By GWEN SISSON
One of the most informative local symposiums for anyone interested in gardening is the Landscape Design Symposium at Mississippi State University, set for Oct. 19.
The 56th Edward C. Martin Design Symposium will focus on how landscapes can best fit their environment — “landscapes as part of place, who we are and where we live.”
According to the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture, the symposium will be held in the Bost Center in Starkville from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. The cost for preregistration is $20 by Oct. 14 and $25 the day of the event. A downloadable brochure is available at http://www.lalc.msstate.edu . Under “Coming Events,” click on the “Edward C. Martin Design Symposium” link.
The event is sponsored by MSU’s Department of Landscape Architecture and the Garden Clubs of Mississippi Inc.
Edward Martin, Landscape Architecture Professor Emeritus said over the years, this symposium series has brought well known local, regional, national, and international landscape architects as speakers to Mississippi, which have told and showed people what can be achieved by effective planning.
“With regard to home landscapes, which is only part of the whole picture, good planning helps to reduce the initial costs of developing a home landscape, and it helps to reduce future management, such a pruning, watering, etc.,” Martin said. “Good planning for a small lot, which many lots are today, can make a property look larger, too, so planning pays. On a larger scale, planning ahead for schools grounds, parks, and other large city properties pays big dividends later. City Planning has been covered in the programs at the annual Landscape Design Symposiums, too.”
Martin said today, more emphasis in the home grounds is on sustainability, which will be the theme at the upcoming program with Carol Franklin, Landscape Architect, who planned the Crosby Arboretum at Picayune with assistance of the late Edward L. Blake, MSU Landscape Architecture graduate and later educator and practitioner.
At 83, Martin will be unable to attend this year’s symposium. He continues to work part time as a Garden Tour Guide at the nearby Biltmore Estate, as he has since Spring 2003.
Martin said Landscape Architect Bob Brzuszek, former Director of the Crosby Arboretum and now MSU Landscape Architecture faculty member and chair of the LDS, will present a lecture illustrating a sense of place in the landscape.
Martin said Tim Schauwecker, MSU Landscape Contracting Faculty, will discuss prairies and the use of native plants for sustainabilty and less maintenance.
Martin said this will be a great program, from two distinguished presenters.
The first presentation, “Landscapes in a Different Light” by Robert Brzuszek of the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture, begins at 9:15 a.m. Brzuszek will present photos of Mississippi gardens and discuss how the images best reflect the places in which people live.
“This year we focus upon a much sought after yet elusive landscape topic — how to create landscapes that fit their place and environment,” Brzuszek said. “In other words, how does a landscape just feel right? Partly by using elements and plants that are suited to the area.”
At 9:45 a.m., Timothy Schauwecker, associate professor in the landscape architecture department and co-editor of “Blackland Prairies of the Gulf Coastal Plain,” will present projects that weave ecology and plants into gardens to reflect local landscapes.
“I will be discussing Ecological Heritage, and using the Blackland Prairie as an example,” Schauwecker said. “Many of the original settlers of this region came here because of the presence of prairie, and specifically for the agricultural value of prairie. Yet many current residents don’t know about what the prairie looked like, where it was found, what plants were in it, how it is managed, etc. The theme of the symposium is ‘Place,’ and for us, ‘place’ partly means prairie, and we should be able to recognize and garden/use prairie when we have the opportunity.”
This year’s featured speaker, Carol Franklin, a founding principal of Andropogon Associates in Philadelphia, Pa., will present “The Spirit of Place” at 11 a.m.
Franklin is an internationally-known landscape architect with more than 40 years of experience in designing nationally award-winning gardens. She has lectured around the world about American traditions in art, landscape and architecture.
In her presentation, Franklin is expected to provide examples of sustainable landscapes.
Brzuszek said they are especially pleased to bring in a landscape architect from Pennsylvania, Carol Franklin, who is known internationally for her work in this area.
“She is founder of an award-winning firm called Andropogon Associates, which has specialized in creating places that ‘fit’ for over 40 years,” Brzuszek said. “She will present examples of landscapes she has worked with from across the nation. For my presentation I will be showing local examples of landscapes that show ‘sense of place.’”
Contact Debbie Whitfield at 325-4554 or email@example.com  for more information or to register for the symposium.