The Best of Bryce: Talks That Make Us Better Gardeners

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University

Mondays, March 15 through May 3, 2021 – 6:30 pm–8:30 pm

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Come hear eight of Bryce's best presentations, each devoted to current, relevant, and popular gardening topics. Each talk is about 90 minutes long followed by a 30 minute Q&A.

Here is a list of talks that are scheduled:

  1. "Landscapes That Save the World: The Importance of Biodiversity in the Garden"
  2. "Is It Warm in Here? The Best Approaches to Gardening in a Changing Climate"
  3. "Of Butterflies and Blooms: Gardening to Attract Wildlife"
  4. "You’re Not From Around These Parts: Gardening with Native and Exotic Plants"
  5. "I Love You Dear, but Not You Deer: Dealing with Animal Pests in the Garden"
  6. "Garden Art: Using Ornament to Accent Your Outdoor Spaces"
  7. "Tremendous Trees: How They Grow and How We Can Help Them"
  8. "Landscaping in Small Spaces: Big Ideas for Little Gardens"

goldfinch looking for seeds in black-eyed Susans

Class Descriptions

Perennial Border

"Landscapes That Save the World: The Importance of Biodiversity in the Garden"

Gardeners today are faced with many challenges and opportunities to create landscapes that help make our world a better place. The list is extensive and sometimes can be overwhelming: global climate change, storm water runoff, increased endangered species, invasive plants, wildlife protection and promotion, and so much more! One of the keys to solving many of these problems is biodiversity. Come find out about biodiversity and how we gardeners can incorporate these principles and practices into our own landscapes as a way to improve the world we live in.

perennial sunflower

"Is It Warm in Here? The Best Approaches to Gardening in a Changing Climate"

Okay, it's official … the climate is changing. How does "global climate disruption" affect our gardening practices? Are we posed to take advantage of this phenomenon as horticultural craftspeople? We will talk about the effects of changing climate on horticulture, and identify best practices, and approaches to consider using in the future.

skipper on coneflower

"Of Butterflies and Blooms: Gardening to Attract Wildlife"

Creating dynamic outdoor spaces for supporting, viewing, and interacting with wildlife is a very essential and rewarding part of gardening. Gardeners desire landscapes that are appealing, but also want their gardens to contribute to the ecosystem in positive ways. Gardens that attract, and support wildlife add significant value to our environment, and contribute to the balanced ecosystem we so desperately need. Find out how to create outdoor spaces enhance all our lives.

bee on milkweed

"You're Not from Around These Parts: Gardening with Native and Exotic Plants"

Did you know that there are at least six different definitions for the term "native plant"? Which one is correct? What is the difference between a native, nonnative, exotic, and naturalized plant? What makes a plant "invasive," "obnoxious," and "weedy"? Why is this so important? This talk answers all these questions and more! We will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of using all these kinds of plants in our gardens.


"I Love You Dear, But Not You Deer! Managing 'Critters' in the Garden"

There is not a time when I am at a gardening conference or symposium where someone doesn't ask me about how to "handle" deer in the garden! Not to mention the beloved squirrel, rabbit, vole, mole, groundhog, and raccoon! This talk focuses on management practices that help gardeners reduce the negative impact these animals have on our gardens, and on our peace of mind.

frog sculpture on bench

"Garden Art: Using Ornament to Decorate Your Outdoor Spaces"

Gardens aren't just for plants. One can use just about any kind of "non-plant" piece to decorate and enhance the landscape, and the more unusual or unexpected, the better! From driftwood, birdhouses, and rebar, to sculpture, rocks, windowpanes, and bathtubs, experience a collection of examples of how gardeners added interest to their garden spaces with "junk"!


"Tremendous Trees: How They Grow, and How We Can Help Them"

Trees are amazing organisms with tremendous abilities to adapt and survive. They can provide countless benefits to our society and to the environment. The more we know about how trees grow, and about the factors that influence their growth, the more successful we will be as caretakers of these special organisms. Come learn about some amazing trees, how trees grow, and how we can successfully care for them in our own garden spaces.

small backyard landscape

"Landscaping in Small Spaces: Big Ideas for Little Gardens"

The average home property size is shrinking, Baby Boomers are aging, Millennials are going urban, and high rise living on the upswing! Yet, the desire to garden in these spaces continues to grow. From plant selection, to design, to installation, and maintenance, we will talk about how to garden in all kinds of small spaces.

Bryce Lane

About Bryce Lane

Bryce grew up in Western Massachusetts, where he discovered his passion for plants and telling others about them, working at a local garden center through high school and college. After earning his B.S. in plant science from the University of Massachusetts in 1979 and an M.S. in horticulture from The Ohio State University in 1981, he came to the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University as a lecturer, teaching in both the two-year and four-year programs. He taught plant identification at NC State for 18 years. In 1987, he became the undergraduate coordinator, serving the department in that capacity for 26 years. Bryce taught both large and small courses, for majors and non-majors. In the past 30+ years, he has taught more than 20,000 students. He has received numerous local, regional, and national teaching awards and is frequently invited to speak at many workshops and symposia, about teaching as well as horticulture and gardening. He hosted and produced a three-time, Emmy winning UNC TV public television show called "In the Garden With Bryce Lane" which was on the air for 11 seasons. Most importantly, he has been married for 37 years to his high school sweetheart, has two happily married daughters, and six incredible grandchildren.

Bryce retired from NC State in January 2014, and is now spending more time with his family, pursuing the next chapter in his public speaking career, and teaching part time at NC State and the JC Raulston Arboretum. He served as interim director of the JC Raulston Arboretum from July through November 2014. He is an avid gardener who has gardened in the same spot for more than 30 years!

$200.00 for members, $250.00 for nonmembers. Note to nonmembers: instead of paying $50.00 more for the program, become a member for $50.00 instead.
Advance registration is required. Please register online using our registration e-store. 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.
Online. Instruction to join us virtually will be provided to participants the week of the event.
Please write for more information about this class.