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Tom Coward

Thomas Rainer

Ross Bayton

Heronswood and the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society are pleased to present our annual joint symposium. This year’s theme is Wild by Design. This event is a fundraiser for the two organizations, and will take place as a Zoom webinar.

All sessions will be recorded and you will receive the recordings the next business day.


Our annual symposium will have the most illustrious group of speakers ever!

Starting the day will be Tom Coward, head gardener at Gravetye Manor, former home and garden of one of the most influential garden writers of his generation, William Robinson. The topic of Tom’s presentation is “William Robinson: The Wild Gardener and his Legacy.” Previously, Tom was the assistant head gardener for Sir Paul McCartney and assistant head gardener at Great Dixter, where he assisted Fergus Garrett with the management of the garden.

Our additional speakers include:

Thomas Rainer, a landscape architect, teacher, and author living in Washington D.C. He will speak on “Translating the Wild.” Thomas, a leading voice in ecological landscape design, has designed landscapes for Arlington National Cemetery, the Philadelphia International Airport, The New York Botanical Garden, as well as over one hundred gardens from Maine to Florida. He is the co-author of the award-winning book Planting in a Post-Wild World.

Dr. Ross Bayton, Heronswood Garden Assistant Director. He will speak on “Puget Sound Meadows Past and Present.” Take a tour with Ross around the remaining Puget Sound prairies to find out why they are special, what threatens them, and what we can learn from native land managers to help preserve these unique wonders. Ross is a London-born botanist and gardener who gained his PhD at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, studying the classification of tropical palms. He is the author of several books on horticulture including New Trees: Introductions to Cultivation (with John Grimshaw), Plant Families: A Guide for Gardeners and Botanists (with Simon Mangham), and most recently, The Gardener’s Botanical: An Encyclopedia of Latin Plant Names.

Panayoti Kelaidis, a plant explorer, gardener, and public garden administrator with the Denver Botanic Gardens where he is the Senior Curator and Director of Outreach. He has designed plantings for many of the gardens at DBG including their renowned Rock Alpine Garden. He has introduced hundreds of native ornamentals from throughout the Western United States to general horticulture. The title of his lecture is, “A Twelve Steppe Program for Taming Dryland Plants.”

Patrick McMillan, the new director of Heronswood Garden, will speak on “The Wildlife Response to Meadows: Maximizing biodiversity in your landscape.” He will provide a detailed look at utilizing the “natural community garden” technique for meadow installation and management and the incredible response it has on diversity. Prior to coming to Heronswood, for twenty years Patrick was producer, writer, and award-winning host of the popular ETV nature program, Expeditions with Patrick McMillan. He received his PhD in Biological Sciences from Clemson University, is the former director of the South Carolina Botanical Garden, and has worked as a professional naturalist, biologist, and educator.

$65 BBGS and Heronswood members/$80 non-members

Panayoti Kelaidis

Patrick McMillan

Saturday, October 9, 2021
9AM – 4PM
$65 Heronswood & BBGS Members
$80 Nonmembers

All sessions will be recorded and you will receive the recordings the next business day.

Registration for this event is now closed.