Today’s Horticulture Symposium

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Today’s Horticulture Symposium

Closeup of yellow and black swallowtail butterfly perched on umbel of small pink star-shaped flowers.
Judy Czeiner

Date & Price

Friday, February 2, 2024

8:00 am–4:30 pm


2024 Schedule

8:00–8:45 am
Registration, Visitor Center

Continental breakfast provided in the Music Room.

8:00 am–4:45 pm
Plant Sale, Patio of Oranges

Shop an eclectic offering of houseplants, perennials, woodies and more. Proceeds from the sale benefit educational travel for students of the Longwood Gardens Professional Horticulture Program.

8:50 am
Welcome, Conservatory Ballroom

Alex Correia, Event Chair

9:00 am
Gravetye Manor: William Robinson’s Wild Garden

Tom Coward

Gravetye Manor Head Gardener Tom Coward enlightens us on the restoration and improvement of Gravetye Manor, the historic Sussex garden of William Robinson—a well-known gardener and author who transformed Victorian gardening through innovative ideas and publications. In this talk, Coward explores Robinson’s life and his influence on horticulture, covering topics such as flower gardens, wild gardens, kitchen gardens, and orchards.

9:45–10:15 am
Morning Break

Refreshments provided in the Music Room.

10:15 am
The Conservation Status of Trillium in North America

Amy Highland

Emerging as one of the first signs of spring, the iconic trillium are loved by many, yet many are at extinction risk. During this talk, Director of Collections for Mt. Cuba Center Amy Highland explores the many common threats facing both threatened and nonthreatened trillium taxa alike, while sharing findings from The Conservation Status of Trillium in North America, the first comprehensive report on North American trillium since Fred and Roberta Case’s 1997 monograph. This report, created in conjunction with Mt. Cuba Center, the Albuquerque Bio Park, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Natureserve, illustrates a change in our understanding of species, their distribution, and the threats they face in the wild.

11:00 am
Life Lessons from the Garden

Rizaniño “Riz” Reyes

Pursuing a career in horticulture has many challenges, especially when nature is often your boss. During this talk, Assistant Director of Heronswood Garden and RHR Horticulture Owner Rizaniño “Riz” Reyes digs into his roots and discusses weeding through obstacles, cultivating opportunities, and planting ideas with youth by exploring different ways of nurturing the next generation of garden enthusiasts.

11:45 am

Boxed lunches will be provided in the Music Room.

1:00 pm
Welcome Back and Scholarship Announcement

1:05 pm
Professional Horticulture Program Alumni Spotlight

Temporary Spacemaking: Gardening at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Martha Keen

Learn which design and construction considerations go into producing a successful show garden from Martha Keen, horticulture manager and co-founder of Apiary Studio, a firm that for three years running has been a major exhibitor at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Through a carousel of process photos, Keen reviews her experience creating displays at the show’s indoor and outdoor venues, starting with the conceptual and schematic phases, through fabrication and project management, to the final reveal.

Planting for the Future: Equity in Installation

Rob Shaut

In this talk, Rob Shaut of nonprofit organization Casey Trees shares how the organization approaches equitable tree installation, public outreach, and urban forest advocacy in disadvantaged communities and areas with high development pressure in Washington, DC. Hear how the team tackles species selection in the face of the climate crisis and delve into the importance of effective policy to protect the existing tree canopy of the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

2:00 pm
Afternoon Break

Refreshments provided in the Music Room.

2:30 pm
Pollinators in the Woods? Wild Bees in Woody Habitats and How You Can Support Them

Dr. Kass Urban-Mead

We often celebrate pollinators in gardens and meadows, yet more than two-thirds of northeastern wild bee species rely on forest habitats for part of their life cycle. In this talk, Dr. Kass Urban-Mead discusses how wild bees use forests—from the leafy forest floor to the top of the canopy—and explores how management for diverse, climate-resilient forests can help save the bees.

