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Urban Home Garden Speaker Series

13jun5:00 pm8:00 pmUrban Home Garden Speaker Series

Event Details

Urban Home Garden Speaker Series

June 13, September 12, and November 7

5-8 pm

Join us as the Memphis Botanic Garden presents the Urban Home Garden Speaker Series with support from Memphis Horticultural Society. This series features topics about gardening with a purpose from horticultural experts.


Due to the time change, we will be unable to host the optional tour of our Arboretum. As an alternative, we invite you to join us in our Visitors Center starting at 5 pm. We will have:

  • Stations about the Garden’s tree collection, history, and highlights from MBG’s Arborist Bo Kelley and other members of our horticulture staff.
  • Representatives from the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, Memphis Horticultural Society, and Wild Ones will also have tables.
  • Plus our bar and book sales will be up and running.

 The talk will still begin at 6:30 pm followed by a book signing.

Each lecture is $10 MBG & Memphis Horticultural Society Members/$15 Non-Members.

Click here to register.

Topics & Speakers:

June 13, 5-8 pm

Claudia West, Rebuilding Abundance with Innovative and Rich Planting

Our cities and suburbs desperately need more inspiring, ecologically rich planting. Yet budgets are tight and gardeners are often unfamiliar with more diverse, ecologically functional planting typologies. Claudia will share the scientific models and hands-on techniques her landscape architecture firm, Phyto Studio, applies to create beautiful, ecologically rich planting. You will walk away with a new understanding of planting design and its role in rebuilding nature where we need it the most.

Claudia West is also the designer of the Garden’s Arboretum revitalization project as part of the Rooted at Park & Cherry capital campaign. The guided tour preceding the talk will feature this new area of the Garden with Claudia. 

September 12, 5-8 pm

Ellen Ecker Ogden, Rewilding the Kitchen Garden: How to grow a healthy organic garden for people and pollinators to flourish

I’ve been rethinking the kitchen garden, just as I have been planting more natives in my flower beds. In this new lecture, you will learn the six steps to design but also how to unwind our gardener’s tendency to be too neat and tidy in the garden. We are trained to pull lettuce before it bolts or deadhead dill when it forms a seed head, but these are necessary for a wide range of pollinators to thrive. Let’s look more closely at all the pollinators in our gardens, going beyond the honeybee to the wasps, flies, and moths. What can you plant in your kitchen garden that brings you good food, while nourishing the edible landscape with pollen-rich plants, and nectar? Take a fresh perspective and discover new ways to let your garden grow a little wild.

Ellen Ecker Ogden is an award-winning garden author and kitchen garden designer. She is the author of five books including The Complete Kitchen Garden and The New Heirloom Garden.

November 7, 5-8 pm

Doug Tallamy, The Nature of Oaks

Scary headlines about the decline of the natural world that serves as our life support have spurred homeowners across the country to take action by planting natives that will help reverse this trend. No plant will achieve this faster than one of our 91 species of oaks.  Oaks support more species of animals, sequester more carbon, protect our watersheds, and nourish soil communities better than any other plant genus in North America. Tallamy will discuss these roles by following the many fascinating things that are happening on the oaks in his yard each month of the year. His hope is to supply the knowledge about oaks that will generate interest in them, and, with any luck, compassion for these magnificent trees. 

With Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy changed the conversation about gardening in America. His second book, the New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urged homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. In his newest book, he turns his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—the mighty oak tree.

The Urban Home Garden Speaker Series is made possible with support from



(Tuesday) 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm