Southern Garden Symposium





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This trip is open to Members Only until September 1.

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2023 Southern Garden Symposium:  Press Release

“Learn from prestigious speakers amid gracious surroundings.”

October 20 & 21, 2023

St. Francisville, Louisiana


Welcoming speakers including nationally known horticulturist Rebecca McMackin, preeminent landscape designer Gary W. Smith, and former Director of Meadowbrook Farm in Jenkstown, Pennsylvania, Jenny Rose Carey in 2023, no event on the Southern gardening calendar attracts a more extensive roster of recognized experts to historic settings quite like the Southern Garden Symposium in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Celebrated as much for its engaging social events and historic venues as for its outstanding program of garden lectures and workshops, the Southern Garden Symposium - now in its 35th year - has become an annual tradition for garden enthusiasts from across the Gulf South.


The 2023 symposium gets underway with a series of workshops commencing at 9:30 am on Friday, October 20 at various locations throughout the historic Mississippi River town. Attendees may choose to attend any two of the following:


  • Floral Design: Creating natural, garden-style arrangements for your home—Margaret Ludwig.
  • Preserving Our Roots: My journey to save seeds and stories—John Coykendall
  • The New Heirloom Garden—Ellen Ecker Ogden
  • The Craft, Inspiration and Wisdom of growing a Flora with a Southern Flair—Jared Barnes
  • Designing a Plant-Packed, Seasonal Flower Garden—Jenny Rose Carey
  • Early Camellias in Louisiana—Dr. Wayne Stromeyer


On Friday evening, a highlight of the symposium weekend is the traditional cocktail party to honor participating speakers. Taking place at Grace Episcopal Church this year, the event promises sumptuous fare, generous refreshments, and opportunities to engage with speakers and garden enthusiasts in one of the Felicianas’ most atmospheric historic settings.


On Saturday, the symposium’s lecture program will begin at 8:30 am at the Ridgecrest Event Center on the grounds of The Myrtles Historic Inn. Topics will include:


  • Adventures in Ecological Horticulture—Rebecca McMackin
  • Women Garden Writers and the Flowers that they Loved—Jenny Rose Carey
  • Beauty and Decay in the Garden—Gary W. Smith


The Southern Garden Symposium welcomes groups and individuals to experience an enlightened weekend program of education and celebration at the height of fall in historic St. Francisville. For registration information, visit; call 225-635-3738 or email For information regarding overnight accommodations in St. Francisville, visit or call 225-635-4224 or toll free, 800-789-4221.


August 1, 2023


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