Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium 


This year's event will be held at the beautiful Wayne Theatre in Downtown Waynesboro again!  We've been listening to your feedback and we want your SVPS experience to be the best it can be. The Wayne offers state-of-the-art audio, visual, and lighting equipment which will bring presentations to life ensuring a pleasing experience for all who attend from the first speaker to the last!


Wayne Theatre: Ross Performing Arts Center

521 W Main Street

Waynesboro, VA 22980

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            Friday, March 15, 2024           8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. 

Doors open at 8:00am     -   Program starts at 8:30am

Wayne Theatre

521 W Main Street, Waynesboro VA  22980

Questions should be directed to Kylie Ritts,


No day of registrations. Last day to register is 3/12/24 by 5:00 pm.  



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Big Dreams, Small Garden: A Guide To Creating Something Extraordinary in Your Ordinary Space- Marianne Willburn

A step-by-step plan for creating an ideal garden in less than ideal circumstances. It's a stimulating, practical, often lighthearted book for a tough economic age that doesn't just tell the reader how to garden, but why to garden, showcasing the many ways in which claiming your outside space and gardening the heck out of it can re-connect you to your environment, your family, your neighbors and your community - even when you're facing numerous obstacles and don't know where to start. 

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The Buzz: Planting and Managing for Native Bees- Heather Holm

When creating and managing thriving habitats for native bees, many factors such as seasonal phenology, nesting strategies, and flower preferences must be considered—and with approximately 3,600 species in North America (north of Mexico), there are many unique aspects to keep in mind when managing successful landscapes for bees. Heather will highlight the pollination of native plants and the mutualism between native plants and native bees. Learn about pollen specialists, the presentation of floral resources, and how the physical characteristics of bees can influence their effectiveness as pollinators. Heather will also discuss ways to manage landscapes to enhance bee diversity, plant selection considerations, and ultimately how to think like a bee! 


Southern Gardening: How to Have Hordes of Happy Hummingbirds - Bob Brzuszek

It's time once again to clean those hummingbird feeders and cook up the sugar water. In Mississippi, we can set our feeders out in early March as hummingbirds are migrating north from southern chimes. Providing food in backyards is important, as these birds need to consume half their body weight each day. 


Eating Iguana and Tangling with Typhoons: Tales and Travails of a Plant Explorer- Mark Weathington

Strange food, unpredictable weather, and cultural differences are only the beginning when you depart from the big cities of the world. It doesn't really matter if you are poking through the backwoods of Alabama or a remote mountainside in Asia - once you leave the high rises behind, you never know what you'll find. 

Slave to Goddess Flora: Gardening is Easy - Mark Weathington

Gardening is easy - don't let the experts tell you otherwise! Find out shortcuts and techniques to take some of the work out of gardening and make it a more enjoyable pastime. 



Registration includes speaker presentations, morning refreshments, boxed lunch, and parking in public lots. Details about the boxed lunch are below.

Regular Registration = $95 per person

Late Registration (after March 1) $110 per person (Registration closes on March 12 at 5:00 pm or when the registration limit is reached)

Registration will require you to set up an account. Your user ID will be your email and you will set up a personal password which must contain upper case and lower case letters and a number or symbol. The system will store your name, address, contact information, and transaction history which you may access and update at any time. If you are purchasing multiple tickets each person you are buying for will need to be added to your account. Please be sure to select the event and pay in order to complete your registration. If you need assistance, contact Parks and Recreation 540-942-6735.

Boxed Lunch

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*Registration includes boxed lunch catered by Panera Bread. There will be an assortment of their most popular sandwiches  boxed with chips, a cookie, and a pickle. Salads will be boxed with a french Baguette, and cookie. There will be an assortment of cold drinks. Please pay close attention to Gluten Conscious and Vegetarian options. Due to the nature of the boxed-style lunch, we will not be able to accommodate every dietary restriction.

If you have dietary restrictions that can not be met by this option, please feel free to bring food that meets your particular dietary requirements.

Be prepared to select an option at registration. This will be the selection you are provided at lunch. 



Continuing Education 

VNLA- Self-reporting

Certified Horticulturist- Self-reporting  (5) 

VSLD- Self-reporting

Certified Landscape Designer- Self-reporting (5)

CBLP- Self-reporting (#tbd)

ISA- See below for categories:


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plant speakers

Click the link to find out more about our speakers and what makes them tick:

Overnight Accommodations

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Need to spend the night? Ask about special rates for 2024's Garden Symposium

Best Western Inn & Conference Center

109 Apple Tree Lane, Waynesboro, VA 22980 Driving Directions