Winter Symposium

"Tossing the Turf"
Featuring Preston Montague, Dr. Mike Richardson, and Mark Weathington

  • Saturday, February 18, 2023 – 9:00 am12:30 pm

It's time to toss the turf in your home landscape and create a beautiful alternative to the labor intensive green patch occupying your yard.

For many, the neat and tidy turf in their yard takes extensive watering along with fertilizers and other chemicals to create a monoculture of one species. The alternative? For those areas of your lawn that aren't being used as a soccer or bocce pitch, a flowering lawn can create a biodiverse zone that relieves some environmental pressures of a traditional lawn. Add in the beauty of the flowering groundcovers and who can say no?

blooming flowers in a flowering lawn

Join us for a morning exploring the design, research, and plants used to create this new lawn movement so you can be empowered to spend less time mowing this summer!

Schedule

Saturday, February 18

8:30 am
Check-in
9:00 am
Welcome
Mark Weathington, JC Raulston Arboretum
9:15 am
"Reducing Lawns through Deliberate Design"
Preston Montague, Landscape Architect and Botanical Illustrator
10:05 am
"Bermudagrass, Bulbs, Blooms, and Bees"
Dr. Mike Richardson, University of Arkansas
10:50 am
Break
11:05 am
"From Flat to Fabulous: Creating No-Grass Flowering Lawns"
Mark Weathington, JC Raulston Arboretum
12:00 pm
Questions & Answers with Presenters
12:30 pm
Conclusion
1:00 pm
Winter Symposium plant auction closes

Presentations

view of flowering lawn

"Reducing Lawns through Deliberate Design"
Preston Montague, Landscape Architect and Botanical Illustrator

Lawns are a staple in home landscapes, but do they have to be the dominant element of your design? Explore ecological planting design with Preston and learn how to intentionally reduce lawn area without reducing the usefulness or curb appeal.

muscari lawn in front of house

"Bermudagrass, Bulbs, Blooms, and Bees"
Dr. Mike Richardson, University of Arkansas

Much research is done on diseases, drought tolerance and other problems in turfgrass. Research in the University of Arkansas' Department of Horticulture is also experimenting with how to create more biologically-diverse lawns. In this talk, Dr. Richarson will share findings about the these lawns where flowering plants are incorporated into turfgrass settings to enhance pollinator habitat.

flowering lawn

"From Flat to Fabulous: Creating No-Grass Flowering Lawns"
Mark Weathington, JC Raulston Arboretum

Lawns require tremendous inputs and unless used regularly serve relatively few purposes. Why not create a pollinator paradise by turning unused lawn areas into high impact flowering lawns? Creating your own lawn tapestry is easy and you won't know what to do with all the time you save once it's installed!

Continuing Education Credit

We are applying for continuing education credits through the North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects and the North Carolina Landscape Contractors' Licensing Board. When approved, we will update this page with more information.

Speakers

Preston Montague

Preston Montague, M.L.A.
Landscape Architect and Botanical Illustrator

Preston Montague is a landscape architect and artist who developed a passion for the natural world while growing up in the rural foothills of Virginia. Currently, he lives in Durham, North Carolina, working on projects that encourage stronger relationships between people and the natural world for the purpose of improving public and environmental health.

Mike Richardson

Mike Richardson, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas

Dr. Mike Richardson is a Horticulture professor at the University of Arkansas, where his research focuses on both warm- and cool-season turfgrass systems. Over the past decade, his work has also included research on enhancing biodiversity in turfgrass systems and restoring native grassland habitat in the prairie regions of Arkansas.

Mark Weathington

Mark Weathington
Director, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

Mark Weathington is the director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University where he is passionate in his work to connect plants to people. Mark travels extensively searching for new plants to diversify the American landscape. His explorations have taken him to China, Taiwan, Japan, Ecuador, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand, and throughout the United States. He writes for Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and other national magazines and is the author of Gardening in the South: The Complete Homeowner’s Guide.

Cost

Early Registration (ends Friday, January 20, 2023): $50.00 for members, $65.00 for nonmembers.

Regular Registration (Saturday, January 21 through Sunday, February 12, 2023): $65.00 for members, $80.00 for nonmembers.

Late Registration (Monday, February 13 through Friday, February 17, 2023): $75.00 for members, $90.00 for nonmembers.

Registration

Advance registration is required. Please register online using our registration e-store (in-person program and online program).

Registration is limited and is considered complete when payment is received. Registration will close at noon on Friday, February 17, 2023.

Cancellation
Program cancellations can be made up to two weeks before the program's start date. A 15% cancellation fee applies.
Location
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina and online.
Directions
Need directions? Click here.
Parking
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Questions
Please write jcraprograms@ncsu.edu for more information about this program.