Webinar: Native Plants for Bird Friendly Communities

A Wednesday Walk in the Garden

As we think ahead to spring and summer gardens, we anticipate the sights, scents, and sounds. One way to enhance the garden experience is to invite fascinating wildlife to live in and around the yard.

This presentation features the beautiful songbirds that flit through gardens including wrens, cardinals, finches, nuthatches, and more.

Add beauty to your outdoor spaces, while helping birds and wildlife too! Bird-friendly gardens are a treat to anyone who appreciates gardening, wildlife, and the motion and song of birds.

Photo courtesy Will-Stuart

Join Audubon CT-NY’s Jillian Bell for a presentation focused on bird-friendly plants for your home landscape. With the right plants, any space—from a small container on your patio to an acre of your backyard—can become more bird-friendly.

Whether you have years of experience with bird-friendly gardens or want to start your first one, you will find information and inspiration in this presentation.

All successful bird gardens are comprised of three very important elements: covernesting, and nourishment (food and water). In this presentation, Jillian will provide an in-depth look at the things you can do to make your outdoor spaces more bird-friendly for our year-round avian residents as well as feathered friends who stopover during their migration journeys.

2021 Colonial Williamsburg Garden Symposium – Virtual

 I have a few things already on my calendar for this weekend, but this symposium has a flexible structure, releasing new talks each day to watch on your schedule. 
From the website:
In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, we invite you to join us from your home or garden, as we examine garden designs, gardening practices, and plant choices that embrace nature yet beautify the landscape. Guest speakers and Colonial Williamsburg horticultural staff will share some of their best practices for creating gardens that are sustainable and earth-friendly. While we may not be able to gather in a large group to enjoy this conference together, each conference registrant will receive a multi-day ticket voucher to redeem for a future visit to enjoy our historic and iconic gardens at a time most convenient to you!

After a year where many dove headlong into the art of gardening—many perhaps for the first time—now seems perfect to address the relationship between gardeners and the environments in which they practice their skills. Keynote Speaker, national gardening television host, Joe Lamp’l, will provide practical information to help us all become better, smarter gardeners. Professor and researcher, Doug Tallamy, will share how we are nature’s best hope for biodiversity, and David Mizejewski, spokesperson for the National Wildlife Federation, will share a whole new perspective on gardening.

 Award winning authors Anne Spafford and Nancy Lawson will discuss creating successful gardens for pollinators and other wildlife.  Our esteemed roster of speakers is rounded out by local garden experts and talented members of Colonial Williamsburg’s landscape and foodways staff, eager to share their horticultural knowledge and skills with you in presentations, demonstrations, and panel discussions. We hope you will join us virtually for the 74th Annual Garden Symposium, April 22-25, 2021 as we Celebrate Planet Earth by Giving Back with Our Gardens.

Register by April 1, 2021

Close Encounters with Nature: Native Design in the Residential Landscape

Few home landscapes can provide the stunning vistas of a Yosemite National Park, a vast midwestern prairie, or an ancient Appalachian mountain range. They can however, provide a far more intimate and interactive natural experience than visits to those landscapes ever could. In this session Larry will interweave a series of practical, ecologically-interactive landscape techniques, with the rich experiential rewards that applying those techniques can engender.

SBG 2021 Native Plant Symposium

$35 Registration

Growing and protecting native plants are important for many reasons: they celebrate our state and region, they are well suited to our region’s growing conditions, and they are the foundation of the complex ecosystem that supports insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Native plants can be tough, beautiful garden plants for your home landscape as well as delicate harbingers of the changing seasons. Join us this year as we explore the conservation of monarch butterflies. Learn about the plants that attract monarchs and other pollinators to our gardens, their importance to our ecosystems, and how we can continue to protect them.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia 2021 Native Plant Symposium Wednesday, Feb. 10 

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (EST) 

Virtual Program 

Growing and protecting native plants are important for many reasons: they celebrate our state and  region, they are well suited to our region’s growing conditions, and they are the foundation of the  complex ecosystem that supports insects, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Native plants  can be tough, beautiful garden plants for your home landscape as well as delicate harbingers of the  changing seasons. Join us this year as we explore the conservation of monarch butterflies. Learn  about the plants that attract monarchs and other pollinators to our gardens, their importance to our  ecosystems and how we can continue to protect them. 


9-9:15 Welcome & Overview 

Jenny Cruse-Sanders, director, State Botanical Garden of Georgia 

Barbara Bourque, president, Garden Club of Georgia  

9:15-10 Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Monarch Butterflies!  Susan Vanderlip, Monarch conservation specialist, Monarch Watch 

Monarch butterflies are considered by many to be the most iconic of butterflies and  captivate audiences of all ages. In her presentation, Susie will discuss the complex life  cycle of monarch butterflies, milkweed options and issues, how to plant a Monarch  Sanctuary, migration, predators, impacts of changes in climate and more. She is  passionate about saving monarch butterflies from further decline and dedicates much  of her time to helping others raise them as well.  

