Ian Robertson Legacy: Lectureship

We are thrilled to announce the 2021
Ian Robertson Legacy: Lectureship Series

The fourth annual lectureship THE HEALING PROPERTIES OF NATURE Thursday Evenings at 7:00 PM in September:

September 9th – Nature: Healing the Individual – Carolyn Schuyler
September 16th – Nature: Healing Communities – Donald A. Rakow
September 23rd – Healing Nature – Lee Schulmeisters
September 30th – Panel discussion and Q&As

Tickets are on sale now:
Individual evenings:        $15.00
Package of 4 evenings:    $55.00
A limited offer of the first ever Ian Robertson Hydrangea with a purchase of the 4-night package for just $80.00

I would like to attend.

We are unable to attend but would like to make a donation to the Legacy Fund.

Stay tuned for more information about this virtual event.
Sponsorships are still available. Click here for details or call Ann 434.953.0296

The Ian Robertson Legacy: Lectureship honors the late Ian Robertson, master horticulturist, renowned landscape designer, educator, and author, by providing educational lectures as a source of funding for the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Rudbeckia Sponsors

Beebalm Sponsors

Daylily Sponsors


Carolyn Schuyler is the founder and director of Wildrock (www.wildrock.org), a non-profit Nature Play and Discovery Center in the Blue Ridge foothills of Virginia that works to promote equitable access to nature play. A psychotherapist with a specialty in trauma, Schuyler supports visitors in accessing the healing benefits of a reciprocal relationship with the natural world. The beautiful Wildrock grounds invite playful exploration, creative and imaginative self-expression, and quiet self-reflection. Through outreach programming, Wildrock works in urban green spaces, agency side lots, and schoolyards to promote community mental health through nature connection. 

Donald A. Rakow is an associate professor in the Section of Horticulture in Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science. Don created and co-directs the Cornell Graduate Program in Public Garden Leadership, which prepares graduates for the real-life challenges of sustaining public gardens and preserving natural areas in a resource-competitive world.

One aspect of Dr. Rakow’s’s research focuses on the impact of time in nature on human health and behavior, and he is co-author of Nature Rx: Improving College Student Mental Health (Cornell University Press, May, 2019). He directs the Nature Rx@Cornell program, as well as the nationwide Campus Nature Rx Network.

He is very active with the American Public Gardens Association, having served on their board and chaired several committees, and is the recipient (2009) of their Meritorious Service Award and the Award of Merit (2015). Don is also an avid gardener.

As a child, Lee Schulmeisters always created their own science experiments throughout the household. As an adult, they can proudly say that they represented their tribe at one of the top universities in the world to further their education as an environmental scientist. Lee is 2018-2019 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship and 2017 Udall Foundation Tribal Policy Scholarship alumna. Their dissertation, Food Soverignty in N’dakinna: a Contemporary Analysis of the Western Abenaki received high praise and honors marks from the University of Reading in 2020. The data presented is currently in the process of being pursued for various publications and presentations.
In the recent past, Lee received academic international awards and scholarships, while the research that would later go on to form their dissertation received presidential praise. She has been published through institutions like SUNY, in partnerships with the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Abenaki Arts and Education Center, in addition to creating their own open education resources (OER), some of which are available here. While still studying in college, Lee went on to obtain several Project WILD certifications, a program which is sponsored nationally by the EPA and Fish and Wildlife Department.
Lee has served her Abenaki community for over a decade, in various capacities. First from a very young age, shadowing other Abenaki culture bearers in educating the public about experimental archaeology, historic living, as well as Abenaki culture and history. Then as a teenager, following the success of their first documentary film ‘Speaking to the Ancestors’, which prompted her tribe asking her to serve as the official documentarian of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe. She has also volunteered and worked for the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association first as an intern, then grew into other roles such as Program Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator and Grants Writer. They remain a juried artist within the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association.

Ian Robertson, 1938-2014

The late Ian Robertson was a master horticulturalist and internationally known garden designer who left his mark on gardens all over the globe. He chose the Charlottesville- Albemarle area for his headquarters and through his company, Ian Robertson Ltd., Ian designed public, private and corporate gardens.

Ian was especially proud of his work at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va., where he designed many of the original gardens including the Henry Flagler Perennial Garden, Marth and Reed West Island Garden, the early Japanese Tea Garden and the Lucy Payne Minor Memorial Garden.

It is fitting that his legacy should help to establish and enrich the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont.