Friday March 18, 2016 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
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$90 per person February 6th to March 4th

$80 Early Bird Rate December thru February 5th

$100 Late Rate After March 4th

Online registration closes March 11th.


8:00-8:30     Registration, coffee and refreshments

 8:30-12:30   Morning Session

12:30-1:30   Catered Lunch

1:30-4:00      Afternoon Session 


Best Western Plus Conference Center 
109 Apple Tree Lane
Wayensboro, VA 22980

Driving Directions 

Need to spend the night? A block of rooms have been reserved for Thursday, March 17, 2016. Make your reservations prior to February, 16th and mention Garden Symposium to receive a discounted rate of $89.99 for your room. 



Waynesboro Parks & Recreation 

Join Waynesboro Parks and Recreation for the 2016 Shenandoah Plant Symposium. It's a great way to get a jump on Spring and draw some inspiration for the planting season ahead. Renowned speakers will discuss  all things 'Garden' and offer up a little something for everyone from the novice home gardener to the experienced horticulturist. The proceeds will supplement the horticulture program's budget to provide more bloom for the community. 

Robert E Lyons, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus University of Delaware

Dr. Lyons will be presenting two topics:

When Gardens Don't Heal

Although widely believed to be true in anecdotal sense, there is also an abundance of research espousing the curative value of gardens and other green spaces. However, what happens when gardens are integral to the source of disappointment, stress, or even personal tragedy? Can we expect their reputed healing powers to live up to our own expectations for overcoming personal grief? This talk will highlight one man's journey following personal loss and the serendipitous role of gardens in the recovery process. When seemingly disconnected from any healing, gardens can be profoundly influential following reconciliation with one's new reality, and in fact, their impact can be a celebration. Eventually there is a welcome realization; restoration is not just limited to one's gardens, but to one's soul, as well. 

The Color of the Native Plant Palette

Color, site suitability, cost, and lifecycle have frequently dominated most anyone's decision process, and now species nativity has experienced a heightened value in making one's selection. A wide array of suitable native species and derived cultivars will be discussed, highlighting those plants with qualities frequently considered colorful and visually appealing by landscapers and gardeners alike. Attention will also be given to highlighting and discussing aggressive natives and the sensible inclusion of non-native, non-invasive plants which contribute to successful landscape performance, visual interest, and function within a low maintenance philosophy. Making smart plant decisions with an open mind will be stressed throughout. 

Richard Hawke Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Evaluation Manager

When Pretty Isn't Enough: Comparative Trials at Chicago Botanic Garden

Hundreds of new perennials are introduced each year. Whether gardeners are excited or disappointed by these plants depends in part on a rigorous evaluation to determine their cultural adaptability, disease and pest resistance, and winter hardiness. Richard Hawke will discuss the importance of comparative trials and highlight trials of false blue indigos (Baptisia), clematis (Clematis), coneflowers (Echinacea), cranesbills (Geranium), and meadow rues (Thallictrum).

Debbie Roos NC Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent

Create a Pollinator Paradise!

An overview of regional pollinators with an emphasis on bees will be given. Participants will learn the principles of designing and planting a pollinator garden and how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, and vines to attract a diversity of pollinators. Debbie will give a virtual tour of her popular demonstration pollinator garden in Pittsboro that features over 175 unique species, 85% of them native to the NC piedmont. She will also share resources she has developed for farmers and gardeners interested in enhancing pollinator habitat that can be found on her website at www.carolinapollinatorgarden.org

Rick Crowder President/General Manager Hawksridge Farms

What's New? (For Now)

Extensive travel- British Columbia, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, China, South Africa, numerous visits to nurseries, arboreta, and gardens, and plant collection is what goes into the quest for something new. It is the start of development and introduction of new plant cultivars to the trade. Participants will see some of what's new and hear about how much the industry has changed in the last several years in terms of this new trend.

Dr. Robert Lyons is the former Director of the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture and currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware. He received a BA in Biology from Rutgers University and a MS and Ph.D. in Horticultural Science from the University of Minnesota. Previous positions include the J.C. Raulston Distinguished Faculty Chair and Directorship of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum at N. C. State University, and Professor of Horticulture and Co-Founder/Director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech. He is a Fellow in the American Society for Horticultural Science and has received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota and the Award of Merit from the American Public Gardens Association. Dr. Lyons has taught herbaceous plant materials for over 30 years and has been a photographer for over 35 years, publishing widely in homeowner, commercial, and educational publications and is a primary photographer for Horticopia plant selection software. He has exhibited his work nationally and received awards from the Garden Writers Association of America, and he has taught photography workshops nationally.

Richard Hawke has been the Plant Evaluation Manager at the Chicago Botanic Garden since 1986, and is responsible for the comparative evaluation of over 1,100 taxa of herbaceous perennials and woody plants. The Plant Evaluation Program is one of the largest and most diverse in the nation and received the Award for Program Excellence from the American Public Garden Association in 2008. Richard has a horticulture degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Plant Evaluation Notes, a Chicago Botanic Garden publication reporting the results of evaluation trials. He is an instructor for the School of the Chicago Botanic Garden and in 2005, received the Perennial Plant Association's Academic Award for teaching excellence. He is also an author and contibuting editor for Fine Gardening and writes for other horticulture publications such as Perennial Plants, The American Gardener, Chicagoland Gardening, and Nursery Management

Debbie Roos has been an Agriculture Agent for the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension since 1999 where she is responsible for programming in the areas of commercial vegetable production, organic production, pollinator conservation, alternative agricultural enterprises, forestry, and beekeeping. Debbie worked for three years as an agroforestry extension agent and technical trainer for the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, and later completed graduate degrees in applied anthropology and horticulture at the University of Florida. Debbie delivers educational programming to growers through regular workshops and her award-winning Growing Small Farms website (www.growingsmallfarms.org). She also works with area farmers’ markets and is involved in statewide efforts to strengthen local food systems. Debbie is passionate about pollinator conservation and has planted demonstration habitats and developed resources to teach others about the importance of bees and other pollinators to our agriculture ecosystem. 

Rick Crowder began his career in the nursery business after finishing high school in 1972.  He received his Associates Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Catawba Valley Community College.  He began working at Hawksridge Farms in 1982.  Rick helped with the nursery setup and daily operations and became General Manager and President of the company in 1985. Rick has served on the Board of Director’s of North Carolina Association of Nurserymen from 1995 – 1999, serving as President in 1998. He served on the Board of Advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum for 6 years, and formerly served on the Board of Advisor’s for NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC.  Rick also served on North Carolina’s Green Industry Council.   He has been active in the International Plant Propagator’s Society since 1990, and was President of the Southern Region in 2010.  In 2013, Rick was the recipient of the Don Shadow Award for the Southern Plant Conference.  In 2003 Rick’s commitment and service was recognized with NCAN’s Copeland Award for Lifetime Achievement, which is the highest honor given to nurserymen in North Carolina. Rick was honored with the Sydney B. Meadows Award in 2014 which is the highest award given by the IPPS Southern Region. 

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