Both the Grand Rapids and Novi locations are full. If you would like to be placed on a waiting list in case a seat becomes available please sign up for your desired location below.

New and Noteworthy Plants for Every Landscape

Monday, Feb. 3 - Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Crowne Plaza, 4747 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Tuesday, Feb. 4 - Novi
Novi Crowne Plaza, 27000 Karevich Drive, Novi, MI 48377

Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: $80.00 per participant
(Includes lunch, refreshments, handouts)

New plants are the life-blood of the landscape and gardening economy.  Plant research and global exploration influence the number and types of plants available. However, we all know that “new” is not always “best” for our landscapes. With consumers turning their attention to sustainability and green practices, the question arises “how much maintenance do these plants require?”  MSU Extension has developed a portfolio of renowned plant experts to present this annual seminar. Speakers will enrich your knowledge of widely sought-after plant material while remembering the foundational messages of “right plant right place.” 

Carmen Miranda in the Midwest
Irvin Etienne, Horticulture Display Coordinator, Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN

A brilliantly appointed garden requires many elements to be successful but one of the most important is eye-popping, attention-getting, color and texture! Join Irvine Etienne, whose displays demonstrate his conviction to “garden ecstasy” levels of extravagance…dramatic tropicals and sizzilin’-hot annuals! As he states, “When you go Carmen Miranda, those plants jump right out of the containers and into your garden beds—pure tropicalissmo!”  Learn how to add some Carmen Miranda to your gardens. 

Great Non-Whimpy Plants You Haven’t Heard Of
Joseph Tychonievich, Author and Manager, Arrowhead Alpines, Fowlerville, MI

Daylilies, hostas, and such are great, reliable plants but may be a tiny bit boring. Then there are the Himalayan blue poppies and alpine gentians, which are stunning and exotic, but as fussy as all get out. Joseph Tychonievich’s presentation will inspire you with plants from a third group: beautiful, tough, reliable plants, that for one reason or another, you've probably not seen before. Hear about great plants to spice up your garden and add interest without the extra fuss.

When Pretty Ain’t Enough!!
Irvin Etienne, Horticulture Display Coordinator, Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN

We all want plants that provide constant beauty from the first breath of spring until the last evil winter frost. Despite claims on the internet, sometimes those promising beauties don’t have enough stamina to even make it through a full year! This session explores some of the best tough plants for Midwest gardens. Shade or sun, wet or dry, there is something out there to make industry professionals and gardening enthusiasts a gardening success.

Something Old…Something New: Trees and Shrubs for Michigan Gardens
Dr. Tom Fernandez, Horticulture Professor, Michigan State University

More and more new trees and shrubs are being released every year with improved garden performance. Dwarf forms for smaller landscapes (or so you can squeeze more into your existing landscape!), a wider range of colors, longer and repeat bloomers, and the return of fragrance are just of the few improvements showing up in new selections. But don’t forget the tried and true plants that have those same great characteristics and the uncommon ones that still give you that horticultural delight that new plants do. Come see and hear if these plants are for you!

Extension Master Gardeners: This program qualifies for 6 education credits. 

Cancellation Policy: No refunds within 7 days of the event. Substitutions are allowed and encouraged. This event will not be cancelled due to inclement weather unless the facility closes. (90% refund).

Special Needs: Please contact your local sponsor at least 2 weeks prior to the event if you have special needs.

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Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For questions about the Novi program please contact Mary Wilson at or 248-347-0269. For questions about the Grand Rapids program contact Rebecca Finneran at or 616-336-3265.