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Please keep checking this page for updated event and tour information. 


Administrators Breakfast

Date: Wednesday, August 1 - 8:00 AM-10:00 AM

This is a venue for department heads, department chairs, and anyone else involved in horticulture administration in the public sector to join together and discuss current issues. We will discuss topics relevant for academic horticulture programs in the U.S. and share information about best practices from our institutions.


Featured Speaker Luncheon

Presented by the Industry Division

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM


Featured Speaker Luncheon

Presented by the International Division

Thursday, August 2, 2018, 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM


Pi Alpha Xi Luncheon

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM


Featured Speakers Luncheon

Presented by the Extension Division

Date:  Friday, August 3, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM




Jefferson's Monticello: Gardens and their History

Sunday, July 29

6:45 AM - 7:00 PM

$155 - Includes lunch and snacks.  Dinner on your own.

This tour will allow you to have a guided tour of the gardens at Jefferson’s Monticello, learn about the history and pomology of Monticello’s fruit trees and re-creation of the gardens from experts in this field in the morning. After lunch, Peter Hatch, author of The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello, will discuss early American pomology. Next, you will be given a choice between touring the Monticello mansion, our third US president’s estate and a UNESCO World Heritage Site OR visiting the neighboring Carter Mountain Orchard, a family run and operated apple orchard and sampling a flight of Bold Rock hard cider.


Tour of Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

Monday, July 30

8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

$89 - Includes lunch.

We invite you to join an excursion to the home of George Washington to see, hear, taste and witness Mount Vernon like few have experienced. 

Our day will start at 9:30 at the restored/recreated grist mill and distillery to witness the grinding of corn and to learn the process of making Washington’s own rye Whiskey.  Before departing, we will sample both the original recipe and whiskey aged two years in a charred oak barrel. 

Arriving at the estate at 10:30 we will begin our tour of the historic gardens and landscape with long time horticulturist Dean Norton.  Dean, in his 49th year at Mount Vernon, will introduce us to all areas of the country seat Washington created in 1785 to include the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River, the kitchen garden, pleasure garden and the landscape features to include the groves, shrubberies, wilderness areas, bowling green and ha-ha walls.  Dean will give us plenty of historical insight and share lots of stories of preservation and his own personal experiences from his years as a teenage paper picker.

After lunch at the Inn we will have the opportunity to tour the house as well as embark on a behind the scenes tour exploring the forest, seeing a number of historic trees and other special areas that at this time will remain a surprise.

Before leaving, the estate there will be time for you to explore on your own, tour the museum and also the education center.

It will be a day to remember and a trip that should not be missed.


Urban Farms and Horticultural Ecosystems in Washington DC

Monday, July 30

8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

$30 - Includes Metro Card.

Participants will take the metro to three locations (US Tax Court Plaza, – District Department of Energy and Environment, Up Top Acres Urban Farm) in Washington DC, to learn how urban ecosystems and urban farms are contributing to the quality of life and the environment in our Nation’s capital.  The focus will be on how these systems are reducing stormwater runoff, energy use, and providing food and tangible ecosystem services to the community.

Ornamental & Turf Management Tour at Capitol, Smithsonian Museum and National Mall

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

8 a.m. – 1 p.m.


The  Capitol grounds and National Mall are visited by millions of people every year, which requires a very high aesthetic standard and makes the landscape and lawn management  very challenging.  The tour will highlight such standards and the management practices

At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, James Gagliardi, Smithsonian staff, will talk about tree, turf and garden management.

At the National Mall Michael Stachowicz of the National Park Service will talk about landscape and turf management at National Mall.

At the Capitol grounds Jim Kaufman, Architect of the Capitol, and his staff will discuss turf, tree, and garden management surrounding the Capitol. 


Tour of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Facilities

Tuesday, July 31

12:00 Noon - 4:00 PM

$36 - Does Not Include Lunch.

