Alaska Botanical Garden’s 11th Annual Spring Garden Conference & Reception

Join us for our 11th Annual Spring Garden Conference & Reception

March 3, 2018

The conference will be held at Benny Benson, 4515 Campbell Airstrip Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507. Doors open at 8:45 am and sessions begin at 9:30 am. Cost $85 Student, $105 Early Bird Member, $120 Early Bird Non-member (rates increase February 17th). The annual Spring Garden Conference is an excellent resource for both novice and expert gardeners wanting to learn more about gardening in Alaska.

Included in your conference ticket price is lunch and a reception in the ABG Greenhouse following the conference*. Lunch will be various sandwich options and side salads. Vegetarian options will be available.

To renew your membership please click here.

Space and tickets are limited! Purchase your ticket early to save on the early bird rate and ensure you attend the conference!

*Student tickets do not include the reception, students 21 and over may purchase a separate reception ticket the day of the conference or by calling the office at 907-770-3692 ext 0.

*Call the garden to purchase ticket and avoid processing fees.

Speaker Information:

Stephen Brown- Demystifying Soil Sample Lab Reports

Bio: Dr. Stephen Brown is a Professor of Agricultural Extension and District Agriculture Agent for the Anchorage/Mat-Su/Copper River regions of Alaska. His background is agricultural engineering focusing on the application of geospatial technologies to improve production and reduce farming inputs. In his spare time he is an avid mountaineer and marathon runner.

Ellen Vande Visse- Building Powerhouse Soil Fertility

Bio: Ellen Vande Visse, MS. Ellen played in the soil as a 12-year market gardener (organic, of course). For another 6-year tour of fun, she grew produce for the National Outdoor Leadership School kitchen, Alaska Branch. Ellen teaches courses on sustainable and non-toxic growing methods through UAA and Mat-Su College, as well as through her Good Earth Garden School near Palmer. She is now the Compost Instructor for the Mat-Su Borough, offering continual free classes. Ellen authored the Alaskan gardening book, Ask Mother Nature, A Conscious Gardeners Guide.

Rob Brown- Update on Grafted Watermelon Production in Southcentral Alaska

Bio: Rob Brown has a degree in Horticultural Science – Nursery Production, from Oklahoma State University. He has spent over 20 years in the Horticulture industry. He currently has a small farm at 1100 feet in Anchorage where he is the only Alaska Grown provider of grafted tomato plants and sells other potted plants and vegetables as well. He is currently being funded by a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education grant to do a two year study on Grafted Watermelon Production in Southcentral Alaska and has a great interest in expanding growing opportunities for Commercial Growers and Home Gardeners.

Claire Kaufman- Growing Edibles in Small Spaces

Bio: Claire Kaufman is the owner of Boreal Bioscapes, a gardening company in Anchorage

that specializes in creative garden design, installation and maintenance. Claire is a Master Gardener with over 15 years of horticultural experience. She has worked in both the commercial and non-profit garden sectors, and has instructed University-level courses in soil science and environmental management. Claire takes a holistic approach to gardening, recognizing the complex relationships between plants and their surrounding environment.

Debbie Hinchey, M.S. – Espalier: A Technique for Small Spaces and/or Protection

Bio: Debbie has a wide-range of experience in Alaskan Horticulture (since 1974) – from chemist for a hydroponics research project in Kenai; to working at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Experimental Farm; some greenhouse production; but mostly as a landscape horticulturist. Growing fruit in the urban landscape has been a passion since helping to start the Alaska Pioneer Fruit Growers Association in 1985.

Brenda Adams- Cool Plants for Cold Climates: A Garden Designer’s Perspective

Bio: Brenda Adams is the author of the acclaimed books, Cool Plants for Cold Climates: A Garden Designer’s Perspective and There’s a Moose in My Garden: Designing Gardens in Alaska and the Far North. She is the award-winning designer of Gardens By Design, Alaska’s premier garden design firm. Adams has designed over 200 unique and personalized gardens for both residential and commercial clients in Alaska. Brenda’s designs have received three prestigious awards in the Perennial Plant Association’s annual international competition. Her 2012 award was the PPA’s highest, the Honor Award. She was also awarded the PPA’s Merit Award in 2007 and in 2009. She is the only Alaskan to receive either award and is a frequent guest on radio offering advice to gardeners who toil in zone 2 through zone 5.

