Gardening Symposium

Save the Date

CNU's 24th Annual Gardening Symposium
Saturday, April 22, 2023
Freeman Center

Posted below is information from the 23rd Annual Gardening Symposium for reference of what could be going on next year! 

Early Registration $30
Through February 28, 2022
Regular Registration $35
Beginning March 1,2022
Buffet Lunch (optional) $18
Includes assorted deli meats, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, bread, potato salad, fresh fruit salad, potato chips, homemade cookies and brownies, bottled water and soft drinks


All events to be held in the Freeman Center

Time Event
7:45-8:45 a.m. Registration, coffee, continental breakfast
8:45-9 a.m. Welcome and announcements
9-10 a.m. Workshop: Peter Hatch on Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden

Thomas Jefferson wrote: "The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture," and Monticello's 1,000-foot-long, terraced vegetable garden became an experimental laboratory, an Ellis Island of new and unusual vegetable novelties from around the globe. While growing over 330 vegetable and 170 fruit varieties. Jefferson was also a pioneer in supporting farmer's markets and promoting vegetable cookery. This revolutionary garden resulted in a revolutionary cuisine in the kitchen at Monticello. Restored in 1984, the garden and the Jefferson legacy continue to inspire the farm-to-table movement today.

Peter Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 40 years of experience in the restoration, care and interpretation of historic landscapes. A celebrated author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where he served as director of gardens and grounds for 35 years, Hatch has lectured in 38 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants.
10:15-11:15 a.m. Workshop: Brent Heath on Chesapeake Bay Friendly Gardening

Brent Heath will show you how to combine bulbs with perennials, annuals, biennials, flowering trees and shrubs to create the perfect color combination which blooms at the same time, or to create a sequential garden that will keep on blooming for many months. Gain knowledge and inspiration to try new plants to create new garden vignettes featuring new combinations. Heath will show you how to create these gardens in a labor-efficient, earth-friendly way without the use of chemicals.

Heath, co-owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester, Virginia, has been awarded gold medals from many organizations in the horticultural industry. He is a daffodil hybridizer as well as a naturalist. He helps other gardeners understand that gardening in an earth-friendly way benefits the bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators as well as the plants in the garden, while preserving the earth for future generations.
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Workshop: Brie Arthur on A New Era of Foodscaping

Join best-selling author and horticulturist Brie Arthur for a brand new presentation combining expert gardening advice from both of her books. With so many new people interested in gardening it is time to address all the benefits that growing beauty and bounty offer. From proper planning, plant selection and creative combinations to attract pollinators, to soil prep, fertilizer and long-term management strategies, this program will offer a fresh take and practical gardening advice no matter your skill level. Be inspired to plant a foodscape like never before!

Known for her leadership with the national foodscape movement and her lively, information packed presentations, Arthur is a celebrated speaker and bestselling author. With more than two decades of experience as a professional horticulturist, propagator and communicator she shares her expertise with audiences around the country and is a correspondent on the Emmy award-winning PBS show “Growing a Greener World.” Follow her gardening journey through her YouTube channel, Brie the Plant Lady.
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch, book sales and signing
12:30-5 p.m. Plant sales, vendors, farmer's market, book sales and signing
1:30-2:30 p.m. Workshop: Nicky and David Schauder on Introduction to Permaculture: 10 Crucial Steps for Growing Abundantly in Small Spaces

Learn to visualize your garden in 10 dimensions with a design system called permaculture. It is an efficient and integrative system that observes and works with the natural environment, not against it. You will be introduced to new ideas and expand on old ones, both of which will increase the yield in your garden, while avoiding the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and similar products.

Nicky and David Schauder are passionate about helping suburban families grow their own food. Together, they run Permaculture Gardens, a website dedicated to helping you grow abundantly. In 2017, Permaculture Gardens won the grand prize at the Green Festivals in Washington, D.C. for Most Innovative Sustainable Brand. Their work has been featured on, Permaculture Research Institute – Australia and
2:45-3:45 p.m. Workshop: Mary Kirk Cunningham on Harvest to Home

“Harvest to Home” is a method for increasing your garden productively while making it a magical place filled with natural surprises. Learn about sustainable practices in both public and private settings that promote healthy lifestyles and have no boundaries with regard to age, abilities, experiences or backgrounds. Cunningham will focus on showing you how to live in harmony with nature as you produce crops, relax in a symphony of sensory plants and enjoy the restorative nature of gardens. Take home a bounty of heirloom seeds and ideas to excite the interests of children, grandchildren, students and spouses.

Cunningham has an MA in early childhood education, a background in environmental education and has taught school for 18 years. She founded and coordinates the garden lab at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia, where she was the 2016-17 teacher of the year. She is passionate about introducing people to gardening and using school gardens to teach across curricula. She has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian, most notably in the development of their Seeds of Change curriculum.
3:45-5 p.m. Visit the vendors
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