Plants With Style

Date/Time: 
Jan 28 2019 - 10:00am

Gardeners need chic, sustainable, thriving plants for modern lifestyles. Why settle for lackluster gardens filled with dull, ho-hum plants? Plants after all are the very essence of fashionable gardening. In this spirited, provocative lecture, 20-something plantsman Kelly Norris calls for a garden revolution: out with boring plants and in with stylish alternatives that captivate and enthrall.

A passionate horticulturist and lifelong gardener, Kelly is the ideal guide to the botanical riches available to today’s gardeners. In chapters on environment, structure, seasonal standouts, and plant combinations he shines a spotlight on the A-list plants in every category—plants that will thrive, not merely survive. Along the way, he shows you how to forge a personal style in harmony with your garden’s setting and local environment.

As Kelly puts it, “A garden is the best way to savor life on earth.” Let Plants with Style guide you to the plants that will provide a richer, more fulfilling connection between you and your own patch of soil.

Session Track: 
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.