Green thumbs will be plentiful on Saturday, April 18, when the West Virginia Division of Culture and History presents a Garden Festival from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. This year marks the Division’s 12th 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 wheat weavings, stoneware pottery, bath and body products, soaps, candles, herbs, plants, metal garden art, bird and squirrel feeders, bird feed mix, fountains, succulents, preserves, jellies and salad dressings, tole paintings on slate, daylilies, garden signs and t-shirts. In addition, lunches provided by Bluegrass Kitchen of Charleston will be available for purchase from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Concurrent workshop topics include “The Healing Plant,” “Herbal Paths to Wellness and Healing,” “Making Healing Salves for Garden Hands,” “Design Concepts for the Healing Garden,” “Gardening: One Archaeologist’s Perspective,” and “Dirt Therapy for the Soul.”
In addition, a special keynote session with Dr. Scott Shalaway of Cameron, Marshall County, will take place from 1 - 2 p.m. Shalaway is a certified wildlife biologist who makes his living as a nature writer. He will be speaking about “Gardening with Birds.” The talk will emphasize the benefits of having birds in the backyard and garden, with tips on attracting them with food, water and cover.
Shalaway writes a weekly newspaper column that reaches one million readers each week. It appears in more than 20 newspapers, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Charleston Gazette. He also writes feature stories for a variety of magazines, including Bird Watcher’s Digest, Wonderful West Virginia and Birding Business. Shalaway has written eight books, including Building a Backyard Bird Habitat (2000, Stackpole).
Every weekend, Shalaway hosts nature-themed radio shows in Wheeling and Pittsburgh. In addition, he hosts Talk of the Town, on WVLY 1370 in Wheeling, and speaks to dozens of groups every year on a variety of natural history topics.
For more information about the Garden Festival, contact Jennifer Ballard, cultural program specialist for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 171. A complete list of workshops and exhibitors is attached.
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. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.