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2024 Educational Conference

Optional Tours, Workshops and Presenters

Optional Bus Tours

Due to limited space, early registration is required for garden tours. Only those members that receive an email confirmation will be admitted onto tour buses. You will receive a ticket in your registration packet that you will need to present upon boarding the bus. Both tours include walking on sometimes uneven surfaces for some distance. Note: Once tour capacity is reached, you may request to be put on to the waiting list. Please register early to help ensure your spot on a garden tour since these will be filled on a first come, first served basis.                                                                                                            

Tours take place rain or shine. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring bug spray and sunscreen. Tour buses are unable to accommodate wheelchairs and private cars cannot be used. Tours depart from outside the Desmond Hotel Lobby at the appointed time. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your departure time. Tours will return to the Desmond between 3:30 – 4:30 PM.

Guided Tour by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) – The Importance of Urban Greening

On this PHS led tour, you will learn about Philadelphia’s urban farms and community gardens.  Your PHS guide will explain how their neighborhood programs utilize horticulture and gardening to provide greater access to fresh food and herbs, build social connections and advance the health and well-being of the region’s at-risk population.

This tour includes visits to PHS’S Green Resource Center, community gardens and remediated vacant lots.  You will learn why these spaces are important as cultural and social hubs along with sharing the scientific data that supports why greening in urban environments contributes to the well-being and health of the community.  Participants will also see urban tree planting sites and learn about the many health and environmental benefits of increasing the tree canopy in cities. A delicious, boxed lunch and drinks are included. Approximately 5.5 hours. Bus boards from outside the Desmond Hotel Lobby at 10:00 AM.                                                           

Northview, Guided Summer Solstice Garden Tour and Tea Luncheon

Whimsical teacup fountains, endless paths, contemplative spaces kitchen window herb garden are some of the delights you will enjoy when visiting Northview Garden. Join Jenny Rose Carey, renowned gardener, educator, historian and author as she provides a personalized tour of her four-and-a-half-acre garden, Northview.

Originally part of the Lenni Lenape tribal lands, Northview was used for farming and there is some evidence that the land was once part of the underground railway to free slaves. Today, 125-year-old trees still adorn the property that contain smaller garden areas within it. Each of these separate gardens has a theme or share certain environmental conditions allowing Jenny to pick a palette of plants and herbs that suit the soil sun and water conditions. Many of the gardens contain seats or benches placed where you can find a quiet place to sit. Water features throughout the gardens bring sound, coolness and water for wildlife. Jenny manages her garden to minimize watering during long hot summers and considers the impact of the garden on its occupants and the surroundings. A tea luncheon will be served. Approximately 4.5 hours. Bus boards from outside the Desmond Hotel Lobby at 10:30 AM.

Optional Workshops

Due to limited space, prior registration is required for all workshops. Only those members that receive an email confirmation will be admitted into workshops and you will receive a ticket in your registration packet. Note: Once room capacity is reached, you may ask to be placed on a waiting list and notified if space opens up. Please register early to help ensure you get into the workshop you selected since these will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Paid workshops start promptly at 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 20. Please arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the program. The special exhibit - It's About Thyme Experience, presented by Janice Cox, is a free, drop in program and registrants may go at their own pace.

It's About Thyme Experience

HSA Education Chair, Janice Cox, invites all attendees to experience the world of thyme from 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm. There will be a live plant display of favorite and exotic thyme varieties. Attendees will also be able to create their own culinary “bouquet garni” and stimulating bath soak to take home and use.  Play “Thyme Trivia” and learn the history of this useful herb that is a symbol of strength and courage. Mix and mingle, learn something new or share your own knowledge. There may be a few other surprise goodies as well!

Monoprints and Imagination

Monoprints and Imagination is a workshop that will provide a unique chance to learn from artist Pam McKee who has completed two master’s classes in botanical illustration. She is an author and illustrator of three cookbooks. An experienced teacher, Pam had been teaching art classes on cruise ships until the interruption of Covid. This class will use clay tiles to produce small monoprints in watercolor. These images then serve as a background to create a small sprig of thyme dancing over the colors. You will take home a completed painting on watercolor paper and a variety of gift enclosures.

