“The Garden Reimagined” to spark the imagination

The gravel garden at Chanticleer. (C) Lisa Roper

The gravel garden at Chanticleer. (C) Lisa Roper

Join horticulture experts and explore a hybrid of wild and cultivated design strategies at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s annual daylong symposium. Discover powerful alternatives to traditional plantings, the quintessential spring flowering tree, and other favorites to create diverse, resilient, beautiful, and ecologically sound landscapes.

Here’s the lineup for The Garden Reimagined:

“A Plant Lovers Guide to Magnolias: Celebrating the Queen of Blooming Trees” by Andrew Bunting, assistant director and director of collections, Chicago Botanic Garden

Every garden needs a showpiece and for many of us, a magnolia tree is it. Come spring, magnolia trees are the prom dresses of the garden. Their magnificent, showy flowers blanket the branches long before their leaves unfurl. Although some homeowners are likely familiar with the delicate white-flowered star magnolia and the pale pink saucer magnolia, there are many more from which to choose, including those with yellow, purple, red, and bicolored flowers. Bunting will discuss the top magnolia choices from his new book, The Plant Lover’s Guide to Magnolias.

“Evolution of the Gravel Garden: Design, Utilizing Photography and Ruthless Editing” by Lisa Roper, horticulturist at Chanticleer Garden

For the past four years, Roper has been developing the Chanticleer Gravel Garden, a gently sloping, well-drained, south-facing site. Roper will discuss how form, texture, color and rhythm are carefully considered in the garden, which is planted with a mix of fine textured grasses, gray-leafed Mediterranean plants, hardy succulents, butterfly weed, and Tennessee coneflower. She will also cover the importance of editing constantly to tame plants that seed in enthusiastically, and the technique of using photography to inform her design decisions.

“Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style for Today’s Garden” by Joseph Tychonievich, Green Sparrow Publishing

Rock gardening, the art of growing alpines and other miniature plants in the company of rocks in order to recreate the look of a rugged mountaintop, has been surging in popularity. Time and space constraints, chronic drought in the American West, and a trend toward architectural plants are just a few of the reasons for the increased interest. Tychonievich will explain how rock gardening brings a traditional style to a new generation of gardeners. His book, Rock Gardening, includes a survey of gorgeous rock gardens from around the world, the techniques and methods specific to creating and maintaining a rock garden, and profiles of the top 50 rock garden plants.

“Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes” by Claudia West, ecological sales manager, North Creek Nurseries Inc.

We live in a global city and few wild places remain in today’s world. Planting designers have the opportunity and responsibility to bring wildness and ecological value back into our landscape. This challenge requires a new form of planting design that works with natural principles and marries horticulture with ecology. Join West to explore how native plants will fit into future landscapes and how plant community-based design strategies can help you meet aesthetic and ecological goals during your next planting project. She is co-author of Planting in a Post-Wild World.

“Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Finding Inspiration From the Past While Looking to the Future” by Jonathan Wright, Ruth Lilly Deputy Director for Horticulture and Natural Resources

As Wright finishes his first year at the IMA, he has a lot to share about growing, exploring and reimagining new spaces in old places. Not afraid to try new things, he’ll discuss using both tried-and-true and innovative planting techniques, layering for depth and textural interest, and getting inspiration from around the world. He believes through design, plants have the power to do good for people.

The Garden Reimagined

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fee: $90, IMA Hort Soc members; $95, IMA members; $110, nonmembers; $55, students, includes continental breakfast and lunch.