13th Annual Gardening Symposium

Save the Date: October 14, 2023

Join us on Saturday, October 14, 2023 for a full day Gardening Symposium. Expert speakers will provide inspiration, ideas, and information on garden basics that will appeal to all gardeners.

Mark your calendar now, and check back for updates on speakers and registration information.

Last Year’s (2022) Speakers 

Marianne Willburn, Gardening columnist, speaker, and author
Keep Calm and Garden On: Gardening in the Midst of Climate Change
Marianne will discuss how we can best adapt to what is, right now, and make our gardens more resilient throughout the seasons. She will focus on key points we should consider when we design our gardens, and provides positive, productive measures for our soils, wildlife, and plants to help ease our concerns over the unknown. Marianne is the author of Tropical Plants and How to Love Them, and Big Dreams, Small Garden.

Ian Caton, Landscape Designer, speaker, and owner of Wood Thrush Native Plant Nursery in Floyd, VA
Super Tough Wildflowers
Ian will discuss how to garden in a way that works with difficult soils, harsh climates and other pests. This lecture is designed as an introduction to wildflowers that have proven, through experience, to be particularly reliable and tough under the most adverse conditions: drought, flooding, extreme heat, hard-pan soils, deer, and invasive species. Ian has a BS in Horticulture and Environmental Design. He worked for  Larry Weaner Landscape Associates designing and installing native landscapes.

Elyse Jurgen, owner of Waxwing EcoWorks Co., Ecological Landscape Designer, and educator
Green Mulch: Using Native Plants as Groundcovers
Elyse will discuss the role of green mulch and planning your native mulch plantings to provide the best results and the appearance that you require. Elyse has spent over 15 years on very hands-on, community-based projects to promote ecologically sound practices and educate K-12 through home owners on best practices to support wildlife conservation goals. Elyse is a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional.

Chris Riley, PhD, Research Scientist with Bartlett Tree Experts
Things Your Tree Wish You Knew
Chris will discuss practical guidelines for tree care that he has gleaned from his time working at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and supporting Bartlett Arborists in the field. He will cover several aspects of tree care ranging from soil care to pest management. Chris views plant health care through an ecological lens and strives to deliver evidence-based recommendations that are rooted in an understanding of the complex relationships between trees and their environment. Chris has a BS in Environmental Science & Policy from the University of Maryland and a PhD in Entomology from The Ohio State University.