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Today's Horticulture Symposium

Today's Horticulture Symposium

Dates & Price

Friday, February 5, 2016, 8:00 am–4:00 pm

This daylong symposium is hosted by the Professional Gardener Alumni Association of Longwood Gardens.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The event is sponsored by Longwood Gardens, Chanticleer Foundation, Mt. Cuba Center, and The Professional Gardener Alumni Association. It boasts a diverse lineup of speakers and features a plant sale with an eclectic offering of plants, books and tools. Symposium registrants will also gain access to the Gardens and will be treated to a warm buffet lunch.

All proceeds benefit educational programs sponsored by the Professional Gardener Alumni Association Program of Longwood Gardens.

View the symposium brochure for more about the speakers and to register by mail.


8:00 am

8:00 am–4:45 pm
Plant Sale

Featuring an eclectic offering of plants, seeds, tools, and other items. Proceeds from the sale benefit educational travel and other activities of the Professional Gardener Program of Longwood Gardens.

8:50 am
Nicole Blevins, Symposium Chair

9:00 am
Sexy Plants You Thought You Couldn’t Grow, But You Really Can
Sean Hogan

Sean is an international plant explorer, co-owner and founder of the renowned Cistus Nursery, and a storied advocate for the rare and unknown. Today, Sean will uncover the spoils of his travels and divulge some tips for incorporating them into the landscape.

9:45 am
The Natural History of Spring Wildflowers: A Closer Look
Carol Gracie

The wildflowers in our eastern deciduous woodlands have adapted to their environment over millennia. They are more than just a delight for the eye. Each plays a role in the environment. Learn about the fascinating life histories of spring wildflowers as we examine them in depth.

10:30 am

11:00 am
Planting for Native Pollinators and Beneficial Insects
Kelly Gill

Beneficial insects provide essential services to the ecosystem, including pollination and biological control of insect pests. However, due to habitat loss and widespread pesticide use, these garden beneficials are in decline. Join Kelly as she discusses how to conserve and protect our insect allies.

Please select either Track 1 or Track 2

Track 1
11:45 am–12:45 pm
Living Willow Structures in the Landscape
Bonnie Gale

Living willow structures provide shady play structures, places for sitting and contemplation, as well as powerful garden elements and accents. Join willow artist Bonnie Gale as she shares how these living structures can be included in everyday horticultural landscape design.

Track 1
12:45–1:45 pm
Lunch, Terrace Restaurant

Track 2
11:45 am–1:00 pm
Lunch, Terrace Restaurant

Track 2
1:00–1:45 pm
Herbination: Overwintering Corms, Rhizomes, and Other Geophytes
Matt Taylor, Ph.D.

Learn how to overwinter some of your favorite non-winter hardy geophytes. Canna rhizomes, Colocasia corms, Dahlia tuberous roots and other plants will be covered. Details on propagation, harvest, winter storage and growing techniques will also be presented along with some current research on Dahlias.

1:55 pm
Let It Flow
Allan Summers

How does one create a garden that expresses a personal vision and imbues a unique sense of place? Illustrating how a project evolves from initial concepts to development of the final design, Allan will explore the process whereby inspiration is transformed into a garden.

2:40 pm

3:05 pm
The Return of the American Chestnut
William A. Powell, Ph.D.

Our forests, and trees in general, are under attack by many exotic pests and pathogens. These new environmental plagues in many ways mirror what happened to the American chestnut tree in the past. This session focuses on the successful development of blight resistant American chestnut trees and their restoration.

4:00 pm
Closing Remarks