NE Master Gardeners plan January seminar

Chris Wiesinger, known as the Bulb Hunter, will talk about heirloom bulbs like Narcissus Grand Primo. Photo by Kathie Rowell.

Chris Wiesinger, known as the Bulb Hunter, will talk about heirloom bulbs like Narcissus Grand Primo. Photo by Kathie Rowell.

LSU AgCenter

BATON ROUGE, La. – Master Gardeners in northeast Louisiana will hold their 5th annual gardening seminar at the West Monroe Convention Center from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Jan. 17.

The theme of this year’s program is Gardening Through the Ages, said LSU AgCenter horticulture agent Kerry Heafner.

“We have a lineup this year of three nationally known authors and speakers,” Heafner said.

The keynote speaker will be Peter J. Hatch, a professional gardener and historian with 38 years of experience in the restoration, care and interpretation of historic landscapes. He has written four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where he served as director of gardens and grounds for 35 years.

Now he is involved in gardening at his home in Virginia and travels extensively to promote his latest book, “A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Gardens at Monticello.”

He also consults on the installation and maintenance of public gardens and private estate landscapes, Heafner said.

William Welch, professor and Texas AgriLife Extension Service landscape horticultural sciences professional, also will speak on the program.

His books, “Perennial Garden Color” and “Antique Roses for the South,” have been best sellers, Heafner said.

“Welch sees the plants grown by our ancestors as living antiques because they are symbols of success for generations of gardeners,” Heafner said. “In addition to his books, he also is a regular contributor to Southern Living magazine.”

Also on this year’s program is Chris Wiesinger, owner of The Southern Bulb Company near Tyler, Texas.

Wiesinger, also a member of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, was dubbed “The Bulb Hunter” in a 2006 New York Times feature story. What started as a personal passion and college project turned into a lifestyle and profitable business, he said.

His book, “The Bulb Hunter,” a story of his adventures to find, grow and propagate heirloom bulbs that had fallen out of fashion and off the market, was co-authored by Welch.

Admission for the seminar is $20.

The Convention Center is located at 501 Ridge Ave., West Monroe.

Pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins are welcome, said Heafner.

For additional information on the seminar, contact Heafner at 318-323-2251 or

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