Welcome to Mad Gardeners


is now open to the public, so it is much easier for our members to spread the word about our organization. Feel free to share the website link with prospective members. The Members section of the site remains private, however, and requires use of our password.

Mad Gardeners Annual Symposium – Saturday, MARCH 2
JUST US: Mad Gardeners Working with the Land, Part 1

Photo: Catharine Cooke

Download the brochure to register!

Featured speakers include:

Helen Dimos: Evolution of a Designer’s Personal Garden
Helen will talk about how her garden evolved after moving in 1995 from New York City to a 2.5 acre property in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The property contains an intact colonial saltbox listed on the National Register of Historic Places and situated on lovely open land.

Catharine Cooke: One Designer’s Process
Design….What does that word mean, what does it mean to be a “Landscape Designer”? To me, it means to be aware of the whole. Not one plant, not one garden, not one tree, not one patio. It is a process of absorbing the whole picture: the land, the architecture, the surrounding area and/or neighborhood, and then, taking it all apart. What is this process? How does it happen? ‘Designer’s block’? (hint—yes, it exists) How photos help—a lot. What is de-construction & why does it matter? I will attempt to explain what this means to me as a landscape designer; both with hardscaping and garden design. I will take you through some projects that were easy and not easy and share my mistakes and successes.

“Artists…can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss. Just sharing that truth can be a very powerful thing.” —Jay-Z

Laura Rissolo - Becoming Wild
Photo: Laura Rissolo

Laura Rissolo: Becoming Wild

More than I make gardens, I am made by the garden. Landscape provides us with our humanness, our wildness. Regardless. If we cannot act wildly—with innate integrity and within healthy boundarsies—nature shifts and provides us limits. This talk will realize the wild as guide to balanced gardening.

Click on the image below to download the symposium flyer & registration form:

2019 Symposium

To register after February 26, call 860-355-1547 or email to knelson151@sbcglobal.net. Registration at the door is usually possible but depends on enrollment. Same day enrollment may not include lunch.

Recertification credits: NOFA and APLD will each credit 4 CEU’s for this symposium. DEEP authorized 3 credits each for Connecticut private applicator (PA), ornamentals and turf (3A), and arborist (3D) licenses. Check this website or contact Eileen Mulvihill, esmpensehort@sbcglobal.net, to check on other approvals.


Noteworthy events and announcements are listed on this, the “Home Page.” “Area Events” is a frequently updated resource for garden-related events in the area, and is a page we recommend you visit regularly. Events open only to MG members will be listed in the MG Members section of the site and accessible by password.


The Members section provides information about member-only events which are not listed in the public Area Events section, so please be sure to check both sections of the website.

To view the Current Newsletter click on “Members Home Page,” enter the password, then click on “Current Newsletter.”


Download the 2019 Mad Gardeners Membership Application. Visit the “About Us” page to learn about the benefits of joining.


Please click on a bulletted index topic on the menu list along the top to view. After clicking on an external link use the back arrow on your computer screen to return to the MG website.


How to spread the word about your non-profit organization’s event through us: We are an informal group. Our 3 mailed newsletters are published fall, winter and spring. To submit an article contact Kathy Diemer. To submit a calendar event listing contact Paula Caceci or the webmaster. For event listings provide your email address and a brief event description (date, time, location, description and a link to more info, if available). Some events are included in the newsletter, but all are forwarded to our webmaster for possible posting.

Note: notices emailed to members are restricted to business-related information and meeting reminders, with other events occasionally tacked on. They are sent infrequently so we recommend that you regularly check this website for area news and events.

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