Phipps Conservatory & Penn State Extension to Host Virtual Short Course

Virtual Event Featuring Keynote Speaker Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers Discusses Growing and Arranging Homegrown Flowers

Pittsburgh, PA – On Thurs., July 29, gardening enthusiasts are invited to gather virtually for a full day of learning about homegrown flowers as Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Penn State Extension present a virtual iteration of the annual Summer Short Course. Keynote speaker Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers (named to complement “slow food”) will be joined by a roster of engaging expert speakers as participants explore the best plants to grow for a year round cutting garden, learn tips for putting together beautiful seasonal arrangements and meet the farmers, florists and advocates working to re-localize our floral industry.

About the Speakers

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American Grown Flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that stimulates consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of, the online directory to American grown farms, florists, shops and studios who supply domestic and local flowers. Each Wednesday, approximately 3,000 listeners tune into Debra’s “Slow Flowers Podcast,” available for free downloads at her website, debraprinzing. com. She is the creator of American Flowers Week (June 28 – July 4), launched in 2015; an inductee to the GardenComm Hall of Fame; and the author of 12 books, including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet. In 2021, BLOOM Imprint published her newest book, Where We Bloom.

Polly Berginc, AIFD has been active in the floral industry for over 30 years, with her background in art and design leading to her floral career. She is currently a freelance designer in special event design in the Pittsburgh area, the National Education Committee Chair for the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and an instructor in Phipps’ Floral Design certificate program.

Tom Ford has worked for over 38 years with Cooperative Extension in Maryland, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Tom has a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland. Tom currently serves as a commercial horticulture educator with Penn State Extension and is housed in Cambria County Extension Office in Ebensburg, PA.

Krystal Snyder is a Horticulture Extension educator based in northeast PA focusing on greenhouse floriculture, hydroponics, green industry and industrial hemp. She joined Penn State Extension in March of 2019. Before joining Penn State Extension, Krystal worked as a technical specialist and was an adjunct professor at Delaware Valley University. Krystal holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Delaware Valley University.

Jonathan Weber is the farmer- general at greenSinner Floral Event Design, a local wedding and event florist focusing on sustainable and American-grown flowers, where he provides spiritual guidance for their Lawrenceville studio cutting garden and the development of a 6-acre flower farm on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

Summer Short Course, presented by Phipps and Penn State Extension, will be held virtually on Thurs., July 29 from 12:30 – 5 p.m. Registration costs $55. This event will be held as a live webinar on Zoom and will be recorded and made available to paid registrants within one week of the event and will be viewable for one month. This conference counts as four hours for both Phipps and Penn State Master Gardener Continuing Education credit and 2 elective hours for Phipps certificate programs: Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design.

For more information and to register, visit: phipps.

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