1:30-2:20 pm Plants with Style
A Plantsman's Choices for a Vibrant, 21st-Century Garden
3:30-4:20 pm Gardening with a Y
With all the discussion around the issue of Generation X and Y gardeners, some might wonder what the future holds for horticulture. Confounding the issue is a general lack of demographic data and inaccurate perceptions of young or beginning gardeners. Why not talk to a Gen Y horticulturist about the needs, wants and interests of new gardeners under 40?
Kelly Norris is a 20-something, award-winning author and plantsman from Iowa and the first director of horticulture at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a newly revitalized public garden in Des Moines, Iowa. Throughout his career, his work has been featured in The New York Times, Organic Gardening, Martha Stewart Living, Country Gardens, Garden Design and in numerous local and regional media appearances.
At the Botanical Garden, Kelly directs and manages a team of horticultural professionals in all aspects of design, curation, programming, and garden management, after serving as the principal horticulture consultant to the $18 million renovation project completed in 2014. He is also the editorial director for the organization’s award-winning member magazine Bloom and is the artistic director of the popular Spring Garden Festival, a four-day pop-up retail plant sale and garden show.
As a writer and photographer, he regularly contributes to popular gardening magazines like Fine Gardening and The American Gardener and industry trade publications, including Greenhouse Grower and Green Profit. He’s popularly known for his book A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts from Timber Press, which won the 2013 American Horticultural Society Book Award. His most recent book—Plants with Style—debuted in December 2015.
Kelly’s career began at age 15 when he talked his parents into buying a nursery (Rainbow Iris Farm), and since then he’s become one of the few gurus on marketing horticulture to emerging demographics. Kelly holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in horticulture from Iowa State University.
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