Winter Symposium

Full—Waitlist Started

"Creating a Successful Home Landscape: Where Ecology and Aesthetics Meet"
Featuring Brie Arthur, Bobbie Schwartz, and Anne Spafford

  • Saturday, February 17, 2018 – 8:00 am12:00 pm

Waitlist: We've started a waitlist for the Winter Symposium. Please take a moment to fill out the waitlist form available by clicking the red button to the right. We often receive cancellations for programs, but we cannot register you if we don't know that you're interested in attending.

The seventh annual Winter Symposium focuses on integrating creative function into the home landscape in a way that is both beautiful and ecologically responsible. The schedule this year features three prominent professional landscape designers and home gardeners who lend their varied backgrounds and specialties to provide fresh vision for home landscapes.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

8:00 am   Registration, continental breakfast, and silent auction begins
8:30 am   Presentation
9:30 am   Break and auction
9:45 am   Presentation
10:45 am   Break and auction
11:00 am   Presentation
12:00 pm   Conclusion and auction checkout


"The Foodscape Revolution: Ecology and Sustainable Management"
Brie Arthur, Garden Industry Communicator

Managing your home landscape in a sustainable manner is important for many reasons, including the health of you and your family, pets, and the living ecosystems that surround your home. Soil science is at the heart of this discussion, as Brie explains how to develop nourishing soil that will reduce disease pressure and watering requirements. Creative crop rotations are examined, including the cultivation of grains. The best organic products are featured to arm attendees with high impact land management ideas. Learn about pollinators and the plants you need to sustain their life cycles while creating a purposeful landscape that nourishes, mind, body, soul, and nature.

"Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams"
Bobbie Schwartz, Bobbie’s Green Thumb

Homeowners often want to make changes to their landscape but have no idea where to start, what questions to ask, and don’t know how much they don’t know that they need to know. They also need to set goals and priorities and evaluate their existing landscape before making changes. An extensive discussion of soil, light, and moisture as well as marrying the house and the landscape should lead to a better understanding of the convergence of aesthetics and ecology.

pollinator garden in flower

"The Art and Science Behind Designing Pollinator Gardens"
Anne Spafford, NC State University

There has been a great deal of scientific and public concern over the last few decades because bee populations have been in decline. Given our dependence on pollinators for crop production, reduced honeybee and other pollinator populations pose a serious threat to agriculture and the ecological health of our natural environment. The good news is that residential gardens, in aggregate, can play a huge role in providing much needed habitat, food and water supplies, and nesting places for pollinators. No garden is too small to make a difference. With over 40 million acres of lawn in the Unites States alone, there is ample opportunity to make room for pollinator gardens.

While there is much concern for the plight of pollinators, many gardeners are unaware or unsure how they can help. There is, in fact, a wide variety of information available if one chooses to go looking: various sources both online and in print provide vast amounts of information—however, it can be confusing. Either the information is presented badly, or in many cases, it is not based on scientific evidence. Some of the information is misleading or flat out incorrect. For example, many resources mandate that gardeners plant only native plants in their garden, while they want to support the non-native honey bee. The truth is that bees do not care if a plant is native—they just care about the quality and abundance of pollen and nectar from the plant. (Choosing plants based on pollen and nectar content is a much better reason to choose the plants in your garden.) Even sources promoting pollinator garden design don't cover the topic very well or in a manner that is particularly helpful to gardeners. This leaves gaps in understanding and knowledge, and could intimidate someone who really wants to make a difference, but can be overwhelmed with the multitude of information—or misinformation- given.

In this presentation, Anne hopes to change the tide of misinformation and inspire great gardens everywhere. Latest scientific findings, plus readily accessible and applicable landscape design guidelines will be shared that enable gardeners and pollinator-enthusiasts to tackle their home and community gardens through strategies that will help them implement practical on-the-ground actions with an eye towards pollinator protection.