3:15 pm
A Manifesto for Ugly Duckling Landscapes

Julie Bargmann

Landscapes are hard, all messy and complex. Sites are entangled, many toxic and degraded. Neighborhoods are complicated, uniquely layered and wanting. To evoke the swan from tough sites, good design isn’t enough; environmental regeneration, social equity, savvy resourcefulness and sheer joy are required. In this talk, regenerative landscapes expert and educator Julie Bargmann explores how careful, slow looking reflects a restraint to unearth and give form to optimistic experiences in unlikely places, like an unexpected garden, both intimate and immense.

4:00 pm
Closing Remarks


About Our Speakers

Julie Bargmann

Julie Bargmann is internationally recognized as a leader in the design and building of regenerative landscapes, as well as a rigorous, adventuresome educator. Bargmann founded D.I.R.T. studio in 1992 to execute projects with passion, vision, and unflinching honesty. Simplicity of form, use of extant materials, and deliberate restraint are hallmarks of her evocative and authentic landscapes.

Tom Coward

Tom Coward began his career in gardening on the Isle of Wight. He worked in various gardens and a fruit nursery before studying at Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley; Pershore College; and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Coward has traveled extensively, including working in the nursery industry in Oregon and growing vegetables for a hotel in New Zealand. He previously worked as an assistant gardener to Fergus Garret at Great Dixter House & Gardens, which profoundly influenced his gardening techniques. Since 2010, Coward has managed the gardens at Gravetye Manor and played a significant role in its restoration and development. He writes for multiple magazines, including Gardens Illustrated.

Amy Highland

Amy Highland is a conservation liaison, connecting rare and endangered plants with people (and sometimes insects). As Director of Collections for Mt. Cuba Center, Highland is an authority on native plants—and her curiosity often drives her to create new ways for conservators to think of the natural world. A graduate of Purdue University’s Public Horticulture program, Highland has dedicated her life to conserving plants and preventing extinction events, and has traveled throughout the temperate forests of North America to find rare plants in need of conservation.

Martha Keen

Martha Keen is the horticulture manager and co-founder at Apiary Studio, a landscape design-build firm in Philadelphia. Keen is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, and of the Professional Horticulture Program at Longwood Gardens. Before entering private practice, Keen worked at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, and at Wyck Historic House in Philadelphia.

Rizaniño “Riz” Reyes

Rizaniño “Riz” Reyes is a Filipino-American horticulturist based in Seattle, WA. He is the assistant director of Heronswood Garden in Kingston, WA and the owner of RHR Horticulture, an independent enterprise that encompasses his many interests in rare and unusual plants, garden communication, cut-flower growing, and design.

Rob Shaut

Rob Shaut is a TRAQ-certified arborist who oversees a team of 28 at nonprofit organization Casey Trees, planting more than 6,000 trees throughout Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia, and maintaining thousands more each year. A graduate of Longwood Gardens’ Professional Horticulture Program, Shaut holds a Bachelor of Science in business management from Clemson University, and studied at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, UK.

Dr. Kass Urban-Mead

Dr. Kass Urban-Mead grew up in the Hudson Valley, NY, and completed her master’s degree in environmental science at Yale School of Forestry. Her doctoral work at Cornell University characterized the wild bees active in early spring temperate hardwood forest edges, through an exploration of canopy tree pollen consumption by spring-flying bees, and how bee movement between forests and adjacent orchards supports pollination.

Professional Credit

Professional credit is offered by the following organizations for attendance at the symposium (in-person attendees only).

Pesticide Credits

  • Pennsylvania: 0
  • Maryland: 8
  • Delaware: 0
  • New Jersey: 1

Course CEUs

  • LA CES - Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System: 5
  • PLNA - Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association: 4.75 PCH; 3.50 SLC
  • ASHS - American Society for Horticultural Science: 6
  • APLD - Association of Professional Landscape Designers: 5
  • NOFA - Northeast Organic Farming Association: 0
  • NJNLA - New Jersey Nursery & Landscape Association: 0
  • DNLA - Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association: 1
  • ISA - International Society of Arboriculture:
    • 4.75 Arborist, TW Climber, Municipal TW Aerial lift
    • 1 BCMA Science
    • 0.75 BCMA Practice