. Preston will present case studies in each of these three contexts to illustrate his approach to choosing and organizing plants based on natural habitats found throughout the southeastern US.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. -Creating a Haven for Butterflies: Your Yard and Beyond - Paulette Ogard and Sara Bright, co-authors of "Butterflies in Alabama: A Glimpse Into Their Lives." Welcoming butterflies into our landscapes is personally rewarding and environmentally important. As more and more habitat is lost, your yard can become a beautiful oasis that sustains the butterfly species that live in your area. We will focus on why using native host and nectar plants is important, and innovative ways to incorporate these plants into your landscape. Join us as we look at a garden through a butterfly’s eyes; learn the value of “trash trees”; and explore a treasure trove of garden-worthy, butterfly-friendly groundcovers, vines, flowers, shrubs and trees.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. - For the Birds: Creating Urban Habitats - Birmingham Audubon Society Board of Directors President Michelle Reynolds and Executive Director Suzanne Langley. By extending refuge for biodiversity to our landscapes we encourage appreciation for, and a greater knowledge of, the natural world, connecting people to the land and connecting the dots to enlarge habitat. The Birmingham Audubon Urban Bird Habitat Initiative strives to restore and create urban habitat for birds in spaces accessible to the public. By promoting the use of native plants and by collecting data and reporting outcomes in the wildlife attracted to the plots, we demonstrate to the visiting public habitat-building concepts to be shared and implemented in home, school, church, office and municipal landscapes.

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  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. - Foraging in the Southeast: How to Use Native Wild Edibles in Your Kitchen - Chris Bennett, Forager and Author. There is a vast array of southeastern native plants that are edible. More and more chefs in the southeast are using these plants that grow in the wild and not-so-wild. You will learn creative ways of using these plants as you think like a chef in your home kitchen. Nothing says more about where you are than what is growing in the wild.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. -Movable Gardens: Creating Beautiful Containers with Native Plants - Gloria Clemmensen, Garden Designer and Consultant. When we think of native plants, we usually think of them growing in the ground, either in the wild on in gardens. But many of these same plants can also thrive and look wonderful in containers, and mix well with favorite non-native species. Gardening in containers is especially practical for those who live in apartments, condominiums, or for those who don’t have space to garden in the ground. Movable plants, whose location may be changed easily, enables one to use containers as accents in varied locations. This class will cover design principles, potting mixes, planting techniques, maintenance tips, as well as plant and container selection. If you are a professional gardener, container plantings can be an excellent way to introduce your clients to natives.
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. - How Longleaf Pine teaches us a New Way of Seeing and Managing Light in the Garden - Bill Finch, Author, Columnist, Radio & TV Personality. Light emanates from every corner of a longleaf pine forest, even (it seems) from the ground itself. It's a trick of the light fostered by longleaf. More importantly, longleaf manages light like no other forest, and learning how it does that will transform how you see and use light in your own garden.

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3:30-3:45 - BREAK

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  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. -Teaming With Microbes: No More Chemicals! - Jeff Lowenfels, Founder of Plant a Row for the Hungry, Garden Columnist and Author. No one ever fertilizes the redwood forests. How did those trees grow to 350 feet and live for over 500 years without commercial fertilizers and other chemicals? Get the answer and learn the “whys” as well as the “hows” of organic gardening. No one leaves this extremely humorous presentation the same; even the reluctant spouse will be convinced by Lowenfels’ humor and the unbelievable science he presents that all gardeners need to know.
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. -For the Birds: Creating Urban Habitats - Birmingham Audubon Society Board of Directors President Michelle Reynolds and Executive Director Suzanne Langley. By extending refuge for biodiversity to our landscapes we encourage appreciation for, and a greater knowledge of, the natural world, connecting people to the land and connecting the dots to enlarge habitat. The Birmingham Audubon Urban Bird Habitat Initiative strives to restore and create urban habitat for birds in spaces accessible to the public. By promoting the use of native plants and by collecting data and reporting outcomes in the wildlife attracted to the plots, we demonstrate to the visiting public habitat-building concepts to be shared and implemented in home, school, church, office and municipal landscapes.
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m. -Creating a Haven for Butterflies: Your Yard and Beyond - Paulette Ogard and Sara Bright, co-authors of "Butterflies in Alabama: A Glimpse Into Their Lives." Welcoming butterflies into our landscapes is personally rewarding and environmentally important. As more and more habitat is lost, your yard can become a beautiful oasis that sustains the butterfly species that live in your area. We will focus on why using native host and nectar plants is important, and innovative ways to incorporate these plants into your landscape. Join us as we look at a garden through a butterfly’s eyes; learn the value of “trash trees”; and explore a treasure trove of garden-worthy, butterfly-friendly groundcovers, vines, flowers, shrubs and trees.

 

 

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ADJOURN FOR DINNER ON YOUR OWN

Day Two Field Trips:

Meeting Locations Will Be Posted at Conference

 

 

  • 1:30-5 p.m. - Village Creek Canyon - Zac Napier, Land Steward for Freshwater Land Trust.
    This little-known Freshwater Land Trust property to the west of Birmingham, is distinctive in several ways, not least of which is being the southernmost population of Tsuga canadensis, Canadian hemlock. In this scenic and botanically rich 300 acre parcel of land, a microclimate exists (due to high north-facing bluffs) which supports a variety of plant species normally found farther north. The parcel offers a wide variety of habitats from cool and wet bottomland floodplains to high and dry south facing shale ridge tops. Visits to the site this year have revealed three species of plants never-before documented for Jefferson County; who knows what other treasures exist therein? Difficulty: Easy-to-moderate, trip limited to 25.
  • 1:30-5 p.m. - Bibb County Glades: Alabama’s Botanical Lost World - Tom Diggs, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of North Georgia. Step back 10,000 years into Alabama’s natural history and learn about the rare, unusual and endangered plants of this unique habitat. Eight species new to science were discovered there relatively recently, including several endemics. How these plants evolved and adapted to this unique place is a fascinating story. Difficulty: Mild-to-moderate, limited to 20.
  • 1:30-5 p.m. -Limestone Park & Ebenezer Swamp - Ken Wills, President of Friends of Moss Rock Preserve and Volunteer Coordinator of the Birmingham Audubon Limestone Park Project. Limestone Park, a one hundred-acre parcel owned by the City of Alabaster, is part of one of the largest wetland complexes in the Appalachian region of Alabama. Found within the park is large beaver marsh, wet meadow and a large water tupelo swamp. In the past, much of this property was pastured, before Birmingham Audubon Society volunteers began to restore the area with native prairie grasses and wildflowers. We expect the fall bloom to feature various other botanical beauties including locally uncommon goldenrods. Another location to be visited on this trip is Ebenezer Swamp, which is a beautiful and fascinating place at all times of the year. Difficulty: Easy, limited to 25.
  • 2-5 p.m. - Never Enough Natives: An In-depth Look at the Native Plant Collections of Birmingham Botanical Gardens - John Manion, Kaul Wildflower Garden curator at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The seven-acre Kaul Wildflower Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens holds one of the largest documented collections of native plants in the state, and is comprised of species native to Alabama and surrounding regions. Included in the collection are several rare, endangered and endemic plants. In addition to exploring the wildflower garden, participants will have the opportunity to see our behind-the-scenes propagation and conservation projects. Difficulty: Easy, limited to 20.