October 14 - 16, 2021
St. Francisville, Louisiana

Sarah Andry, Renee Farren, Bettina Hennessy
Questions - Please email 
Sarah at sarahwilsonandry@yahoo.com 
or Renee at reneefarren@me.com

 No other gardening program brings nationally renowned speakers to historic plantation settings quite like the Southern Garden Symposium does.

While the symposium’s workshops and lectures provide ideas and inspiration for the gardener, social activities showcase classic southern elegance at its finest. From home-baked breakfast breads served each morning, to sumptuous evening gala fare and an elegantly relaxed Saturday afternoon tea, not a detail is overlooked.

Located about 45 minutes north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, St. Francisville was established in 1809. Occupying high ground on the east bank of the Mississippi River and often described as a town “two miles long and two yards wide,” the beloved destination keeps visitors coming back with carefully preserved historic architecture, breathtaking scenery, eclectic shopping, and a warm, close-knit community spirit. Symposium events open the doors to various historic and picturesque locations including Beechwood Plantation, Afton Villa Gardens, Rosedown State Historic Site, and Grace Episcopal Church.

We have secured reservations at both The Bluffs and Butler Greenwood Plantation.  Each room has a refrigerator with coffee and a light continental breakfast served.

The Bluffs - The Lodge at the Bluffs
5903 Magnolia Lane Street, St. Francisville    
Click here to learn about the Lodge at the Bluffs

Butler Greenwood Plantation, a Bed and Breakfast
8345 US-61, St. Francisville   
Click here to learn about Butler Greenwood Plantation


Events Program for the St. Francisville Garden Symposium
Thursday, October 14 
Arrive and check-in at either the Lodge or the Cottages
7:00 - Dinner and Ghost Tour
The Myrtles Plantation * Restaurant 1796
7747 US Hwy 61, St. Francisville, 225-635-6277
Click here to learn about the Myrtles Plantation
Friday, October 15
Join other enthusiastic gardeners for a full day of workshops and garden tours. Please register for one of the following offerings in the morning and another session in the afternoon. 
9:00–11:30 a.m. Morning Workshops
9:00 Register at Workshop location and enjoy light refreshments.
9:30 Workshops begin
Flowers in the French Style – Afton Villa Ruins Gardens
9347 US-61, North of St Francisville  (Limit 100)
Ms. Laura Dowling, author, speaker, and designer, and former Chief Floral Designer at the White House, will present an inspiring design program featuring her signature style floral tips and techniques.  She will share ideas for creating natural decor for the autumn season, including bouquets, wreaths and centerpieces - inspired by her passion for French design.
Click here to learn about Afton Villa
Bonsai 101 – Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site
12501 LA-10, St Francisville (Limit 15)
Intended for anyone interested in practicing bonsai from the beginner's level as well as more advanced bonsai enthusiasts.  Following a brief lecture on the origins and history of the art, participants will begin creating unique starter bonsai trees using ordinary garden center material.
Click here to learn about Rosedown Plantation
Full Bloom – St. Francisville Inn
5720 Commerce Street (Limit 20) After conducting a champagne tour of the grounds, Brandon Branch will share his garden tested tips to optimize plants from the garden and greenhouse to the table. Learn as he discusses foraging his gardens and making use of cuttings year round for entertaining.
Click here to learn about the St. Francisville Inn
Gardening with Grains in Containers – Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church (Hall) 
11485 Ferdinand St, St Francisville (Limit 50)
Discover the many benefits of cultivating grains such as barley, oats, or wheat, including growing your own birdseed.  Ms. Arthur will share expert growing advice, including seed sowing instructions, soil recommendations, organic fertilizer selections and longterm care for winter interest containers.  This unique session will inspire attendees to look at new crops with fresh eyes.
Lunch at Afton Villa
Everyone will gather at Afton Villa for a gourmet lunch in Genevieve Munson Trimble’s romantic Ruins Garden.

