Green Side Up

Garden talk with Gazette community blogger Janice Peterson.

Janice Peterson: A special gardening event you won't want to miss

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Janice Peterson
February 24, 2015

Readers of this blog know by now that I am a huge fan of Thomas Jefferson–farmer, gardener, naturalist. (I think he may have also been a U.S. president. But wow, what a gardener!) His contributions to horticulture and his passion for the natural world helped shape the way we garden today.

I so admire Jefferson that I suggested we create a tribute to his horticulture genius at Rotary Botanical Gardens. Last year we installed The Thomas Jefferson Collection at RBG, featuring over 100 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers grown by T.J. himself. This garden was a huge success and I'm happy to say we will be repeating the display this year–with some new and updated varieties.

So now this is really cool–Peter Hatch, former Director of Gardens & Grounds at Monticello, will be speaking at RBG's Spring Symposium on Saturday, March 21. This is going to be a really special event, one that you're not going to want to miss.

During Mr. Hatch's 35 years at Monticello he oversaw the interpretation and restoration of the vegetable and fruit gardens where Jefferson experimented with many new and unusual plant varieties. Hatch wrote an award-winning book, “A Rich Spot of Earth”–Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello, about the restoration and history of Jefferson's gardens, which will be the basis of his talk. I've read this book and it is a fascinating read.

And if that weren't enough, there will be two other superb speakers that day–Kyle Cherek, host of WPT's “Wisconsin Foodie” and Mark Dwyer, Director of Horticulture at RBG.

We don't get educational opportunities of this caliber too often right here in Janesville. Take advantage of it!


Janice Peterson has worked as a grounds horticulturist at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville since 2002. She is a master gardener with the Rock Prairie Master Gardener Association. Though her education is in plant science, she considers her love of gardening and strong back to be her true qualifications. Janice is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. Her opinion is not necessarily that of The Gazette staff or management.

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