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The annual symposium is the Botanical Garden’s signature educational opportunity for advancing gardening in Iowa. Each fall, four internationally acclaimed lecturers visit Des Moines to speak about current topics that impact home horticulture, plant sciences and/or ecology.

This year’s symposium theme is Just Keep Planting. All gardeners know that gardening is a labor of love, and that one’s garden is never truly finished. This year’s symposium will inspire attendees on how to keep their outdoor spaces purposeful and full of life season after season. Join us Saturday, Oct. 21 as our four speakers will share their unique gardening journeys and how they have shaped their distinct gardening styles.

Speakers and Topics
Keynote: James Hitchmough: A British Take on Designed Prairie-like Vegetation
 – Learn how James has crafted a delicate balance between design and ecology to create landscapes that provide a rich experience for people as well as habitats for native biodiversity.

Brie Arthur: The Foodscape Revolution – Get inspired to add purpose to your everyday spaces as Brie shares how she has fine-tuned her signature design technique of Foodscaping, a sustainable landscape practice that embraces beauty and utility.

Stephanie Cohen: Fallscaping: The Last Hurrah – Think outside the box (or square, or triangle) with “The Perennial Diva” and discover why fall, the often neglected tail-end of the year, is a glorious gardening season.

Andrew Bunting: Belvidere: An Evolution of a Plantsman’s Garden – Take a deep dive into Andrew’s 20-year journey and his successes and failures in creating his nationally featured home garden in Swarthmore, Penn.