Images of plants.

PLANT QUEST 2021 - Smart Plants for Midwest Gardeners

This interactive virtual series will be presented 
(instructions and a meeting link will be sent to registrants prior to each workshop for which they have registered)

Cost: $15.00 per session or $60 for the entire series  


If you loved Plants of Distinction - you are going to love PLANT QUEST!! With "Smart Plants" in mind, five dazzling presentations will be featured for gardeners with every type of growing environment. Nationally notable horticulture experts will provide career-long, plant expertise through a cavalcade of beautiful images, sure to inspire. And, this series is easy to access when it is most CONVENIENT for you! The ZOOM platform is user-friendly, and if you miss the live webinar, the recording will be available for you to catch up when you choose.

Technology Requirements: Below are recommendation for the optimal interactive online learning experience:
   *  A computer, laptop or tablet with the latest version of your browser
   *  A reliable, internet connection - broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
   *  Webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USP plug-in
   *  Speakers and a microphone - built-in or USB plug-in

Sessions:  (All sessions 6 - 7:30 p.m. ET)
April 26, 2021 - Lisa Roper, Gravel Garden and Ruin Horticulturist, Chanticleer Gardens, Wayne, PA
"Chanticleer's Gravel Garden"
For the past seven years, Lisa Roper has managed the Gravel Garden at the renowned public garden Chanticleer in Wayne, Pennsylvania. A gently sloping site planted with a mix of fine-textured grasses, gray-leafed Mediterranean plants, drought-tolerant perennials, annuals grown from seed and hardy succulents, the gravel garden is a stunningly and unique landscape. Ms. Roper will talk about the plants that thrive in the Gravel Garden, explore some of the gardening techniques for maintaining the garden including editing plants that seed in, watering recommendations, proper cut-back timing, planting techniques, deadheading and dividing perennials.

May 3, 2021 - Jessica DeGraaf, Horticulturist, Proven Winners Retail Account Manager, Michigan
"Smart Annuals for Midwest Gardeners"
Join Horticulturist Jessica DeGraaf in a look at new stellar selections of your favorite annuals that will thrive in sun, shade and containers. Genetics makes all the difference when it comes to performance for the home gardener, and DeGraaf has cultivated expertise in this area to help gardeners make the very best choices from hundreds of new plants available. She will also review those old favorites that never go out of style.

May 10, 2021Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture, Olbrich Botanic Gardens, Madison, Wisconsin
"Gardening for All - Plants that are Smart and Sustainable"
In this day of shrinking natural areas and habitat for the creatures that live in them, it's more important than ever to create gardens that are not only beautiful for us to look at, but also provide homes and food for our insects, birds and other urban-dwelling friends. Jeff Epping will show you how he has incorporated into his home garden, many of the ecologically-minded gardening concepts he and his staff have embraced at Olbrich. Jeff will provide details on how he has transformed his small suburban lot with its typical bluegrass lawn and mundane foundation plantings into a beautiful, low-maintenance, no lawn garden that is teeming with life. Bees, butterflies and toads live harmoniously in a pesticide-free refuge that is also home to a wide range of friendly insects that provide food for the many bird species that nest in or visit his garden. Learn from what he has done to create your own little garden sanctuary where all can live together and enjoy each other's company.

May 17, 2021 - Richard Hawke, Chicago Botanic Gardens Plant Evaluation Manager and Associate Scientist
"Nearly Native - Plants of Merit with Deep Roots"
Plant evaluations done at Chicago Botanic Gardens reveal hidden gems for Midwest landscapes. Join Richard Hawke in an exploration of many garden-worthy plants with no-nonsense native roots. Plant breeders across the nation recognize attributes of our thrifty and beautiful native plants and have begun making selections of adaptable plants that are nearly native and totally in style!!

May 24, 2021 - Vincent Simone, Horticulturist, Planting Fields Arboretum, Long Island, NY
"Smart Landscape Trees and Shrubs for Midwest Gardens"
Whether for aesthetic value, landscape function or cultural requirements, selecting the right plant is a gardener's smartest option. A seasoned expert in the horticulture field, Vincent Simeone will celebrate exciting new and improved cultivars of garden-sized trees including dogwood, Viburnum, lilac, crabapple, cherry and evergreen gems for every site! Highlighting specimens that have improved drought and cold tolerance are pest-resistant and thrifty. Simeone will impart a lifetime of experience and his passion for plants that will work best for you!

Certified/Re-certified MSU Extension Master Gardener attendees will earn 1.3 continuing education hour for each session attended or viewed via recording.

Registration deadline: May 22, 2021 or when each session is full. 

With MSU Extension staff working virtually, check payments are not able to be processed in a timely manner therefore the fee must be paid by credit card.

Payment by Credit Card only (Debit cards requiring a PIN are not accepted) via this secure MSU payment site to expedite your reservation. To ensure your transaction is processed, please enter your personal information exactly as shown on the credit card and do not include dashes or spaces when entering your credit card number. You will receive confirmation of transaction approval upon completion of the payment process. 

Your registration is not reserved until your balance is paid in full. 

Refund Policy - for the Plant Quest series

  • A full refund, less a $10 processing fee, will be issued for any registration cancelled up to 7 days before the workshop.
  • No refund will be issued for any registration cancelled within 7 days of the workshop. No refund will be issued for any registration cancelled after the workshop has started.
  • Substitutions allowed.


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 information contact Angela Van Order at