Extension News

Herbaceous Perennial Symposium Features Midwest Gardeners


AMES, Iowa--Gardeners consider it a November tradition. Conference planners call it Perennial Saturday. Calendar schedules list it as the Herbaceous Perennial Symposium. This year’s version happens on Nov. 10 at Iowa State University’s Scheman Auditorium.

Six Midwestern gardening professionals are scheduled to share their expertise on topics ranging from achieving continuous color to maximizing garden enjoyment with water features.

Speakers include Roy Diblik, Northwind Perennial Farm; Jim Nau, The Gardens at Ball Seed; Pam Duthie, The Gifted Gardener; Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Iowa State University (ISU); Steven Rodie, University of Nebraska; and Jamie Beyer, Iowa Master Gardener.

Diblik’s talks will describe how to use plant communities and also show examples that help explain why the USDA recently reported that ornamental grasses had the fastest growing sales of any nursery crop in 2006.

As greenhouse and grounds manager at Ball Seed, Nau knows which of the 2500 different plants in their gardens are the top performers. He’ll share those insights with participants.

Achieving fall color in the garden is one of Duthie’s specialties. She’ll provide ideas from her two popular books, “Continuous Color” and “Continuous Bloom.”

VanDerZanden and Rodie recently co-authored a book on landscape design. Their presentation will help listeners identify what makes a garden a true retreat for its owners.

Water features are often suggested as garden additions to help increase the enjoyment owners get from their yards. Beyer’s talk will help participants think through the process in order to make the best choice.

Additional information and registration forms are available from ISU Extension county offices and online at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/herbaceous/home.html.

Contacts :

Cynthia Haynes, Horticulture, (515) 294-4006, chaynes@iastate.edu

Diane Nelson, Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-3178, dinelson@iastate.edu