Soup Symposium March 3rd, 2018 will have Homemade Soups and Artisian Breads to provide sustenance for a day filled with horticultural sharing.


MARCH 3, 2018 

The 17th annual Soup Symposium sponsored by the


BILL CULLINA from the Coastal Maine Botanic Garden:

What Do You Mean I’m Not a Perennial!?!   Native Shrubs and Small Trees for Perennial Companionship

WARREN LEACH from Tranquil Lake Nursery:

Quenching Heat, Humidity, and Drought – Gardens that Dazzle- Withstanding the Dog Days and Onward

Date: Saturday, March 3, 2018 Time: 10:00am – 2:30pm

Fee: non-members $45 before Feb. 25th, $50 thereafter;

members $5 less

Location: Bethany Covenant Church,

785 Mill St. (Rte. 372),

Berlin, CT 06032

Fee includes: speakers; potluck lunch of hearty homemade soups, breads;

coffee and desserts; access to vendors. See:



March Into Spring Symposium  on    March 3rd, 2018….
Nick-named the “SOUP SYMPOSIUM” because of the specialty soups and breads that our members and attendees bring for our shared luncheon. 



BILL CULLINA from the Coastal Maine Botanic Garden:

What Do You Mean I’m Not a Perennial!?!   Native Shrubs and Small Trees for Perennial Companionship

Water Feature

“Weigela florida” ‘White-Knight’

Most folks are familiar with the concept of the mixed border – perennials, annuals, shrubs and evergreens blended together in a seamless composition  year-round. It sounds good in theory, but transplanting this concept into a real garden is more difficult than it seems. Not all woody plants mix well with perennials and annuals for several reasons, including differing soil and fertilization needs, incompatible growth habits, aggressive root systems, or fear of crowds. This said, there are a number of native shrubs and small trees that mix wonderfully with herbaceous perennials and annuals. Many can even be cut back every year or two just like their non-woody neighbors to control their size and promote flowering and vigorous growth.

Fringe Tree “Chionanthus virginicus”

New Jersey Tea “Ceanothus americanus”

In this talk, Bill Cullina will profile his favorite fifty “natural mixers,” focusing on native woody plants that bring form, texture, color and wildlife to the perennial garden.

Rhododendron ‘Westons Sparkler’


WARREN LEACH from Tranquil Lake Nursery:

Quenching Heat, Humidity, and Drought – Gardens that Dazzle- Withstanding the Dog Days and Onward


 The energy and exuberance of spring is both much anticipated and unstoppable. Buds expand and burst into colorful flowers and unfurling leaves.  This spring garden spectacle of flowers and luxuriant foliage need not be fleeting. Though by August, the heat and humidity may take its toll on the gardener, a garden designed with a plant palette to withstand the dog-days and drought of summer also offers a stunning exuberance of flowers, maturing seed-heads and colorful foliage.

Warren Leach will explore planting design in gardens that continue to dazzle from late summer, fall and onward.    

Tour of Tranquil Lake Nursery




William Cullina

 Bill Cullina, current president and CEO at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, previously served as director of horticulture for the Gardens and before that was nursery director for the New England Wild Flower Society. He is a well-known author and recognized authority on North American native plants. He lectures on a variety of subjects to garden and professional groups and writes for popular and technical journals. His books include Wildflowers; Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines; Understanding Orchids; Native Ferns, Mosses, and Grasses; and most recently, Understanding Perennials.Mr. Cullina was educated at the University of Connecticut, and Hobart and William Smith College in New York and began his career as a retail greenhouse manager. He moved on to become a research aide, performing experiments and collecting data on sylvicultural practices and forest ecology. He served as a Nursery Manager of Niche Gardens in North Carolina and he is noted for his 13 years as the Nursery Director and Head Propagator at the New England Wildflower Society where he developed the largest native plant nursery in New England, producing 75,000 woody and herbaceous plants annually for garden and restoration use.The author of five acclaimed horticultural references, Bill Cullina specializes in the photography of North American native plants and in 2011 he co-authored Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: A People’s Garden. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Award of Excellence for advancing the goals of National Garden Clubs of America.




