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March 9, 2004

Colonial Williamsburg's 58th Garden Symposium Unearths Heirloom Gardening

Heirloom gardening mixes the old and the new, the simple and exotic, the pea and the pansy, while preserving old traits and offering new opportunities. Join Colonial Williamsburg April 4-6, 2004, for the 58th Annual Garden Symposium, “Heirloom Gardening.” The symposium takes place amidst the relaxing, lush surroundings of the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia.

The canon of “heirloom plants” that predate the depredations and innovations of the 20th century, along with the stories of their discovery and use by humans, help illuminate the progress of human industry. In studying “heirloom plants” we learn the botanical and cultural strands that make up our newly globalized herbal community. With the critical importance of bio-diversity now recognized globally, it is the heirloom plants, with their repositories of intact authentic genomes, that warrant protection and study in the new age of genetic engineering.

Join Fine Gardening magazine contributing editor Scott Kunst, rosarian and heirloom gardener Bill Welch and internationally known food historian William Woys Weaver to explore the roles that 18th-century vegetables, antique bulbs and heirloom flowers play in preserving our gardening heritage and in fashioning new gardens. Other guest speakers include Kent Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange; Dr. Neil Odenwald, professor emeritus, Louisiana State University; author, cultivator and collector Amy Goldman; and Dean Norton, director of horticulture, Mount Vernon.

Garden symposium registration by mail, fax or online at must be accompanied by a check of $245 per person or credit card information. The fee includes the opening reception Sunday, April 4, two morning coffee breaks, afternoon refreshments, presentations and a Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket that includes exhibition sites, trade shops and museums. Fine Gardening magazine and the American Horticultural Society are co-sponsors of the 58th Colonial Williamsburg Garden Symposium.

For additional details and registration brochure, call toll-free (800) 603-0948, e-mail or fax (757) 565-8921.

Media Contact:
Lorraine C. Brooks
(757) 220-7272