Plant Geeks Unite!

By Cynthia Bee, Conservation Garden Park

Are you “that guy” (or gal) who geeks out over new plants? Are you curious about cutting edge horticulture—especially as it relates to Utah? Would you like to be? If so, Plant Con is the perfect event for you! On Saturday, June 11 the Conservation Garden Park will host the second annual “Plant Con” from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Local and national experts will lead classes designed to highlight the best plants for Utah landscapes.

The highlight of the event is an address by Nan Sterman. A California native, Nan Sterman is host, co-producer, and writer of the award winning TV show, A Growing Passion, which celebrates the “growing” world: from farms and nurseries, to backyards, schoolyards, native habitats and more.

Nan is a garden designer, author, botanist, and award-winning garden communicator. She is dedicated to transforming overly-thirsty and resource-intensive landscapes to climate appropriate and sustainable ones. Her efforts combine age-old techniques with modern technologies. Nan will share her wealth of gardening experiences while treating us to visuals of the best waterwise landscapes in the Western United States.

Other experts will focus on cutting edge horticulture here in Utah. Richard Anderson from the Utah State University Extension service will provide a behind the scenes look at the Sego Select program, which seeks to introduce the best Utah-tested plants to our local marketplace. Utah is home to many gorgeous native plants and Larry Rupp of USU Extension will review the best-of-the-best available to home gardeners. Salt Lake County Extension Specialist, Katie Wagner, will share how to create edible landscapes with herbs. Barney Barnett of Willard Bay Gardens will share his vast knowledge of perennial that work well in Utah with the humor that’s made him a local favorite. He’ll showcase some new favorites as well as the tried-and-true.

Conservation Garden Park staffers Shaun Moser and Cynthia Bee will teach an overview of the new Localscapes style.  Localscapes is a method of landscape design, implementation and maintenance developed specifically for Utah. Plant Con will also include special insider tours of the Conservation Garden Park provided by staff horticulturalists Mike Lorenc and Amanda Strack.

Plant Con is made possible by the generous support of Glover and Wasatch Shadows Nurseries.