Planting for the Future

Date/Time: 
Jan 28 2019 - 1:40pm

Modern landscapes have to be more than beautiful. Gardening with purpose is the new mantra for 21st century consumers. Gardens have to be aesthetically interesting, while serving multiple purposes—benefiting wildlife, feeding us, providing safe and peaceful spaces for public gatherings, mitigating stormwater and the list goes on. The plants of our future, the new products that will shape our industry, might surprise you. In this lecture especially tailored to landscape design professionals, plantsman Kelly Norris challenges audiences to plant more diversity in landscapes, while maximizing aesthetics and functionality in contemporary design.

The synergies of retail, public and commercial horticulture collide for a beautiful, surprising and ecologically conscious look at the New American garden.
 

Session Track: 
Landscape Design/Build
Plants

Presenter

Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Kelly D. Norris is an award-winning author and plantsman from Iowa and the Director of Horticulture and Education at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a newly revitalized public garden in Des Moines, Iowa.  Throughout his career, his work has been featured in The New York Times, Organic Gardening, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, Garden Design and in numerous local and regional media appearances.

At the Botanical Garden, Kelly is responsible for leading and directing a team of horticulturists and educators in all aspects of design, curation, programming, and garden management, after serving as the principal horticulture consultant to the $18 million renovation project completed in 2014. He is the Artistic Director of the popular Spring Garden Festival, a four-day pop-up retail plant sale and garden show. From 2013-2017, he was the Editorial Director for the organization’s award-winning member magazine Bloom.

As a writer and photographer, he regularly contributes to popular gardening magazines like Country Gardens, Fine Gardening and The American Gardener and is a contributing editor to Greenhouse Grower, an industry trade magazine.  He’s popularly known for his book A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts from Timber Press, which won the 2013 American Horticultural Society Book Award.  His most recent book—Plants With Style—debuted in December 2015.  As a speaker, he has garnered acclaim for his high-energy, zealous presentations on the national stage, leading many to call him one of the rising stars of American horticulture.  Kelly’s career began at age 15 when he talked his parents into buying a nursery (Rainbow Iris Farm), and since then he’s become one of the few gurus on marketing horticulture to emerging demographics.

Kelly is the youngest person to receive the Iowa State Horticultural Society’s Presidential Citation, Award of Merit and Honor Award in the organization’s 150-year history; awards that exemplify service and contributions to horticulture in Iowa.  In 2011, he was also honored by the Perennial Plant Association with the Young Professional Award, recognizing early contributions to the advancement of herbaceous perennials in American horticulture.  In 2013, he won the Iowa Author Award for Special Interest Writing, the youngest Iowan to be recognized in the history of the awards program.  His curatorial work at the Botanical Garden was recognized by the Chanticleer Foundation with a 2015 Chanticleer Scholar Award that will fund two years of fieldwork in support of the garden’s permanent living collections.

Kelly holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Horticulture from Iowa State University.