2017 Plants of Distinction

Presentations and handout materials for MSU Extension’s 2017 Plants of Distinction, Feb. 21, 2017. Please note that the presentation PDFs are large files and may take longer to download.

The Three Dimensional Landscape

Andrew Bunting, Assistant Director and Director of Plant Collections, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe, IL

Vines provide garden design opportunities unparalleled by few other plants. Eminently versatile, they’ll happily cover a trellis, gazebo, fence or rock pile. But you can also let them clamber over a shrub, climb a tree or ramble as a groundcover. Using his vast knowledge gained from decades in public and private horticulture, Andrew Bunting explored the great variety of ornamental vines including Actinidia, Parthenocissus and Schizophragma, Clematis and many sensational annual vines. He discussed structures best suited for vines, cultural requirements for success, and how to best utilize vines to get the most impact from your landscape design.

Color Spots in the Landscape for Punch, Pizzazz and Pollinators

Steve Foltz, Director of Horticulture, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati, OH

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens bulb and annual flower displays are rated amongst the top in the nation. Steve Foltz shared how these top-notch bulbs and annual plants can be used to create color spots and high impact displays throughout your landscape. He also discussed annuals that not only pack a lot of “punch” in the landscape, but also attract pollinators, monarchs and other beneficial insects.

Dwarf and Unusual Conifers for Midwest Gardens

Paul Pfeifer, Managing Director, MSU Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, MI

Conifers add intrigue to landscapes and gardens, offering a wealth of shapes, colors and textures with fascinating foliage and fruit displays. You can use these plants en masse for a mosaic effect, choose one striking example for a focal point, create backdrops to accentuate bright colors, or provide privacy with evergreen specimens. Options are limitless for stylish addition to a small garden or the perfect accent in a container. Conifer connoisseur, Paul Pfiefer, provided a closer look at outstanding dwarf and unusual conifers which make elegant additions to Michigan landscapes. As an added bonus, Pfiefer shared a brief history and orientation to the Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers at Hidden Lake Gardens.

Belvidere: Evolution of a Plantsman’s Garden

Andrew Bunting, Assistant Director and Director of Plant Collections, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe, IL

Andrew Bunting shared how to combine a passion for plants with landscape design to “put it all together” while being mindful of planting the right plant in the right place.  In this presentation, Bunting explored the development of his 1/3rd acre residential property in Swarthmore, PA that he transformed over a 15 year period.  This “nuts and bolts” talk on how to create a dynamic home garden covered early design decisions, major renovations, trials and tribulations and plant choices. Featured in This Old House and Wall Street Journal, Belvidere provides inspiration for all corners of the landscape.

Plantus mustus…Plants You’ve Gotta Have!

Steve Foltz, Director of Horticulture, Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati, OH

“Gotta have it!” plant geeks say! This presentation featured “must-have” trees, shrubs and perennial plants that have “cut the muster” after years of evaluation for their ornamental quality, cultural adaptability, winter hardiness and pest resistance. Steve Foltz provided a fun and inspiring presentation that created plant lust and increased participants’ list of coveted plants for their gardens and landscape!