Susie Vanderlip has raised hundreds of monarch butterflies in her Orange, California  garden for the past 12 years. She is a Monarch Butterfly Citizen Scientist, testing and  tagging monarchs, and is the Monarch Conservation Specialist in southern California for  Monarch Watch. She has extensively photographed and videotaped all aspects of  monarch life cycle and written an award-winning children’s photo storybook and  produced a 10-minute movie, both entitled The Story of Chester, the Monarch  Caterpillar/Larva. Susie is passionate about saving monarch butterflies from further  decline and dedicates much of her time to helping others raise them as well.  

10-10:10 Break 

10:10-10:40 Safeguarding Critically-imperiled Milkweed in Georgia  

Emma Neigel, conservation horticulturist, Atlanta Botanical Garden 

In Georgia, four critically-imperiled milkweeds occur throughout the state: purple  milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens), red milkweed (A. rubra), swamp milkweed (A.  incarnata ssp. incarnata), and Savanna milkweed (A. pedicellata). To aid in conserving  these critically imperiled milkweed species, Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Conservation  and Research department received funding in June 2020 from the Georgia Botanical 

State Botanical Garden of Georgia 2021 Native Plant Symposium Wednesday, Feb. 10 

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (EST) 

Virtual Program 

Society Marie Mellinger Field Botany Research Grant. The project is focused on  collecting wild seed for safeguarding. Emma will talk about the work being done  through this project to protect these four milkweeds in Georgia.  

Emma Neigel grew up in Alberta, Canada where she worked in the garden and a local  plant nursery throughout high school. She attended Mississippi State University where she  received her B.S and M.S. in horticulture. Her thesis project “Mapping potential habitat  for Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) in Mississippi using GIS” enabled her to  further her knowledge of planting milkweed. Emma now works as conservation  horticulturist for Atlanta Botanical Gardens where she takes care of the safeguarding  nursery collection in Gainesville, GA including several milkweed species. 

10:40-11:10 Monarch Conservation Through Roadside Management 

Meg Hedeen, biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service 

On December 15, 2020, the US Fish & Wildlife Service announced that listing the  monarch as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act is  warranted, but precluded by higher priority listing actions. Starting in early 2019, the  Georgia Department of Transportation collaborated with other state DOTs and energy  groups across the country to develop the Monarch Butterfly Candidate Conservation  Agreement with Assurances, which outlines conservation measures that these groups  can employ to help support the continued existence of this important and charismatic  butterfly. Meg will share details on the Conservation Agreement and what steps we will  be taking here in Georgia under this agreement. 

Meg is a biologist with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Previously, Meg worked as the State  Environmental Liaison at the Georgia Department of Transportation where she worked  with the University of Illinois Chicago and right-of-way management groups across the  country on building and coordinating the Monarch Butterfly Candidate Conservation  Agreement with Assurances (of which the GA DOT is a signatory). Meg has worked with  the New Jersey Audubon’s Monarch Monitoring Project each fall for over 20 years and  also conducts butterfly surveys across Georgia for the North American Butterfly  Association and Butterflies of the Atlantic Flyway Alliance.  

11:10-11:20 Break  

11:20-11:25 Overview of Certificate in Native Plants and Plants and Pollinators Specialization  

11:25-11:55 Milkweeds, Monarchs and So Much More! 

Henning von Schmeling, senior director of operations, Chattahoochee Nature  Center

State Botanical Garden of Georgia 2021 Native Plant Symposium Wednesday, Feb. 10 

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (EST) 

Virtual Program 

In this presentation, Henning will talk about milkweeds, monarchs and the habitat needs  for them. He will discuss various propagation techniques for milkweeds, associate plants  the monarch requires as nectar sources and how you can get started growing your  own garden to incorporate these plants and foster monarch butterfly habitat.  

Henning von Schmeling is the Senior Director of Operations at the Chattahoochee  Nature Center. He began volunteering at the Nature Center after moving to Atlanta  with his family and in doing so found a great love for native plants. He later began  working at the center and eventually started their horticulture program. Henning is a  founding member of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance with most of his work  taking place in NW GA. Recently, he has become interested in milkweeds and  monarch conservation, growing 20 of the 22 species native to Georgia and mass  producing 5 species to be used in habitat restoration and other projects.  

