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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 The Resilient Garden. Discover multi-layered, colorful and resilient gardens, from a rural presidential estate to the Brooklyn Bridge, that will inspire you to balance biodiversity with beauty in your own garden.

Speakers and Topics

Thomas Rainer, Keynote: Rebuilding Abundance: Planting Strategies for more Colorful, Biodiverse, and Lower Input Gardens

Rebecca McMackin: Brooklyn Bridge Park: Lessons (so far) in Built-Ecology

Peter Hatch: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden

Patrick Cullina: The Dynamic Landscape Explored: Examining Strategies for Creating Transformative Spaces with Plants


To register, please click the “Proceed to Purchase” button above. The fee includes lunch. Prefer to pay via cash or check? Please print and fill out this form and return it to the Garden with your registration.

Continuing Education

This year’s Annual Symposium will be offered as a continuing education unit (CEU) by two different professional organizations: The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and The Iowa Nursery & Landscape Organization (INLA).