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Garden Festival returns to the Cultural Center April 12


Green thumbs will be plentiful on Saturday, April 12, when the West Virginia Division of Culture and History presents the Vandalia Heritage Series: Garden Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. This year marks the Division’s seventh day-long celebration of the growing season with workshops, exhibitors and demonstrations. All activities, located on the plaza deck and in the Great Hall of the Cultural Center, are free and open to the public.

Gardeners, agricultural experts, herbalists, organic gardeners, landscape designers, lawn and garden suppliers and others will be on hand to answer questions and sell their wares, including plants native to West Virginia. In addition, lunches provided by K-Mac Mills of Mt. Nebo will be available for purchase from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Concurrent workshop topics include “A Wealth of Spring Bulbs,” “Ornamental Gardening: The Basics and More,” “Survival of Your Trees and Shrubs,” “Roadside Red To Today,” “Garden Rooms and Special Places,” “Knowing and Growing West Virginia’s Native Azaleas and Rhododendrons,” “Learning the Basics,” and “Growing Shiitake Mushrooms and Some Medicinal Mushroom Experiences.”

In addition, a special session entitled “A Garden Walk Through History: Frederick Law Olmsted at Biltmore Estate” will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The workshop will be led by Pat Appeldoorn, who has been with Biltmore Estate for seven years, first as a host and currently as a gardener and member of the staff at A Gardener’s Place. “A Garden Walk Through History” provides a virtual garden tour and oral history through slides depicting archival photographs of early landscape construction, as well as contemporary images of Biltmore’s gardens. The comparison illustrates the scope of Frederick Law Olmsted’s imagination as creator of the seemingly natural landscape at Biltmore Estate.

Olmsted, considered the founder of American landscape architecture, also designed New York’s famed Central Park. Beginning in 1896, he planned the Biltmore grounds to have lush rolling hills, spectacular formal gardens, small intimate glens, a preserved forest, and much more.

The Garden Festival was initiated six years ago and has continued to grow. Preservation of West Virginia’s mountain culture is a primary goal of the Division. The Vandalia Heritage Series is a celebration of the spirit of the Vandalia Gathering, providing an intimate, hands-on approach to passing on West Virginia traditions. Since its inception, the series has focused on dance, oral history, gospel and traditional music, fishing, quilting, the Irish influence and gardening.

For more information about the Vandalia Heritage Series or other programs of the Division, call (304) 558-0162.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779