By Josette Keelor
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley will host horticulturist and author Andre Viette for a lecture and book signing this evening as part of its Galleries at Night event.
This will be one of several activities planned for this spring and summer to usher in the museum's garden event season, said Julie Armel, the museum's director of marketing and public relations.
"On April 2 our gardens opened for the season," Armel said, adding that what the staff considers a living collection of educational tools, the gardens will welcome two lectures by gardening experts and the monthly free series Lunch Box Lessons,.
The first will be April 23, "and we're talking about spring lawn care," she said. Next, on May 28, participants can learn about planting and harvesting vegetable gardens. On June 25, the theme will be rose gardening basics.
"These are very informal programs," Armel said. Classes will be from noon to 1 p.m., and participants are invited to bring a bag lunch or purchase food from the museum cafe.
"We'll continue through the garden season," she said.
A second lecture will take place at 2 p.m. Aug. 11 with award-winning historian Andrea Wulf, who will present "Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation."
For Friday's lecture, Viette, of Andre Viette Farm and Nursery in Fishersville, has planned gardening tips and how-to information for novice and expert gardeners, Armel said. Viette will explain what's new in gardening, how to control pests and discuss the truths and myths of organic gardening.
He will be available to sign copies of his book "Mid-Atlantic Gardener's Guide" after the lecture.
Armel said this is the first time that Viette has lectured at the museum.
Tickets for the lectures are $20 for museum members and $25 for others. This includes admission to galleries. The museum expects to sell out for Friday's event. Ticket sales for the August lecture are under way. As part of Galleries at Night, the café will be open for dinner and dessert from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Wine and beer will be available in the lobby for $5 per glass.