Agenda Set for New England Grows in December

Education highlights announced for December 2-4 show in Boston.

UNH Students build a raised patio on the trade show floor at New England Grows. The next Grows event is scheduled for December 2-4, 2015 in Boston.
UNH Students build a raised patio on the trade show floor at New England Grows. The next Grows event is scheduled for December 2-4, 2015 in Boston.

New England Grows, the Northeast's largest educational conference and green industry exposition, has announced the agenda for the next annual Grows conference, to be held on its new dates in Boston, December 2-4 of this year.

At Grows, the brightest minds in horticulture, landscape and tree care come together to share their insights and advice with green industry colleagues. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of cutting edge science and techniques in design, technology, consumer trends and business best practices. From new plant introductions and disease management strategies to lean management and eco-friendly landscapes, New England Grows covers a wide range of topics.

Acclaimed authors, influential environmentalists and successful entrepreneurs are among the speakers at the conference. Educational highlights include:

  • Michael Dirr, PhD, an authority on woody plants and the award-winning author of several popular books, will speak “In Praise of Noble Trees” and on “A Cornucopia of New Flowering Trees & Shrubs: Selection, Use & Culture.” Dr. Dirr will autograph his books at the show, as well.
  • In “The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty & Biodiversity,” Rick Darke will explore how an understanding of biodiversity can be put to practical use in residential gardens and community landscapes.
  • Kate Kennen, RLA, will tackle “Phyto Landscapes: Using Plants to Clean Up Polluted Water, Soil & Air,” and share how phytoremediation plantings can be used to enhance environmental conditions on roadsides, in communities and brownfields.
  • Professor John Ball, PhD, of South Dakota University, will address the all-important issue of safety for tree care, landscaping and nursery professionals in “Safety Starts at the Top.” He’ll explain The Haddon Matrix approach to reducing risk.

In all, participants can choose from more than 30 educational sessions over the course of three days. Continuing Education Credit from a gamut of professional organizations is available at many sessions.

The Grows exposition is packed with 500 of today’s leading industry suppliers, ready to make deals, including special Grows-only offers from select vendors. Green industry professionals can check out the latest solutions, view demos, and get hands-on access to the tools, plants and technology they need to grow their business.

In addition to in-depth conference sessions, interactive educational opportunities are available throughout the show on the expo floor. Attendees can pick up quick information hits at 15-minute Sprint Sessions; watch a raised, permeable patio take shape right before their eyes; challenge themselves at the plant ID contest; or try their hand at a chainsaw teardown competition.

Registration options start at just $29 for all three days of the conference and early registrants realize the most savings. For the complete agenda or to register, visit The Grows mobile app is available on iTunes or GooglePlay and is a great way to stay up to date with conference details.


Nationally respected authors such as Michael Dirr, Rick Darke, Gordon Hayward and Page Dickey will share their secrets for creating beautiful, sustainable landscapes. Other seminars will address the latest developments in horticulture, soil science, and hardscape. Landscape-related topics include:

  • Planting Choices for the Living Landscape
  • Understanding the Importance of Soil pH
  • Phyto Landscapes: Using Plants to Clean Up Polluted Water, Soil & Air
  • New Annuals & Perennials for the New England Landscape
  • Stone in the Garden
  • New Flowering Trees & Shrubs
  • Self-Seeding in the Garden
  • Snow & Ice Management: Contracts, Litigation & Liability

Fast-paced, 15-minute Sprint Sessions on the show floor are led by top Extension experts and address a range of practical topics, including:

  • How to Create & Design Pollinator Habitat
  • Invasive Plants: Be on the Lookout for these New Invaders
  • Using Peonies in the Landscape to Conserve Tiphia Parasitoids of White Grubs
  • Managing Emerald Ash Borer in the Landscape
  • Winter Moth Monitoring and Control

Special expertise programs teach important skills for landscape professionals in the field:

  • Essentials of Plant ID
  • Electrical Hazard Awareness Program
  • Massachusetts Hoisting License Recertification Program

A special program teaching the latest hardscape skills will take place in Arena West on the trade show floor. Back by popular demand, landscape construction students from the Thompson School at the University of New Hampshire will build a raised permeable paver patio during the show. The intricate patio design includes some of the top outdoor living trends like a fire pit, water feature, low voltage lighting, pillar kits and sitting walls. Hardscape guru Bill Gardocki will highlight aspects of the build as it relates to installing hardscape projects per ICPI and NCMA industry approved specifications in informative 45-minute presentations throughout the day.

An ICPI Advanced Residential Paver Technician Course will be offered at the show. This session will provide training in paver installations and covers the hottest topics in outdoor living space design such as multi-level and raised patios, outdoor fireplace and kitchen installation, pool deck construction and permeable interlocking concrete pavement. Grows attendees can earn ICPI credentials and learn ways to improve installation efficiencies, as well as their bottom lines.