Grand Rapids Smart Gardening Conference

Date: March 7, 2015
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Monroe Meeting Rooms DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Contact:, 616-632-7865

Smart Gardening Conference

9 a.m. Welcome to Smart Gardening!

Rebecca Finneran
Michigan State University Extension

 “Tapping the Smart Gardener’s Work Force—Predators, Parasitoids and Pollinators!”

Elly Maxwell
Entomologist, Dow Gardens, Midland, Michigan

Insects are the most abundant wildlife visitor to backyards in Michigan. Although some may be considered pests, an even greater number are beneficial. Join Dow Garden’s Entomologist Elly Maxwell, on an exuberant educational journey to help you recognize and maximize Mother Nature’s natural pest control. By creating a great work environment (your garden), you will harness the planet’s largest work force –beneficial insects. 

Vegetable Potpourri for the Smart Gardener”

Rebecca Krans
Michigan State University Extension

Whether a seasoned or novice vegetable gardener, learn “Smart Gardening” techniques that will help your gardens flourish. Learn additional ways to make use of cover crops, composting, and flowers to attract beneficial insects within your vegetable garden! Make use of companion planting techniques that help you expand your space and extend your vegetable harvest beyond the end of the growing season. 

 “Grow More with Less-a Smart Approach to Gardening!”

Vincent Simeone
Horticulturist, Author, Lecturer, Oyster Bay, New York

A lifetime of horticulture education and practical experience led Vincent (Vinnie) Simeone to develop a smart strategy for growing more with less while managing a large botanical garden and his own home garden. Author and lecturer Simeone will cover all the eco-friendly essentials in one straight forward presentation that will give gardeners at every level the confidence to engage these time-tested practices. Simeone makes the what, how, and why of sustainable gardening unmistakably clear with his expertly illustrated message! 

“Smart Design of the Living Landscape-Putting back the Layers

Rick Darke
Horticulturist, Landscape Design Consultant, Author, Photographer, Landenberg, PA

Centric to the Smart Gardening message is the idea of biodiversity and sustainable gardening practices. Aside from these buzz words, how does one really design a beautiful, ecologically healthy and “Smart” garden? Internationally known voice for landscape sustainability and noted author

Rick Darke will help conference participants put practical design ideas in place through a gorgeously illustrated and inspirational presentation. Author of the newly released book “The Living Landscape” Darke will explain how to use this definitive guide to designing a beautiful, bio-diverse home garden

 4 p.m. – Adjourn

Cost:   Early Bird Registration by Feb. 13 - $59
            Late Registration - $70

Enrollment deadline is Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 or until full

  • Registration at the door is not available.
  • Allow one week for processing checks.  Your seat is not reserved until the check is received and processed.
  • Confirmations will only be sent in the mail until Feb. 27.  Included with this confirmation will be your ticket for the Home and Garden Show.

Cancellation Policy: Sorry, no refunds, but attendance substitutions are acceptable

This event will not be cancelled unless the facility closes. 


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