2018 Western to Feature Four Keynote Speakers

The 2018 Western is packed with education!  In addition to Learning Centers, a new Demonstration Center, Roundtable Discussions, panel discussion and more, participants can join four world-class speakers who will offer keynote sessions at the Western.
Nature Integration - The Future of Design
  • Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Gardeners Supply Company
  • Thanks to Forrest Keeling Nursery
  • Learn how a fundamental shift in demographics, social consciousness and science is changing how nature is integrated into the design of our buildings and landscapes and how that will affect the future of the green industry. Specifically, Rebecca will describe the challenges of transforming how we approach design, our relationships with our employees and our clients, and how to maximize the opportunities that will be coming over the next 5-10 years.
  • Rebecca is one of the Northeast's leading green industry professionals exploring the intersection between Nature and Human Living Spaces.  Rebecca manages the Gardeners Supply Company flagship store in Williston, VT, where she keeps an eye on emerging trends in the garden and landscape industries.  

The Color of the Native Plant Palette
  • Dr. Robert Lyons, University of Delaware
  • Part of Western University, thanks to KAT Wholesale Outdoor
  • Perhaps no other time in the history of herbaceous plant cultivation have we witnessed such a plethora of new and different plant choices in the marketplace.  A wide array of suitable native species and derived cultivars will be discussed in this presentation, highlighting those plants with qualities that are frequently considered colorful and visually appealing by landscapers and gardeners alike. Attention will also be given to highlighting and discussing aggressive natives and the sensible inclusion of non-native, non-invasive plants that contribute to successful landscape.
  • Dr. Robert Lyons is the former Director of the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture and currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware.  He received a B.A. in Biology from Rutgers University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Minnesota. 
Washington Legislative Update
  • Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort
  • Thanks to Loma Vista Nursery
  • Craig Regelbrugge serves as AmericanHort's senior vice president, where he is responsible for industry advocacy and research programs.  Regelbrugge serves in national leadership positions representing the horticulture industry on matters relating to the labor force, plant health and production, and trade. He co-chairs the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform, a broad-based coalition seeking legislation to ensure a stable and legal agricultural workforce, and is chairman of the board of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. 
The Essential Layers of Living Landscapes
  • Rick Darke, Rick Darke LLC
  • The richness of life in any landscape is linked to the richness of its layers, and this is true for both people and wildlife. The ability to recognize, understand, conserve and enhance these layers is the most important skill set any of us can bring to the enjoyment, understanding, and stewardship of private gardens and community landscapes.  Strategies for employing truly organic architecture in crafting beautiful, highly functional layered landscapes will be presented in detail.
  • Rick will also offer a breakout session on Distinguishing Your Brand with Creative Technology!
  • Rick Darke heads RICK DARKE LLC, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm focused on the design and management of living landscapes. Darke's work is grounded in an observational ethic that blends art, ecology, and cultural geography. Projects include parks, scenic byways, transportation corridors, corporate and collegiate campuses, conservation developments, post industrial brownfields, botanic gardens and residential landscapes.
The 2018 Western will be January 17, 18 & 19 in Kansas City, MO and will focus on celebrating Plants with Purpose!  This timely theme will highlight the economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits plants offer.  Join us for the trade show, the fashion show of new plants, networking, and a packed-full education program featuring a keynote by Rebecca Lindenmeyr, a design workshop and keynote with Rick Darke, learning centers, roundtable discussions, Western University, Grow Native education sessions, and a new Demonstration Center.  Details at