N.J.’s Summer Plant Symposium offers education
By CAROL KINSLEY
NEW BRUNSWICK — New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association will present a Summer Plant Symposium on Aug. 14 at Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick. NJNLA Executive Director Dominick Mondi said, “I am very excited about how this event is coming together. Garden centers, nurserymen, landscape professionals, designers and grounds managers will all find parts of the program relevant and entertaining.
“We really wanted to craft a complete green industry event that that was educational, but also fun. All indications are we are well on our way to doing just that."
The annual event has been expanded for 2012. Program highlights include garden center tours, landscape design tours, recertification tours, a CNLP exam, live demonstrations, a rare plants auction, a barbecue dinner and games and Rick Lewendowski as keynote speaker.
Lewandowski is a horticulturist, garden designer and former director of the Mt. Cuba Center. He not only will deliver the keynote address after dinner but will join the landscape design tour.
The tour, which leaves Rutgers Gardens promptly at 9 a.m., will take a private guided tour of Bamboo Brook Park, part of the Morris County System; Hey Honey Farm; and a private residence that won the NJNLA Grand Award a few years back.
Judy Sharpton, Independent Garden Center speaker and consultant, will host the garden center tour. Sites include Barlow Flower Farm, Sickles Market and Dearborn Market, each with a unique success story. This bus tour also departs at 9 a.m. from Rutgers Gardens.
Both tours will return in time for field demonstrations from Bartlett Tree Experts and a tour of Rutgers Gardens, followed by the barbecue dinner provided by Rutgers Office of Continuing Education and the plant auction. Proceeds from the auction help support the NJNLA Education Foundation, which supports horticultural scholarships at colleges around the state.
Member registration rate of $95 for either tour is extended to members of NJNLA, New Jersey Turfgrass Association, Association of Professional Landscape Designers, New Jersey Green Industry Council or New Jersey Farm Bureau.
Non-members pay $125.
While the tours are running there will be a series of pesticide recertification, fertilizer and regulatory update classes running at Rutgers Gardens focused on CORE, 3A, 3B and Private Applicator Credits.
These presentations will be from industry experts and coordinated in partnership with the New Jersey Green Industry Council
Also hosted onsite will be the Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional proctored exam.
The symposium will include some fun, too, as participants compete in games of horseshoes, bocce and other lawn games.
Organizers say this will be the most fun "networking" you will have all summer!