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About Us

No other gardening program brings nationally renowned speakers to historic settings quite like the Southern Garden Symposium does. The Southern Garden Symposium seeks to preserve and commemorate gardening in the Deep South through lectures, workshops, and tours of historic Afton Villa Gardens and the gardens at Rosedown State Historic Site.

While the symposium’s workshops and lectures provide ideas and inspiration for the gardener, social activities showcase classic southern elegance at its finest. From home-baked breakfast breads served each morning, to sumptuous evening gala fare, not a detail is overlooked.

In keeping with its mission, the Southern Garden Symposium has supported many in their pursuits to enhance gardens and educate gardeners. Of particular note:


o Symposium Park, which is a cornerstone of the historic district of St. Francisville- the land was purchased, designed and developed into a small garden by the Symposium Steering Committee, then later donated to the Town of St. Francisville;
o Support was given to several historic gardens in our community, including those at Rosedown State Historic Site, Oakley House at Audubon State Historic Site, and Afton Villa Gardens; 
o Most recently support was given to St. Francisville Beautiful, a group dedicated to the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of permanent and seasonal landscape beautification of our local community; 

o University students are assisted through a scholarship at Louisiana State University‘s School of Landscape Architecture established to honor the memory of Dr. Neil Odenwald, a long time leader of the Southern Garden Symposium;
o The symposium steering committee takes pride in producing an event that offers not only first-class programs, but also introduces our guests and speakers to the unique history, beauty, and hospitality of West Feliciana Parish.

Located about 45 minutes north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, St. Francisville was established in 1809.  Occupying high ground on the east bank of the Mississippi River and often described as a town “two miles long and two yards wide,” the beloved destination keeps visitors coming back to carefully preserved historic architecture, breathtaking scenery, eclectic shopping, and a warm, close-knit community spirit.  Symposium events open the doors to various historic and picturesque locations including Oakley House, Afton Villa Gardens, Rosedown State Historic Site, and Grace Episcopal Church.

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