Program Materials


9:00 – 9:15 a.m. – Welcoming remarks.

9:15 – 10:00 a.m. – Herbals in History: Botany, Philosophy and Daily Life (Clem Hamilton)

Herbals — books concerning the botany and properties of mostly medicinally useful plants — first appeared in printed form in the late 15th century. Drawing on images from Holden’s Corning Library Special Collection, Dr. Hamilton will trace the evolution of herbals in Europe through the 17th century, and in America until the mid-19th century. Over their history herbals improved in their accuracy of information, precision of illustration, and overall beauty — interesting for its own sake, and as an ethnobotanical window on intellectual development in general, as superstition and authoritarianism gave way to direct observation and independent reason.

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. – Break

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. – Keynote Address – John Bartram: American Medical Herbalist (Kirk Brown)

John Bartram collected plants, scientific wisdom and herbal lore from the populations of native North American tribes with whom he traveled. He explored many of the thirteen original colonies in his quest for marketable plant material for the horticultural trade crossing the Atlantic to great gardens in Britain. He wrote the appendix of North American herbals for the British Pharmacopoeia—still in use in the trade until the 1950’s. His introduction of more than 200 species of trees, shrubs, perennials, culinary and medicinal herbs to the trade became the foundation upon which the nursery industry in North America was founded. He produced the first plant catalogue selling material by mail. His was the first true botanic garden open to the public. His humor, his passion and his achievements will entertain, inspire and awe as he shares his hope for the future of the earth and the people who inhabit it!

11:30 – 12:15 p.m. – Historical Medicinal Gardens (Cynthia Druckenbrod)

The cultivation of medicinal plants first began around 3000 years ago in ancient Egypt. The Romans were also aware of the medicinal properties of plants. Following them, the monks took on the responsibility of growing and dispensing medicinal plants from their monastic gardens beginning in the 8th century. These gardens were the pre-cursor to the physic gardens that appeared in the 16th century first in Italy and later in England and throughout Europe. Today, medicinal gardens are associated primarily with Botanical Gardens and University Gardens and remain important educational and experiential places.

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. – Herbal box lunch (with time for exploration of CBG and shopping in the CBG Garden Shop).

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Designing an Enabling Herb Garden (Karen Kennedy)

What makes a garden enabling? The answer is very personal to the gardener. Participants will discover the qualities of gardens and characteristics of tools that make gardening easier and maximize enjoyment. The benefits of gardening are many, including helping us maintain mobility, physical strength, good humor and manage stress. Be inspired by herb garden fragrances and the anticipation of your harvest as you design a garden with enabling features that works for you!

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Break

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. – Creating a Personal Herbal Retreat (Beth Schreibman Gehring)

First things first – You come first!

Creating a Personal Herbal Retreat is my gift to you today in the form of some of the most pampering & relaxing herbal tips that I know of to help keep your body and your life healthy and relaxed!

I’ve been teaching about personal rituals, self care, herbs and aromatherapy for over 30 years. I guess that I came by it naturally because when I was growing up, there were always luxurious products around our home that my mother encouraged us to use and many of them were simple potions that she made herself. She and my father were both wonderfully gifted gardeners, so our lives were always filled with beautiful flowers, herbs, luscious flavors and scents.

Fast forward a decade or two and as a young mother who was also running a business full time, I quickly learned the importance of putting myself first. It’s a bit like the old airplane video where the oxygen mask comes down and the stewardess says, “ Put the mask over your face first and then assist others”. I discovered that if I stopped to take the time for refreshment and rejuvenation, that I was a much nicer mother, business owner, friend and wife!

My goal for our time together is to inspire you to discover new ways of connecting your passion for herbs, gardening and nurturing, so that you can begin creating your own rituals that are truly personal and special in a world that is quickly losing its sense of peace and security.

I guess that you could say that I practice herbal self-care as a way of life!

Trust me when I say that I’m really looking forward to spending this time with you today!

During our conversation, I’ll be sharing many ways that you can bring an “Herban” peace and balance into your life!

I’ll be teaching you to create a wonderful herbal spa experience in your home with some of the fragrant plants found in your garden and we’ll touch on the topics of growing fragrant herb, harvesting , drying and creating your own herbal stillroom. Also included in our topics today will be easy to create herbal cleansing tips and tricks, soothing herbal and essential oil spa remedies to create a better night’s rest. We’ll be using easy to find ingredients like green tea, Himalayan salt, dried milk powder, kombucha, raw honey, brown sugar, avocado and almond oil and of course herbs and essential oils!

In addition to all of the above, I will be teaching you to make an Exfoliating Lavender Bergamot Sugar Scrub that soothes the mind, body and spirit. This is a hands-on project that you’ll be doing with me and it will be yours to take home and enjoy!

3:45 – 4:00 p.m. – Questions and concluding remarks


4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Time for exploration of CBG and shopping in the CBG Garden Shop.


5:00 – 5:15 p.m. – Welcoming remarks

5:15 – 6:00 p.m – Olmsted: Urban Parks and the Health of a Nation (Kirk Brown)

The overriding principle that Olmsted used in forging the partnerships that created the great Urban Parks Movement in America is a simple one. It goes to the heart of man’s emotional—and almost genetically predisposed—connection to nature: “The enjoyment of scenery employs the mind; and thus, through the influence of the mind over the body gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system.” His entire career was based on the belief that landscape connected members of the general public with a fundamental morality. General good health was just a byproduct of this relationship. Follow the arc of his career and the journey he laid out for his sons and the further growth and development of the profession of Landscape Architecture as Olmsted uses examples of his designs and celebrated client arguments to further his opinions in this fast paced visual presentation.

6:00 – 6:30 p.m. – Amari: Italy’s Gift to the World (Will Hollingsworth)

Amari, the bitter liquors produced in cities and towns all over Italy, are a kind of Italian landscape of the herbs, roots, and spices which grow there. Each one is like a little trip to a different village with a different ecosystem. Amari transcend space and time because they are at once defined by the place of their creation and bottled, trapped, and transported. To drink them, and discuss them, is to take a train across Italy, and across time.

6:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Mingle with the speakers and enjoy Amari or another cocktail and some herbal appetizers.