Friday, March 24, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
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$90 per person Regular Registration 

$80 per person Early Registration (prior to January 3)  

$100 per person Late Registration (after March 1) 


8:00-8:30 Check-in; light refreshments

8:30-12:30 Morning Sessions

12:30-1:30 Catered Lunch

1:30-4:00 Afternoon Sessions



Best Western Inn & Conference Center 
109 Apple Tree Lane
Waynesboro, VA 22980

Driving Directions

Need to spend the night? A block of rooms have been reserved for Thursday, March 23, 2017. Make your reservations prior to March 2, 2017 and mention Garden Symposium to receive a discounted rate of $89.99 for your room. 

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors



Bronze Sponsors

Williams Brother Tree & Lawn Service

Bartlett Tree Experts

Country Gardens

Fly Home Birdhouses


Stephanie Seltzer 
Waynesboro Parks & Recreation 

Presented by Waynesboro Parks and Recreation

Join us as we present A Gardener's Palette. We'll dip your brush in a variety of topics: permaculture, food, art, natives, and new selections. The event offers something for everyone from novice home gardener to experienced horticulturist. In the end, we'll have a canvas filled with colors and perspectives to consider and put in practice. 

Proceeds from the event support our horticulture department's Bloom Program. 


Featuring nationally renowned speakers...

Douglas W Tallamy  Professor University of Delaware

A Chickadee's Guide to Gardening

In the past, we have designed our landscapes strictly for our own pleasure, with no thought to how they might impact the natural world around us. Although aesthetically pleasing, not all selections contribute to the ecosystem in the same way. Using chickadees and other wildlife as guides, Tallamy will show how plants which evolved in concert with local animals provide for their needs better than plants evolving elsewhere. In the process, he shows how sharing our landscapes with other living things will not reduce our pleasurable garden experiences, but enhance them. 

Will Hooker  Professor Emeritus North Carolina State University

Ephemeral Bamboo Sculpture: Building Community and Art in the Garden

Will Hooker is recognized as an accomplished sculptor, building mostly ephemeral bamboo structures with students and community groups in NC, SC, and Australia. Will started building the bamboo sculptures to entertain his then infant daughter. When he saw the impact of the sculptures, he decided to use it as a method to teach his design/build students in the Department of Horticulture at NC State University the steps in the construction process. As it turned out, these projects also revealed themselves as a wonderful way to create a solid bonding in any community. 

Permaculture: A Sustainable Living Methodology

Seeking a stronger message to teach ecologically based design in the Department of Horticulture at NC State University, Will discovered permaculture, the design method where ecologies are consciously created which will provide food, water, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs. During a sabbatical study leave, Will and his family visited and worked in over 100 permaculture settings in eleven nations. When they returned they began converting their home landscape into an urban permaculture model which is now internationally recognized. Will's talk will describe what his family created at their Raleigh, NC home. 

Ellen Ecker Ogden  Author of The Complete Kitchen Garden

The Art of Growing Food: Creative Garden Design for Cooks

Take the mystery out of growing an edible garden, and learn how to simplify the design process and organize for beauty and productivity. As an artist, cook, and gardener, Ellen shares the true meaning of a kitchen garden, and how it opens the senses- both in the garden and in the kitchen- with her six steps to success. 

Vincent Simeone  Director of Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

New and Exciting Trees and Shrubs for the Forward Thinking Gardener

Each year hundreds of new species, varieties, and cultivars of plants are introduced into commerce. These choice plants offer superior flowers, foliage, fruit, vigor, and cultural adaptability. This lecture will focus on the newest and most promising selections of trees and shrubs for the gardeners with a true appreciation for the best and brightest plants available. 


Speaker bios...

Douglas W Tallamy

Doug is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 84 research publications and has taught Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans and Nature, Insect Ecology, and other courses for 34 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens was published by Timber Press in 2007 and was awarded the 2008 Silver Medal by the Garden Writers' Association. The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence.

Will Hooker

Will was raised near Lake Ontario in NY, obtained an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from SUNY College of Forestry at Syracuse University in 1967, and a master's degree from NC State University in 1979.  In the years between the two degrees, he practiced in professional offices in Raleigh, NC, Durham, NC, and San Francisco, California, obtaining his LA License in NC in 1975.  Will is currently an Emeritus Professor, retired from the NC State Horticulture Department where he taught small-scale garden design for 34 years in a nationally renowned program which he built and oversaw starting in 1979.  He was recognized for his excellence in teaching by being inducted into the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State, has been involved in award-winning landscape designs in private practice outside the university, and is also recognized as an accomplished sculptor. In 1995, pursing his interest in ecologically based, sustainable development, Will became certified as a Permaculture designer, and has since achieved recognition for his work in sustainable practices from NC State University, the City of Raleigh, and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Will’s mission and contribution to permaculture design is to bring beauty as well as productiveness to each space and place with which he works.   

Ellen Ecker Ogden

Ellen is the co-founder of The Cook's Garden seed catalog and author of numerous books including The Complete Kitchen Garden. Her articles and designs have appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Horticulture, and Eating Well magazines as well as the New York Times and The Boston Globe. She has been a guest on PBS's Victory Garden and the Baroness of Basil on HGTV. As an award-winning food and garden writer, Ellen is known for her informative and fun-loving garden talks and design workshops. Her designs combine artistic elements with classic garden design techniques which elevate a backyard vegetable garden into a European-inspired kitchen garden. 

Vincent Simeone

Vincent has worked in the horticultural field for over 27 years. He received an AAS degree in ornamental horticulture from SUNY Farmingdale and a BS in ornamental horticulture from the University of Georgia. While at Georgia, he studied under well-known professors Dr. Michael Dirr and Dr. Allan Armitage. Vincent also obtained a Master of Public Administration from C. W. Post- Long Island University. For the past 23 years Vincent has worked in public horticulture at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in New York where he is presently Director. Vincent is an experienced lecturer, instructor- teaching classes at New York Botanical Garden- and horticultural consultant. He has for the past 15 years, helped Allan Armitage lead garden tours around the world. He has also authored numerous books including Grow More With Less: Sustainable Garden Methods



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