Saturday, December 9, 2023

Annual Garden Symposium Explores History, Horticulture and Archaeology

(Gary Summers SMD Photography)

WILLIAMSBURG — Registration is open for The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s 76th annual Garden Symposium, “Digging the Garden: Horticulture, History & Archaeology.”

The event will be held April 27-30 and will be offered both in-person and online, featuring presentations by horticulturists, historians, archaeologists and designers.

“Only Colonial Williamsburg could curate a garden symposium as unique and multifaceted as this year’s event promises to be,” said Tom Savage, director of educational travel and conferences for Colonial Williamsburg.

Symposium highlights include:

  • English garden designer Xa Tollenmarche on a designer’s harmony between house and garden
  • Author and renowned garden historian and historic landscape consultant Mark Laird on Virginia’s Royal Governor Lord Botetourt and his gardener, Thomas Wright
  • Jack GaryDirector of Archaeology, Colonial Williamsburg, on the Custis Square project and 18th-century gardener John Custis
  • Nationally recognized garden writer, speaker, radio and television personality Charlie Nardozzi on natural and easy ways to healthy soil
  • Daria McKelvey, the American Horticultural Society’s Emerging Horticultural Professional Award Winner and Supervisor, Kemper Center for Home Gardening at Missouri Botanical, on setting your garden up for success
  • Kerry Mendez, author, speaker, garden and design consultant, and Gold Medal Award Winner—Massachusetts Horticultural Society, on inspired garden design
(The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

“Discovering what archaeology reveals about gardens presumed to have been lost to the past adds a whole new layer to our understanding of 18th-century garden design which in turn informs the way we think about designing gardens today,” said Savage, “Add a dash of historical context and a whole lot of fun, and you’ve got a garden symposium that is not to be missed.”

Register online, by email at, or call 1-800-603-0948 toll-free 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The deadline to register is April 7 for the in-person symposium or April 26 for virtual-only.

Registration for in-person attendance is $325 and includes in-person and online access to all lectures; coffee and snack breaks; two evening receptions; and one seven-day ticket voucher to Colonial Williamsburg to be redeemed by Dec. 31.

Registration for online-only admission is $125 and includes access to all lectures utilizing the conference streaming platform as well as one seven-day ticket voucher to Colonial Williamsburg to be redeemed by Dec. 31.

For additional information, follow Colonial Williamsburg on Facebook  and @colonialwmsburg on Twitter and Instagram.  

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