Brie Arthur

Brie Arthur, Garden Industry Communicator

Originally from southeastern Michigan, Brie Arthur studied landscape design and horticulture at Purdue University. With more than a decade of experience as a grower and propagator at leading nurseries such as Plant Delights and Camellia Forest, she now combines her passion for plants and sustainable land management by communicating the value of gardening across the United States. Brie has been dubbed a revolutionary for her leadership in the suburban foodscape movement and for her work with public schools across the United States. She appears as correspondent on the PBS television show Growing A Greener World and her debut book, The Foodscape Revolution has become a best seller on Amazon.  In 2017, Brie was honored as the first recipient of the The American Horticultural Society's Emerging Horticultural Professional Award.

Bobbie Schwartz

Bobbie Schwartz, Bobbie's Green Thumb

Bobbie Schwartz, a certified landscape designer in Shaker Heights, Ohio, is the owner of Bobbie's Green Thumb, a full-time business focusing on landscape design, consultation, installation and maintenance, lecturing, and writing.

Most of Bobbie's designs are for residential properties. Her landscape signature is the use of perennials, flowering shrubs, and ornamental grasses to facilitate color and interest throughout the year.

An obsessed gardener for forty-eight years and a landscape designer for forty years, she is continually learning from seminars and conventions of the trade associations to which she belongs. Her extensive travels to gardens and nurseries have contributed greatly to her knowledge of design and new plants. Bobbie has received several design awards for residential, commercial, and institutional designs.

Since 1988, Bobbie has been lecturing locally and nationally for botanical gardens and landscape associations on various aspects of design and perennial and ornamental grass gardening. She also writes extensively for various associations and magazines. In October 2017, her book, Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams, was released by Timber Press.

Anne Spafford

Anne Spafford, M.L.A, NC State University

Anne Spafford, M.L.A., is a tenured associate professor of landscape design in the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University. She has been teaching for 17 years and won many teaching awards, including being inducted into NC State University’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers, and Teacher of the Year when she taught in the School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University. Her typical courses include Introduction to Landscape Design; Sustainable Residential Landscape Design; Planting Design; Introduction to Permaculture: Sustainable Living, Green Infrastructure, and a Home Landscape Design course for non-majors and homeowners. In the past, she has also taught Plant Material Identification and Use; Site Design (grading and drainage); Landscape Construction; and a course on International Travel, where she took students to see parks and gardens of Berlin and Paris.

She is passionate about all of the subjects that she teaches (and there is substantial overlap between them), but she has a particular fondness for planting design. She received her Bachelor's degree in horticulture, which provided a foundation in plants, plant sciences, and small scale design. Her Master's degree in landscape architecture provided a foundation in cultural and social issues of design and research applied design as well as experience in designing larger projects. Horticultural science and landscape architecture are two exceedingly complementary fields of study, but not nearly enough professionals go this route.

Anne co-authored an award winning book, Rain Gardening in the South: Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge, and Everything in Between (c. 2009 Eno Publishers; Hillsborough, N.C.). This book was the first of its kind, one of the first books of the publisher, and the first book for her and her co-author. They wrote it in just five months—adhering to a strict writing schedule (and copious amounts of coffee). Despite these "firsts," the book received the prestigious Gold Medal Award for Best Technical Book from the Garden Writer's Association and the Benjamin Franklin Award from Independent Publishers.

Continuing Education Credit

The Winter Symposium was approved for 3L course credits by the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board. Sign-in sheets will be available at the symposium. Please see Chris Glenn for details. The North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects approved the Winter Symposium for three continuing education hours (course #12759).
Early registration (ends February 4, 2018): $50.00 for members, $65.00 for nonmembers; late registration (begins February 5, 2018): $65.00 for members, $80.00 for nonmembers.
Advance registration is required. Registration is closed at this time. Please fill out the waitlist form (link at the top of the page) to be placed on the waitlist. Registration is limited and is considered complete when payment is received.
Program cancellations can be made up to two weeks before the program's start date. A 15% cancellation fee applies.
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this symposium.