Areas such as steep slopes, urban sites with poor soil and windswept coastlines will be the subject of Heavenly Gardens in Hellish Places on 3 October.
Garden designers Paul Dracott, Anthony Paul and Declan Buckley will show creative responses to challenging sites.
University of Sheffield reader in urban horticulture Nigel Dunnett will speak, along with Washington DC-based Lisa Delplace, who helped design the US Embassy site in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Using existing projects, the illustrated talks will demonstrate strategies and practical considerations to make difficult sites into habitable spaces for people and plants.
The winner of the SGD Student of the Year award will also be announced at the conference, which is being held at Imperial College London.