The Penn State Extension Master Gardeners, the Penn State Center Pittsburgh, and Shady Side Academy present the 2015 Western Pennsylvania Garden & Landscape Symposium on Saturday, April 18 at the Shady Side Academy Hillman Center for the Performing Arts in Fox Chapel. The Garden & Landscape Symposium is one of the nation's longest continuously held home horticulture events and provides valuable information for both experienced and novice gardeners. The Symposium—a daylong event that includes breakfast and lunch—features internationally renowned horticulture experts speaking on the theme of native and unusual plants and shrubs.
Speakers at the 2015 Symposium include:
- Keynote speaker Bill Cullina is a native plant specialist and executive director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Bill spent 13 years as Nursery Director and Head Propagator at the New England Wildflower Society where he developed the largest native plant nursery in New England. Although Bill is a popular lecturer for garden, conservation, and professional groups across the U.S. and Canada, he is more frequently recognized as a regular guest on "The Martha Stewart Show."
- Linda Chalker-Scott is an Extension Urban Horticulturist at Washington State University where she develops educational materials for home gardeners as well as certified arborists and the nursery and landscape industry. Linda is a founding host of "The Garden Professors" blog and Facebook pages that educate and entertain an international audience.
- Lloyd Traven of Peace Tree Farm is a USDA-certified organic grower and propagator of rare and unusual plants. Peace Tree Farm, co-owned by Lloyd and his wife, is located in Bucks County and is an established and internationally respected horticulture operation. Lloyd is a horticulture technology guru and advocate for small growers.
- Penn State researcher and professor Eric Burkhart is plant science program director for Shaver's Creek Environmental Center in central Pennsylvania. Eric's area of interest and expertise is conserving native plants that are of economic and conservation importance, notably American ginseng.
The range of publications in which Symposium speakers are represented include books, magazines, and academic journals.
The free Garden Marketplace is held in conjunction with the Symposium from 8 am until 3 pm at the ice skating rink on Shady Side Academy's senior campus. The Marketplace offers new and unique plants and garden accessories from more than 20 vendors, including a Master Gardener Plant Sale. Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardeners' questions, provide consultation and sell perennial, annual and vegetable plants including a new species of lavender and many hard-to-find plants. Also for sale will be rooted cuttings of native Pennsylvania Paw Paw trees and container-sized self-pollinating blueberry shrubs.
Presented concurrently is the annual daffodil show hosted by the Daffodil and Hosta Society of Western Pennsylvania. This show includes entries from local members to be judged and awarded on during the Marketplace.
Registration is required for the 2015 Symposium at a cost of $105 by March 16 and $120 after March 16. Those interested in registering can do so at the Garden & Landscape Symposium website or call the extension office 412-473-2540 during regular business hours. Scholarships are available for this event. The Garden Marketplace and Daffodil Show are free and open to the public. All events are held indoors with free parking.