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June 25, 2012

Historic Trades Gardener Wesley Greene Shares Secret of Extending Life of Vegetable Gardens

Wesley Greene, Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Trades gardener, who has rediscovered the art of producing vegetables year-round, shares the history associated with gardening “out of season” during the program, “Gardening Under Cover,” at 4 p.m. on July 2 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, 326 W. Francis St., Williamsburg.

He discusses the tools, devices and methods that gardeners can use today to extend the season of productivity in the vegetable garden.

Greene is the author of “Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Way,” which combines history and folklore with practical advice on growing vegetables and herbs. A book signing follows the presentation.

Any Revolutionary City ticket, Annual, Good Neighbor or museum pass provides access to this program.

For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY or (757) 220-7724.

Greene founded the Colonial Garden on Duke of Gloucester Street across from Bruton Parish Church. There he and other historic gardeners study and interpret 18th-century plants, tools and cultural techniques and share their knowledge with visitors to the garden.

Now Greene offers readers the wisdom of gardeners who grew purple broccoli and three-foot-long cucumbers, improved melon seeds by walking around with them in their pockets, sheltered transplants with oiled paper, heated hotbeds for January seedlings with manure, used lime water to control aphids and trapped slugs in the lettuce beds with a simple tile.

The book, illustrated with images by Colonial Williamsburg photographer Barbara Lombardi, has received praise from Greene’s fellow historic gardeners. J. Dean Norton, director of horticulture at Mount Vernon, said, “Greene’s historical guide to 18th-century vegetables and gardening practices showcases tried-and-true techniques that are remarkably relevant for today’s home vegetable growers — all thoroughly researched, beautifully illustrated and written to inform and entertain.” Peter Hatch, director of gardens and grounds at Monticello, called the book “a steaming hotbed of garden wisdom.”

“Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Way” was funded in part by a gift from longtime Colonial Williamsburg supporters Teresa and Ken Wood. The book is co-published by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Rodale Inc. and is available for $30 at WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers in Colonial Williamsburg’s Visitor Center, 101 A Visitor Center Drive, Everything WILLIAMSBURG in Merchants Square, in the Museum Store, by phone at 1-800-446-9240 or from

Rodale Books publishes award-winning, bestselling titles that provide authoritative content in the subjects of health, wellness, fitness, gardening, food & cooking, and the environment. Rodale Books offers engaging and reliable books of all kinds — service, narrative, illustrated and lifestyle — that reflect our commitment to helping readers improve their lives and the world around them. For the latest news on our books and authors, visit or follow us on Twitter @rodalebooks. Rodale Books are also available for download as e-books.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121