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Expand your knowledge, and grow and sustain your business. This class will provide information on a variety of niche design concepts you’ll want to consider as you grow your landscape design business.

When: 1/12/2016
From 8:30 AM until 4:10 PM; Arrive for check in at 8:00 AM
Where: Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Avenue S.
Minneapolis, Minnesota  55403
United States
Contact: MNLA

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Design Track: Niche Landscape Design

Date: January 12, 2016

Check in:  8:00 a.m. (Lobby D)

Program:  8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55403




8:30am-9:30am: Hellstrip Gardening: Paradise at the Curb, Evelyn Hadden
The semi-public spaces in parking strips and alongside driveways and alleys don't often support healthy lawns, but these fragments of land can host thriving gardens that add beauty and provide ecological services, dramatically improving their surroundings. Evelyn Hadden, author of Hellstrip Gardening (Timber Press), shares creative solutions and strategies for addressing common challenges including street trees, poor soil, laws and covenants, unsightly equipment, pedestrian traffic, and more. She also showcases her favorite curbside-worthy plants for Twin Cities-area hellstrips.
9:40am-10:40am: Gardening is Good Therapy—and you get Tomatoes, Dr. Jean Larson, University of Minnesota
Dr. Jean Larson will discuss the design of therapeutic landscapes: how to intentionally design outdoor areas to encourage stress reduction, memory and social bonding. Dr. Larson will also present the latest research evidence supporting how exercising in outdoor, plant-rich green space doubles the benefits with full engagement of the brain in complex and varied motion, strengthening muscles, boosting serotonin levels, helping to focus the attention and simply coping with the every-day demands of navigating life.
10:40am—10:50am: Break
10:50am-11:50am:  The Know Maintenance Design, Roy Diblik, North Wind Perennial Farm
Roy Diblik’s thoughtful way to design perennial plantings welcomes fresh contemporary styles and plant diversity integrated with responsible maintenance concerns. Using a selection of regionally dependable perennials, endless natural plant patterns can be constructed, each relating to time and cost to maintain. Diblik will discuss the developing partnership between the gardener, the plants and nature, always knowing the beauty is in the doing.
11:50pm-12:50pm: lunch
12:50am-1:50pm: Rain Gardens for All... Make Rain Gardens not Mud Pits!, Peter MacDonagh, Kestral Design Group

Make those wet, mucky spots in your garden into showcases. Learn the simple steps to design, build and maintain a rain garden. Hear how big and deep to make it (not very), the vigorous plants you want to pick, the flowers to attract pollinators and photographers, how to reduce weeding, see other successful rain gardens, and have fun while helping to clean your hometown lakes and rivers.
2:00pm-3:00pm: Beautiful No-Mow Yards, Evelyn Hadden
Evelyn Hadden, author of Beautiful No-Mow Yards (Timber Press), presents an inspiring array of case studies—diverse no-mow designs from large-scale to small, including lively grass gardens, shady havens, elegant edibles, lawnless stroll gardens, low-care living carpets, patios, ponds, and more. Hadden also points out some ecologically sound practices for creating and maintaining landscapes, including non-chemical ways to kill a lawn, an overview of alternative lawn grasses that need less mowing/watering/chemicals, and useful strategies for designing away maintenance and enlisting natural processes to help a garden become more self-sustaining.
3:00pm-3:10pm: Break
3:10pm-4:10pm: Landscape Design for Small Spaces, Jason Rathe, Field Outdoor Spaces
Small is beautiful! More and more homeowners are "downsizing" and want their outdoor space to meet their life needs but don't require a lot of maintenance. Designing small spaces that feel comfortable, satisfy the needs and budget of the client, and are ecologically sensible can be a challenge.  This session explores the challenges and possibilities of small space design through the unique environments of a small lot back yard, side yard and front yard. We will look at common mistakes, communication challenges and how to get the most from small spaces.


Evelyn Hadden

Evelyn Hadden is a professional communicator helping people create and maintain comfortable, functional, nature-friendly landscapes with less or no lawn. An award-winning author of four garden books, Hadden speaks at gardening events and conferences throughout North America. She founded the informational website LessLawn and is a partner at the provocative team blog GardenRant as well as a founding member of the national Lawn Reform Coalition. She also devotes time to singing and songwriting.


Jean Larson

Jean Larson is manager of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Nature-Based Therapeutic Services and assistant professor and lead faculty in Nature-Based Therapeutics at the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing, as well as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Registered Horticultural Therapist. She has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota, where she received a certificate in Disability Services and Administration from the University's Institute on Community Integration. Larson's work has taken her around the world as teacher, consultant and lecturer.

Roy Diblik

Roy Diblik is co-owner of Northwind Perennial Farm located in Burlington, Wisconsin. He has been growing traditional and native perennials since 1978. His garden designs emphasize plant relationships to maintenance strategies and costs. Roy’s recent work includes the Louis Sullivan Arch Garden for the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago and the lakeside plantings for the new Oceanarium at the Shedd Aquarium. His new book ‘The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden’ highlights his perennial gardening practice. 

Peter MacDonagh

Peter MacDonagh is the Director of Design + Science at The Kestrel Design Group. A native of Ireland, MacDonagh was trained in Horticulture at the National Botanic Garden in Dublin and is a Landscape Architecture graduate of the University of Minnesota. In addition to being a registered landscape architect and horticulturist, he has been a certified arborist since 1992. MacDonagh is a recognized authority on sustainable landscape architecture, soil bio-engineering, urban stormwater, green roofs, and urban trees.


Jason Rathe

Jason Rathe is owner and lead designer of Field Outdoor Spaces based in Northeast Minneapolis. Field focuses on small space and urban landscaping with an ecological aim. Jason earned his Master’s Degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design from the University of Minnesota before starting Field in 2005. He loves this unique profession where dramatic transformations occur in a matter of days and loves to see the profound effect Field’s projects have on their clients’ lives.



Morning coffee and lunch are included with your registration.


Note: Super Tuesday registration is separate from Northern Green Expo registration. To register for the Northern Green Expo, visit:


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MNLA Registration Refund Policy: For all MNLA education events, MNLA will gladly make a full refund of your registration fee if cancellation notice is received more than two business days in advance of the event. In the two business days prior to the event, a 50 percent refund will be given. No refunds will be given for no-shows or cancellations made the day of the event. Cancellations may be made in writing, by fax, or by telephone call received at the MNLA office during normal business hours.

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