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Hillside Garden Club Lynchburg Garden Day arrangement

Past Presenters


“Preservation of Beautiful Flora” by Anne Blackwell, Artist & Founder of Blackwell Botanicals

Anne Blackwell Thompson of Richmond, Virginia and founder of Blackwell Botanicals

Anne Blackwell Thompson of Richmond, Virginia and founder of Blackwell Botanicals graciously travelled to Lynchburg to present “Preservation of Beautiful Flora” and share her unique passion of preserving beautiful flora and the process of creating her one-of-a-kind composition masterpieces.


While recovering from an illness, Anne happened upon a magazine ad for patio furniture. She was mesmerized by the artwork in the background, which spawned the idea for Blackwell Botanicals. She took a leap of faith and travelled to Turin, Italy where she studied as an apprentice to world-renowned botanical artist Stuart Thornton.


Her work is a culmination of her years of study, her significant training in studio art and art history and her love of the natural world. Her artistry is meticulous, sophisticated, and juxtapose tradition with a modern flair. It was a true honor and privilege for our club to learn about this complex form of art and to share in Anne’s love and enthusiasm for gardening and the outdoors!


“Selections from the Country House Library” by Kinsey Marable

Founder of Kinsey Marable & Co.

Kinsey Marable once an investment banker that subsequently became a curator of private libraries joined us and shared books to collect or perhaps aspire to collect, for our program Selections from the “Country House Library.”


Just a sampling: "The Gardens of Russell Page" by Marina Schinz and Gabrielle van Zuylen, A collection by Beverley Nichols: "A Thatched Roof", "A Village in a Valley", "Merry Hall" and "Down the Garden Path" and of course, "Jefferson" (six volume set) by Dumas Malone.


Kinsey ever charming and knowledgeable had us all laughing and several members were inspired and expanded our own libraries after spending a morning together.

“Windowsill Art” by Nancy Ross Hugo, Author & Speaker

Nancy Ross Hugo lives, gardens, writes and arranges flowers in central Virginia. "Windowsill Art" is her fifth book. Nancy shared her techniques for windowsill arranging at our annual joint meeting with Lynchburg Garden Club. Think forgotten plant material, groupings of similar vases or an unusual container which result in both a simple and joyful arrangement for you to appreciate.


"How to Wow : A Splendid Garden Lecture & Farm-to-table Lunch" fundraiser hosted by Hillside Garden Club featuring Mary Keen (Lady Mary) & her latest book "Paradise and Plenty: A Rothschild Family Garden"

"How to Wow : A Splendid Garden Lecture & Farm-to-table Lunch" fundraiser hosted by Hillside Garden Club featuring Mary Keen

Thank you to the Garden Club of Virginia club members that shared the day with us including: Albemarle, Augusta, Boxwood, Charlottesville, Dolley Madison, Fauquier and Loudoun, Lynchburg, Rivanna and Roanoke Valley.


There were mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, sisters and our dear friends that joined us in Lynchburg, Virginia for our event at the Academy Center of the Arts.  We loved hearing again and again that so many friends enjoyed the day and that they 

"did not want it to end."


It was truly a fantastic and memorable day with Mary Keen, generations of families and long-time friends that all share a common passion for gardening.

Hillside Garden Club members and featured guests

“Restoring the Ornamental Landscape and the ‘New’ Road” at Poplar Forest  by William Rieley, Landscape Architect & Principal of Rieley & Associates 

William (Will) Rieley, Landscape Architect and Principal of Rieley and Associates

William (Will) Rieley, Landscape Architect and Principal of Rieley and Associates shared how the new planting effort will enhance the current landscape. Visualize sweeps of flowering and large shade trees that will line the road, with a triple row of tulip poplars to greet visitors at the Enterprise Drive entrance. Native plants both ornamental and practical with enhance the roads and other visitor spaces. In addition tree planting will help screen views of the adjacent golf course, keeping our visitors' perspectives firmly in the Jeffersonian era. 


After an informative meeting with Will we enjoyed lunch and lingered 'on grounds' at Poplar Forest.


“The English Garden Influences and Design” by Heidi Howcroft, Landscape Architect, Author & Tour Guide

Heidi Howcroft, landscape architect, author and tour guide presented “The English Garden Influences and Design”

Heidi Howcroft, landscape architect, author and tour guide presented “The English Garden Influences and Design” highlighting her book, "First Ladies of Gardening".


Her book introduced the “grandes dames” of contemporary English garden design and includes the great names of the garden world which have emerged since the 1950s, from Vita Sackville-West and Beth Chatto to Beatrix Havergal. It also presents outstanding women gardeners of the present-day who have likewise had a substantial influence on the development of contemporary garden design.


Heidi and her long-time friend Alexandra Messervy, founder of The English Manner copresented at our annual joint meeting with the Lynchburg Garden Club. Some of our members have been on garden tours led by Heidi and Alexandra in England, so with great pleasure we were able to swap roles and share our lovely private gardens in Virginia.

"The English Manner & Etiquette Connection"  by Alexandra Messervy, Founder of The English Manner 

Alexandra Messervy FRSA, Founder of The English Manner provided us with an overview of her etiquette and protocol institute and shared her upcoming garden tour with Heidi Howcroft.


The Culture Concierge is led by Alexandra Messervy FRSA, Founder of The English Manner, and Anna Kirkman, who curate and create exclusive luxury tours and leisure experiences for the discerning international traveler. The Culture Concierge (the former tours division of The English Manner) has built a reputation over more than 20 years for the design and curating of bespoke personalized tours and experiences often based on a special theme.

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