By Anne Butler
|The floral design workshop on Friday morning will take place on the picturesque grounds of Afton Villa Gardens. (Photo credit: Dr. Neil Odenwald)|
The annual Southern Garden Symposium in St. Francisville celebrates that great gardening tradition and fosters its continuation by convening horticulture enthusiasts for a weekend of demonstrations, lectures and tours through the area’s glorious antebellum gardens. This year’s 24th annual event, which planners promise will be one of the most informative and entertaining ever in its combination of prestigious speakers, historic surroundings and engaging social events, takes place Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13. Proceeds fund such projects as scholarships to LSU’s School of Landscape Architecture and garden enhancements at state historic sites.
|The Speakers' Gala is an elegant highlight to the Symposium weekend.(Photo credit: Tracey Banowetz)|
On Saturday Southern Garden Symposium programs at Hemingbough, feature lectures on “Time-Tested Treasures for Sophisticated Southern Spaces” by Heidi Sheesley, owner of wholesaler Treesearch Farms; “Martha Turnbull’s Rosedown Diaries” by Suzanne Turner, landscape architect and author who edited the diaries; “Integrating Art and Science in Landscape Design” by award-winning landscape architect Jeffrey Carbo; and “Welcome Home George Washington” by J. Dean Norton, historic Mount Vernon’s Director of Horticulture. Participants will be welcomed by Master of Proceedings Dr. Neil Odenwald, and social gatherings are the Friday evening Speakers’ Gala at Rosebank Plantation and the Saturday afternoon tea at Evergreenzine. For registration information, see www.southerngardensymposium.org.
|Guests enjoy a workshop at Rosedown Plantation. (Photo credit: Tracey Banowetz)|
|Wyoming Plantation will be the site for a workshop on caring for trees in the landscape. |
(Photo credit: Tracey Banowetz)
St. Francisville is a year-round tourist destination featuring a number of splendidly restored plantation homes open for tours daily: The Cottage Plantation, Butler Greenwood Plantation, The Myrtles Plantation, Greenwood Plantation, plus Catalpa Plantation by reservation. Afton Villa Gardens and Imahara’s Botanical Gardens are open seasonally. Particularly important to tourism in the area are its two significant state historic sites, Rosedown Plantation and Oakley Plantation in the Audubon state site, offering periodic fascinating living-history demonstrations so visitors can experience 19th-century plantation life and customs.
|Shoppers browse the plant offerings on Saturday morning.(Photo credit: Tracey Banowetz)|
For visitor information, call St. Francisville Main Street at 225-635-3873 or West Feliciana Tourist Commission at 225-635-4224; online visit www.stfrancisville.us or www.stfrancisvillefestivals.com (the events calendar gives dates and information on special activities, including St. Francisville Main Street’s fun functions for children around Halloween in the National Register-listed downtown historic district).