Spring Into Gardening

Technically we may still be in winter, but we're beginning to think spring!

Late February’s mild temperatures receded snowbanks and brought in the robins and bluebirds. Seed and plant catalogs have been filling the mailbox for a few weeks now. As I write, I feel the strong heat of the sun pouring through the window. I look out to what’s left of my flower garden; now brown and bedraggled. I have a yearning to get growing. Regional gardeners might anticipate a good perennial survival rate with our recent mild winter, but it will be quite a while yet before we know for sure.

Certainly the northeast could still experience some of the wrath of winter, but now is a hopeful time for gardeners. It’s also time to do some research, information gathering, and planning; all with hopes of making our gardens flourish in the coming season.

6th Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium

One of the activities that should be on every northeastern gardener’s list is attending the Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium presented by the King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga. This day-long educational program is intended for gardeners of all levels. The symposium is a not-to-be-missed event featuring top horticulture experts throughout the northeast; a rare opportunity for anyone with a passion for growing.

Presentations are packed with information, practical tips, and strategies for expanding and improving local gardens and personal landscapes. This is the 6th annual symposium. Every year pertinent new topics are covered, and they often connect to a layer of the vast history at this Fort Ticonderoga-King’s Garden setting.

From Fort Ticonderoga’s President and CEO

“The Annual Garden & Landscape Symposium is a wonderful opportunity for beginner gardeners, serious hobbyists, and professionals to learn about and share the latest information on ways to expand and improve gardens and landscape in the Lake Champlain region,” said Beth L. Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “Known for its historic landscape and sweeping saga, the Ticonderoga peninsula holds centuries of horticulture history. Today we continue to learn from our past in all areas of our work including landscape, and find inspiration in the stories it tells while we find new ways to help our plants and gardens thrive. We love sharing this information with a growing audience of garden lovers who attend this program and many of our other King’s Garden related programs throughout the year.”

Scheduled Presentations

One of the symposium's featured speakers this year will be Dr. Leonard Perry. Dr. Perry holds a Ph.D. in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture from Cornell University. He currently holds the Fort Ticonderoga position of Horticulturalist in Residence at the King’s Garden, and is a Horticulture Professor Emeritus from the University of Vermont. He has served as a professor, advisor, and consultant to the industry throughout the northeast for over 35 years. He also has served as a consultant and collaborator for King’s Garden’s annual symposiums and programs in the past.

His first presentation of the day, Deer in the Garden: Controls and Deterrents, will begin at 9:15 A.M. Anyone who has felt that draining disappointment of losing their early spring sprouts to our Adirondack white-tailed friends will appreciate the tips and guidance to be shared.     

Another symposium morning program entitled Luscious Landscaping, with Fruits, Trees, Shrubs and Vines will share ways to not only beautify your yard, but to put extremely fresh, healthful, flavorful food on your table. Dr. Lee Reich, garden author, speaker, and consultant, will share his knowledge from his experience with plant and soil research with the USDA and Cornell University as well as from his personal experience.

Plan on enjoying a fantastic lunch, included with the registration, prepared by Libby’s Bakery Café, known region-wide for their fresh culinary creations and confections. There will be a Panel Discussion following lunch with all symposium presenters that will include an opportunity for attendees to ask specific questions of this team of experts.

During the afternoon you will gain interesting insight regarding the history of American fruit cultivation as you learn about the Pell Family’s Apple Orchard and both its cultural and historical significance presented by Riley Clark-Long. Then, get inspired, as you learn how to fill your garden with bees and butterflies in the Top Perennial Flowers for Attracting Pollinators in Northern Gardens presentation given by Annie White, owner of Nectar Landscape Design Studio & Consulting.

A Pre-Season Privilege

The symposium will conclude with a guided tour given by the King’s Garden staff. This will include not only the gardens, but surrounding landscape including the historic apple orchard. This will be a privileged early-season preview at what will literally blossom into a colorful masterpiece. I have visited the King’s Garden in what most might consider the “off” season. Though not blooming in full color, I will still captivated by its beauty and found I could further appreciate the hardscape design of the formal garden without blooms grabbing my attention. All gardeners will appreciate a pre-season view of the setting, backdrop, and surrounding landscape of the King’s Garden.

The 6th Annual Garden and Landscape Symposium will take place this year on Saturday, April 8th. Early-bird registrants will receive a break if registering before March 15th. Visit Fort Ticonderoga’s website for registration information. Also note that the Best Western Plus Ticonderoga Inn & Suites, conveniently located nearby, is offering discounted accommodation rates for Symposium attendees booking in advance.  


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