Warren Leach

Warren Leach is a passionate plant collector and landscape horticulturist with a depth of knowledge of all garden plants – both perennial and woody plants and tropical and temperate. He is also a distinguished and award-winning garden designer. Warren enjoys sharing his horticultural and garden design knowledge with others through garden lectures, mentoring and through the gardens that he designs. For more than twenty five years, Warren has been creating beautiful landscapes throughout New England as well as making captivating and educational display gardens at Tranquil Lake Nursery.

Designers: Debi Hogan, and her husband, Warren Leach, create award-winning miniature gardens each year, using tiny plants and paying careful attention to scale, detail, and historic style.

He is co-owner, with his wife Debi, of this specialty nursery that is a prominent grower of daylilies, iris and distinctive perennials and woody plants. Warren is also an award winning landscape designer, twice receiving the National Landscape Association Regional Certificate of Merit for Residential Landscape Design. Images of his garden design at Brigham Hill Farm in North Grafton, Massachusetts are archived at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In 2009 the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association presented him the 1st Place Award for Residential Design and Installation for his ornamental vegetable garden at Brigham Hill Farm in N. Grafton. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society honored Warren in 2010 with a Gold Medal for his horticultural expertise, landscape design as well as years of forcing plants and creating exceptional displays in the New England Spring Flower Show. Warren is an admired speaker and educator at numerous horticultural institutions and organizations throughout the Northeast. He has taught horticulture and landscape design at The University of Rhode Island, the Brown University Learning Community, Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education and is a frequent instructor at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, as well as numerous garden clubs and botanical gardens. 

Read more about the conservation efforts Warren & Debi have instituted to protect their property in Massachusetts… A year ago Tranquil Lake Nursery in Rehoboth came under new ownership, while the land was preserved forever for future gardeners, horticulturists and farmers. In June of 2013, Warren Leach and Philip Boucher, partners in the business for twenty-eight years, signed paperwork with the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources to put a permanent agricultural preservation covenant on the land, so that it can never be developed and must be farmed. At the same time, in conjunction with the agricultural preservation, Warren Leach and Debi Hogan, horticulturist and wife, bought Phil’s share of the business, becoming the new owners of the nursery that they have nurtured together for so long.


Homemade Soups & Artisan Breads at our SOUP SYMPOSIUM

Breakfast goodies to start the day…

 Check out our Event “March Into Spring” on Facebook.   There are many more pictures there to entice you to join us…   Let us know if you are planning on attending… 

Soup Symposium audience

   We have lots of room for participants.

Fellowship Hall
Bethany Covenant Church 785 Mill Street, Berlin, CT.

John of O’Brien’s Nurserymen


We will be joined by O’Brien Nurserymen,

Chris & Carl of Broken Arrow Nursery

Broken Arrow Nursery,



Ellen Hovercamp      Connecticut Gardener  , Eden’s Natives Nursery and others presenting a variety of gardening choices for our attendees. We are open for more vendors.. if you are interested please contact Leslie.


Presenters will sign their books for purchasers, or bring your copy for their autograph.

William Cullina 


March into Spring – The Soup Symposium

MARCH 3rd,  2018

Join us at the Hardy Plant Society’s 17th Annual March Into Spring Symposium, March 3rd at Bethany Covenant Church, 785 Mill Street (Route 372), Berlin, CT.  06032  This is our third year in this location.

Bethany Covenant Church
785 Mill Street, Berlin, CT.

The symposium starts at 10 am, and will include our renowned lunch of hearty soups.  Potluck…  attendees bring their choice of soup or other goodies to share.  Questions to Leslie by e-mail (link is below) or phone.


The cost for non-members is $45 until Feb. 25th, $50 thereafter. Members pay $5 less.  Regular membership was renewable in September 2017, but you can still join HPS for the member discount.  Visit here for our membership form.

Directions to Bethany Covenant  Church.

To purchase tickets in advance: mail your check, (payable to Hardy Plant Society), along with a stamped, self-addressed return envelope for entry tickets, to Leslie Shields, 25 Johnson Ave., Plainville, CT 06062. If you have questions about this event, contact Leslie at (860) 747-8175 or by e-mail at .

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Name __________________________________________________________________


Phone ___________________________E-mail______________________________________

Before 25 February     ______Member $40        _______Non-member $45

After 25 February       ______Member $45         _______  Non-members $50

Ticket requests received after 25 February will be held at the door