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ELA Season’s End Summit

Thu, November 7, 2019 @ 8:30 am EST - 5:00 pm EST

Community Harvest Project Barn, 37 Wheeler Road
North Grafton,MA01536United States
+ Google Map

2019 Recap

Regenerative landscapes consider the ecology of a site, draw upon the wisdom of natural systems, and enhance the surrounding environment for the benefit of humans and all other life in the ecosystem.

With guidance from natural systems, designers can create thriving landscapes that protect our waters and soil, conserve resources, and provide healthy habitat. The resulting landscapes can be resilient, whole, and beautiful.

As we reflect on the past landscape season and look for inspiration for our next designs, ELA’s Season’s End Summit invites you to take a fresh look at some design fundamentals that may surprise you – and inspire your next designs.

  • Designing with Plant Communities:
    The Synergy of Plants in Partnership
      ~ Dan Jaffe
    All too often we think of plants on an individual basis; it simplifies our designs. Yet once they are in the landscape, plants become part of an intricate system in which all the players regularly interact with each other. What happens when we think about our planting plans in the same way, as complete systems rather than collections of individual plants? Which plants function best in groups and how can we use diverse groups to our advantage? Can we create healthy, resilient plant communities with numerous species supporting each other? Which species really shine when planted in groups and masses? Which combinations produce spectacular results? Join Dan Jaffe, co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens as he explores building plant communities from the ground up.
  • Thinking Ahead: Master Plans that Matter
     ~ Toby Wolf
    You’re ready to design, and the client is ready to build. It’s time to seize the moment — so why spend time on a master plan?
    Landscape architect Toby Wolf will show how a good master plan can support great design. Drawing on successful plans and near misses, Toby will share ways that master planning can create a collaborative relationship with the client, can identify shared values and visions, and can lay the essential groundwork for effective ecological design.
  • Plant Partners:
    Reliable and Rewarding Plants for Challenging Sites

    ~ Heather McCargo
    Hot and dry, torrential downpours with flooding, and shade from buildings or trees – these are the sites that challenge designers. Yet we have so many native plants from eastern North America that thrive under these conditions. Learn about some great woody and herbaceous natives that will handle tough conditions while adding beauty and biodiversity to your landscape.
  • Sculpting Plant Communities:
    Designing with Elegant and Edible Elements

    ~ Karen Bussolini
    Add beauty and biodiversity to the vegetable garden – and edible plants to ornamental gardens to create home landscapes humming with life and good things to eat.
  • Vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs are often stunningly beautiful plants. Any vegetable garden can be a feast for the eyes when attention is paid to design, color, interesting structures and plants’ ornamental qualities. Adding companion plantings of herbs and flowers attracts pollinators and beneficial insects that prey on pests while turning a utilitarian plot into a pleasure garden.
  • But home-grown produce needn’t remain segregated in its own plot, Karen will share many inventive ways that gardeners have tucked edibles into flower beds, used herbs and fruit trees as landscape plants, assembled colorful edible container gardens. Whether you call it permaculture or edible landscaping, these biodiverse yards are humming with life…and good things to eat. Being a locavore and reducing your carbon footprint never looked so pretty.
  • Speakers Panel
    After individual presentations, the esteemed lineup of speakers will participate panel discussion moderated by Heather Heimarck. Audience members are encouraged to bring questions and join in the discussion.
  • APLD, LA CES, MCH, MLP-MCLP, and NOFA CEU credits are offered for this program. 

    Speaker Bios

    Karen Bussolini is a nationally known garden photographer, author, speaker, and eco-friendly garden coach. Her art background and focus on environmental topics – ecological landscaping, native plants, biodiversity, xeriscaping, organic gardening, planting for wildlife, pollinators, and other beneficial insects – inform every aspect of her work. She is a NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmers Association) Accredited Organic Land Care Professional. Her email newsletter, Eco-Friendly News, Views, Clues and How-To’s is available at

    Dan Jaffe is currently the Horticulturist and Propagator at Norcross Wildlife Foundation. With more than ten years of experience in ecological horticulture, he brings a wealth of knowledge of native plants to his specialty, the propagation of native species. Dan is the photographer and co-author of Native Plants for New England Gardens.  He also teaches and lectures on numerous topics including pollinators, sustainable landscape practices, foraging, cultivation of edible species, low-maintenance horticulture, and others. Formerly, Dan was with New England Wild Flower Society where he was the head propagator, developed a native plant horticultural database, and managed the Society’s social media.

    Heather McCargo, MA, is the founder and Executive Director of the Wild Seed Project. She is an educator with 30 years of experience in plant propagation, landscape design, horticulture, and conservation. A former head plant propagator at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods during the 1990s, Heather has also worked at several landscape architecture/planning firms specializing in ecological design, and has contributed to research projects with USAID, the National Gardening Association, and MOFGA. She has lectured nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines such as Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s “Growing from Seed,” Horticulture, American Nurseryman, Ecological Landscape Alliance, and many others. Heather has a BA in plant ecology from Hampshire College and an MA from the Conway School of Landscape Design.

    Toby Wolf designs regenerative landscapes that connect people to the natural world. His work includes design and planning for Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Wellesley College, the Native Plant Trust, Cornell Botanic Gardens, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, the Friends of the Public Garden, and homeowners throughout the Boston area. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, he is a frequent lecturer and guest critic at the Conway School. He is the founder of Wolf Landscape Architecture and the President of the Ecological Landscape Alliance.

2019 Season’s End Summit

Event Schedule

  • 8:30 – 9:00           Registration & Networking  (Coffee and light refreshments)
  • 9:00 – 10:00         Dan Jaffe – Designing with Plant Communities
  • 10:00 – 11:00        Toby Wolf – Master Plans that Matter
  • 11:00 – 11:15         Break
  • 11:15 – 12:15          Heather McCargo – Plants for Challenging Sites
  • 12:15 – 1:15            Lunch & Networking
  • 1:15 – 2:15             Karen Bussolini – Designing with Edible Elements
  • 2:15 – 2:30            Break
  • 2:30 – 4:00           Afternoon Panel – Heather Heimarck, Moderator
  • 4:00 – 4:30           Closing remarks and CEU Processing

Sorry the 2019 Season’s End Summit is Sold Out!




Thu, November 7, 2019
8:30 am EST - 5:00 pm EST
Event Category:


Penny Lewis


Community Harvest Project Barn
37 Wheeler Road
North Grafton,MA01536United States
+ Google Map