Sustainable Design Group (SDG), Luanne Urfer and Taylor Berberich- Building Green Roofs in Alaska: The Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Bio: SDG is a landscape architecture firm that offers diverse services for government, public, and public clients. We specialize in creating not only beautiful designs, but places that connect fragmented areas into a cohesive, functional, resilient system. Our services implement a comprehensive design process which begins with in-depth site planning. We focus on proper site selection, organized layout, and building locations to create functional designs. Our site-specific designs complement existing resources and features. SDG seamlessly integrates with other disciplines to maximize efficiency and produce responsive, beautiful results.

Les Brake- Gardening as an Art

Bio: For almost 34 years Les Brake has been gardening in Willow. Fortunately, before he had time to do too much damage to his land, he discovered the idea of gardening as an art, and that has been his path ever since. His garden, ice play, and partner Jerry Conrad’s handsome rustic garden structures and furniture have featured in numerous magazines and books, most recently in the autumn 2016 issue of Garden Design and the spring 2017 issue of Northwest Travel and Life.

Julie RileyStrategies for Growing a Highly Productive, Intensive, Small-space Garden

Bio: Julie Riley is horticulture agent with UAF Cooperative Extension Service (CES). She works with home gardeners, small market growers and Alaska’s horticulture industry. She has trained over 1,000 Master Gardeners since 1984. Working in collaboration with the Alaska Botanical Garden, she evaluated 30 varieties of cilantro, a dormant planting of 10 spinach varieties, promoted the Alaska heirloom potato ‘Haida’ at ABG’s 8th Annual Harvest Day and taught a course on organic food production. This past season, she gardened in Fairbanks where she works in the Cooperative Extension Service’s Tanana District Office.

Paul Marmora- Bonsai in Alaska

Bio: Paul is president of the Cook Inlet Bonsai Study Group and one of its original founders. He has taught gardening, bonsai, Sign Language, cooking and floral design for UAA Adult Education. Paul became a florist in the mid-1970s working for Chinese, Japanese and American florists around the country. He was first exposed to bonsai in Rye, New York, where a friend’s father was a gardener on a vast estate and had 200 show-quality bonsai. Since arriving in Alaska, 20 years ago, he has been experimenting with the art of bonsai amidst Alaska’s short growing season.

Ginger Hudson- Edible Flowers From the Alaskan Landscape and our Gardens

Bio: Ever since Ginger escaped the Texas heat for the cool air and abundant water in Alaska she has been absorbing all she can about the biggest state’s wild flora and horticulture. She quickly became an Alaskan Advanced Master Gardener and spent three years at the Alaska Botanical Garden–one as volunteer docent and two as Retail and Special Horticulture Projects Manager. Ginger has given presentations and workshops in south central on landscape design, organic soil amendments, and fall bulb planting among others. Prior to moving to Alaska, Ginger worked as art director at the American Botanical Council; operated her own landscape design business; was an instructor in the GoNativeU program at The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; and served as President of the Native Plant Society in Austin, Texas. Currently she is pursuing an MFA in creative writing through UAA, specializing in nature writing. Ginger can be seen at numerous garden club activities in Anchorage where she serves as Secretary for the Alaska Native Plant Society and as newsletter editor for the Anchorage Alaska Master Gardeners. She is an enthusiastic supporter of locally grown foods and when she travels carries bags of carrots, or Alaska sea salt, or birch syrup, or cottongrass lip balm, or, you get the idea.

Colleen M. Kirkpatrick, PT- Exercise for the Gardener’s Body

Bio: Colleen Kirkpatrick has been a Physical Therapist for 25 years, working at Providence since moving to AK from Oregon.  She lives on the South Anchorage Hillside with her husband, also a PT, and two daughters, ages 13 and 15.  Gardening in Alaska for the last 13 years has been a welcome challenge in her “solid Zone 2”.

Cameron Willingham-Hydroponic Gardening

Click HERE to purchase tickets