Annual Gardening Symposium

Saturday,  March 18, 2017 –  LIMITED SEATING REMAINS!

Loudoun County Master Gardeners present the 8th 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.

Online Registration Closed – Walk-in Registration Only for $60 tickets, bring your own lunch.

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       Joe Murray – Trees and Turf: An Antagonistic Relationship

10:45 – 12:00     Greg Evanylo – Properties and Remediation Practices for Disturbed Urban Soils

12:00 – 1:00        Lunch, Vendors

1:00                     Door Prize Drawings

1:15 – 2:30          Peggy Cornett – ‘Roots, Fruits, & Leaves’—Thomas Jefferson’s Continued Harvest at Monticello 

2:45 – 4:00        Thomas Rainer – Planting in a Post Modern World

4:00                    Closing comments



Joe Murray:  ISA certified arborist, educator, and trainer for the International Society of Arboriculture.

Joe Murray, a former college biology professor, is a trainer for the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ISA and an independent consulting arborist. When Joe is not busy managing his farm’s soil health, he morphs into an educator, traveling around the US teaching and learning about trees and people. Trees and turf are expected to grow together in today’s urban landscape, but in nature the two don’t share the same spaces, either above or below ground. In his talk Trees and Turf: An Antagonistic Relationship, Joe discusses the relationship that impedes the vigor of both trees and grass. Homeowners will learn how to sustain trees and turf in the home landscape. Joe Murray’s website:

evanyloGregory K. Evanylo:  Professor of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Evanylo’s areas of expertise are waste by-product management (including composting) and use for the improvement of soil and crop production and protection of air, water and soil. He is a member of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, the U.S. Composting Council, and the Water Environment Federation. Due to suburban construction practices, soil is often constrained by compaction, poor drainage, low nutrition and high salts and pollutants. His presentation, Properties and Remediation Practices for Disturbed Urban Soils, will explain the causes of such soil limitations, how to assess your soil, and remediate it to improve its health for a better lawn and garden.

Prof. Evanylo’s publications:


Peggy Cornett:  Curator of plants at Monticello.

Ms. Cornett has focused on researching and restoring Thomas Jefferson’s gardens for over 30 years. She writes for gardening magazines and professional journals. She has also lectured on a variety of garden history topics throughout the United States, and at the American Museum in Bath, England, and the Bermuda Rose Society in Hamilton. Her presentation, ‘Roots, Fruits, & Leaves’—Thomas Jefferson’s Continued Harvest at Monticello Historic Gardens, features the many heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties that have been collected, propagated, and maintained in the gardens at Monticello.

Monticello website is


Thomas Rainer: Landscape architect, teacher, and author.

Mr. Rainer has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden. He works in Washington, D.C., as a principal for the landscape architectural firm Rhodeside & Harwell, and blogs at the award-winning site Grounded Design. In his talk, Planting in a Post Modern World, you will learn how to marry ecology with horticulture and create smarter gardens. The talk will explore strategies inspired by wild plant communities that result in more robust, diverse, and resilient plantings for our own yards that allow us to create gardens that are more satisfying, more resilient, and less work.  Thomas Rainer’s blog:



*  Schedule will be posted throughout symposium area.