January 14, 2019

Learn to create beautiful landscapes at The Naturally Beautiful Garden Conference – Saturday, Feb. 16

Escape the winter blues during The Naturally Beautiful Garden Conference at Triton College, where home landscapers and gardeners will be inspired to turn outdoor spaces into the native plant oasis of their dreams.    

The conference is Saturday, Feb. 16, noon to 5 p.m., in the Robert M. Collins Center auditorium (R Building), on the east side of Triton’s campus, 2000 Fifth Ave., River Grove.

Visionary landscape architect Claudia West and award-winning garden designer Ben Vogt will lead a half-day conference on how to design stunning home landscapes that promote human happiness, provide critical habitat for wildlife and fight climate change. The Naturally Beautiful Garden Conference explores how to change the way we garden to provide critically needed habitat for insects and other wildlife, enrich the soil and capture carbon dioxide, while enchanting human senses.  

West, a leading voice in the field of ecological design, will show attendees, step-by-step, the art of arranging native plants – which are aesthetically and functionally very different from typical garden plants – using design principles learned from wild plant communities and archetypal landscapes. Vogt, an award-winning garden columnist, will delve into philosophy, science and psychology to make a case for reimagining urban landscapes into a network of wildlife refuges.

This annual conference is presented by the Triton College Sustainability Center in partnership with West Cook Wild Ones and PlanItGreen, which is supported by CommunityWorks and the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation.  

“Claudia and Ben to campus are amazing advocates for sustainable, earth-friendly gardening practices that create beauty while helping the planet,” said Adrian Fisher, Triton College sustainability coordinator. “This conference fits in perfectly with Triton’s commitment to sustainability on campus and in the communities we serve.”

West is the author of Planting in a Post-Wild World, and Vogt is the author of A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future. West and Vogt will have a selection of their books for sale at the conference and will be available to sign them.

The event is free to attend for Triton College students. For more details and registration go to www.westcookwildonesconference.eventbrite.com.