Southern garden symposium brings experts together with local gardeners

Area garden lovers can participate in workshops and hear lectures by some of the South’s outstanding garden experts at the 25th annual Southern Garden Symposium & Workshops Oct. 18 – 19 in St. Francisville.

Those attending Friday’s events will have the choice of two workshops from a group of five with enticing names like “Frondly Yours: Ferns in Southern Gardens,” “Make More Plants!,” “Walk on the Wild Side: Creating Wildflowers and Prairie Gardens;” “Farmer to Table: Southern Style” and “Discoveries in Floral Decor.”

The symposium on Saturday will feature three programs presented at Hemingbough. Noted authors Scott Ogden and Lauren Springer Ogden, who have designed numerous public and private gardens around the country, will speak on “Plant-Driven Design: Creating Gardens that Honor Plants, Places and Spirits.”

Tomasz Anisko, curator of plants at the internationally renowned Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pa., will speak on “When Perennials Bloom,” and John Brookes, of London, who has designed well over 1,000 gardens over a career spanning 50 years, will speak on “Gardens Galore.”

Workshop presenters are retired horticulture teacher, International Society of Arboriculture arborist and self-described certifiable plant fool Gail Barton; John Grady Burns, who teaches the art of floral design at Hall’s Atlanta Floral Design School; Mary Elliott, of Ponchatoula, who started the Fronderosa Nursery to grow landscape ferns and other plants not offered on the general market; southern author, gardener, floral and interior designer, cook and garden-to-table lifestyle expert James T. Farmer; and Mark Pastorek, designer and consultant specializing in conservation and restoration of native prairie and Longleaf pine savanna reconstruction in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Symposium speakers will be honored at a special gala at Spring Grove Plantation, the private home of Mr. and Mrs. George Kurz. The cocktail buffet is open to all symposium participants and their guests at $50 per person.