Four gardening experts to speak in Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO — On Saturday, Jan. 25, four gardening experts, each with international experience, will present their thoughts, pictures, and videos at Garden Inspirations, an all-day workshop at the Latchis Theatre in downtown Brattleboro.

Only 100 tickets will be sold, with proceeds supporting the ongoing restoration of the main hall of the Latchis Theatre. Though it may be snowing and 17 degrees outside, in the Ballroom Theatre upstairs at the Latchis, all will be warmth, color, and inspiration for spring.

The lecturers include Julie Moir Messervy, a nationally known garden writer, designer, and lecturer from Saxtons River; Dan Snow, dry stone waller from Dummerston, known across America for his skills and artistry; Helen O'Donnell from Putney, and Gordon Hayward, also a nationally known garden designer, writer, and lecturer from Westminster West. Hayward is also vice president of the Latchis Arts Board.

Messervy will begin the day at 9 a.m. with her PowerPoint presentation, “Landscaping Ideas that Work.” Her images will come largely from her own work across the country. Her goal is to illustrate design principles in her gardens that audience members can apply to their own gardens.

In the afternoon, Messervy will screen her video: “Inspired by Bach: The Music Garden with Yo Yo Ma and Julie Messervy,” the story of the garden she designed with Yo Yo Ma based on the structure and rhythm of a Bach fugue.

Snow will offer a PowerPoint presentation of his work with stone. Examples range from the practicality of stone retaining walls to the fantastical. Snow will also screen his video “Stone Rising: The Work of Dan Snow” in the afternoon.

O'Donnell, an artist as well as a garden designer, and who maintains gardens professionally, will show slides and speak on her two monthlong stints as volunteer gardener at Great Dixter (, the garden of the late Christopher Lloyd in southeastern England.

She will present her inside view of Great Dixter as she worked under head gardener Fergus Garrett during March 2012 and July 2013.

Hayward will present his PowerPoint presentation “Fine Painting as Inspiration for Garden Design.” He first gave this lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1994 and has refined the lecture since at museums and garden clubs across the country.

This is a lecture about elements of composition - defining depth, itinerary of the eye, color, line and rhythm - as shared by the painter and the garden designer.

The workshop ends at 4:30 p.m. Throughout the day, Messervy, Snow, and Hayward will sell and sign their books: more than 12 titles. Lunch is included in the ticket price.

Tickets for a full day of Garden Inspirations are $125, and may be purchased at the Latchis Hotel, 50 Main St.; by calling Gail Nunziata at Latchis Arts, 802-254-1109, Ext. 3; or by visiting

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