Outreach and Lectures

The treasures at Maymont go far beyond the mansion’s priceless collection and the 100-acre living laboratory. One of the greatest jewels at the estate is the staff’s wealth of knowledge and experience. Experts and educators are available to lecture on a variety of topics, interview with media, consult on projects, and present outreach programs.

Maymont Mansion Outreach Programs

Historical educators bring the Gilded Age to life through costumed interpretation, including fashion shows and suffrage rally demonstrations, as well as in-depth explorations of the etiquette of dress, the social history of the era, and turn-of-the-20th-century Christmas traditions.

Peggy Singlemann

Director of Park Operations and Horticulture

Peggy Singlemann is an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker available to lecture for garden shows, symposiums, garden club and group meetings, and other events. She also is available to interview with media, consult on projects, and present programs.

Peggy has designed, planted and maintained historic and specialty gardens at the 100-acre estate for more than 30 years, and she has served as a host of Richmond’s monthly gardening show, “Virginia Home Grown,” on PBS WCVE, Your Community Idea Station, since 2013. The gardens at Maymont under her care include the formal Italian Garden, a four-acre Japanese Garden, Marie’s Butterfly Trail, Jack’s Vegetable Garden, The Robins Nature Center native plant landscape, numerous annual and perennial borders, and an award-winning arboretum that encompasses Maymont’s 100 acres. As Maymont’s Director of Park Operations and Horticulture, Singlemann is responsible for and oversees all phases of grounds operations, building maintenance, security, new building and habitat construction and all horticultural aspects of park operations.

Singlemann lectures throughout the mid-Atlantic region and has been published in local and national periodicals such “American Nurseryman,” “Horticulture,” and “Virginia Gardener,” and she writes blog posts for Maymont and “Virginia Home Grown.” Recently she earned her Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional certification. She is a member of the Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, the Virginia Native Plant Society, and the Southern Garden History Society. She attended the Victorian Society in America Summer School in Newport, Rhode Island. Singlemann was named Professional of the Year in 2016 by the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, and she has been recognized by the Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association with an annual scholarship named in her honor. The Old Dominion Herb Society honored her with a lifetime membership in 2017. She has judged the Christmas Decorations at Colonial Williamsburg, presented at the Colonial Williamsburg 69th Garden Symposium, and she is a past board member of the Virginia Urban Forestry Council and the Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association.

Singlemann graduated from the State University of New York at Cobleskill with a degree in Horticulture, and she is a Certified Horticulturist through the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, a Certified Landscape Designer through the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, and a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture. She earned her North American Certificate in Horticulture through the American Public Garden Association, of which she is a member.

Read Peggy’s blog posts for Virginia Home Grown.

Sample Lecture and Program Ideas

  • A Pollinator’s Paradise: What Do They Seek?
  • Native Shrubs, the Middle Layer
  • Natives, Naturally…
  • Trees: Who, Where and Why?
  • Creating Your Dream Herb Garden
  • Flowering Shrubs for Any Landscape
  • Flowering Plants That Love Summer
  • Vines and Plants That Hang On or Won’t Let Go!
  • What the Victorians Grew That We Do, Too!
  • Maymont, a Victorian Estate
  • Maymont’s Gardens, 100+ years and Growing
  • Plants From Japan That Thrive in Virginia
  • Italian Gardens and Japanese Gardens: What’s the Difference?

Fees vary, travel expenses are additional. Lectures can be customized.

Previous Speaking Engagements

  • The Perennial Plant Association Conference, Washington D.C.
  • Southern Garden History Society Annual Meeting
  • The Garden Club of Virginia, Restoration Committee’s Annual Garden Maintenance Workshop
  • The Women’s Club, Richmond, VA
  • Virginia Association of Forest Health Professionals
  • Annual Master Gardener College, Virginia Tech
  • Central Virginia Nursery and Landscape Short Course
  • Richmond Council of Garden Clubs
  • Virginia Native Plant Society Annual Meeting
  • Gardening in the Northen Neck Symposium
  • MetroRichmond Garden Clubs and Women’s Clubs
  • The Virginia Beach Horticulture Conference
  • Pocono Garden Club Annual Flower Show, Pennsylvania
  • The Maymont Council Lecture Series
  • The Maymont Flower and Garden Show
  • Joel Lerner’s Leave No Stone Unturned Conference, Washington D.C.