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The Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden recently held a half-day symposium featuring English garden designer, Dan Pearson. Dan showed photographs from his travels and his book, Spirit: Garden Inspiration and talked about his design philosophy. We asked Dan to give us an overview of his lecture in front of a large photomural of one of his designs, Home Farm. This photomural is part of the Garden’s exhibition, In Search of Paradise: Great Gardens of the World, currently on display in the Regenstein Center. To register for upcoming classes, visit chicagobotanic.org/school.

Emily Yates, seed bank coordinator, talks about the work she does to save native prairie seeds for the future. We took a tour of the lab and learned that the vital seed bank currently shares lab space with many other conservation projects. Then we saw the new seed bank lab still under construction in the Plant Science Center, which opens to the public on September 23, 2009. The seed bank is just one of eight labs in the Plant Science Center. We will see them all in this video blog series, as well as hear about the building’s sustainable features.

Emily Shelton, who is the horticulturist for the Green Roof Garden, talks about the installation process of the green roof garden beds. Crews are still preparing the planting beds, but will be planting next week! Here we learn about the different layers of materials used to build the beds.