Top navigation


ELA News – June 2020

Inside ELA

If you’ve been to an ELA event, you know that besides bringing in great speakers, we gather great audiences. Everyone in the room – not just on the stage – is an innovator, an idealist, and a practical problem-solver. As a result, there is no better place to catch up with friends and colleagues, to be reminded that we are part of a broader movement, and to learn from one another.

As ELA adapts to a world shaped by COVID-19, we want to make sure that we continue to create events that are exciting, welcoming, and interactive.

To that end, we are developing new online formats for our fall and winter events, including a platform that enables participants to move in and out of breakout rooms, to see who else is attending, to send messages to other participants, and to organize impromptu gatherings of people with shared interests. Working with our speakers, exhibitors, and members, we will refine our use of these online tools to make sure that we are making good use of participants’ time.

As we explore this new medium, we welcome your thoughts. We look forward to sharing more information on each event as plans are finalized. And as always, we are grateful for your support and for the community that we’re a part of.

Upcoming ELA Workshops & Conferences:

Advanced Workshops with Patrick Cullina, August 5 or August 12, 2020
Season’s End Summit, October 29, 2020
Mid-Atlantic Conference, November 12, 2020
Ecological Plant Conference, December 4, 2020
Annual Conference and Eco-Marketplace,TBD

Please also note that ELA has been approved to provide LA CES and other continuing education credit for online events.

Toby Wolf, PLA
President, Board of Directors

Photo Contest Ends June 30!

ELA’s third Spotlight on Natives Photo Contest is in full bloom, and we’re looking forward to viewing another incredible collection of your images. So that our photographers can include some of the later blooming spring natives, we’ve extended the deadline for submissions to June 30.
You can submit photos of native plants in garden settings (that may include some non-native species) or individual specimens. Entries will be accepted through June 30 at 5:00pm. First Prize Winners receive a one-year ELA Professional Membership ($100 value). Photographers receiving Honorable Recognition will earn $50 credit toward purchases at the ELA Bookstore. Winners will be announced in July. Find all the details here.

Take a Walk in the Garden with ELA

A few of our free Wednesday webinars remain. If you haven’t yet done so, please join ELA for a virtual walk in the garden complete with plant discussions and garden tips:

June 17 – Spring to Summer: Native Plants that Bridge the Seasonal Divide

June 24 – Garden Ways: Professional Tips on Design and Plant Selection

July 1 – Specialist Bees

Community Kindness – Tell Us Your Story

Tell us your story of kindness during COVID -19, and we’ll include it in the newsletter. We are all in need of a little extra kindness and care. Email us at

I make flower arrangements from my garden flowers and deliver them to people’s doorsteps, ring the bell and step away. I have thus far made 56 this season. I use vases, baskets, mugs, mason jars or anything I can get my hands on from tag sales and the like. I think my flowers bring a little joy at a difficult time. ~ Carolyn Aubin, CT

This spring, it seems there’s more time for two healthy habits: gardening and walks around the neighborhood. Instead of weeding out my happily-spreading perennials this year, I potted them up and set them out on a makeshift table for passersby to take home. Not only did my happy plants find homes, but I ended up connecting with several neighbors I’d never met before – now I know their names (until I have to ask again!) and we have something to chat about when we bump into each other next. Plants have a way of setting the groundwork for new friendships. ~ Judy Beaudette, WA

Virtual Coffee on Hold until July 17

Instead of calling in to volunteer coffee on third Wednesdays, enjoy the Walk in the Garden webinar series! We’ll resume Virtual Coffee calls in July, but for now if you have ideas for programs, article topics, or speakers send an email to