Annual Native Plant Symposium

Saturday, September 30, 2017, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm. The symposium is free, but registration is required and space is limited; contact Eric Wahl at or (302) 645-0777.

10:00 am - Welcome and Introductions
10:10 am - George Coombs – Presentation on Trial Gardens
- Native plants are essential in habitats for pollinators, birds and other wildlife that provide an ecosystem with food, water, cover and shelter. This year our guest speaker will be George Coombs, manager of the horticultural research program at Mt. Cuba Center, including the trial garden where he evaluates native plants and their related cultivars for their horticultural and ecological value. To date, he has authored evaluation reports on Heuchera, Coreopsis, Baptisia, and Monarda. In addition to the trials, George also evaluates plants for introduction to the nursery trade. Most recently, his work has helped bring to market four new selections of hardy Coreopsis. George is a graduate of the University of Delaware and prior to joining Mt. Cuba Center, he worked in the nursery industry at both the wholesale and retail level. Join George Coombs as he details how Mt. Cuba selects and evaluates native plants for superior garden performance, and learn about some of their exciting research comparing the ecological value of cultivars and straight species.

11:30 am - Discussion of Volunteer Day at University of Delaware, Lewes
12:00 noon – Lunch, provided by Friends of Bombay Hook

1:00 pm Nancy Lawson - Presentation on Native Bees - Nancy is the author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife, published by Princeton Architectural Press. A columnist for All Animals magazine, she is the founder of Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to cultivating compassion for all creatures great and small through animal-friendly and environmentally sensitive landscaping methods. Lawson volunteers as a master naturalist and master gardener in central Maryland. After an early career in newspaper journalism, she worked for more than 15 years as an editor and publisher at The Humane Society of the United States, leading the creative teams behind the organization's award winning print and digital magazines.

The Native Plant Symposium is sponsored by Friends of Bombay Hook, Inc. and Delaware Native Plant Society.