Saturday, March 4, 2017
Mad Gardener’s Symposium: Just Plain Gorgeous! In Drought or Deluge


All New England gardeners have struggled with fluctuating temperatures and sporadic rain quantities, and as these patterns become more extreme we are all searching for design and plant ideas we can implement to help our gardens not only endure, but dazzle. Recognizing this conundrum, the Mad Gardeners brought together some of the best horticultural minds in the industry to offer proven design techniques and gorgeous plant options to help us attain this goal.

Kicking off this event is Pennsylvania-based landscape designer, author and photographer, Rick Darke, who will illustrate his experiences with water conserving designs through dozens of tantalizing images. Rick has studied and photographed North American plants for nearly 40 years and his passion and knowledge are sure to inspire.

Many native shrubs can be beautiful additions to our landscapes, providing seasons of interest without hours of maintenance and pampering. Jessica Lubell, Associate Professor of Horticulture at the University of Connecticut, will share many of her favorites, such as Aronia,Diervilla, Myrica and Spiraea, and explain the potential of those that can be used in even the most difficult landscapes.

Landscape expert, Pamela Berstler, who grew up in Pennsylvania, now lives in one of the most water-challenged areas of California yet she doesn’t let that stop her from creating stunning landscapes. Using the Watershed Approach, she will explain how choosing appropriate plants and utilizing strategies to manage rainwater and other resources will promote sustainable gardens in the face of climate change.

mi17009j-inside DOWNLOAD the Symposium brochure for talk descriptions, speaker bios, & registration.

CTNOFA has approved the program for 4 AOLCP CEUs.
CT DEEP Pesticide Management Program has approved it for CATE./CR.HRS: PA, 3A / 4.25

Photos below (and the one above right) are courtesy of: RICK DARKE LLC, Landscape Ethics - Contextual Design - Photography, 526 Chambers Rock Road, Landenberg, PA 19350  •

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Mile-A-Minute Project 2012

The video below describes the progress we have made in 2012. Our work continues....

mile-a-minute advice

M-A-M Vine is on the move!

Advice on prevention and control:

Posted 2/22/14 by Kathleen Nelson, Mad Gardeners’ Mile-a-Minute Control Project

PLEASE CHECK YOUR PROPERTY FOR PERSICARIA PERFOLIATA, MILE-A-MINUTE VINE (MAM). Yearly checks plus timely action can prevent MAM from becoming a serious pest on your property. See the video at for help recognizing the plant.

Mile-a-Minute Vine, an invasive annual vine from Asia, is being found in more and more places in New England. Expect it to arrive at your property soon. MAM usually arrives in new places in soils that contain MAM seeds. Once arrived, birds and other animals carry seeds to nearby properties. Be prepared to take immediate action to prevent establishment of new patches. A single seed arriving at a new place can, within 4-5 years, give rise to a large, dense patch covering all other vegetation and producing hundreds of thousands of seeds each year plus satellite patches as far as a mile away.


PREVENTION: MAM arriving from a distance often comes in with soil—perhaps a seed in bulk soil, on the soil of a potted plant, on the tires of equipment—even on shoes.
READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE including methods and timing to control MAM

Further Details: 2012Project.pdf


Spotted Lanternfly Confirmed in Pennsylvania

Please see the Pest Alert and follow this link for information regarding the Spotted Lanternfly, a new insect pest recently confirmed in Pennsylvania, the first detection in the US. The Spotted Lanternfly is a planthopper native to Asia that attacks numerous hosts, including grapes, fruit trees, pines, and more than 70 other species. In the fall, adults can be found on the invasive plant Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima).

Above: Spotted Lanternfly—dorsal and lateral views

A new weed is coming your way....
We hope you never see it.

posted 9/24/14 from New Milford, CT

You may already have heard about Asian Mile-a-Minute Vine, (MAM), which was accidentally introduced into Pennsylvania, and is rapidly moving north, smothering fields, meadows, and woodland edges. An annual that can grow six inches a day, it blankets everything, blocking other plants’ light. Only tall trees may survive.

The invasion front is moving north. Four populations have been found in southern Litchfield County. The only way to stop this serious threat to New England's agriculture and environment is to prevent the spread of seeds....

how you can help

posted 9/24/14 from New Milford, CT

Start by educating yourself. View and printout information on Mile-A-Minute from this web site. Get to know how to identify this invasive plant by its triangular leaves and tiny barbs on weak stems clambering over trees and shrubs.

Check your own backyard. When you are gardening, walking, hiking, visiting — be aware and look for signs of invasive plants.

Rely on experts. If you suspect Mile-A-Minute Vine, report it. Somebody will contact you to verify the identification.

Please REPORT ALL SIGHTINGS to or or or The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group at 860-486-6448.

We need volunteers to contact property owners and help check properties. Contact: Kathleen Nelson, or 860-355-1547.

To contribute to our project, send a check payable to Mad Gardeners' Invasive Species Fund to Angela Dimmitt, Mad Gardeners Inc., PO Box 146, Sherman CT 06784. Mad Gardeners, Inc is a 501(c)3 corporation.

2012 Report on the Status of MAM in CT

Follow this link to view the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group’s 2012 Report on the status of Mile-A-Minute vine in Connecticut.

Be on the Lookout for Mile-a Minute Vine!

posted 9/24/14 from New Milford, CT

Mile-a-Minute Vine (Persicaria perfoliata formerly Polygonum perfoliatum), an invasive Asian annual weed accidentally introduced from Asia into Pennsylvania, has been moving steadily northward. Until recently, the northern front of the invasion was southern New York State and southwestern Connecticut. In 2004 and 2005, populations were discovered in New Milford and Bridgewater, Connecticut. In 2007 two large populations were discovered in Newtown....