ALL SEMINARS ARE FREE with your ticket. DIG IN and turn your garden dreams into reality!

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Kelly D. Norris

Director of Horticulture, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and author, Plants with Style and Guide to Bearded Iris

Kelly D. Norris is a 20-something, award-winning author and plantsman from Iowa and the first director of horticulture at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a newly revitalized 14-acre public garden in Des Moines, Iowa. He’s popularly known for his book A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts (Timber Press, 2012), winner of the 2013 American Horticultural Society Book Award. His next book, Plants with Style: A Plantsman’s Choices for a Vibrant, 20th Century Garden, will be released by Timber Press in December 2015. As a speaker, he has garnered acclaim for his high-energy, zealous presentations on the national stage, leading many to call him one of the rising stars of American horticulture. At the Botanical Garden, Kelly directs and manages a team of horticultural professionals in all aspects of design, curation, programming, and garden management, after serving as the principal horticulture consultant to the $18 million renovation project completed in 2014. He is also the editorial director for the organization’s award-winning magazine Bloom and is the artistic director of the popular Spring Garden Festival. Kelly is the youngest person to receive the Iowa State Horticultural Society’s Presidential Citation, Award of Merit and Honor Award, awards that exemplify service and contributions to horticulture in Iowa. In 2011, he was honored by the Perennial Plant Association with the Young Professional Award and in 2013 he won the Iowa Author Award for Special Interest Writing. Kelly holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in horticulture from Iowa State University.


GARDEN 101: Garden Royalty

Cultivating the Rainbow with Bearded Iris

Roses, Bearded Iris and Peony have graced influential gardens for more than a century. Today they are deservedly popular, with more varieties than ever before, many suitable for NW gardens. These Beauty Queens need not be intimidating! Join three nationally acclaimed experts as they share the secrets to getting the most from of these plants. Rosarian Susan Fox, horticulturist/author Kelly D. Norris and Peony expert Kathleen Gagan will inspire your love affair with these magnificent plants.

Wednesday, Feb 17 at 2:15 pm / Rainier Room / Book signing to follow

Plants with Style: Captivating Choices for a 21st Century Garden

Why settle for lackluster gardens filled with ho-hum plants? Plants after all are the very essence of fashionable gardening. In this spirited, provocative lecture, 20-something plantsman Kelly Norris calls for a garden revolution: out with boring plants and in with stylish alternatives that enthrall. He’ll shine a spotlight on the A-list plants in every category — plants that will thrive, not merely survive — and how you can forge a personal style in harmony with your garden’s setting.

Thursday, Feb 18 at 1:45 pm / Hood Room / Book signing to follow