Herbarium Album

The Herbarium Album workshop will be conducted by Philadelphia native Valeria Kremser, a senior conservation technician at The University of Pennsylvania. She is also a bookbinder, educator, and artist. Workshop participants will create a personalized album based on souvenir travel herbariums. Your book will contain pages for pressed herbal materials and pockets for seeds. All the supplies will be included, and no experience is necessary.

Make a Tussie-Mussie – Let it Speak for You!

No doubt you will be charmed by the workshop, Make a Tussie-Mussie – Let it Speak for You! led by Philadelphia Unit member Elizabeth Kennel. She has made tussie-mussies for friends, for members of The Herb Society, and for visitors to the National Herb Garden in Washington, D.C. Share the enjoyment of making these little bundles of fragrant herbs and the challenge of creating a message to go with them.

Meet the Presenters

  • Melissa Bloom
    Melissa Bloom

    is the Herb Society of America’s archivist and librarian. She has been a librarian in public, educational, and special libraries for over 20 years. When she isn’t connecting people with information, she spends her time painting, reading, and considering future gardens. With over 3,000 books and periodicals, 40+ rare books, and 90 years’ worth of historical documents, there are a LOT of treasures in the HSA library and archives.

  • will join HSA as a tour guide to her own property and a facilitator. Jenny is a renowned gardener, educator, historian, and author, and the former senior director at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Meadowbrook Farm in Jenkintown. She previously worked at Temple University for over a decade, first as an adjunct professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture and then as director of the Ambler Arboretum. Jenny Rose has been lecturing nationally and internationally for many years. She is an avid hands-on gardener who has gardened in both England and the United States. Her Victorian property, Northview, contains diverse garden spaces, including a cutting garden, an herb garden, a dry garden, and various mixed flower beds. Jenny Rose and her gardens have been featured on the PBS series The Victory Garden, in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Grow magazine, and The Pennsylvania Gardener.

  • Janice Cox
    Janice Cox

    is a garden writer and natural beauty expert. The Chair of HSA's Education Committee, she has been one of The Society's favorite webinar presenters for years. Janice is the author of Beautiful Flowers, Beautiful Lavender, Beautiful Luffa, Natural Beauty at Home, Natural Beauty from the Garden, Natural Beauty for All Seasons and the newly released Natural Beauty at Home Handbook. 

  • acts as an Engineer for the Arts and Educator helping others to understand how their tools work. Living in Philadelphia since 2001, Sam performs presentations, exhibitions, and workshops as Electricity for Progress, providing interactive environments for guests to explore, encouraging questions about the devices and systems all around us. Using real-time biodata from plants, Sam explores perception, information, and communication while providing a fun flair in education. https://electricityforprogress.com/

  • is the Senior Director of LandCare and Workforce Development for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), where he leads a nationally recognized model that transforms urban neighborhoods by cleaning, greening, and maintaining vacant lots. At PHS, he directs the development of new initiatives and the expansion of the LandCare program, overseeing the long-term strategy, determining the scale of the work to be performed each season, and cultivating key partnerships to ensure the successful delivery of the program. Keith began his time with PHS as a young teenager, volunteering to create positive change through horticulture. He has extensive experience in construction management and landscape installation projects. His expertise lies in vacant land stabilization and management, capacity building for small business contractors, community engagement, and landscape construction. https://phsonline.org/

  • Nicole Juday
    Nicole Juday

    2024 Keynote Speaker, grew up in rural Illinois and had her first exposure to great horticulture when she came to Philadelphia in the 1990s. Soon thereafter gardening became the catalyst for a career change and a source of lifelong fascination and learning. Her work includes serving as the rosarian for Wyck House and Garden, the oldest rose garden in the country. Later she managed the renowned program at Barnes Arboretum School in Merion, PA before working in several roles at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. She has served on the boards of Awbury Arboretum and Historic Fair Hill and enjoys writing and speaking about gardens and garden history and tending her own garden in the historic Germantown section of Philadelphia.