 1:15–3:15 p.m. Afternoon Workshops Begin
Funky Little Flower Farm — Saving the Family Farm
Jackson Hall of Grace Episcopal Church – 11621 Ferdinand Street (Limit 80)
 Jenks Farmer’s horticulture company includes garden design and building, but the heart of the business is his small experimental farm near Augusta, Georgia. He will share stories of bringing a failing Southern farmstead, old barns, fat donkeys and rich red clay, into the modern world. He will describe the unique lily farming operation which focuses on a new crop of Crinum, old Southern pass-along lilies.
Southeastern Natives for Bonsai – Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site – 12501 Highway 10 (Limit 10)
 This workshop is intended for anyone interested in expanding his or her knowledge of bonsai and experimenting with Louisiana native species. Using locally collected material, Mr. Evan Pardue will construct a bonsai forest scene on driftwood, explaining the principles of building a composition that is believable on a small scale. Participants will construct their own miniature forests.
Full Bloom (Repeat of Morning Session) (Limit 25)
Speaker: Mr. Brandon Branch
Gardening with Grains in Containers (Repeat of Morning Session)
Speaker: Ms. Brie Arthur

3:00-4:30 p.m. Tour of Historic Cemeteries in conjunction with the Saturday lecture on the Woodlands historic graveyard, two historic cemeteries will be open Friday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. for self-guided tours.  Experience the serenity of the Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery at 11621 Ferdinand Street and Hebrew Rest Cemetery at 6356 Commerce Street.

6:30 Speakers Gala Dinner Buffet - Woodland Plantation
A highlight of the symposium weekend is the Gala honoring our speakers.  It will be held at Woodland, the historic private home of Mr. and Mrs. David Norwood, which is located at 7764 Highland Road.
Click here to learn about Woodland Plantation
Saturday, October 16 
Clubhouse at the Bluffs on Thompson Creek.  The Clubhouse is located at 14233 Sunrise Way.
8:30 a.m. Registration
Arrive early to enjoy refreshments and browse the book, plant, and garden tool sales. Visit the beautiful grounds.
9:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
Mr. David Floyd, Master of Proceedings
9:30 a.m. New Life for an Old Cemetery
Speaker:  Ms. Jessica Baument
 The forgotten horticultural legacy of The Woodlands National Historic Landmark District in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is being revived through innovative horticulturally focused programs. The 18th century botanist William Hamilton introduced numerous plant species to North America at the Woodlands, his estate. In 1840 the site became a cemetery. Ms. Baumert will describe programs that are preserving the graveyard and reveal how gardening and caring for the grave of a stranger can inspire the living.
10:30 a.m. Break
Participate in silent auction and book, plant and tool sales.
11:00 a.m. Deep Rooted Wisdom
 As Mr. Jenks Farmer observes, small farmers and backyard gardeners of earlier generations knew simple, cheap, effective gardening skills. The people who inspired him to garden were self-taught, country folk who loved the land. As an adult he began sharing their stories through his writing and realized that gardening today has become a shopping experience, an industry that can ignore hard learned wisdom. He has learned to incorporate the knowledge of these self-taught gardeners in designing and planting joyful, soulful modern gardens. 
12:00 p.m. Lunch
Silent auction and book, plant and tool sales continue.
12:45 p.m. Book Signing
1:10 p.m. Close of Silent Auction
Winning bids will be distributed at the conclusion of Ms. Arthur’s program.
1:15 p.m. Foodscape Revolution
Foodscaping, Ms. Brie Arthur’s signature gardening technique is a sustainable practice that embraces beauty and bounty. Learn how to pair edible plants with the best flowering plants for Southern gardens. Easy planting strategies are explained, including creative ideas for deterring deer, rabbits, groundhogs and voles. This fast-paced presentation will inspire attendees to create their own appealing foodscapes.  
2:15 p.m. Adjourn
Symposium volunteers will be available to assist guests with their silent auction and plant purchases.
2:30 AfternoonTea at Oakley Plantation-Audubon State Park  
11788 Highway 965 
Enjoy a delightful afternoon tea in the gardens of Oakley House.  This historic home is now part of the Audubon State Historic Site.
Click here to learn about Oakley Plantation