Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium 2019

Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium

The 2019 Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium is in the books! Once we  have a date secured for 2020, we will announce it here. If you attended this year's event please take a moment to tell us what your thoughts were on the day. The survey only takes a few minutes of your time to complete. We do look to the survey to help guide decision making for the upcoming year. Your opinions help us build the best event possible. 


2019 topics...

The Foodscape Revolution- Brie Arthur

Encouraging everyone to "think outside of the box," learn how pairing edibles in a traditional ornamental landscape increases bio-diversity and adds purpose to everday spaces. The best edible and ornamental  plant combinations are featured to inspire attendees to create purposeful landscapes that engage people of all ages. Easy strategies are explained, including how to plant a bed edge to deter moles and voles. This spring, get inspired to plant a low maintenance foodscape and enjoy the beauty and bounty all season long!

Hanging Out with Shady Characters- Pam Beck

If you don't already have a shade garden, you soon will as your trees and shrubs spread and grow. This colorful talk examines all of the layers of a shade garden with recommendations for plants which tolerate various types of shade and root competition, along with design tricks to brighten up even the darkest corners. 

Plants of the Bible- Pam Beck

Many of the plants mentioned in the Old and New Testaments are surprisingly hardy and suitable to be grown in our public and private Southeastern landscapes. This entertaining inter-denominational lecture is full of Biblical, art, historical, and folklore references. Gain a deeper understanding of plants found in the scriptures or plan a Biblical garden of your own. 

Ironclad and Essential Native Trees and Shrubs- Tony Dove

Appreciation for native plants and sustainability has grown as natural lands become more fragmented. Some plant communities even face extinction. Native plants are the keystone for populations of beneficial insects, birds, and other animals. Properly grown, selected, and placed native trees and shrubs guarantee long term rewards, with less maintenance and more aesthetic appeal when you follow the correct path to a sustainable landscape. 

Meet Mt Cuba Center- Vic Piatt

Mt. Cuba Center is a botanical garden like no other, preserving more than 1000 acres of vital natural lands in the rolling hills of the Delaware Piedmont. Conservation is central to its mission; preserving open space, natural lands management, and environmentally-focused Gardens that promote native plants through ecological horticulture. The visual effect is captivating. This presentation will give an overall view of the Mt. Cuba Center's mission, plant collections, and future. 



Certified Horticulturist (5)


Certified Landscape Designer(5)


Landscape Architect (5) 


Landscape Professional (2)

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Presented by renowned speakers...

pam beck

Pam Beck

Pam Beck is a freelance garden writer, lecturer, and photographer. Pam co-authored Best Garden Plants for North Carolina, by Lone Pine Publishing in February, 2006. She regularly published articles in Carolina Gardener Magazine for 16 years. Pam wrote “Perennially Yours”, a monthly gardening column for the Raleigh News & Observer, for 5 years; and, she was honored by The News & Observer as their “Tarheel of the Week” in May 1997. She was awarded the Silver Trowel Award for magazine-writing for 2006 by the Garden Writer's Association of America. She was also a local garden scout and stylist for for Better Homes & Gardens magazine, and has been published in both Organic Gardening (now Organic Life) and The American Gardener magazines. She also enjoyed her role as "Expert Garden Writer" for Black Gold. Her artistic nature and garden photography appears in various gardening magazines and books. She has served on the Board of Advisors of the J C Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, the Arboretum at Johnston Community College in Smithfield, and the Urban Forestry Board of Wake Forest. Pam’s busy speaking schedule takes her to various gardening groups throughout the Southeast. Garden symposium attendees are familiar with her enthusiastic, conversational, and information-packed presentations, and often request an encore. Pam is an active member of Garden Writers and Triangle Area Freelancers. 

Brie Arthur

Originally from southeastern Michigan, Brie Arthur studied Landscape Design and Horticulture at Purdue University. With more than a decade of experience as a grower and propagator, she now lectures across the US promoting the hobby of gardening. As Vice President of Horticulture at Gardenuity, Brie is able to use her plant knowledge and extensive grower network to reach consumers nationally. She has appeared as a correspondent on the PBS Television show “Growing a Greener World” and her debut book, The Foodscape Revolution has become a best seller. In 2017 Brie was honored as the first recipient of the The American Horticultural Society's Emerging Horticultural Professional Award. Her second book, Gardening with Grains published by St Lynn’s Press, will be available in 2019.

Brie Arthur TFR Headshot
Tony Dove

Tony Dove

Tony Dove is an experienced lecturer and educator focusing on Horticulture and Landscape Management. He has received national and international awards in over 45 years of managing and consulting with public and private gardens from New York to South Carolina. 

Dove recently retired as horticulturist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD. He has served as the director of the Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, NY, horticultural director at Tryon Palace Historical Sites and Garden in New Bern, NC, and chief horticulturist and Chief of Environmental Facilities and Programs for Anne Arundel County, MD. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River, NY for over twenty years. He currently serves on the Board at Historic London Town and Gardens, in Edgewater, MD. Mr. Dove co-authored the book Essential Native Trees and Shrubs, For the Eastern United States that was released in February 2018. He has also written articles for the American Horticultural Society, Smithsonian Associates Magazine and has been a consultant for National Geographic.

Vic Piatt

Vic Piatt graduated from the Longwood Gardens Professional Gardener Program in 1992 and has been contentedly employed at Mt. Cuba Center for the past 26 years where he has held numerous positions including; Cut Flower Gardener, Plant Evaluations Gardener, and Rock Outrcrop/Scree Gardener.  Vic is currently the Gardens Manager, working alongside 12 horticulturists and several volunteers, to maintain and continually improve over 25 acres of formal and naturalistic gardens.

Formerly the country estate of the late Mr. & Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland, Mt. Cuba Center is now a premier public garden focused on native plants of the Appalachian Piedmont and dedicated to supporting the environment through the practice and promotion of ecological horticulture.  In addition to the gardens, Mt. Cuba Center maintains and enhances over 1000 acres of conserved natural lands, offers a robust education program, and conducts both horticulture and ecological research.  Mt. Cuba Center’s gardens and programs inspire an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to protect the habitats that sustain them.

vic piatt


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