Annual Gardening Symposium

Saturday,  March 23, 2019 – SOLD OUT


Loudoun County Extension Master Gardeners present the 10th Annual Gardening Symposium featuring noted speakers, knowledgeable practitioners, plant sellers and vendors of gardening related items.  The Symposium is a good way to get motivated and jump into the spring gardening season with new information and refreshed enthusiasm.  Bring your gardening notebook and/or paper to write down all your ideas – we are saving trees and eliminating our folders.  (Speakers may have handouts).  All registration is online. There is an option to pay by check once registered.

2019 Speakers

Larry Weaner founded Larry Weaner Landscape Associates in 1982, combining expertise in horticulture, environmental science, and the traditions of garden design. Larry has received numerous awards for his work, including the Landscape Design Award from the New England Wildflower Society for use of native plants in “exceptional and distinctive landscape compositions” and the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award from The Native Plant Center.  The Garden Club of America awarded him an honorary membership in 2015.

In his talk, The Self Perpetuating Landscape: Setting a Process in Motion, he will discuss the principles and protocols for creating dynamic, ecologically rich landscapes where nature does much of the “planting.” The lecture will include case studies that demonstrate how practical, concrete strategies for assisted plant proliferation can be applied from the most intimate garden to large multi-acre landscapes.

Barbara Pleasant is an award-winning author and contribution editor to Mother Earth News and the Mother Earth Living magazines.  She is a former contributing editor to Organic Gardening magazine and also contributed to numerous gardening books.  Her latest book is Homegrown Pantry, winner of a Silver Award of Achievement for the Garden Writers Association.

Her lecture, Gardening to Feed Body and Soul, delves into how to find the deepest form of happiness in your garden, work with plants that have it all – flavor, fragrance, and gorgeous good looks. Barbara’s simple success plan starts with easy edibles, and then adds soothing herbs and fast-growing summer flowers that support beneficial insects. She will spotlight her favorite plants for Virginia gardens, and offer dozens of tips for keeping your garden going from spring to fall.

Dr. Sara Via is a Professor and Climate Extension Specialist, University of Maryland.  Dr. Via moved to the University of Maryland as Professor of Biology in 1997 after holding faculty positions at the University of Iowa and Cornell University. Since 2014, she has been teaching Marylanders about climate change impacts and solutions through the University of Maryland Extension.

Climate change is our new reality. Spring now comes earlier, impacting plants and the species with which they interact. Warmer winters have increased the overwintering survival of many herbivores, weeds and diseases and have also led to range expansion in key insect pests. Night temperatures are increasing faster than daytime ones, affecting chill hours and many aspects of plant growth. These diverse effects of climate change have significant impacts on gardens and home landscapes. Learning some strategies for adapting to climate change and adopting climate-friendly gardening strategies will both improve gardening success and act to reduce future climate change.

 Nancy Lawson is the author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife. A columnist for All Animals magazine, she founded Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to animal-friendly landscaping methods. Her book and garden have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, O: The Oprah Magazine, and other media outlets.

In her talk, The Humane Garden: Cultivating Compassion For All Creatures, Nancy will discuss why we call some insects “beneficial” while others are “pests”. Why some plants are considered “desirable” while others are “weeds.” In this myth-busting talk, learn how common growing methods divide the natural world into false dichotomies and perpetuate misperceptions about the wild species living among us.

Registration now Closed as we are sold out.

Registration fees are non-refundable.


$70   Includes your lunch selection (vegetarian option available)Map Location for Annual Symposium
$60   Bring your own lunch


Ida Lee Rec Center 60 Ida Lee Drive
NW Social Hall (to the left and downstairs of the main entrance)
Leesburg, VA 20176

Get Directions


8:15 – 9:00       Check-in, Vendors & Light Refreshments

9:00                  Welcome & Announcements

9:15  – 10:30     Larry Weaner

10:45 – 12:00    Barbara Pleasant

12:00 – 1:00      Lunch, Vendors

1:00                   Door Prize Drawings

1:15 – 2:30         Sara Via

2:45 – 4:00        Nancy Lawson


*  Schedule will be posted throughout symposium area.