Let's Talk Perennials: New Varieties, Perennials for Pollinators, and More!
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Let's Talk Perennials: New Varieties, Perennials for Pollinators, and More!

When: Thursday, March 21, 2019
9:00 AM
Where: Cedarholm Community Building
2323 Hamline Avenue N
Roseville, Minnesota  55113
United States
Contact: 651-633-4987

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Let's Talk Perennials: New Varieties, Perennials for Pollinators and More!


Early Registration: On or Before March 7, 2019

  • Member:  $99
  • Non-Member:  $129

Regular Registration: After March 7, 2019

  • Member:  $129
  • Non-Member:  $159


Check In: 8:30 AM–9:00 AM

Program: 9:00 AM–3:30 PM

Morning coffee and lunch are included. Parking is free


Let’s think Spring and talk perennials! Our local area is fortunate to have a host of nationally recognized experts on perennial plants. Come and learn from these perennial professionals and self-proclaimed plant geeks!


9:00 AM10:00 AM | New Varieties | Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries

  • How do you choose from the hundreds of new perennial varieties introduced each year? Debbie Lonnee will present new perennials that will work in zone 3 and 4 gardens

Debbie Lonnee has a B.S. in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota. The first thirteen years of her career she worked in the retail garden center business, managing a large Twin Cities garden center. For the last twenty-five years she has worked at Bailey Nurseries, starting first as a production coordinator working primarily with the perennial and bedding plant crops, as well as roses and woody plants. She was promoted to manager of the Planning and Administration department in 2006, and in January 2015 became ‘Product Development Manager’, responsible for Bailey’s new breeding farm in Georgia as well as working with breeders around the world, bringing new plants to Bailey brands. She is an avid gardener, and has a collectors garden full of hostas, daylilies and perennials, as well as many new annuals. She considers herself a ‘plant geek’! You won’t find too much lawn in her yard! Debbie is a member of the Perennial Plant Association, and served on the MNLA Board of Directors for 16 years. Her work as an MNLA volunteer started over 30 years ago and she has served on quite a few committees. She was chair of both the Publications committee and Education committee for many years.. She was recently honored by being inducted into the MNLA ‘Hall of Fame’, being the first woman to join that prestigious group of volunteers. Garden writing is her second job; she is the horticultural editor for Northern Gardener magazine, and also writes the ‘Plant to Pick’ article for each edition. She has also co-written the revised editions of Growing Shrubs and Small Trees in Cold Climates as well as Growing Perennials in Cold Climates..


10:10 AM11:10 AM | Perennials for Pollinators | Bethanne Bruninga-Socolar, University of Minnesota

  • This talk will provide an overview of current research on the benefits of pollinator conservation plantings for pollinators. Bethanne Bruninga-Socolar will cover both commercial seed mixes and specific plant species and make recommendations for plantings for pollinator conservation while highlighting knowledge gaps.

Dr. Bruninga-Socolar earned her PhD at Rutgers University studying native, wild bee foraging behavior and bee community restoration in tallgrass prairie. Now she is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota Native Bee Lab where she conducts experiments investigating how to improve seed mixes for pollinator conservation.


11:20 AM12:20 PM | Gems for the Shade | Steve Kelley, Kelley & Kelley Nursery and Arla Carmichiel, Three Rivers Park District

  • Many gardeners find it difficult to get beyond hostas, ferns and astilbes for shade. Here we discuss a couple of handfuls of hardy perennials that are well beyond the norm and may well be new to you. The talk will begin by defining varying qualities of shade and go on to describe and to provide cultural tips for our current favorite shade-loving perennials.

Steve Kelley is the third generation Kelley at the helm of the 96 year old Kelley & Kelley, a landscape nursery in suburban Minneapolis. Arla Carmichiel is the Horticulture Supervisor for Three Rivers Park District. She is responsible for the design, planting and maintenance of Noerenberg Gardens as well all other gardens within the Park District's properties. Steve and Arla garden together on 31/2 acres of sun and shade and enjoy scouting out new perennials, trees and shrubs for the gardens and containers.




12:20 PM1:00 PM | Lunch

1:00 PM2:00 PM | Edible Perennials | Dr. Neil Anderson, University of Minnesota

  • While most herbaceous perennials are for ornamental beauty and enjoyment, some plants fulfill both of these needs as well as being edible. If you're looking for edible herbaceous perennials to include in your landscape or to grow/sell, Neil Anderson will tell you what the best and tastiest plants are, including some new ones!

Neil Anderson is a Floriculture Professor, directing the Herbaceous Ornamental Breeding Program for the University of Minnesota, Dept. of Horticultural Science. His crop specialty is the genus Chrysanthemum, focusing on pyrethrum, ornamental garden types, and the sole N. American species. Additional herbaceous perennial crops being bred in his program include Linum, Lilium, Gladiolus, Iris, and Gaura. His program also specializes in reproductive barriers (esp. self incompatibility) and is involved in risk assessment to prevent new invasive species from being introduced into the market, such as Phalaris and Lythrum. Neil teaches classes in Aquaponics, Floral Design, Greenhouse Production and Spring Flowering bulbs. He leads a team of scientists (1 postdoc, 2 research scientists, 4 graduate students, 5 undergraduates) and advises undergraduate / graduate students. He is a J. William Fulbright Scholar.


2:10 PM—3:10 PM | Selecting Perennials for Extreme Conditions in Full Sun: Dry & Wet | Mike Heger, Ambergate Horticultural Consulting

  • Careful plant selection for challenging sites/soils is essential to minimal maintenance inputs and long term survival. In this session, we will explore some of the possibilities for both dry and wet conditions in full sun situations. As part of the discussion, we will also look at things like any unique cultural needs, season(s) of interest, wildlife value, etc. You can have good success on these difficult sites with carefully chosen plants.

Michael L. Heger has worked in both public and private horticulture. He spent the first fifteen years of his career at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. In 1985, Heger and his wife Jean opened a niche perennial nursery called Ambergate Gardens. Recently retired from the nursery, he now spends his time lecturing, writing and consulting on issues related to gardening in northern regions. Mike is the author of "Perennials A to Z", a series of articles that were originally published in Minnesota Horticulturist and coauthor of "Growing Perennials in Cold Climates", a gardening book written specifically for the colder regions of this country. Mike served as Central Region Director of the Perennial Plant Association from 1988-1994 and currently serves as board chair for the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. He also remains active in numerous plant societies and trade organizations related to perennial flowers. He has been awarded a Quill & Trowel Communication Award from the Garden Writers Association, the Distinguished Service Award and the Award of Merit from the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, the Special Service Award from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association as well as the Service Award from the Perennial Plant Association.







Dietary Requests:  Every effort will be made to accommodate vegetarian and gluten-free lunch requests. Verbal requests must be made to the MNLA Office at least 2 weeks prior to the event date. Accommodations are not guaranteed.


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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1813 Lexington Avenue N
Roseville, MN 55113

Ph: 651. 633. 4987
Toll Free: 888. 886. 6652

Fax: 651. 633. 4986