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Garden Festival returns to the Cultural Center April 22

Green thumbs will be plentiful on Saturday, April 22, 2006 when the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History presents a Garden Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. This year marks the Division’s 10th 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. - 2 p.m.

Concurrent workshop topics include “Why We Garden: Becoming One with Everything,” “Keeping Your Trees and Shrubs Alive,” “Healing Thyme: Civil War Plants, Potions, and Poultices,” “Environmental Friendly Gardening,” “Growing Shitake Mushrooms, and Medicinal Mushrooms and Wild Crafting Mushrooms,” and “Attracting Birds and Butterflies to West Virginia Gardens.”

In addition, a special session with Tara Dillard, garden lifestyle designer from Stone Mountain, Ga., will take place from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. She will be speaking about two of her books: The Garden View: Designs for Beautiful Landscapes and Beautiful by Design: Stunning Blueprints for Harmonious Gardens. Dillard holds degrees in industrial engineering and horticulture and is a speaker, designer and national award-winning author. She has hosted her own show on CBS-TV, “Better Gardening Show,” served as NBC-TV’s garden expert on “Peachtree Morning Live,” was co-host of PBS-TV’s “Georgia Gardener” and has also appeared on radio. Dillard teaches horticulture at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Gwinnett Technical College and lectures across the southeast. Her lecture will close with a booksigning.

Dillard’s books feature beautiful photographs with text describing how to recreate the image. Garden View explains how to make the most use of limited space, and how to plan the garden for viewing not just from the garden but from inside the home. Beautiful by Design discusses focal points that capture the eye, how to turn every area into a habitat for beauty while making a strong impression, and how to maintain beautiful plants and flowers all year long.

There also will be a Children’s Gardening Workshop with Melissa Dennison, master gardener from Clem, on the Cultural Center plaza from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

For more information about the Garden Festival or other programs of the Division, call (304) 558-0162. A complete list of workshops and exhibitions is attached.

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, 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 Department of Arts, Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Media Note: Tara Dillard can be reached at (404) 299-5309 or [email protected]

Full schedule with exhibitors is online here