Headquartered on Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) sits just 25 miles from Washington, DC. Its 2,650-acre campus spans forests, wetlands, marshes and 15 miles of protected shoreline. The site serves as a natural laboratory for long-term and cutting-edge ecological research.  SERC is the home of the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC) – an alliance of organizations dedicated to conserving the diverse orchid heritage of the U.S. and Canada and ensuring the survival of native orchids for future generations.

In this tour, you will visit SERC’s new LEED Platinum laboratory facilities, where NAOCC researchers extract mycorrhizal fungi from native orchid root samples, and conduct DNA testing on orchid leaf material and fungi for identification and comparison to plant material from various portions of an orchid’s range.  Participants will also visit field sites at SERC where in situ orchid research is conducted.  Travel from the laboratory to field sites will require walking so appropriate foot wear and weather-dependend field cloting is desirable.


Tour of U.S. Botanic Garden

Wednesday, August 1

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

$71 - Includes Lunch

Tour the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory (USBG) and go behind-the-scenes on a tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory Production Facility (PF). Explore a diversity of plants from the USBG collection with horticulture and plant health experts.

Learn how the Garden’s collections and displays plants are safeguarded from pests and diseases, and how the collections policy is implemented. The Conservatory, located on the National Mall, features 11 different rooms of plant displays, and two exhibit galleries. Seven miles south is the USBG Production Facility (PF), which features nearly two acres of greenhouses and is the largest support facility for a public garden in the U.S. Plants grown at the PF are transported daily up to the Conservatory for public display. This tour offers a unique opportunity to see collections that are not usually on display for the public due to their fragile nature or conservation status.


Undergraduate Student Tour of the Smithsonian Gardens 

Thursday, August 2

9:30 AM - 5:30 PM or 7 PM (This is a walking tour. Participants can return to the hotel on their own)

$15 - Includes Metro Card - Does Not Include Lunch.

On this walking tour, the students will tour several gardens surrounding the many Smithsonian museums on the National Mall including the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden, and the Enid A. Haupt Garden.  Lunch will be on your own at the café in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.  After lunch, we will tour the Natural History museum.

We will depart the hotel at 9:30 AM and take the D.C Metro system to L’Enfant Plaza and arrive at the Hishhorn Sculpture Garden around 10:15.  Next we will meander through the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden then the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden and then enter the Enid A. Haupt Garden. (1000 Jefferson Drive, SW Washington DC)  These gardens are all located around the Smithsonian Castle and the Hishhorn Museum.  Around Noon we will cross the mall to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden where we will eat lunch at the café.  Around 1 o’clock we will enter the Natural History Museum (10th St and Constitution Ave. NW) and tour there for the remainder of the afternoon (closes at 5).  The Natural History Museum has a lot of everything from rocks and fossils to mammals and insects and just about everything in between and beyond. Depending on group moral, we may walk up to the American Art Museum (until they close at 7) or head back to the hotel using the Metro again.

National Repositories of Tropical Crop Germplasm Tour

Thursday, August 2

9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

$45 - Does Not Include Lunch

Modern botanical gardens have various functions and roles. Of these, on-site germplasm deposition is certainly one of the most important functions not only for breeders, but also for plant biologists, ecologists, and plant enthusiasts. This tour will visit the Smithsonian Orchid Collection, located in the Suitland Campus in Suitland, MD, which boasts over 8,000 living specimens from all over the world. This collection is currently primarily used for education purposes. We will also visit the living collection of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG), located in Washington, DC, which is meticulously maintained through documentation and labeling to serve the Garden's mission of promoting botanical knowledge. The Garden also serves as a rescue center for plants confiscated at U.S. borders in cooperation with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora international agreement. The Garden also presents programs, such as native orchid conservation in collaboration with the Smithsonian, and Plant Rescue Center Program. Germplasm deposited at the Smithsonian and USBG could an important source of improving traits of tropical horticulture crops, including orchids, tropical fruits, spices and medicinal plants.



1018 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703.836.4606