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Midwest Regional Reports

Field Trip Notes: Big Ideas and Achievable Goals at Resilient Landscape Symposium | Midwest Regional Report

Drought-tolerant Gravel Gardens at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI. Photo: Erin Presley

There’s nothing like a good symposium with a group of antsy gardeners to provide motivation and inspiration for the upcoming gardening season. The University of Wisconsin’s Allen Centennial Gardens recently hosted its spring Resilient Landscape Symposium, challenging attendees with big ideas and achievable goals.

What is a resilient garden?

Basically, this is a philosophy that helps inform a garden’s design and maintenance and is steered by an awareness of how gardens interact with, and can contribute positively to, the larger ecosystem. For example, gardens with a diversity of plants flowering through all the seasons can provide critical resources for native pollinators that may struggle to survive even in rural, agriculturally dominated landscapes. Healthy, urban green spaces host birds and the insects they need to maintain sustainable populations, while cooling cities, cleaning air, and even making us feel more relaxed. (Numerous studies link spending time in tree-filled areas with…

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