11:55-12:25 Plant Conservation in the Modern World: How Platforms Like iNaturalist Can Help  You Save Rare Species and Natural Communities 

Tara Littlefield, senior botanist, Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves 

The use of online social networks is a part of everyday life for many folks today and  many of these platforms can be beneficial in aiding ongoing plant conservation  projects across the globe. This talk will focus on discussing specific examples of  iNaturalist conservation projects that are happening in Kentucky and the Southeast and  how these projects help in conserving our natural heritage while building our plant  conservation communities. Projects include Botanist Big Years’, documenting roadside  rare plants and grassland communities, bioblitzes on public lands and more. 

Tara Littlefield is the senior botanist and manager of the Plant Conservation Section at  the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves. She serves on the board of the Kentucky  Native Plant Society and coordinates the state’s plant conservation alliance  activities. Tara has had a fascination with the natural world since a small child and has  a B.S. in Biochemistry from University of Louisville as well as an M.S. in Forest/Plant  Ecology from the University of Kentucky. Much of her work involves rare species surveys,  general floristic inventories, natural areas inventory, acquisition of natural areas and  rare plant/community restoration and recovery.  

12:25-12:30 Closing Remarks

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard

Douglas W. Tallamy’s first book, Bringing Nature Home, awakened thousands of readers to an urgent situation: wildlife populations are in decline because the native plants they depend on are fast disappearing. His solution? Plant more natives.

In his new book, award-winning author and entomologist, Doug Tallamy, takes the next step and outlines his vision for a grassroots approach to conservation. Nature’s Best Hope shows homeowners everywhere how to turn their yards into conservation corridors that provide wildlife habitats.

Tallamy will share with us his vision of a world where, as he describes in the introduction to Nature’s Best Hope, “landscaping will become synonymous with ecological restoration.” He believes that as earth stewards, we will live not with less but with more as our lives are enriched by birds, butterflies, blossoms, and the abundant animal and plant biodiversity thriving in our own backyards.

Hear from Tallamy how you can use Nature’s Best Hope as a blueprint for doing your part to help preserve our precious wildlife—and the planet—for future generations

Book signing and reception will follow the lecture. Tickets are $25. Reservations are required. For information or tickets, please call 404.814.4150 or visit atlantahistorycenter.com

There is no member ticket discount for this event.

Virtual 32nd Annual Ecological Landscape Symposium

Note:  You can register for individual days of this four-day conference.

Guiding Theory into Reality:
It Don’t Mean a Thing if the Landscape Don’t Sing

The 2021 Ecological Landscape Design Symposium, going virtual this year, will explore how ecology, culture, and design can be incorporated into real-world contemporary practice. This program is geared toward landscape practitioners in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US.

January 21 & 22, 2021 | 1 – 4:30 PM EST*
January 28 & 29, 2021 | 9 AM – 12:30 PM EST*
*All four dates are distinct programs with different speakers – register for full bundle or individual days.

Incorporating science into landscape design is of little use if the resulting plantings are not harmonious to the people who engage with them, and are not in tune with the animals that depend on them. In this virtual symposium we will explore how scientific research can lead to tangible approaches for a new landscape tradition, one where ecological, anthropological, and sociological considerations expand the scope of landscape design.

Annual Symposium Brochure


CEUs are available (ASLA-LACES, APLD, ISA, NOFA)

Cosponsored by:
New Directions in the American Landscape
Morris Arboretum of the University of PA
Connecticut College Arboretum

Virtual Native Plant Sale Preview Party

A Virtual Native Plant Sale Preview will be held on Friday, Oct. 2, from 6-7 p.m. The proceeds of this event will support the State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s conservation efforts and provides you with a special interactive evening with native plant experts.

During the event our conservation staff will highlight their favorite plant pairings using this year’s featured plant– Solidago. A final Q&A session will give you the opportunity to ask your questions about garden design, maintenance and more. Registration fee also includes a recipe for a specialty beverage featuring Mountain Mint!

9th Annual Native Plant Sale – State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Fall is the best time to plant so come visit the 2020 Connect to Protect nativeplant sale this October. It’s an online only sale this year, with scheduled plant pickup time, but just as grand! The focus of this year’s sale is the Year of the Pollinator with Solidago, a pollinator fall favorite. The Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies staff have grown Georgia natives and pollinator friendly plants that are healthy and ready to be planted in your yard today!

Visit https://botgarden.uga.edu/fall-native-plant-sale-events/  for store access on Oct 1 and for instructions on how to schedule your pickup.


Micro-Prairies / Meadow Gardening


Learn about low maintenance options that attract pollinators, save water, reduce maintenance, and most importantly are attractive!

Horticulture Agent Jordan Franklin teaches about Micro-prairie gardening.



Drew Jeffers