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A Preview of the 2023 Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Symposium


Planning for the 2023 Winter Dreams/Summer Gardens Symposium is well underway. The symposium will offer 14 different class sessions, four each day on October 27th, 28th, and November 3, and two more on November 4th.  There are many gardening-related topics from which to choose, but the WD/SG Working Group decided on four subject areas: critters in the garden; climate change/ecology; home gardening; and a “grab bag” category.

To increase our audience, we are again partnering with the Oregon State Landscape Board, who will offer our classes for Continuing Education credits in horticulture to landscapers. We are also trying new avenues of advertising, including color ads in both the Ashland and Medford Parks & Recreation Departments’ Fall Catalogs. Because the classes will again be presented via Zoom, there are plenty of seats!

We have booked 14 spectacular speakers, a few of whom you may already know and others who are new to WD/SG. This month, and for the next two months, we will be showcasing the bios of several speakers in the Garden Beet.

The schedule of classes and registration information will be available in mid-August. You will be able to register and pay online through PayPal at the  website. Watch for the MailChimp announcement in August.



2023 WD/SG Sessions

Taking a Walk on the Wildside… In Your Own Backyard

Andony Pelathopoulus, Presenter


Last year, Andony talked about how Oregon is leading the nation in cataloguing its bee biodiversity. All of this data has provided great insights into the top bee-attractant plants for your garden. In this lecture, we talk about what we are learning from the Oregon Bee Atlas in terms of best plants for bees in southern Oregon.

Andony Melathopoulos is an Associate Professor of Pollinator Health Extension in the Department of Horticulture at OSU. He leads the Master Melittologist and Bee Steward Programs and hosts the podcast PolliNation.



Succulent Gardening for Drought Resilience

Annie Schreck, Presenter

Looking for easy, drought-tolerant plants that can bring color to your garden and attract pollinators? Explore why succulents are ideal for low-water landscaping and learn how to incorporate them into a stunning, low-maintenance rock garden.


Annie Schreck is the researcher and editor-in-chief for Mountain Crest Gardens, a family-owned, online nursery that grows succulents in Northern California. She found her passion for horticulture as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. Upon returning to the US, she worked in a native plant nursery in the Willamette Valley and earned her certification in Permaculture d Design. She now takes great pleasure in researching and writing about succulents, talking plants with novices and experts alike, and helping people cultivate resilient, waterwise plants at home and in the landscape.



Masses of Grasses

Bonni Engelhardt, Presenter

Overwhelmed with the abundance of ornamental grass options, but ready to delve into this endlessly useful category of plants? Come explore the varieties that are best suited to our region, including many North American natives, and learn about their bountiful benefits such as deer resistance, drought tolerance and wildlife habitat, among others.  Tips and information on the best care practices will also be discussed.

Bonni Engelhardt is a landscape designer, Master Gardener, and writer.  She loves to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for plants with the community.



Fire Adapted Landscaping Best Practices and Understanding Defensible Space

Brian Hendrix, Presenter

Designed to help gardeners improve their understanding of what ‘being firewise’ really means for gardens and landscaping around the home. Learn how various wildfire risk reduction activities can improve the survivability of a home in a wildfire event. Terms and activities relating to wildfire mitigation will be introduced, as well as some basics of effective plant spacing and maintenance for improved defensible space, and differences between a firewise versus a flammable plant. We’ll offer examples from local homes and help prioritize actions related to vegetation maintenance for wildfire preparedness.

Brian Hendrix is the Fire Adapted Communities Coordinator for Ashland Fire & Rescue. He is a Certified Wildfire Mitigation Specialist. Before taking over the FAC Coordinator role in 2021, Brian was the Weed Abatement Coordinator and a Wildfire Mitigation Assistant for AF&R’s Wildfire Division.




Irrigation Systems: Common Problems & Solutions for a Water Wise Landscape

Cody Scoggins and Aaron Adachi, Presenters

Irrigation systems provide us with a convenient way to water our landscapes more evenly and at the most optimal times of day (early morning and late evening). However, these systems also need regular maintenance to ensure that water is being used as efficiently as possible.  This presentation will cover common problems that can occur in irrigation systems and best practices for creating a thriving water-efficient landscape.


Cody Scoggins is the Water Efficiency Coordinator for Medford Water Department. He has a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management. He’s part of a committed team who thrive on being good stewards of our water and a reliable resource for those who look to be good stewards themselves.




Aaron Adachi is a Water Efficiency Technician for Medford Water Department. With a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Aaron chose to come to Medford Water for the opportunity to implement lasting change in the surrounding community with the skills that he learned from the private sector.