March 2 2016 3rd Annual Green Conference

Sustainability From The Ground Up: Mind, Body & Soul  hosted by The Holden Arboretum

The Ohio Chapter of APLD is proud to present this conference for year number 3!  When it comes to the knowledge of sustainability, APLD designers are leading the way! Our diverse group has expertise in many areas especially with plants. With the buzz word ‘pollinators’, pun intended, APLD members are developing more gardens for our pollinators, designing with eco systems, saving and filtering runoff water, using sustainable products, using plants requiring no pesticides, designing spaces for well being, and the list goes on and on!

This years conference is a focus on the bigger picture. A well-being of mind knowing what choices we make help ourselves and others and our environment. The body, to be in good health by real healthy food from healthy soil, exercise and strength of ones self, body and mind. The soul of what we create and the part of us that allows our passions to thrive. It is going to be a great event so join in and sign up at

APLD Conference Flyer 2016

A big Thank You to The Holden Arboretum for Hosting our conference! We had a full room and a fun, informative, diverse speaker line up. Each speaker brought useful and thought provoking knowledge to the table. The food was fabulous, all organic! Kudos to the caterer, Food For Thought! They always do an excellent job!

The conference began with a short discussion by Clem Hamilton, President & CEO of the Holden Arboretum. Mr Hamilton spoke of the progress and the master plans unfolding at Holden.  He also covered the new and exciting projects yet to come.  Then,  Dr. David Burke, Chairman of Research at Holden, shared his passion for mycorrhizal fungi and how healthy soil absolutely IS needed for optimum plant growth and health.

Our Keynote speaker, Kareen Caputo, delighted the class with her many experiences growing up surrounded by a vegetable garden in the South of France.  Lovingly, she described her grandmother’s soup as a vivid memory she still carries close to her heart to this day. She continued by reminding attendees that eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables should make up 80% of your daily intake.  Kareen stressed that the focus should be on smaller portions and plenty of salads, and to take your time to savor food, and, most importantly,  to create new memories with your friends and family to last a lifetime.

Dawn Holst, from Chagrin Yoga, surprised with chair exercises to get the entire group moving! Afterwards, the class was feeling pretty good and relaxed. Later,  Louise Reiling, owner of Auburn Pointe Greenhouses, discussed vertical gardening. Louise brought in her Tower Garden unit to demonstrate how simple and accessible it is for anyone to grow vegetables in this self contained planter. 

Carol Palansky, an APLD Ohio Member, Arborist, and Designer for Nature’s Way Inc., shared her presentation of ‘Reclaiming Out of The Box.”  She dedicated her presentation to raising awareness on how much is thrown out and wasted.  She spoke of the good land stewardship and the creativity involved  with  recycling  the old into new, fun, and useful items as opposed to the philosophy of waste that continues to plague our world.  She provided examples of her work  through images with real “take home” ideas! Carol visits Habitat For Humanity’s RESTORE frequently and encouraged attendees to consider donating their discarded items whenever possible. 

Nancy Drobnik, owner of Miriam’s River House of  Chagrin Falls, gave a presentation of their award winning garden. Nestled along the Chagrin River, Miriam’s River House is a unique metaphysical garden featuring, a tea house, a clock made of stone pillars, meaningful stone elements throughout the garden, and a meditation center with breathtaking glass windows. The garden designed by Nancy and maintained along with her husband,Cliff is joyfully exclaimed as a labor of love. And, a big THANK YOU to Cliff for being the official photographer of this APLD Ohio event!

Brian Parson, of Holden, led about 20 people on a walking tour in the brisk cold to the Emergent Tower. Brian took about 15 of those on the tour up to the top of the tower to experience its massive height above the tops of trees. Burrrrr!  For those not braving the cold, Roger Gettig presented the construction of the emergent tower and spoke of the many challenges of building such a  heavenly structure. 

In addition, Roger Gettig, Director of Horticulture & Conservation, also gave a presentation of the Corning Lake Restoration Project. The serene body of water, after the extensive dredging and reshaping of the original man-made lake completed last summer, is finally filled in and ready for further plans. Roger made clear that the lake is the focal point in  the planning of a future state of the art visitors center with distinct site lines of the lake and additional elements planned and put in place  for consideration in future development.  He followed with more good news: beginning this month, the planting project will be underway along the banks for erosion control and vegetation restoration. Lotus Pond was also reported as freshly maintained.

Ethan Johnson, Plant Records Curator, presented, ‘A Garden for the Senses.’ Ethan shared his wonderful plant list of  color, fragrance, movement, and sound and on how  all are essential for a rich experience to help heal one’s mind, body & soul. A favorite mentioned, Magnolia Sieboldii; with its stunning flowers and intoxicating fragrance.   Many attendees were making notes of every plant Ethan was describing for their very own gardens.

As the conference came to a close, names were pulled from a bag for the door prizes which included: gift certificates, seed starter trays, a garden tool from A.M Leonard, a home and beauty gift basket, a lesson of floral arranging, and wine. Many lucky recipients!

Thank you to the generous door prize donors: Avalon Gardens & Inn, Bremec, Chagrin Yoga, Nature’s Way Inc., Common Scents by Connie, and Lowe’s Greenhouses.

Thank you to The Holden Arboretum and staff for making the day a rich educational experience!         (CEU’s offered were 6.0 for APLD,  1.0 for OCNT ) 

Next Year 2017, the 4th Annual Green Conference of Sustainability theme: All About The Pollinators; featuring gardens and plants serving our bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and much more. (More to be posted in the near future.) Learn about our life giving pollinators and it promises to be yet another educational experience that  you won’t want to miss!    A beautifully hand painted, copper topped bee hive will be raffled.  So, watch our blog for future posts and pictures and, in the meantime,  continue the work in helping save the planet,  garden by garden!




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