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International MG Conference Notes

The Best Herbs to Use in a Landscape Design - Sue Goetz

Herbs that make a bold statement (and might be showing up in my gardens in 2024): Amethyst Basil - stunning color and large leaves, use like coleus

Thai Basil - sturdy and compact

Magic Mountain Basil - grows fast, up to 36” high, sturdy, and very fragrant

Fennel - adds feathers to a landscape

Shiso - unique sawtooth leaf

Curly Parsley - for low borders and textured in-fill

Arp Rosemary - Zone 6, cold tolerant that thrives near dry, hot walls

Creeping Thyme - a blanket to cover the ground

Carolina Allspice - a dense, rounded shrub 6 to 9 feet high. Zone 4-9

Design Tips:

  • It’s more than the flowers. Make a statement by combining different sized and shaped leaves.

  • Plant a perfume garden next to outdoor seating areas.

  • Create an herb meadow by planting herbs of every size and shape close to each other. They will grow until they touch their neighbor.

  • Create a fragrant hedge of basil.


The Future of Gardening Advice

- Nikki Barker, Senior Horticulture Advisor, Royal Horticultural Society in the UK

  • 75% of people learn and seek gardening information from friends

  • Communities where people can serve with others are the healthiest.

  • Growing food for people creates community and happiness.


Sustainable SITES Initiative –

Learn how to work WITH nature in your gardens – USDA Plant Data Base

Tropicos, the HUGE database for everything plant related – Wildflower database


Growing Spices - Tasha Greer

Book: Grow Your Own Spices

Yes you can grow…

- Dijon Mustard

- Sichuan Pepper (Zone 6-9) Prune and move inside in winter.

- Licorice (Zone 7-9) I found Wild Licorice (Zone 3-9) which I will grow for the unique leaf.

- Fenugreek, fast growing, nitrogen fixing, unique leaf

- Nigella sativa (black cumin) pretty flower, annual (Zone 2-9)

- Galangal, grow as indoor plant (Zone 7-9). Interesting leaf shape

- Paprika peppers

- Saffron, cold hardy to Zone 7. Treat as an annual


Plant Partners - Jessica Walliser

A.K.A. companion planting which science refers to as polyculture, inter-cropping, etc. Importance of companion planting:

- Improved aesthetics

- Increased soil health

- Reduction of weeds

- Reduced pest pressure

- More pest predation

- Improved pollination


- Peas & Lettuce

- Cowpeas & Peppers/Tomatoes

- Green Beans & Potatoes

Trap Crop Companions:

- Radish for keeping flea beetles off tomatoes/peppers

- Blue Hubbard squash trap squash vine borers

Partners to Mask Host Plants:

- Onions with peppers to deter green peach aphids

- Zucchini/summer squash with nasturtiums to deter squash bugs

- Basil with tomatoes to deter thrips, hornworm & striped armyworm egg laying

- Calendula with collards/cabbage to deter aphids/attract beneficials


Mini Forest Revolution - Hannah Lewis

The Miyawaki Method, devised by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, uses a method to plant mini-forests said to be healing the world.

+++++++++ Changing lawn perceptions

Pollinator Visits

- Grass lawns: 1

- Flowery lawns: 40

- Grass-free lawns: 80

Different types of Species Visits

- Grass - 8

- Grass-free lawns: 45

Growing Native Plants

- Native plants do not require fertilizers and require fewer pesticides than lawns.

- Native plants require less water than lawns and have deep roots to prevent erosion.

- Native plants provide shelter and food for native wildlife.

+++++++++ Bicycling with Butterflies - Sara Dykman

A true story Sara’s nine month, 10,000 miles bicycle journey following monarch butterflies on their annual migration. AMAZING!!

Other Plant Information:

*US Botanic Gardens (yes, this is OUR garden, we own it!!)

*Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew

Click to begin your educational journey. (Read & Watch tab)

*Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries

*Plants for Birds - Marshall Johnson

*Composting & Climate Change

- Landfills produce methane 68 times stronger than C02 in changing the climate.

- Less than 10% of the methane from landfills is recovered.


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