Claudia West will talk about the future of planting design in a presentation on an alternative to traditional horticulture at the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum's "Planting in a Post-Wild World" symposium Saturday, Jan. 13.

Known for her passionate advocacy of plant-driven design, West applies the technologies of plant systems to bring pragmatic solutions to an urbanizing world. She has worked as a designer, grower, installer and land manager. 

The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the newly renovated LSU Design Auditorium, 302 Field House Drive. Registration by Jan. 5 is $70, $20 for students and $55 for Friends members. After Jan. 5, registration is $80, $30 for students and $65 for members. For more information and to register, visit, email or call (225) 767-6916.

West will talk about gardeners' opportunity and responsibility to bring wildness and ecological value back into landscapes. She will explore the differences between the way plants grow in the wild and the way they grow in designed landscapes for your garden and present strategies for creating aesthetic frames around mixed plantings to make them more attractive and appealing. She also will explain how to use site constraints as assets and minimize site preparation.

In addition, West will talk about bridging the gap between great garden design and ecology responses and the science of successful planting systems. 

Hilltop’s Hodge Podge volunteers will offer an extensive collection of native plants for sale, including ground covers, perennials, shrubs, understory trees and canopy trees. Their new cookbook, "Passalong Recipes From the Podge: Digging Deeper,” will be available for sale along with tastings of their favorite recipes.