Somerville Garden Club

Meeting – July 12, 2017

Landscaping with Novel Native Shrubs

Native plants are becoming increasingly popular for creating sustainable and ecologically vibrant landscapes. Designers and landscapers sometimes think that these species might not survive the tough growing conditions associated with commercial and institutional landscapes, foundation plantings, or other challenging sites. Yet many native species will perform well — especially if you understand which plants to use where, and how to get them established. They also make excellent ecologically friendly replacements for the ubiquitous, but now banned, invasive shrubs like winged euonymus and barberry.
Professor Jessica Lubell of the University of Connecticut will teach us about many native shrubs that are adaptable to tough conditions — such as the readily available Rhus and Juniperus, as well as lesser-known taxa like Aronia, Diervilla, Prunus, Myrica, Corylus, and Spiraea. She will discuss her wide-ranging research on this subject, including controlled studies on the adaptability of native shrubs, and improved methods of nursery propagation to increase the availability of native taxa. This talk will be enlightening to all who landscape with natives.

Dr. Jessica Lubell is an Associate Professor of Horticulture at the University of Connecticut, with 15 years of experience working with the horticulture industry. Jessica’s research is focused on improving the availability of native shrubs in the nursery trade and broadening their use among landscapers and designers. She has developed methods for the propagation and container production of native shrubs so that they can be grown more easily in a nursery setting, and she works closely with growers to help them expand their production. Using controlled trials, she has demonstrated the potential of many native shrubs to be used as hardy landscape plants by documenting their durability. Jessica was a 2015 recipient of the New England Nursery Association Young Nursery Professional Award for the state of Connecticut.

All Somerville Garden Club meetings are free and open to the public. 7-9pm. Meetings are held the at the Tufts Administration Building, (TAB), 167 Holland Street, second floor, wheelchair accessible. Parking is available, and the building is a ten-minute walk from the Davis Square MBTA stop.

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