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2015 Hilltop Arboretum Annual Symposium

January 24, 2015 @ 8:30 am - 1:00 pm

$50 – $75
Photo of a flower in a field

The Friends of Hilltop Arboretum will hold its annual symposium on Saturday, January 24, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the LSU Design Building Auditorium, room 103.

CheneVert_GardenGate_WEBThis year’s symposium topic is Louisiana Garden Heritage: A Lavish Hodgepodge of Design and Plants. The inspiration for the symposium is Chene Vert, an early 19th-century-style garden restored by Wayne and Cheryl Stromeyer, located on historic Highland Road. Chene Vert will be one of the gardens featured in Hilltop Arboretum’s spring garden tour on the afternoon of Sunday, April 12, 2015. Components of the garden inspired the selection of 2015 symposium speakers and topics, such as historic French Quarter garden design, ancient camellias, antique roses, perennial flower borders, native meadows, and natural ecosystems. Participants will have the chance to shop at the Hilltop Arboretum Garden Book & Nature Shop and purchase plants during a hospitality break and brunch. Speakers will be on hand for book signings. Registration is required.

chene vert garden

Chene Vert garden

Registration is available online at, by e-mail at, or by phone at 225-767-6916. Symposium tickets are available for immediate purchase for holiday gift-giving. Ticket prices are $50 for members, $65 for non-members.


steward of the land by lake douglasLake Douglas, associate professor at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture and associate dean of research and development at the LSU College of Art & Design, will talk about 19th-century garden design in New Orleans. His discussion will cover the plants, garden furnishings, garden workers, and horticultural commerce that defined 19th-century gardens and open spaces in the Crescent City. Using material from two of his recent books, Public Spaces, Private Gardens: A History of Designed Landscapes in New Orleans (LSU Press, 2011) and Steward of the Land: Selected Writings of Nineteenth-Century Horticulturist Thomas Affleck (LSU Press, 2014), Douglas’s talk will focus on how research from unconventional sources has generated new evidence about the 19th-century landscapes of New Orleans. Images of a mid-1840s French Quarter garden from the Plan Book Records of the New Orleans Notarial Archives will be shared. These images inspired the design of the Stromeyers’ Chene Vert garden in Baton Rouge.

Tom Johnson, who designed and oversaw the gardens of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, will discuss the historical significance of Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina, in introducing more than 150 cultivars of Camellia japonica to America from the 1840s to 1940 and the plantation’s efforts to organize and implement a worldwide search for ancient camellias (pre-1900), in threat of extinction. Johnson will offer advice about growing and caring for camellias and present information about a select group of older, often difficult to find, camellias that will be available for purchase through the Baton Rouge Camellia Society on the day of the symposium.

Florence Crowder, a representative of the Baton Rouge Camellia Society, will present the new, pre-1900s, camellia garden at LSU Botanic Gardens, presently an International Camellia Society Garden of Excellence. The garden consists of plants grown from cuttings from established gardens throughout North America and Europe.

G. Mike Shoup, owner of the Antique Rose Emporium, an eight-acre garden center in Brenham, Texas, will talk about the versatility of antique roses for the home gardener. Old garden roses are time-tested survivors. Many have resided in old neighborhoods and cemeteries, happily growing without care from human hands. Interestingly, Shoup will also discuss how rose varieties have various personalities or persona that can influence their garden usage. These qualities are a creative tool for the gardener intent on providing the right rose for the right garden setting. Shoup’s new book, Empress of the Garden, addresses the practical nature of rose usefulness and delves into these personas. His book will be available for purchase along with a selection of antique roses from the Antique Rose Emporium.

Robbi Will earned a degree in horticulture from Texas A&M University and is currently the sales representative for the Antique Rose Emporium. Will has been playing in the dirt, smelling flowers, and exploring the outdoors as long as she can remember. She will talk about pass-along and heirloom perennials that have shaped and contributed to our Southern gardening heritage and that remain a time-tested palette of plants relevant for today’s gardener.

Symposium_WEBMarc Pastorek will discuss design approaches to naturalistic, grass-dominated, meadow landscapes. He will touch on the idea of incorporating the wildness of natural meadows into the city context to improve the beauty, character, and functionality of our urban green spaces. Pastorek is a prairie restorationist, consultant, and land manager and founder of Pastorek Habitats, a nationally acclaimed landscape design firm dedicated to producing natural grass landscapes that are high in botanical richness and diversity.

For more information about the symposium, visit


January 24, 2015
8:30 am - 1:00 pm
$50 – $75
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LSU Hilltop Arboretum


LSU College of Art & Design Auditorium
LSU Design Building, Room 103
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 United States
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