Expert Gardeners Share Their Knowledge at Upcoming Symposium

One of the great things about gardening is that there is always something new to learn.  I just received a reprint of a 1919 book, Gardens, Their Form and Design by Viscountess Frances Garnet Wolseley.  It promises “suggestions for the perfection of gardens through careful planning of the lie of the ground and of restful lines.”  Though many books on gardening offer similar information, I enjoy reading about historic gardening, with the flowery language of the time and philosophical and spiritual connections to gardening woven among practical statements.  Wolseley states, “A garden is, amongst many delights, the clear mirror of soul and character, for each owner is here reflected in his true colours”.

Kerry Mendez, the 'Passionate Perennialist'

Kerry Mendez, the ‘Passionate Perennialist’

After a winter of reading gardening books, browsing through seed catalogs, and dreaming of milder days and dirty fingernails, Fort Ticonderoga offers the perfect opportunity to spend the day with passionate gardeners who will share what they know and love about gardening.  Our Third Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium takes place on Saturday, April 12, 2014, in the Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center.  Well-known Saratogian, Kerry Mendez, will be featured for her talk “Seasonal Garden Care for Gorgeous ‘Well Behaved’ Gardens”. (Kerry is relocating to Maine, so we are pleased she’ll be back in the North Country this spring.)  This presentation emphasizes time-saving secrets for routine tasks.  Everyone surely could benefit from having some extra time on their hands!

In addition, Dr. Leonard Perry of UVM is back, this time enhancing our knowledge of spring-flowering bulbs through selection, design and care.  We welcome landscape architect, educator, and organic farmer Jane Sorenson who will inspire us to attract pollinators to our gardens through careful plant selection.  Rounding out the roster is Dave Rutkowski, a retired science teacher and accomplished cold-climate vegetable gardener, sharing his secrets to a bountiful harvest using time-tested methods.

Cheery daffodils signal spring has arrived at the King's Garden!

Cheery daffodils signal spring has arrived at the King’s Garden!

The schedule has been updated to include plenty of time to savor a homemade lunch and visit the King’s Garden for an early spring look at the bones of the garden.  Perhaps the daffodils leftover from bygone times will be waiting there in colorful bloom.  Following the formal presentations, a panel discussion offers the opportunity to ask your burning garden questions to our speakers or share your experiences with the group.  Between the sessions, books by Ms. Mendez and Dr. Perry will be available for purchase and signing, along with the Fort’s own history of the King’s Garden, Pavilion, and surrounding landscape, A Favorite Place of Resort for Strangers: The King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga.

It won’t be long before the snow flies and our gardens are still with the silence of winter.  Looking forward to spring – and the Garden & Landscape symposium –  is one way to help beat the winter blues.  Mark your calendars now and plan to join us!

Happy gardening,

Heidi teRiele Karkoski
Director of Horticulture

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