Wednesday, October 14, 2009

24th Annual Southern Gardening Symposium at Callaway Gardens®: January 29-31, 2010

While it’s still cold outside, get inspiration for your “dream garden” at the 24th annual Southern Gardening Symposium, one of the nation’s premier gardening events at beautiful Callaway Gardens®.

Make your plans to attend this January 29-31 symposium where you can listen and learn about gardening from an outstanding group of experts. Designed for novice to expert gardeners, this jam-packed schedule includes lectures, presentations and demonstrations. Though content-rich, this event provides the unique opportunity for personal interaction with the speakers throughout the weekend. The 2010 SGS program includes:

· Learning how to create an oasis in your own garden from Taunton Press’ “Idea” author Lee Anne White, who will discuss water garden design.

· Dreaming of a bold, tropical garden? Author Pam Baggett recommends sizzling plants for our sultry Southern climate.

· How about the dream “easy” garden? Author Pamela Crawford will highlight some of the easiest plants to grow in the southern garden.

· For the ultimate dream garden, June Mays will offer inspiration from the British landscape.

· Learn sustainable management practices including insect and disease basics from the University of Tennessee’s entertaining entomologist, Dr. Mark Windham.

· Sustainable gardening starts with good soil and William Cureton, a.k.a. “Captain Compost” will share his soil improvement techniques that anyone can do.

· George Sanko, from Georgia Perimeter College, will talk about ferns for shade gardens and even some ferns that tolerate sun.

· Keynote speaker, TV personality and garden writer Erica Glasener will share stories from ‘A Gardener’s Diary.’

Join like-minded gardening enthusiasts to dive right into the fun and learning with a series of pre-conference workshops and tours on Friday. Lee Anne White will lead a digital garden photography workshop and Erica Glasener will teach a garden design workshop. Truly be inspired by a tour of Jim Scott’s magical Lake Martin Garden. This garden has been featured in several gardening magazines for its creative use of rock and water.

In addition to these presentations, guests can indulge their passion at the SGS Marketplace offering one-stop shopping for the gardener. You’ll find an assortment of choice plants, many of which are touted by Symposium speakers as the new “must-haves”; a superb book selection including new releases by SGS speakers; and a delightful array of garden ornaments. Garden Delights, top supplier of native azaleas in the U.S., will be offering a selection of southern classic plants. McMahan’s Nursery, owned and operated by exotic plant collector Scott McMahan, offers amazing new and rare plants. Rocky Branch Garden Center will be selling plants highlighted by SGS speakers. Blooming Idiot will offer a wide selection of herbs, annuals and perennials. Petals from the Past will have heirloom varieties of favorite fruit trees and flowers. One-of-a-kind garden art pieces can be found from Lewis Simmons and Wade’s Metal Works.

SGS participants will have an exciting opportunity to participate in both silent and live auctions. The auction items include books and plants recommended by speakers; garden ornaments; botanical artwork by the late-Athos Menaboni; special plants provided by Callaway Gardens’ horticulture department, Hills & Dales Estate and Auburn University; items contributed by Marketplace vendors; and much more.

Preregistration for SGS is required by Friday, January 22, 2010. The program registration fee of $225 includes Friday’s opening reception; Saturday’s continental breakfast, programs with printed materials, box lunch and evening banquet; and Sunday’s continental breakfast and programs with printed materials.

The Southern Gardening Symposium is approved for seven contact hours for Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Continuing Education Units.

Callaway Gardens provides a variety of lodging options for SGS participants. The special rate of $75 per room per night is available in the Mountain Creek Inn® (based on double occupancy). This rate includes admission to Callaway Gardens per night of stay and day of departure. Nestled in the trees, the spacious Cottages and Villas are available for the choosing. Those looking to pamper themselves will love the luxury Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens.

Early–bird Specials! There are two great offers for those who register by October 31st, 2009:

Registration: Receive $25 off the program registration fee. Lodging: Receive the second night FREE when reserving the special SGS lodging rate of $120* per room in Mountain Creek® Inn.

For further information about SGS or to request a brochure, contact the Education Department at 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292), 706-663-5153 or

*The above room rates are available only to registered SGS participants. Valid for Mountain Creek® Inn only and based on availability and double occupancy. Some restrictions apply. Symposium registration fee is separate.

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