New Naturalism: Site-specific Planting Design in Home Gardens

Kelly D. Norris, Horticulturist and Author

Wednesdays, September 29 through October 13, 2021 – 6:30 pm–8:30 pm

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This is a three-part, plant-driven class that introduces participants to the concepts of site-specific planting, particularly in the home landscape. Plantsman and planting designer Kelly Norris unpacks plant community archetypes that home gardeners can use as recipes and strategies for wilder, ecologically resilient plantings. Participants will learn about a range of plant communities with a focus on those relevant to the southeastern United States, the ecological properties that define them and how to translate them into gardening practice. The course ends with a primer in ecological planting design that reframes plant combinations around properties related to plant architecture, biology and their relationship to place.

meadow planting in flower

Kelly D. Norris

About Kelly D. Norris

Kelly D. Norris is one of the leading horticulturists of his generation. An award-winning author and plantsman, Kelly's work in gardens has been featured in The New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, Fine Gardening, Garden Design, and in numerous television, radio, and digital media appearances. His passion for planting at the intersections of horticulture and ecology has culminated in a new book New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient, Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden which debuted in January 2021 from Cool Springs Press. Kelly also presents plants for Cottage Farms Direct on QVC and lectures widely to consumer and industry audiences.

He is the former director of horticulture and education at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, where for eight years he directed efforts in design, curation, programming, garden, and facility management after serving as the owner's representative to nearly $20 million in capital projects.

In addition to his latest project, Kelly has authored three other books: Iowa Gardener's Travel Guide (2008), A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts (2012; winner of the 2013 American Horticultural Society Book Award), and Plants with Style (2015).

Kelly has earned recognition from a variety of organizations including three awards from Iowa State Horticultural Society (2009–2011) for his service and contributions to horticulture in Iowa; early career and young professional awards from the Perennial Plant Association (2011), GardenComm (2018) and the American Horticultural Society (2018); a Zone Horticulture Commendation from the Garden Club of America (2018); the Iowa Author Award for Special Interest Writing (2013), the youngest Iowan to be recognized in the history of the awards program; and a fellowship from the Chanticleer Foundation (2015) for his curatorial and plant exploration work at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Kelly holds a bachelor's and master's degree in horticulture from Iowa State University.

$100.00 for members, $120.00 for nonmembers.
Advance registration is required. Please register online using our registration e-store. Registration is limited to 32 people and is considered complete when payment is received.
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