Event Calendar

The Tent Symposium presents: Sources of Inspiration

Sunday, September 30, 2012 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Tent Symposium presents: Sources of Inspiration

Description: Immerse yourself in a full day at Adkins Arboretum for the second annual fall symposium. Take a walk along the paths that bisect the Arboretum’s rich and unique native plant habitat—mature and young native forests, meadows, wetland, and native gardens. Visit the Native Plant Nursery and plant sale, then enjoy lunch followed by inspiring presentations by Thomas Rainer and Dan Benarcik.

Thomas Rainer (top right) will present Artful Interpretations of Native Plant Communities.
As native plants grow in popularity, there is surprisingly little information about how to design with them in gardens and landscapes. As a result, native landscapes often end up looking messy and wild, thus discouraging gardeners from gardening with natives. This talk offers a critique of the current approach to designing with native plants and suggests an alternative: composition based on artful interpretations of native plant communities. This talk will focus on selecting appropriate native communities as inspirations for designed landscapes; identifying patterns, and artfully replicating those patterns in gardens; and creating bold, modern designs that celebrate the beauty of natives.

Thomas is a registered landscape architect, teacher, and writer living in Arlington, VA. He is a passionate advocate for an ecologically expressive design aesthetic that interprets nature rather than imitating it. His planting designs focus on creating a modern expression of the ground plane with a largely native palette of perennials and grasses. Thomas has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, as well as more than 80 gardens from Maine to Florida. He teaches planting design for George Washington University and blogs regularly at the award-winning site Grounded Design.

Dan Benarcik (bottom right) will present Inspiration.
Inspiration: where does it come from, and how do we find it? Join Dan Benarcik, one of the creative team of horticulturists at Chanticleer, as he shares his thoughts on finding that sometimes elusive spark from which creativity starts. Approaching his twentieth year at the garden, Dan is challenged with bringing new ideas, sourcing new plants, and breaking new ground at Chanticleer. Visitors come to the garden annually to be delighted, to be challenged, and to be inspired, in what Adrian Higgins refers to as one of the most “interesting and edgy gardens in America.”

As a horticulturist at Chanticleer, Dan oversees the Courtyard Gardens, concentrating on tropical, sub-tropical, and tender perennials for seasonal display. A University of Delaware graduate with a degree in plant science, he serves as regional director of the Garden Writers of America and sits on the Rare Plant Auction and Perennials conference committees. Dan lectures frequently in the Delaware Valley and nationally, and his articles have appeared in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Martha Stewart Living and Rodale's gardening books.



10 a.m. Arboretum opens
Native Plant Sale (with experts on hand for advice) and Gift Shop
Guided Walks by Arboretum docent naturalists

11 a.m.–noon Registration

Noon–12:30 p.m. Lunch
Sandwich, chips, fruit, and cookies with fresh brewed iced tea with lemon and garden mint lemonade

12:30–1:45 p.m. Artful Interpretations of Native Plant Communities by Thomas Rainer

1:45–2:15 p.m. Break

2:15–3:30 p.m. Inspiration by Dan Benarcik

3:30–4 p.m. Wrap-up, raffle with light refreshments


Fee: $65 members, $85 general public

**Once your registration is complete, please select one of the following lunch options and e-mail your choice to info@adkinsarboretum.org.

1. Chicken salad with Swiss cheese and green grapes on whole grain bread

2. Smoked turkey and provolone with pesto and arugula on crusty French bread

3. Tomato, mozzarella, and basil on French bread

Click here to register for The Tent Symposium presents: Sources of Inspiration
Contact Information:
410.634.2847, ext. 0