Learn more about each of the keynote presenters, and their presentations below.

February 28 (Horticulture Day) Keynotes

Thomas Hobbs — Opening Keynote: Get Planty!

Get Planty!

♦ OPENING KEYNOTE  |  February 28  |  8:15 — 9:15 am

Through images from Tom’s own garden, and other local and international gardens, Tom will inspire the next generation of passionate plant people to “get planty”! Learn about exciting planting combinations for difficult areas, and dazzling plant combinations that municipal crews can easily install. Using mostly perennials and grasses, discover fresh new planting ideas using hardy plants suitable for our local climate.

Thomas Hobbs Web

Thomas Hobbs

Thomas Hobbs is a completely self-taught plantsman and entrepreneur. He was born obsessed with plants, so much so that his mother bought him a set of horticultural encyclopedias (which he still has) at age nine. By grade six, he was selling bedding plants from a homemade greenhouse in Regina, SK. After relocating to Vancouver in 1972, he opened his first plant store which became the very famous Thomas Hobbs Florist. In 1991, he acquired Southlands Nursery – a dream come true! In 2008, he and partner Brent Beattie moved from Vancouver to a 20 acre farm in South Langley, creating a new vision of beauty. He is the author of two books, Shocking Beauty, and The Jewel Box Garden.

Ciscoe Morris — Closing Keynote: Gardening for Wildlife

Gardening for Wildlife

♦ CLOSING KEYNOTE  |  February 28  |  2:15 — 3:15 pm

Enjoy a showcase of design ideas from Ciscoe Morris, using plants that will bring in your winged friends – from all kinds of birds, hummingbirds and butterflies. He will offer methods of gardening to help keep your winged friends hanging out in the garden.

Ciscoeheadshot Small


Ciscoe Morris

Ciscoe Morris is well known in the Pacific Northwest. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and writes for the Seattle Times. His book, Ask Ciscoe , was a best seller. When he is not speaking or writing, he is often gardening at his home in northeast Seattle, or off hosting a garden tour somewhere in the world.

March 1 (Maintenance Day) Keynotes

Linda Tarrant — Opening Keynote: Resilience

Resilience: The Key to Health, Happiness and Success

♦ OPENING KEYNOTE  |  March 1  |  8:15 — 9:15 am

We all know people who just seem to bounce back, even when they’ve gone through difficult experiences. They just “pick themselves up and start all over again”. We will explore some of the internal components of resilience and the tools and techniques to help you “go with the flow” – even when it feels like a raging river. Remember, you are resilient...this session will address how you can build on that part of your life.

Lindatarrant WebLindatarrant Web

Linda Tarrant

Linda Tarrant holds advanced degrees in Psychology, Sociology, Education and Counseling. She is an author, change leader, strategist and master facilitator. She holds the prestigious designation of Certified Speaking Professional, and she is the first woman to be inducted into the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame. But she’s mostly known for her wit, wisdom, practical approach and down-to-earth style. Linda has extensive experience in both the public and private sector and has worked both in and for many not-for-profit organizations. Some of her clients include federal, provincial and local governments, research institutes, health care organizations, financial services, educational systems, high tech and high touch organizations, and even the Canadian Olympic Association.

Linda was born in Kentucky and has lived and worked across Canada and the US. She is a proud Canadian citizen and lives in beautiful Victoria, BC. She will invite us to think differently, embrace new perspectives and act with courage. And she’s a whole lot of fun!

Jeff Cutler — Closing Keynote: Latest Design Trends in Parks

Latest Design Trends in Parks

♦ CLOSING KEYNOTE  |  March 1  |  2:15 — 3:15 pm

With climate change and the increasing densification of cities, parks and open spaces are facing pressure to play many roles, and serve an increasing diverse population of users. This talk looks at the design of parks and open spaces that respond to some of the new challenges municipalities are currently facing now, and in the future.

Jeff Profile Pic 2017 Web

Jeff Cutler

Jeff Cutler is a registered Landscape Architect, urban designer and the founding Principal of Space2place. He has more than 20 years of design and facilitation experience and has worked with numerous municipalities and institutions throughout the lower mainland and across western Canada. Since starting space2place in 2001, Jeff has won over 20 design awards for a range of projects including planning studies, urban parks and sustainable infrastructure. Jeff has led the design of many significant park and urban space projects across Western Canada including Kinsmen Park (City of Saskatoon), Prairie Winds Park (City of Calgary), Garden City Play Environment (City of Richmond), Oppenheimer Park (City of Vancouver), Spirit Trail (various North Shore municipalities), Moody Park Playscape (City of New Westminster), Surrey Bend Regional Park and Phase 2 East Fraser Lands Parks (City of Vancouver).