2016 Plants of Distinction

Date: February 3, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Grand Rapids Crowne Plaza, 4747 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Contact: Marybeth Denton, denton.marybeth@anr.msu.edu, 989-539-7805

 New and Noteworthy Plants for Every Landscape

Wednesday, February 3rd - Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids Crowne Plaza, 4747 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Thursday, February. 4th - Novi
Novi Crowne Plaza, 27000 Karevich Drive, Novi, MI 48377

Time: 8:30 a.m. (registration)
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (program)

Cost: $80.00 per participant 
(Includes lunch, refreshments, handouts)

New plants are the life-blood of the landscape and gardening economy.  Plant research and global exploration influence the number and types of plants available. However, we all know that “new” is not always “best” for our landscapes. With consumers turning their attention to sustainability and green practices, the question arises, “How much maintenance do these plants require?”  MSU Extension has developed a portfolio of renowned plant experts to present this annual seminar. Speakers will enrich your knowledge of widely sought-after plant material while remembering the foundational message of “right plant, right place.” 

Inspiration and Creativity, Taking Cues from Nature
Dan Bernarcik, Chanticleer, Wayne PA


Join noted horticulturist and garden designer, Dan Benarcik, as he shares an aesthetic design approach to everyday garden spaces that draw inspiration from the places and communities where they will be utilized.  Whether in an expansive public landscape, park or small niche in a private garden, plants are the backbone of successful design.  Drawing upon his cumulative experiences from Chanticleer and other public gardens, Benarcik is sure to inspire and refresh your creativity and imagination!

Sensational Shruberry
Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville, WI


Ornamental shrubs not only offer color and texture in the landscape but when care is given to combining their attractive qualities with low maintenance traits, these beauties can be labeled as “Sensational Shrubbery”!  Dwyer’s expansive horticulture expertise will get you looking beyond the ever-present, mundane selection of shrubs.  You will uncover treasures that will thrive in a wide range of conditions including sun, shade, tough soils and many other challenges. Specific cultural and maintenance information for these plants will be complimented by his exquisite examples of use in the landscape.

Exciting New Annuals for the Container and Border
Mark Dwyer, Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville, WI


Seasonal plants offering a wide range of both flower and foliage coloration make them indispensable in our gardens.  With such a wide range of selections available, it’s tough to keep up with some of the newer plants that have proven performance combined with extended impact. Dwyer’s exploration of some of the most stunning introductions and combos for all garden situations will definitely influence your plant-purchasing decisions!

Emerging Perennials for the Michigan Landscape
Barb Balgonen, Walter’s Gardens, Zeeland, MI

Renowned plant breeders and developers search all corners of the world for exponentially better perennials that fill the diverse niches of our Michigan landscapes. Barb Balgoyen of Walter’s Gardens has been helping gardeners select the best plants for 30 years to fill our gardens with exceptional plants that are reliable and beautiful. 


Extension Master Gardeners: This program qualifies for 6 education credits. 

Cancellation Policy: No refunds within 7 days of the event. Substitutions are allowed and encouraged. This event will not be cancelled due to inclement weather unless the facility closes. (90% refund).

Special Needs: Please contact Marybeth Denton at denton.marybeth@anr.msu.edu at least 2 weeks prior to the event if you have special needs.


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