Summer Rayne Oakes

After her very verdant Brooklyn apartment went viral in 2016, Summer Rayne Oakes unknowingly helped spark the meteoric rise of houseplant enthusiasm among Millennials. Because of that, she set out on a mission to bring people closer to plants by bringing plants closer to them. She produced her botanically oriented YouTube channel ‘Plant One on Me’ and created the ‘Houseplant Masterclass’.  In September 2020, she and her friends decided to buy a former plant nursery in the Finger Lakes region of New York with the goal of turning it into a communal homestead and botanical oasis, all while documenting their journey on their new channel ‘FLOCK’. She is the author of several scientific papers and books, including her latest book, How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart. She is a graduate of Cornell University where she studied Environmental Science and Entomology.

Summer Rayne Oakes will be presenting Plant Paradise: Turning a Former Nursery into a Botanical Oasis


Jeff Epping

Emily Erickson

Emily is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Evolution and Ecology. Her current research focuses on urban monarch butterfly gardens in Berkeley, CA. For her PhD, which she completed in 2021 at the Pennsylvania State University, she studied the interactions between annual and perennial ornamental plants and pollinators. Throughout her research career, Emily has worked towards incorporating pollinator habitat into home gardens and managed landscapes. She is particularly interested in supporting biodiversity and promoting green space development in urban areas.

Emily Erickson will be presenting The Ecology of Perennial Garden Flowers

Abra Lee Headshot _1

Owen Wormser

Owen Wormser received a degree in landscape architecture in 1998 and shortly thereafter started his first landscape design/build service. Since then, he has designed and built hundreds of landscapes influenced by his study of horticulture, permaculture, organic agriculture, and ecology. In 2010, Owen started Abound Design, which provides design and installation services with a focus on creating sustainability, regeneration, and beauty. In 2016, he co-founded Local Harmony, a nonprofit that promotes local regenerative projects and has overseen the planting of many thousands of native perennials. His first book, Lawns into Meadows: Growing a Regenerative Landscape, was released in 2020.

Owen Wormser will be presenting on Turning Lawns into Meadows

Tim Richardson

Carol Long

A graduate of the University of Delaware, Carol Long is the Curator of Gardens at Winterthur, where she has worked for 31 years. Carol oversees the design and management of the Winterthur Garden. Carol was the project manager and co-curator of Winterthur’s first outdoor exhibition, Follies: Architectural Whimsy in the Garden (2018-2020). She is active in the horticultural community, serving on boards and committees and helps to promote the field of public horticulture as a career for high school and college students. Carol received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in 2012.

Carol Long will be presenting on Gardener Voices – One Foot in the Past, One Foot in the Future: Management of 100+ Year-Old Garden


Rashid Poulson

A Brooklyn native, Rashid Poulson is Director of Horticulture at Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. His career in horticulture began as a Million Trees Training Program alumni in NYC, where he studied and practiced arboriculture, urban landscape design, and ecological restoration. His current role as Director focuses on the management, training, and development of the Horticulture Staff and spreading the lore of the park’s horticulture through tours, presentations, and community engagement. Still, he guides participants in work such as the extensive winter pruning phase annually, allowing him to maintain a connection with his staff, community, and the landscape he has been connected to for a decade. 

Rashid Paulson will be presenting on Gardener’s Voices – Cultivating Communities: Ecological Stewardship and Ethical Labor Management


Karl Gercens

Karl Gercens may be the Conservatory Manager of Longwood’s historic glasshouse displays, but his interest in all things garden expands far beyond the crystalline walls of those flower show-type displays. Karl’s passion for horticulture started at an early age while growing up on a 10,000-acre cotton plantation in Mississippi. The warm climate and long growing season helped nurture his fondness for plants and his appreciation for the wonders of natural beauty.  Academic training from Mississippi State University eventually led to a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture with internships at Walt Disney World in Florida and Filoli Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. For the past 25 years, Karl has been traveling between glasshouse installations to all 50 States, 35 countries, and over 3000 individual gardens. A passion for colored foliage permeates all gardens that Karl influences.

Karl Gercens will be presenting on The Perennially Globetrotting Gardener: In Search of the Best Plants and Design Inspiration

May 5 2016 RHR 093

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