Passport to Design

by | Sep 14, 2020 | Associations, Design, Latest

APLD will host its International Design Conference virtually Sept. 23-26

See gardens from around the world and get inspired from leaders in landscape design, all from your desk.

The Association of Professional Landscape Designers is making the most of their virtual conference, even bringing attendees inside fabulous gardens in South Africa, England and Ireland for exclusive tours. In addition, members as well as non-members can hear inspirational speakers and network with landscape designers from across the globe. The interactive conference will also include chat rooms, speaker Q&As, sponsor showcases and one-on-one meetings, social media interfaces and small group discussions.

“We went into this thinking, ‘let’s go places we won’t go anytime soon,’” says Michelle Keyser, director of communications for APLD. “We’re excited to use technology to take attendees inside some amazing gardens. The platform we’re using integrates with Zoom and allows our sponsors and our attendees to have a presence and interact with one another.”

Attendees will get an exclusive look inside England’s Grey to Green. The project is the UK’s largest retro-fit SuDS project, and also the UK’s largest inner city “Green Street.” Designer and professor Nigel Dunnet will discuss his project as well as the integration of ecology and horticulture to achieve low-input and high-impact landscapes. Other notable projects include The Queen Elizabeth London Olympic Park, Grosvenor Square and The Barbican Centre in London.

Fergus Garrett will be presenting at the conference as well as showing Great Dixter where he is the head gardener. Garrett will discuss what it takes to manage the gardens of the 15th-century medieval manor house in England.

Renowned Cape Town designer Tone Alexander will provide a virtual tour of his recent garden project in South Africa. His work included designing the gardens, creating a new driveway access among 60-year-old olive trees, designing a swimming pool, deck and firepit; and dealing with water catchment, storage and irrigation challenges.

TV personality and garden designer Diarmuid Gavin will showcase his Irish garden and discuss how his extensive travel has inspired him.

Expert Speakers

  • Laura Ekasetya, director and head horticulturist at Lurie Garden at Millennium Park in Chicago, “Wild with Intention” 
  • New York-based designer and horticulturalist Wambui Ippolito, “Immigrant Gardens and their Socio-ecological Impact”
  • Author and foodscape activist in North Carolina, Brie Arthur, “The Foodscape Revolution – Designing for an Equitable Future and Community Development”
  • Integrated pest management consultant and founder of Borders and Butterflies, Marie Rojas, based in Maryland, “Bees, Beneficials and Blooms” 
  • Jo Thompson, leading garden designer in the UK, “Less is More: How to Consider Landscape and to Ask Ourselves How Much of Ourselves We Want to Impose Upon It”
  • Garth Woodruff, FAPLD, assistant professor, Andrews University, “Sustainability – A Top Ten List”
  • Andrew Fisher Tomlin, director of the London College of Garden Design, “Not Just Native – How to Embrace Exotic Plants in Our Planning Designs”

“APLD was founded in 1989 and really has a place for everyone interested in landscape design,” says Michelle. “From the student level to educators and from emerging professions to those retired.” 

Rates for non-members to participate range from $300 for a daily pass to $750 for full conference access. Discounted rates are given to members as well as young professionals, educators and students. Recordings are also available for any portion of the conference. Click here for details. 


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