Friends of LSU Hilltop Arboretum to Host Annual Symposium Jan. 24

12/16/2014 11:33 AM

BATON ROUGE – The Friends of LSU Hilltop Arboretum group will hold its annual symposium, titled “Louisiana Garden Heritage: A Lavish Hodgepodge of Design and Plants on Saturday” on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the LSU Design Building Auditorium.


The inspiration for the symposium is Chene Vert, an early 19th century-style garden restored by Wayne and Cheryl Stromeyer on historic Highland Road that will be featured on a Hilltop Garden Tour on the afternoon of April 12, 2015. Components of the garden that inspired the selection of the symposium speakers and topics are based on an historic circa-1845 French Quarter garden design, ancient camellias, antique roses, perennial flower borders, native meadows and natural ecosystems.


Speakers for this year’s symposium include:

• Lake Douglas, associate professor of landscape architecture at LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture and associate dean of research & development for the LSU College of Art & Design, will talk about 19th-century garden design in New Orleans, including the plants, garden furnishings, garden workers and horticultural commerce that defined 19th-century gardens and open spaces in the Crescent City. Using material from two recent books, “Public Spaces, Private Gardens: A History of Designed Landscapes in New Orleans” (LSU Press, 2011) and “Steward of the Land: Selected Writings of Nineteenth-Century Horticulturist Thomas Affleck” (LSU Press, 2014), his talk will focus on how research into unconventional sources has generated new evidence about the 19th-century landscapes of New Orleans. Included will be images from the Plan Book Records of the Notarial Archives, from which a mid-1840s French Quarter garden and residence inspired the design for the Stromeyer’s Chene Vert in Baton Rouge.


• Lifelong horticulturalist Tom Johnson will talk about the historical significance of the Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, S.C., in introducing more than 150 cultivars of Japonica to America from the 1840s to 1940, and its efforts to organize and implement a worldwide search for pre-1900 Ancient Camellias, which are in threat of extinction. Johnson will discuss how to grow and care for camellias and present information about a select group of older, often difficult to find Camellias that will be available for sale the day of the symposium through the Baton Rouge Camellia Society.


• Florence Crowder, representing the Baton Rouge Camellia Society, will talk about a new pre-1900s camellia garden presently at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens. It has been recognized as an International Camellia Society Garden of Excellence, consisting of plants grown from cuttings from established gardens throughout North America and Europe.


• G. Mike Shoup, owner of The Antique Rose Emporium, an eight-acre garden center in Brenham, Texas, will talk about the versatility of these antique roses for the home gardener. Old garden roses are time-tested survivors. Many have resided in old neighborhoods and cemeteries, happily growing with no care from human hands. Shoup will also talk about how rose varieties have various personalities or persona that can influence their garden usage, as well as addressing the practical nature of rose usefulness. These qualities are important for the gardener intent on providing the right rose for the right garden setting. His new book, “Empress of the Garden,” delves into this nature and will be available for sale, along with a selection of antique roses from his garden center.


• Robbi Will, who earned a degree in horticulture from Texas A&M University and is currently the sales representative for The Antique Rose Emporium, has been playing in the dirt, smelling flowers and exploring the outdoors as long as she can remember. Will’s presentation will cover pass-along and heirloom perennials that have shaped and contributed to the Southern gardening heritage and remain a time-tested palate of plants relevant for today’s gardener.


• Marc Pastorek will discuss design approaches to naturalistic grass-dominated, meadow landscapes. He will touch on the idea of incorporating the wildness of natural meadows into the city context to improve the beauty, character, and functionality of our urban green spaces. Pastorek is a prairie restorationist, consultant and land manager. He is also the founder of Pastorek Habitats, a nationally acclaimed landscape design firm dedicated to producing natural grass landscapes that are high in botanical richness and diversity



Participants will also have the chance to shop the Hilltop Garden Book and Nature Shop and purchase plants during a hospitality break and brunch. Speakers from the symposium will be on hand for book signings.


Symposium tickets are available for immediate purchase for holiday gift-giving. Ticket prices are $50 for Friends of Hilltop members and $65 for non-members.


Registration is required for this event. Online registration is available by emailing or visiting Phone registration can be made at 225-767-6916.





Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014