8/19 native-plant talks with claudia west, open garden and more

THE EVENTS CONTINUE. After a hectic spring of Open Days and workshops, there’s still more to come: Summer’s events include my 5th annual Moth Night on July 22, and a giant Open Day and plant sale on August 19, with the chance to learn from native-plant superstar Claudia West, who will give a talk and a design workshop that day at my place. The details, and reserve your spot:

July 22 4th annual Moth Night

JOIN US for our fourth annual Moth Night, part of the citizen-science project called National Moth Week, and organized by A Way to Garden and Friends of Taconic State Park in Copake Falls, New York. BYO picnic supper if you please–we’ll provide dessert treats–to enjoy while you learn Moth 101 from top experts, then experience nature after dark with them and just have fun.

Note: This is a free event, but if you wish to donate to the Friends of Taconic State Park to help us offer honoraria to more experts to lead more nature programs like this one, there is an extra button on the ticket form for that. Thanks.

Brigette Zacharczenko, a PhD UConn-Storrs entomologist, and Dylan Cipkowski, who has been surveying the moths of Columbia County, N.Y., as part of his field work with nearby Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program, will lead our event, which is appropriate for all ages.

This year’s extra-special event starts at 7:00 at the Copake Iron Works, 33 Valley View Road, Copake Falls. Margaret Roach will moderate a fun Moth 101 Q&A with Brigette and Dylan — learn what role moths play in the world, and about their life cycle and more — and we hope you’ll join in with your questions, too.

Next, we’ll have live specimens to examine from overnight “traps” set the night before to examine before dark.

At nightfall we head into the woods along a trail, where we will have set up special blacklight stations to lure and then view the night’s visitors. For those not wishing to walk the trail, there will be lights set up by the parking area as well, all very easily accessible.

Come for the 101 talk alone or stay for the after-dark adventure, too. Wait till you see what we discover together!

NOTE: Picnic tables will be set up, so BYO supper if you like. Delicious dessert-like treats baked by David Wurth of CrossRoads Food Shop in Hillsdale will be provided, courtesy of Margaret at A Way to Garden.

Aug. 19 Open Day, Claudia West native plant events, plant sale

AS PART OF the Saturday, Aug. 19, Garden Conservancy Open Day and plant sale at Margaret Roach’s Copake Falls NY garden, we’re pleased to have sought-after native design expert Claudia West for two events. Come for both and visit the garden before or in between!

  • 10-4 garden open at Margaret Roach’s (no reservation needed)
  • 10-4 plant sale by Broken Arrow at Margaret’s
  • 11 AM Claudia West talk at Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 Route 344, Copake Falls
  • 1:30 PM native plant design workshop with Claudia West (registrants will be sent instructions on where to meet in Copake Falls)

11 am lecture

Claudia West on ‘Wild and Neat: Native Plants that Bridge the Gap’

So you think Natives are weedy and messy? Claudia West, co-author with Thomas Rainer of the groundbreaking book “Planting in a Post-Wild World,” debunks this myth and explores the aesthetic value of native plants and their highly attractive cultivars.

Like the book, Claudia’s talk will present a powerful alternative to traditional horticulture—designed plantings that function like naturally occurring plant communities.

You’ll be fascinated by the range of colors and textures found in our native Northeast flora. Numerous design examples and plant combinations demonstrate the beauty, elegance and diversity created through a sense of place, using regionally appropriate native plants in the landscape. We will explore how native species grow in the wild and translate this knowledge into powerful design principles for your landscape. Enjoy and be inspired! (Note: Talk is at Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 Route 344, Copake Falls.)

  • Understand the reasons for aesthetic and functional challenges surrounding native planting.
  • Learn design strategies that create more beautiful, lasting plant compositions.
  • Explore numerous wild plants with neat appearance for stunningly beautiful native planting.

1:30-4:30 pm workshop

‘Designing Ecological Plant Communities’

Functional and ecological plantings, such as rain gardens and meadows, are gaining on popularity but also face severe challenges. They often fail to wow the public, offer a low level of ecological functions, and simply don’t survive in low-budget maintenance environments.

Examples of failed projects are plentiful and hurt the image of the native-plant movement. We won’t solve these issues if we continue to compare planting design to painting on canvas and perceive plants as individual objects in space. It is time for a new approach—a plant community-based method that has evolved in the world of ecological science.

Join us as we translate ecological principles of wild plant communities into planting design tools that will help you create better planting. This interactive workshop will introduce you to the science behind stable and lasting plant combinations. You will learn the skill of creating plant communities in hands-on design exercises and practice new techniques in a hypothetical planting project at the end of the workshop. (Note: Registrants will be sent directions where to meet.)

About Claudia West

Claudia West has been ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, a famed wholesale perennial grower in Landenberg, PA, working closely with ecological design and restoration professional, offering consultation services from initial project planning stages to adaptive management strategies after project completion. She holds a Master’s of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Claudia’s work is centered on the development of stable, layered planting designs and the desire to bring American native plants back into our landscape by making them widely acceptable.

With her “Planting in a Post-Wild World” co-author Thomas Rainer and fellow landscape architect Melissa Rainer, she has recently formed a new independent landscape architecture firm, Phyto Studios.

Categoriesevents Featured
  1. Lynn Pentecost says:

    Love your garden. I, too, have a love of foliage plants and flowers mostly in pots.I live on 10 acres in the DFW area and have a cat like yours. God bless gardeners!

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