Free Monthly Gardening Lectures

Please join us on the first Thursday of every month (except December) for our free lectures featuring topics of interest to gardeners and naturalists.

Lectures are held at 7 PM at the Rust Library, Old Waterford Rd, Leesburg, which is accessible from the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center parking lot, unless noted otherwise.

June 1, 2017  – “Inviting Winged Wonders into the Garden” by Amanda Rose Newton

Entomologist, farmer and fervent bug lover, Amanda Rose Newton will share her proven strategies for attracting native butterflies and other beneficial insects into the garden. Whether you live in an apartment, a town house or on a farm, she’s got suggestions for attracting these winged wonders with the appropriate larval host and nectar plants!  


July 6, 2017 –  “Creating a Year-Round Landscape filled with Color ” by Linda Hostetler

Landscape designer and artist Linda Hostetler’s magical one-acre garden in The Plains, Va. has been featured in numerous publications including Southern Living and Virginia Gardener and she’ll share some of the secrets of its creation. Linda Hostetler is a self-described “unrepentant plant junkie” but her landscape is no hodgepodge of plants: she brings an artist’s eye to placement, and a stroll through her garden is a 3-D lesson in landscape design with an added dash of whimsy.


August 3, 2017  – “A Video Presentation of the Gardens of Belle Grove Plantation” 

Presentation by Lynn Hoffman, Extension Master Gardener and plantation volunteer. Bell Grove Plantation is an 18th century plantation house and estate in the northern Shenandoah Valley with beautiful grounds and gardens supported by the Garden Club of Virginia. There are historical herb, culinary and medicinal gardens growing plants that were likely used 200 years ago, and an active program to replant trees that would have been there when the house was built in the 1700s. Additionally, Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners have maintained a teaching garden there since 2001, where Lynn Hoffman has taught numerous classes.


September 7, 2017 – “Introduction to Sustainable Landscaping

Presentation by Nan McCarry, a facilitator with Landscape for Life to teach you how to “harness nature’s power to create a healthy, beautiful home landscape. Landscape For Life shows you how to work with nature in your garden, no matter where you live, whether you garden on a city or suburban lot, a 20–acre farm, or the common area of your condominium. Conventional gardens often work against nature. They can damage the environment’s ability to clean air and water, reduce flooding, combat climate change, and provide all the other natural benefits that support life on earth-including us. The good news is that even one home garden can begin to repair the web of life. It’s possible to create a great–looking garden that’s healthier for you, your family, your pets, and the environment-and that saves you time and money.”


October 5, 2017 – “Restoring Streams and Stream Valleys: Finding Balance in Altered Landscapes”

Presentation by Charles Smith, naturalist, ecologist and branch chief of Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Preserving and protecting water quality in the face of urban and rural development is a priority for natural resource managers, but despite sound engineering principles, sometimes these projects are detrimental to the ecosystem.  Charles Smith will talk about balancing stream and stream valley restoration with sound natural resource management by applying principles of landscape ecology, enabling the system to help itself.


November 2, 2017“Big Dreams, Small Garden”

Presentation by Marianne Willburn, Loudoun County author and award-winning garden columnist Marianne Willburn will talk about her new book “Big Dreams, Small Garden  – A Guide to Creating Something Extraordinary in your Ordinary Space.”   Marianne Willburn offers an informative and often lighthearted plan for creating an ideal garden in less than ideal circumstances.