Hotline: 816.833.TREE (8733)

Gardeners’ Gathering

The purpose of the Gardeners’ Gatherings is to educate Master Gardeners and the public in latest trends, information and research in horticulture education. The gatherings during each year are led by experts in the field and last approximately two hours in length. All lectures begin at 6:30 pm, are free and open to the public.  Counts as two hours continuing education for Master Gardeners.

2019 Presentations

Thursday, August 22, 6:30-8PM – Gardeners’ Gathering
“Restorative Landscapes”

Kauffman Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110. Open to the public.
Katie Kingery-Page is a licensed landscape architect and associate dean in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design at Kansas State University. Her training spans sculpture, art theory, ecology, and landscape architecture. Her work co-creating landscapes with community members centers on the many ways public space can be restorative to diverse audiences of people. Gardens of drought-adapted native plants may provide ecological, therapeutic, and learning benefits. Kingery-Page’s talk will focus on lessons learned designing, building, and maintaining such gardens—and using them as settings for research on the benefits of time in nature.



Thursday, October 17, 2019 – 6:30-8PM – Gardeners’ Gathering
Kauffman Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110. Open to the public.

Theresa and Nik Hiremath “Gardening for the Birds and Bats”




Thursday, June 20, 2019 “Horticulture at the Zoo”, Presentation and tour at the Kansas City Zoo

If you love horticulture and zoology, this program is for you!  Join us as Crystal Broadus, KC Zoo Horticulture Manager, and Shawn Stuettger, KC Zoo Maintenance Supervisor, take us into their world of safely incorporating plants with animals in the zoo.  You will enjoy a 30-45 minute presentation followed by a walking tour.  Some of the topics covered will be:

  • Daily routines of horticulture staff
  • What goes into design for flower beds, landscaping and new exhibits
  • How horticulture is used for enrichment of animals
  • Plants and toxicity to animals
  • “Browse Garden” used to create limbs/vegetation for eating and stimulation
  • What plants are preferred by various animals
  • “Zoo Manoo” (compost) program
  • Tour of pollinator garden, polar bear green roof, rain garden, tropics building, monarch way station, Hallmark children’s garden

Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:30-8PM- “Gardening with Compassion: Capturing Biodiversity for the Future”
In what ways do gardens help wildlife in a time of mass extinction and climate change? How can wilder urban landscapes foster health and equality for all species? What strategies from psychology, science, and environmental philosophy can we use to rewire our ethical codes and advocate for wildness at home, work, and school? Author and garden designer Benjamin Vogt will address how to practice defiant compassion as we stand up for the rights of nature and the places we call home.
Our landscapes push aside wildlife and in turn diminish our genetically-programmed love for wildness. How can we get ourselves back into balance through gardens, to speak life’s language and learn from other species?
Author Benjamin Vogt addresses why we need a new garden ethic, and why we urgently need wildness in our daily lives, lives sequestered in buildings surrounded by monocultures of lawn and concrete that significantly harm our physical and mental health. He examines the psychological issues around climate change and mass extinction as a way to understand how we are short circuiting our response to global crises, especially by not growing native plants in our gardens. Simply put, environmentalism is not political; it is social justice for all species marginalized today and for those facing extinction tomorrow.
By thinking deeply and honestly about our built landscapes, we can create a compassionate activism that connects us more profoundly to nature and to one another.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 “400 Million Years on Six Legs: Evolution of the Insects”
Do you appreciate insects or want a greater understanding of insects? Did you know that insects are the primary pollinators of our ecosystems? Did you know that insects were the first to fly, to sing, to develop societies and language? Come and learn more about these beneficial 6-legged creatures as The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City present 400 Million Years on Six Legs: Evolution of the Insects Thursday, February 21, 2019 6:30 pm at the Kauffman Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO. Our guest speaker will be Michael S. Engel, University Distinguished Professor and Senior Curator at the University of Kansas. Prof. Engel studies the diversity and paleontological history of insects, exploring what the fossil record of insects can tell us about their evolution. He is also a specialist on the biodiversity of solitary bees, and has conducted entomological research in over 40 countries – from the High Arctic to equatorial deserts and rainforests. Aside from numerous entomological treatises, he is the author of the recent book, Innumerable Insects, and co-author of the earlier Evolution of the Insects. Free and open to the public. No registration required. Door Prizes. For further information call 816-523-5526 or visit our website @ and look for Gardeners’ Gathering under “Public Education”.Dr. Engel has discovered and named nearly 800 new species, including this 19-million-year old Dominican amber wasp (Leptofoenus pittfeldae) and the lovely Celia’s orchid bee (Euglossa celiae).


