March 8, 2010
Green thumbs will be plentiful on Saturday, March 27, when the West Virginia Division of Culture and History presents the Garden Festival from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. This year marks the Division’s 13th day-long celebration of the growing season with workshops, exhibitors and vendors. All activities, located on the plaza deck and in the Great Hall of the Culture Center, are free and the public is invited to attend.
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, photographs, tole paintings on slate, daylilies, garden signs and t-shirts. In addition, light breakfast and lunch choices will be available for purchase throughout the day by the Woman’s Club of South Charleston.
There will be four, one-hour workshops including “The Winter Garden” with Chris Higgins, owner of Plant and Gnome, at 9 a.m. The discussion will be on ornamental plants that extend the life of your garden into the winter months. He will look at bark, berries, flowers, and foliage, as well as design features and accents, birding and winter flower arranging. Plant and Gnome is an on-line/mail order garden nursery with a location in Charleston.
At 10:30 a.m., participants can hear John Porter, a WVU Extension Agent for agriculture and natural resources in Kanawha County. This workshop, “Cultivating Community Gardens,” will provide the basic techniques about how community gardens function and how individuals and groups can start a garden or participate in an existing one. These gardens combine the beauty and productivity of traditional gardens and provide opportunities for communities to grow and develop. Porter’s interest in plants, gardening and farming has been passed down from generation to generation.
The workshop at noon will be led by Bill Shanklin, manager and grower for Shanklin Greenhouse and Landscaping in Charleston for more than 35 years. He will discuss “Sustaining a Floral and Evergreen Landscape in the Garden.” Shanklin will concentrate on choosing combinations of annuals and perennials, color and flower selections and the use of shrubbery and perennials as fillers for the garden. Shanklin has served as the grounds manager for General Services at the State Capitol Complex since 2008 and is a member of the Kanawha County Master Gardener program.
The final session at 1:30 p.m., is a special keynote workshop with David Daehnke, well known from his radio show “The Gardening Guru,” who will discuss “Landscaping with Nature: How to Animal Proof your Garden.” Daehnke will focus on how many areas that used to be wooded are now new housing developments. He will talk about how to protect property from deer, raccoons, woodchucks and other devastating animals, while still planting what you want to plant. Daehnke is a seasoned gardener and lecturer who was the landscape supervisor at the James A. McFaul Environmental Center in Wyckoff, N.J., a year-round wildlife sanctuary providing the public with wildlife viewing, a nature trail, nature programs and workshops. In addition, he owned his own landscape design and maintenance firm for more than 10 years. “The Gardening Guru” is broadcast on WGHT 1500 AM and Daehnke also is a horticultural consultant on his Internet Web site www.thegardeningguru.com.
Vendors for the Garden Festival include Bill Wood Scenic Photography, By the River Creations, Garden Treasurers, In the Pines, Krackshot Photography, Plant and Gnome, Primitive Woodwares, Still Meadows Farm, Sue Cosgrove, Summer Hollow Pottery, Teresa Eskins, West Virginia Herb Association/Smoke Camp Crafts and Windbeam Way Nursery.
For more information about the Garden Festival, contact Jennifer Sharp, cultural program specialist for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 171.
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 Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture 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.