A Jersey-Friendly Yard in bloom at the Jersey shore.

Inspiration for Your Jersey-Friendly Yard

Thank you to the sponsors, presenters, exhibitors, and attendees who all contributed to making the second annual Jersey-Friendly Yards conference a great success!

The conference was held on Saturday, October 20, 2018, from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Ocean County College, Gateway Building, Toms River, New Jersey.

The 2018 conference offered a series of morning workshops about how to make your yard more Jersey-Friendly.  After the lunch break, the Keynote Speaker, Kathy Salisbury, talked about native plants that delight throughout the year.  Kathy is the Director of Temple University’s Ambler Arboretum and a past president of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey.

Fall is the perfect time to add native plants to your landscape.  At the conference’s native plant sale, Pinelands Direct, Earth First Native Plant Nursery, and Steven Kristoph Nursery brought a great selection of plants ready for fall planting. Conference exhibitors offered additional information about landscaping for a healthier environment.

Workshops at the Conference

The workshops were designed to provide in-depth information and tools that you can use as you follow the steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard. During registration, attendees had the opportunity to choose which workshop to attend during each of the three morning sessions.  Some presenters have graciously provided their presentations to share on this site.  Click on the links below to see them.

A. Plan Before You Plant:  Garden Design with Native Ericaceous Plants
What to plant where?  Sometimes it’s hard to get started on a new garden project. Steve Kristoph, owner of Steve Kristoph Nursery, will share his expertise on garden planning and design and his vast knowledge about native Ericaceous plants.

B. Start with Healthy Soil:  Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt!
What is happening beneath my feet? Eileen Miller, owner of Healthy Landscapes, will give you the dirt on soil. She will show you how to assess the soil in your yard and keep it healthy.

C. Water Wisely:  Rain Gardens 101
Will a rain garden work in my yard? Shari Kondrup, Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority’s Source Water Outreach and Education Coordinator, will explain the basics of designing and installing a rain garden at home.

D. Fertilize Less:  Organic Land Care
How can I go organic in my yard? Richard McCoy, owner of Richard A. McCoy Horticultural Services, will share his tips for organic land care, including how to grow healthy turf organically and replace high-maintenance lawn areas with native plantings.

E. Minimize Risks When Managing Pests:  Using Integrated Pest Management in Your Yard
What is IPM anyway? Master Gardener Educators Georgina Price and Phyllis Delesandro will show you how to identify and monitor garden pests and manage them using safer methods of control.

F. Create Wildlife Habitat: Pollinators in Peril – Native Plants to the Rescue
How can I create a haven for pollinators? John Black, President of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, will explore just what we mean by “native” plants and how pollinators depend on them. This workshop will cover what type of plants are necessary to truly support and attract our native pollinators.

Keynote Speaker:  Kathy Salisbury

Buds, Blooms, Berries and Bark – Native Plants for Multiple Seasons of Interest

Frequently in New Jersey, space in our yards is limited. We must be choosy when it comes to plant selection.  Kathy Salisbury’s rule is “if I can’t eat you, you must be interesting in at least three seasons to live in my yard” and so she started collecting native plants with multiple seasons of interest. Sometimes this requires thinking differently about a plant’s features and it always results in a more dynamic landscape. Kathy talked some of her favorite native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that delight throughout the year while challenging us to redefine interesting.

About Kathy Salisbury

Director, Ambler Arboretum of Temple University
Instructor, Temple University Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture

Kathy Salisbury is from the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. While she enjoyed playing in the woods all the time, she didn’t really find out just how amazing the Pine Barrens is until she went away to college and everyone was talking about it. After earning a BS in Ornamental Horticulture from Delaware Valley College and an MS in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware, where she was a Longwood fellow, Kathy went on to pursue a career in public horticulture and horticulture education. She has worked as a professor, a high school horticulture teacher, a horticulturist, director of education and director of horticulture.

Her varied experiences have had one thing in common – connecting people of all ages and background to the magic of plants. This former president of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey openly admits that two of her favorite plants are not native at all and while she has more than 100 pawpaw seedlings she propagated herself in her backyard – you couldn’t pay her enough to eat the fruit.  When not teaching others about plants, Kathy is at home in her own native plant (mostly) garden tending to her flock of happy hens or snowboarding, kayaking, or hiking depending on the season.

Become a Conference Sponsor

The conference was made possible through the generosity of our sponsors.  There were three sponsorship levels available – Red Oak, Highbush Blueberry, and Blue Meadow Violet.  All sponsors received two complimentary registrations and their logo on the conference web page and other promotional materials.  Red Oak sponsors also had their logo included in the conference program and on the conference bag; Highbush Blueberry in the program.

Questions?  Email Karen Walzer, Barnegat Bay Partnership Public Outreach Coordinator, at kwalzer@ocean.edu or call her at 732-255-0472 x 2.

Conference Sponsors

Partial funding provided by the Watershed Institute of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association.