Secchia Garden Lecture - Karen Bussolini

The Master Lecture Series - This annual lecture is made possible by The Secchia Family.

After Doug Tallamy presents “the why,” we’re excited to welcome Karen Bussolini as she shares “the how” for creating sustainable yards and gardens that also serve the needs of the people who use them. Karen Bussolini is a widely published garden photographer, speaker, writer, NOFA-Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and eco-friendly garden coach. Her garden has been featured in multiple publications, including Anne Raver’s A Hillside of Feisty Beauties in the New York Times. Although she has been a gardener for as long as she can remember, Bussolini was originally trained as a painter and had a career as an architectural photographer before shifting her focus solely to gardens. Karen’s work explores the various ways gardening connects us not only to our place on Earth but also to each other.

In her lecture, Bussolini will model how we can look to nature as a guide when creating sustainable, low-care, high-satisfaction gardens. She’ll share how naturescaping, also called ecological landscaping, is landscaping with nature. This means attracting and sustaining wildlife, using native and well-adapted plants, using resources wisely, and avoiding environmental pollution. However, you’ll see naturescaping doesn’t stop there. It also means landscaping like nature: creating self-sustaining, low-maintenance landscapes by modeling the natural environment. Bussolini’s work is informed by notable ecologists and ecological designers and by her understanding that everything comes from somewhere, everything goes somewhere, and everything is connected. She’ll present big-picture ecological thinking, nitty-gritty how-to tips, and images of sustainable yards and gardens that look beautiful and function as small ecosystems.

Karen Bussolini’s book, The Naturescaping Workbook, will be available in the DeVos-Keeler Gift Shop. A book signing with the author will take place immediately following the lecture.

Registration is required and will available online at on March 1. Direct questions to Eve Choi at or call 616-975-3145.

*Applies toward Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener education credit.

  • Fee Information: Included with admission