  • Elizabeth Kennel
    Elizabeth Kennel

    is a native-born Floridian and a graduate of the University of Florida. With their two sons she followed her husband all over the United States and to England and India. Twenty-five years ago, she put down roots in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and the roots go deeper every year. She began making tussie-mussies with an herb group in Manlius, New York, and joined The Herb Society of America as a member of the Northern Illinois Unit in 1991. After a two-year membership in the Connecticut Unit, she became a member of the Philadelphia Unit. She has previously served on the board of HSA as secretary and as botany and horticulture chair. Elizabeth enjoys making tussie-mussies because 1) they are beautiful and/or fragrant; 2) they allow her to delve into the historical language of flowers; and 3) they challenge her creativity in using the flower meanings to send messages. She has made tussie-mussies for friends and acquaintances, for members of The Herb Society, and for visitors to the National Herb Garden in Washington, D.C. She very much enjoys the look of pleasure on the faces of everyone who makes one.

  • Valeria Kremser
    Valeria Kremser

    is a senior conservation technician, bookbinder, educator, and sometimes artist, born and raised in Philadelphia. She currently works in the Steven Miller Conservation Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, in Van Pelt Library. At her previous position at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic artifacts, she worked on many exciting projects including the notebooks of Bruce Springsteen and the library of Frederick Douglass. She has also worked in conservation at The Gladys Brooks Book and Paper Conservation Lab of the New York Academy of Medicine, the Wagner Free Institute of Science, and the American Philosophical Society. She is the co-chair of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, and in her free time, she makes and collects miniature books. She teaches classes at Fleisher Art Memorial on bookbinding and a variety of paper-based crafts to both adults and children.

  • Karen Kennedy
    Karen Kennedy

    is a Horticultural Registered Therapist She has been the Education Coordinator for the Herb Society of America since 2012. In this position she coordinates and moderates monthly educational webinars, gives presentations, manages digital education programs, including three herbal fiction book clubs, and produces educational materials such as the Herb of the Month program. In addition, she is a registered horticultural therapist (HT) with over 30 years of HT and wellness programming experience in health care, social service organizations and public gardens. She also teaches fundamental and programming courses at the Horticultural Therapy Institute as a faculty member since 2002.

  • Pam McKee
    Pam McKee

    has been painting for forty years after a short career in nursing. She has completed two masters classes in England in botanical illustration, numerous classes at Longwood Gardens plus numerous other workshops. Her painting career has brought authorship and illustration to three cookbooks, participation in numerous juried shows including SUNY, National Botanic Garden and Philadelphia Flower Show. She had been teaching art classes on cruise ships until the interruption of Covid. She continues painting full time and teaches art classes in her studio on the grounds of her 1750 farmhouse. Her studio has been included in the Chester County Studio Tour for 10 years and she continues to exhibit in many local venues including a solo show at Jenkins Botanical Garden.

  • Lisa Meeks
    Lisa Meeks

    creates extraordinarily beautiful botanical sculptures from the pages of books. Incorporating the language of flowers and topical books, these works allow her to use her art for activism in conservation and other issues she feels strongly about. For this presentation she will focus on works that have included herbs and medicinals. Her work has been shown throughout the United States, captivating gardeners, art lovers, conservationists and book lovers alike. Most recently at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh and in NYC. She is currently represented by Fremin Gallery NY.

  • Gregg Tepper is a professional horticulturist, lecturer, consultant, and life-long native plant enthusiast. He has been in the public horticulture industry for over 30 years. He is the Senior Horticulturist at the Arboretum at Laurel Hill in Philadelphia, PA, comprised of two historic cemetery properties totaling 265 acres, where he co-manages the horticulture interns and staff. His primary focus is on creating and stewarding multiple ecologically-sound display garden areas at both properties including the Rock Garden, the historic Medallion Garden, the award-winning Chapel Gardens and Nature's Sanctuary, a multiple-award-winning SITES Gold certified green burial landscape. Gregg has lectured extensively in the United States as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Wisley in Great Britain. He is co-author of the popular book "Deer-Resistant Native Plants for the Northeast" about which he lectures regularly. He is currently working on two new books, "Mirabelle visits a Garden: A Native Plant Garden Adventure", and "The Sensory Appeal of Native Plants: A Wildflower Celebration".

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