Famous gardener Peter Hatch to speak as part of lecture series

Sunday, August 24, 2014 | 5:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – Famous professional gardener Peter Hatch will be making an appearance at the Jacquelyn K. Jones Lectureship series Tuesday, according to a Mizzou Botanic Garden news release.

Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 38 years of experience in the restoration, care and interpretation of historic landscapes. Hatch served as the emeritus director of gardens and grounds for 35 years at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

Lecture Schedule

Lecture 1: "Kindness Tree Dedication"

  • When: 10 a.m.
  • Where: North side of MU Sinclair School of Nursing

Lecture 2: "Connecting Gardening and Community"

  • When: 2 p.m.
  • Where: Jesse Wrench Auditorium, Memorial Union

Lecture 3: "Monticello: The Gardens of Thomas Jefferson"

  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Where: The Columns Ballroom, Reynolds Alumni Center

All lectures are free and open to the public.

The garden will also hold a Kindness Tree Dedication, a project to memorialize the shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. The project is funded by Rose Porter, the former dean at the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, and her husband, Michael Porter, a former faculty in MU's Department of Communication.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce will perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the event, and Hatch's first lecture will start at 10 a.m. on the north side of the MU Sinclair School of Nursing and will last 20 minutes.

The first lecture, titled “Kindness Tree Dedication,” will explore the significance behind arbor memorials. Hatch will interpret the symbolic values in terms of recognizing people from the past in planting memorial trees.

The second lecture is “Connecting Gardening and Community.” Hatch will demonstrate the responsibility gardening bears for community-building, using Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, his primary plantation in Virginia, as an example. The site reflects the interests, talents and ambitions of the third U.S president during his time working at the Monticello.

"People come together through the sharing of horticultural knowledge, physical labor, playfulness, food, and wine," Hatch said in an email. He said his time at Monticello reinforced this idea.

Hatch will also reveal details about the White House Kitchen Garden, currently run by the First Lady Michelle Obama and the Edible Schoolyard programs initiated by Alice Waters. The details will further demonstrate the significant impacts Thomas Jefferson made 200 year ago on modern day gardening.

The lecture will start at 2 p.m. in the Jesse Wrench Auditorium, Memorial Union. A 10 to 15 minute Q&A session will be held after.

The last lecture of the day is “Monticello: The Gardens of Thomas Jefferson.” Hatch will talk about the significance and history of Monticello based on his experience there.

"As the Emeritus Director of Gardens and Grounds I relish spreading the word about Thomas Jefferson, (gardening) and my 35 years at Monticello caring for, interpreting and restoring the Jefferson-era landscape," Hatch said in an email.

The lecture will start at 7 p.m., followed by another 10 to 15 minute Q&A session, in the Columns Ballroom in the Reynolds Alumni Center. It will finish with a book-signing session with Hatch for “A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello.” Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

All lectures are free and no prior reservations are required.

For more information, please go to or call 884 - 2556.

Supervising editor is Mary Ryan.

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