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The Modern Garden with PlantNetwork:

Connecting gardens and sharing skills for 25 years.

Working as a professional horticulturist can be a solitary experience. Even working as part of a team, you might be the only one with your specialism or area of responsibility. Talking with and learning alongside others who share your experience, expertise or interests can provide the networking, support, and skills that you, and your garden, need. PlantNetwork has been doing this for the last 25 years: connecting gardens and sharing skills.

Since its formation in the mid-1990s, PlantNetwork has provided an opportunity for gardens and their garden teams to share ideas and information, provide peer-to-peer training, and network horticulturists. The aim of PlantNetwork is to connect gardens to share knowledge, information, and skills to ensure that the public gardens and plant collections of the UK and Ireland are maintained at the highest possible standard for conservation, education, research, and enjoyment by the public.

To celebrate their 25th birthday, PlantNetwork is looking to the future of gardening and professional horticulture in our ‘Modern Garden’ conference this November and December. What will gardens in the mid 21st century look like and what skills will horticulturists of the future need? We will hear from speakers offering their perspectives on the future, from technological innovations to the challenges posed by climate change as well as issues relating to sustainability and plant health. Making gardens more multifunctional (offering a range of social, economic, and environmental services) and recognizing the role of traditional skills (such as meadow management) will also feature.

With speakers from around the world, including academics and researchers, professional horticulturists, and experts in their field, the conference offers an opportunity to engage with the horticultural topics that will shape gardening in the future. Each conference session will include speaker presentations and a panel discussion, providing an opportunity for all delegates to question and comment on the topic.

In an online format, participation in the conference is possible without traveling or taking time away from work. With four afternoon sessions across two weeks, it is ideally suited to the working horticulturist, with all sessions available on catch-up. There will be networking opportunities between sessions to allow delegates to discuss the conference topics further or simply to meet other horticulturists. A workshop and special closing session, which will be available as a stand-alone event, will continue the discussion of gardens and gardening in the future.

For more information about the conference, including the program and how to book, please visit the conference website:

The conference takes place from 2pm (GMT/UTC) on 24th - 25th November and 1st - 2nd December 2021.

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