Garden Symposium: Layers of Living Landscape

Garden_Symposium1It’s springtime in Williamsburg and all of nature is helping us spreading the word. What better time and place to attend a garden symposium?

And we’ve got one — Layers of Living Landscape, which will be held April 10-12.

Whether you know it or not, your garden has layers.

“Just think of gardens as rooms and the plants as furniture. There needs to be cohesiveness between the groundcover, or floor, up to the trees, the ceiling. This definitely includes wildlife and insects,” said Laura Viancour, Colonial Williamsburg’s manager of landscape services.

“The transition from one layer to another is so critical for all organisms,” she added. “Each layer of landscaping provides the environment that these organisms depend upon for survival. Every component of nature is critical for a healthy garden.”


Tickets are still available for the Layers of Living Landscape Symposium to be held April 10-12.

Space is limited. You can register here.

The symposium format has changed somewhat from previous years. This year, there will be indoor lectures all day with optional programs before and after the symposium weekend. This gives participants more opportunities to experience a variety of events.

Filled with great tips and advice

The symposium offers great tips and advice for everything from the top plants for the different landscape layers to the best practices for maintaining trees and herbaceous plants.Garden_Symposium2

Some of that advice will be come from presentations by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy, authors of “The Living Landscape.” They will share their experience on creating a layered landscape with plants and increasing a property’s biodiversity.

An optional program called “Floral Arranging Workshop” will give a rare behind-the-scenes view of the design studio where Colonial Williamsburg’s famous Christmas decorations are made.

Garden_Symposium3Even the Taste Studio joins the fun with their “Layers of Flavor” program, with vegetable-inspired cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Rhys Lewis.

Participants can also walk the gardens throughout Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area for inspiration. From royal gardens to backyard gardens “of the middlin’ sort,” Williamsburg has them all. Multitudes of tulips, daffodils and even little purple Johnny Jump-Ups can be seen in many of the open-access backyards. And 18th-century gardening interpreters will be available at the Colonial Nursery on Duke of Gloucester Street to answer questions.

All that information may make you feel a little overwhelmed, but Viancour has some good advice: “You don’t have to put in a whole new garden. Just making a few changes can make a big difference.”

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