Southern Garden Symposium  St. Francisville, Louisiana • October 18 & 19, 2019

Registration is Closed 

Click here for the Schedule-at-a-Glance.


Friday, October 18, 2019

Join other enthusiastic gardeners for a full day of demonstrations, lectures and tours. Early morning refreshments will be served at the workshop sites followed by a gourmet lunch in Genevieve Munson Trimble’s romantic Ruins Gardens of Afton Villa. Participants are requested to register for one of the following offerings in the morning and another session in the afternoon. Everyone will gather at Afton Villa for lunch.

9:00 a.m. Registration
Arrive at your morning workshop location and enjoy light refreshments.

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Morning Workshops (choose one)


1.  A Professor's Guide to Floral Design:  A Primer on Floral Arrangement  Join Jim DelPrince as he demonstrates lush, seasonal floral designs for home and event decoration. Combining southern foliage with commerically-grown flowers, DelPrince's style harkens to that of the 19th century, the age of flowers.  His delivery offers explanations, answering the "how" and "why" of floral design, and his commentary leaves attendees enthused to try floral design on their own and enjoy the good things that fresh flower design can accomplish.

Speaker:  Dr. James DelPrince
Location:   Afton Villa Ruins Gardens, 9047 U.S. Highway 61 north of St. Francisville
(Limit 100) 


2. Hybrids & Clones:  Not Your Grandmother's Flowers- Discover how new and improved genetics make flower gardening rewarding and less labor intensive. Find out where and how your plants originate - people are not the only world travelers.  Cindy Moran will discuss how interspecific crosses and tissue culture have revolutionized flowers and foliage in gardens everywhere. Redefine annuals and perennials in the South, learn what questions to ask your nurseryman, and learn how to make the important decisions in selecting seasonal color.

Speaker: Ms. Cindy Moran
Location: Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, 12501 Highway 10
(Limit 40)


3. Reignite Your Plant Passion! - This presentation will highlight a mix of distinctive ornamental trees, shrubs, and perennials (focusing on butterfly and hummingbird plants and many natives).  It will also feature some special "grasses" and outstanding gingers for the landscape.

Speaker:  Ms. Heidi Sheesley
Location: Temple Sinai,  4740 Prosperity Street (Limit 50)


4. Camellia - the Queen of Winter - Bart Brechter will discuss the history of the camellia in America, as well as its economic and cultural importance.  He will consider the many different cultivars of this beautiful winter blooming shrub.  The work shop features a demonstration of how to plant and maintain camellias, caring for them in an organic manner.

Speaker:  Mr. Bart Brechter
Location: Audubon State Historic Site “Oakley House”, 11788 Highway 965.
(Limit 50)

11:30 a.m. -  1:00 p.m. Lunch
Enjoy a delightful gourmet lunch at Afton Villa Ruins Gardens, 9047 Highway 61. Stroll the gardens, visit with speakers and fellow gardeners, and browse the book and tool sales.

1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Afternoon Workshops (choose one)


1.    Film Showing:  Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf - While working on his documentary on New York's High Line, award winning filmmaker Thomas Piper met Piet Oudolf, the High Lines's designer.  Piper's resulting film highlights the gardens of Oudolf, the influential Dutch garden designer, plantsman, and author.  In the movie, Rick Darke, botanist and former SGS speaker, tells Mr. Oudolf, "your work teaches us to see what we have been unable to see."

Introduction of the film: Ms. Stacey Pfingsten, Louisiana Architecture Foundation
Location: Jackson Hall at Grace Episcopal Church,11621 Ferdinand Street (Limit 70)

2.    Hybrids and Clones: Not Your Grandmother's Flowers
(Repeat of morning session.)

Speaker: Ms. Cindy Moran
Location: Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site, 12501 Highway 10
(Limit 40) SOLD OUT

3.    Reignite Your Plant Passion!
(Repeat of morning session.)

Speaker:  Ms. Heidi Sheesley
Location: Temple Sinai,  4740 Prosperity Street.                                                   (Limit 50) SOLD OUT

4.    Camellia - the Queen of Winter
(Repeat of morning session.)

Speaker:  Mr. Bart Brechter
Location: Audubon State Historic Site “Oakley House”, 11788 Highway 965.
(Limit 50)


6:30 p.m.

Always a highlight of the symposium weekend, the 2019 Speakers’ Gala will be held at Dellamata, the private home of  Mr. and Mrs. David Treppendahl, located at 12285 Highway 965.  (Limit 100)

Saturday, October 19, 2019


Hemingbough is located off of U.S. Highway 61 south of St. Francisville. A symposium sign will be posted on Highway 61.

8:30 a.m.   Registration

Arrive early to enjoy refreshments on the terrace and browse the book, plant, and garden tool sales. Visit Arlin Dease’s lovely gardens and grounds at Hemingbough.

9:15 a.m.   Welcome

Ashley Fox-Smith, SGS Program Chair 


9:30 a.m. Gardenlust:  A Botanical Tour of the World's Best New Gardens

For three years, Chris Woods traveled the world seeking out contemporary gardens and found fifty of the best.  With wit and humor, he describes the most arresting features in public parks in exoctic locations like New Delhi and Dubai, mission-redefining botanic gardens in Chile and Australia, and the most enviable details of lavish private estates and gemlike city yards. Throughout, he reveals the fascinating people, plants, and stories that make these gardens so lustworthy.

Speaker:  Christopher Woods


10:30 a.m. Break

Participate in silent auction, book, plant and tool sales.

11:00 a.m.   Where Art Meets Nature, Patchwork Perfection

Nicholas Staddon will explain the extraordinary impact designer Piet Oudolf has had on today's landscape. Phil Clayton, Deputy Editor of the Garden, magazine of the Royal Horticultural Society, has described Oudolf's work as "relaxed, yet masterly."  Nicholas will navigate us as we tiptoe through the plants and projects of this unique indiviual whose work has captured the true and unwavering emotion of plants and how they should be placed in the landscape.  We will explore a number of suggested plants suitable for the region that might fit into Mr. Oudolf's design work if he were to join us in St. Francisville.

Speaker:  Nicholas Staddon

12:00 p.m.    Lunch
Book, plant and tool sales; silent auction continue.

12:45 p.m.    Book Signing and Close of Silent Auction
NOTE . . . winning bids will be distributed at the conclusion of Ms. Catron's program.

1:15 p.m.    Seeking Eden: A Collection of Georgia's Historic Gardens

Interest in gardening and garden design was strong in early twentieth century Georgia and resulted in some of the state's most noteworthy designed landscapes, a number of which still exist. In their book, Seeking Eden, Staci L. Catron and Mary Ann Eaddy chronicled the evolution of several of these properties, all originally identified in the 1933 volume Garden History Of Georgia, 1733-1933.  Both publicly and privately-owned, these gardens reflect the geographic diversity of the state, a variety of garden types and designs, the significant role of women in their formation and preservation, and the impact of professional designers.

Speaker:  Staci Catron

2:15 p.m.    Adjourn
Symposium volunteers will be on hand to assist guests with their silent auction and plant purchases.

2:30 p.m.    Afternoon Tea
Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea at Beechwood . . . this historic home is the private residence of Mrs. Lawrence Smart, located at 10072 US Highway 61.



Contact Us:

Lucie Cassity
(225) 635-3738 or (225) 721-0051