Tuesday, September 20, 1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Forum Room
Free of charge, limited seating

Creating an Ecologically Rich Garden

Emilie Carter is a licensed landscape architect with Phyto Studio, a niche landscape architecture firm that focuses on harnessing the power of diverse plant systems to create landscapes that are functional, beautiful, and resilient. She is trained in analyzing the many layers of each site – from the underlying geological formations and soil types to the site’s visible natural systems. Her design work focuses on creating ecologically functional designed landscapes.

Throughout her career, Emilie has worked on many different projects across the east coast including small gardens, rural estates, school campuses, and urban parks and plazas. At Phyto, Emilie has participated in the design of the Penn State Arboretum Bird and Pollinator Garden, public parks, and large residential gardens and land management projects.

With increasing pressures from invasive species and degraded natural landscapes, it has become a priority to ensure designed plantings are beautiful, resilient, and ecologically rich. Home gardeners have the opportunity to aide in rebuilding local ecosystems but often the task can feel overwhelming without a guide. Emilie will share horticultural wisdom, design techniques and field-based outcomes that Phyto Studio uses to address these challenges and create diverse and vibrant plantings. In this talk, Emilie is going to break down basic elements of ecological horticulture, discuss why it is important on a local scale and will give you some ideas – and plant species – to incorporate in the next season of your garden.

Judged Exhibits



Artistic Design

Events & Activities

Dr. Matthew Borden

Plant pathologist at the Bartlett Tree Experts Research Laboratories in Charlotte, NC.

Sherryl Belinsky

Award-winning photographer focuses on flowers in the garden.

Bryan F. Peterson

Award winning photographer, author and co-founder of The Bryan Peterson School of Photography.

Emilie Carter, ASLA

Landscape architect with Phyto Studio who focuses on creating ecologically-functional landscapes.

Shaun Spencer-Hester

Executive director and curator of the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum

“Mix it Up” Cocktail Party

Botanical-inspired adult beverages surrounded by blooms of the late-season garden.

Robert Llewellyn

Award-winning photographer introduces the world of micro-photography.

Thomas Woltz, FASLA

Acclaimed landscape architect addresses social and ecological sustainability in designed landscapes.

Francoise Weeks

Innovative haute couture creations and woodland designs made with foraged plant materials and flowers.


Day One

Day One of the Symposium features presentations by acclaimed artistic designer Francoise Weeks, landscape architect Emilie Carter, ASLA, of Phyto Studio, and pre-recorded presentations by photographers Sherryl Belinsky and Bryan F. Peterson. Spectacular artistic design, horticulture and photography exhibits take center stage upon conclusion of judging, and a botanical cocktail mixology event provides a perfect ending to the day.

  • September 20, Tuesday
  • 11 a.m to 7 p.m

Day Two

Day Two events include presentations and discussions by landscape architect Thomas Woltz, FASLA, plant pathologist Matthew Borden, DPM, of Bartlett Tree Experts, Director and Curator of the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum Shaun Spencer-Hester and photographer Robert Llewellyn. Visitors will also have another opportunity to view the artistic design, horticulture and photography exhibits.

  • September 21, Wednesday
  • 9:30 a.m to 2:00 p.m

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