2018 Presentations

Thursday, February 15, 2018 Native Trees for Kansas City Landscapes6

Thursday August 23 at 6:30-8pm. “The Philosophy and Aesthetics of Japanese Gardens”

Thursday, June 21, 2018 Tour of KC Water Swope Campus Green Infrastructure

Thursday, October 25, 2018 Growing to New Heights: Using Ornamental Vines”

2017 Presentations

Thursday, October 19, 2017 “Invasives – Plants Gone Wild”
T Lynn Loughary, Horticulture Extension Agent for Kansas State Extension

Thursday, February 16, 2017 “Best Garden Practices for Water Quality and Conservation”
“Best Garden Practices for Water Quality and Conservation”  John Dunn, a Biologist and Environmental Engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency

Thursday, April 13, 2017 “Why Prairie Matters-New Relevancies of a Vanishing Landscape”
Why Prairie Matters –New Relevancies of a Vanishing Landscape”,  Carol Davit, Executive Director of Missouri Prairie Foundation.

Thursday, June 15, 2017 “Garden and Pioneer Home Tour of Atkins-Johnson Farm in Gladstone”

Thursday, August 17, 2017 “Gardening for Bees and Butterflies”
Heather Holm. She is the author of “Pollinators of Native Plants” and “ BEES: An identification and Native Plan Forage Guide”.


2016 Presentations

Feb 18, 2016 – “Gardening with Conifers in Greater Kansas City” by Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, Powell Gardens.

April 28, 2016 – “Vegetables: Tried & True and Best of the New” by Ben Sharda, founding Director of the Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG).

June 16, 2016 – “Farm-To-Table Favorites From Kids Who Cook” a food tasting experience.

August 18, 2016 – “Annual and Perennial Weed Families and How to Send Them Packing” by Lynn Loughary, Horticulture Extension Agent for Kansas State Extension & Research,

October 20, 2016 – Apps for Birds and Plants” by Mary Nemecek, Missouri Master Naturalist.


2015 Presentations

Feb 19, 2015 – Prairie Star & Prairie Bloom Programs -What to Plant in 2015“, Dr. Alan Stevens, Director of the K-State Horticultural Research & Extension Center.

Apr 16, 2015 – Pollinators: Feel the Love, Betsy Betros, author and active citizen scientist.

June 18, 2015 – “Tours: Kauffman Memorial Garden & Native Gardens at Discovery Center”.

Aug 20, 2015 – Critter Control for Urban Gardens, Todd Meese, Missouri Department of Conservation Wildlife Biologist.

Oct 22, 2015 – The History & Use of Native Medicinal Plants, Dr. Kelly Kindscher, plant ecologist and professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Kansas.


2014 Presentations

“The Collections of Powell Gardens” by Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, Powell Gardens.

“The Not Too Big Vegetable Garden” by Marty Ross, Garden Journalist.

“What your Backyard Tree Wants You to Know” by Chuck Conner, Missouri Department of Conservation Urban Forester.

“Gibbs Road Organic Farm Tour” at the Gibbs Road Community Farm, a certified organic vegetable production farm sitting on two acres in Kansas City, Kansas.

The Land Institute-Internationally Famous and Locally Obscureby Josh Svaty.


2013 Presentations

Invasive Tree Pests are Changing our Landscape” by Rob Lawrence, Missouri Department of Conservation State Entomologist.

Will Landscape for Food: What Works in an Edible Landscape that can Work for You” by Matt Bunch, Head Horticulturist at Powell Garden’s Heartland Harvest Garden. Edible Plant List Handout

Pulling Weeds: The Down Side of Gardening” by Dennis Patton, K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Agent, Johnson County, KS. MU Weed ID Guide

“The Beanstalk Garden is for Grown Ups Too!” by Ben Sharda, Executive Director, Kansas City Community Gardens.

Sustainably Designed Food Growing” by Michael Almon, Kansas Permaculture Collaborative and the Sustainability Action Network.


2012 Presentations

“Gardening With Nature” by Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture, Powell Gardens. Alan’s Handout

Insects in the Vegetable Garden” by Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Professor of Entomology, Kansas State University. Bonide Solutions booklet recommended by Dr. Cloyd.

“Innovative Gardening Techniques at the DST Gardens” by a panel of experts from DST Systems, 360 Architecture and Vireo. 18Broadway Presentation

Missouri Climate-Historical and Current Perspectives” by Patrick Guinan, MU Extension Climatologist.

A Year in the Life at Linda Hall Library Grounds” by Scott Rieter, Groundskeeper Linda Hall Library Arboretum and Horticultural Grounds.

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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program