Western University


Thanks to KAT Wholesale Outdoor for sponsoring the Western University education!

Thanks to Jason Griffin, (PhD, Kansas State University Professor of Nursery Crops, State Extension Leader, Director of John C. Pair Horticultural Center - Wichita) for organizing Western University!  Western University is a long-term partnership with Jason that emphasizes the sharing of knowledge between horticulture researchers and the industry.

2018 Western University presentations include:

  • The Color of the Native Plant Palette
    • Dr. Robert Lyons, Professor Emeritus, Landscape Horticulture, University of Delaware

Dr. Robert Lyons, University of Delaware

The Color of the Native Plant Palette
Herbaceous plants have a prominent position within plant selection strategies for creating cultivated, sustainable landscapes.  Whether annual, perennial, or somewhere in between, these plants have continued to attract widespread attention by gardeners and commercial landscapers alike for their flowering and/or foliage features.  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, providing pleasant challenges for any gardener planning a new garden or enhancing those existing already.  Color, site suitability, cost, and life cycle have frequently dominated most anyone’s decision process, and now species nativity has experienced a heightened value in making one’s selection.   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 performance, visual interest, and function within a low maintenance philosophy.  Making smart plant selection decisions with an open mind will be stressed throughout this presentation.
About Dr. Lyons
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.  Previous positions include the J.C. Raulston Distinguished Faculty Chair and Directorship of the JC Raulston Arboretum at N.C. State University, and Professor of Horticulture and Co-Founder/Director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech.  He is a Fellow in both the American Society for Horticultural Science and Pi Alpha Xi; and has received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota and the national Award of Merit from the American Public Gardens Association.  He currently sits on the Board of Advisors for the University of Delaware Botanic Garden, Rutgers University Gardens, and The Delaware Center for Horticulture.  Dr. Lyons has taught herbaceous plant materials for over 30 years and has been a photographer for over 35 years, publishing widely in homeowner, commercial, and educational publications, and he is a primary photographer for Horticopia (Horticopia.com) plant selection software.  He has exhibited his work nationally and received awards from the Garden Writers Association of America, and he has taught photography workshops regionally and nationally, in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Massachusetts, Louisiana, and Virginia.