Date: Monday, April 8th, 2019 Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Location: Mennonite Church of Normal (map and directions)
The Midwest offers a rich and unique flora that has incredible value to gardeners and landscapers. The movement to cultivate America’s native flora had its roots in the Midwest (Jens Jensen & O.C. Simonds Illinois icons) and gardening with native plants has experienced a recent increase in popularity tied to being green, buying local and living sustainably. There still remain widespread misunderstandings about what native plants are and why they are so valuable to a healthy environment. Homeowners, gardeners and landscapers want to do the right thing so the program follows my book as a practical resource that helps them be successful in selecting, growing and maintaining Midwestern native plants.
Alan J. Branhagen is Director of Operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where he supervises capital improvements, horticulture and natural resources, plant curation, facilities, and information technology. For over 20 years he was Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden and prior to that he had a nearly decade-long duty as Deputy Director of Resource Development for the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District in Rockford, Illinois. Alan Branhagen received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University with emphasis on planning, plants and design with nature. He wrote The Gardener’s Butterfly Book in 2001 published by the National Home Gardening Club and has written articles for Fine Gardening, Missouri Gardener, Missouri Prairie Journal, Landscape Maintenance and Restoration and Management Notes. In November 2016, Timber Press published his book Native Plants of the Midwest. Beyond public garden management, Mr. Branhagen is an all-around plantsman and naturalist (specializing in botany, birds and, butterflies) and travels throughout the Midwest and the country visiting gardens and natural areas. He grew over 1,500 taxa of plants at his Missouri garden “Luna Ridge” nestled on 6 acres of woodland and meadow. He is in process of creating a new garden on 2.5 acres overlooking the Minnesota River Valley in Chaska, Minnesota.