2015 Symposium Keynote Speaker 

Bryce Lane
Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus
Lecturer Emeritus 
Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University 

Bryce Lane, horticulture instructor at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., is best known as the host of “In the Garden, With Bryce Lane,” an Emmy-winning television series that doubles as a for-credit, distance-education horticulture course. On the program he focuses on ways to make home landscapes look great without costing a fortune. “In the Garden” also showcases beautiful gardens in North Carolina and beyond. Bryce earned a B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science at the University of Massachusetts and an M.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from The Ohio State University. He has received numerous awards, including outstanding teacher recognitions from NCSU, the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, and the American Society for Horticultural Science.

Opening Topic: Gardening in Modern Times

Gardening is not complicated, it's hard! The gardening world has changed drastically over the past 30 years, yet we face many of the same challenges we did when I first started this rewarding hobby years ago. Come journey with me as I share many of my own horticultural observations. Hear about the plants that worked, the ones that didn't. See the garden projects that impressed and those that my wife never understood! View the disasters that molded what my garden has become today. I'll talk about what makes gardening good, what makes it bad, and what we can do to make it better!

Closing Topic: Gardening on The Edge: Latest Trends in Horticulture

Gardening is constantly changing, with new trends showing up every day.  Who would have thought "Fairy Gardening" would be so popular… what is "Fairy Gardening" anyway? Find out how the latest trends in gardening are influencing the way we garden. From vertical gardens and green roofs to Halloween poinsettias and "Sunpatiens" we will talk about what's new in the world of horticulture. 




Session Speakers

Vicky Bertagnolli

Vicky, the Consumer Horticulture Extension Agent/Master Gardener Coordinator for Aiken and Lexington counties, has been with Clemson Extension Service since January 2008. She is a graduate of Auburn University with a B.S. degree in Wildlife Sciences and in December was awarded her MS degree in Entomology, also from Auburn. Previously she worked as a research assistant for the Alabama Fire Ant Management Program, and her master’s thesis explored behavior of two species of ant-decapitating flies.


Topic: Garden Insects - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Vicky will share her extensive knowledge of, and interesting encounters with, beneficial insects, their harmful cousins and what she describes as just “neat bugs” commonly found in the home landscape. Unlike many of us, Vicky says the chance to find and identify insects is one of her primary motivations for gardening. Anyone who has seen her on SC ETV’s “Making It Grow,” where she is a frequent guest expert, knows her presentation will be fun and insightful.


Sandie Fenton

Sandie Fenton is all about herbs. She has been a member of the Charlotte Herb Guild for 20 years and a York County Master Gardener since 2013. She has given hundreds of programs in both Carolinas on herbs, delving not only into their culinary uses but also the history and romance associated with herbs. She also has given countless cooking demonstrations, including appearances at the Southern Women's Show in Charlotte.

Topic: Herbs - Plants That Keep on Giving

Sandie will cover planting, harvesting and using herbs for cooking, as well as drying and preserving herbs for winter enjoyment. Her enthusiasm for herbs and their uses will have you yearning for a bigger kitchen garden this year.


Maggie Lawrence

Maggie Lawrence is founder and manager of the Culinary Farm on the SAS Campus in Cary, N.C., where she collaborates with chefs to provide food for two restaurants, including one with a five-star rating. She combines a background in land management and strategic planning with her passion for growing vegetables. She enjoys collaborating with others to design landscapes and agrarian systems, and currently is planning a mini-farm for a market and restaurant in downtown Raleigh. “Every place is unique, with specific needs for a specific point in time. It is important to understand how to listen to a place and ourselves to know how to be good land managers,” she says.

Topic: Building A Farm

Maggie will work through the variables that have helped her design, build and manage farm spaces. This includes developing a planting and harvest schedule, maintaining annual beds, and establishing perennials and permanent beds.


Chris Pinard

Chris Pinard was raised near the small village of Brenac in the South of France's Languedoc region. His love of gardening and the natural world began at an early age, and he grew up helping local farmers with their harvest and livestock.  After varied careers that ranged from professional photography to fitness therapy, he returned to his first love when he and his wife, Jackie, purchased a small tract in York County, S.C., where they created La Bastide des Lavandes (The Lavender Homestead), an estate filled with plants more often associated with the Mediterranean than with the Carolina Piedmont. More than 4,000 specimens thrive in a series of gardens linked by meticulously maintained paths and filled with fountains, statuary, a windmill and other eye-catching features. La Bastide des Lavandes has been featured in Horticulture Magazine as well as in several newspapers. A self-taught expert in Mediterranean gardening and design, Mr. Pinard leads educational tours of his gardens and also conducts seasonal workshops in French cooking. A selection of the Pinards’ natural products will be available for purchase at the Joy of Gardening Symposium.

Topic: A Mediterranean Garden For Every Yard

You will learn how to use plants, materials and accessories to bring the beauty and lifestyle of the Mediterranean to your own backyard. Chris will share some of his favorite plants from around the world and from the Eastern United States, which help achieve the Mediterranean look.


J.D. Stadler

J.D., the owner of Celestial Day Lilies, was born in Reidsville, N.C. He says his mother had one of the finest collections of iris and daylilies east of the Mississippi. He started growing and hybridizing iris in 1970 and added daylilies in 1982 but says he didn't get serious about lilies until the mid ‘90's. Since then, he has registered and introduced more than 100 daylilies. His specialties are: Doubles and tall unusual forms, such as spiders, backs, and toothy varieties. He raises some 2,000 seedlings each year and usually introduced dozen or so new varieties annually. He loves to share his passion for daylilies with other gardeners. “This is not a business as much as it is a hobby,” he says.

Topic: Creating Daylilies

J.D. will introduce us to the wonderful world of day lilies, including widely varying types in a wide range of colors and color combinations. He will cover planting and care of the daylily. He will share some of his past “intros” and give us a peek at some he’s considering for future release.


Paul Thompson 

Paul Thompson (B.S. and M.Ag., Clemson University) is Senior Associate Agent - Horticulture in York County.  He is also a Certified Nursery Professional with the SC Nursery and Landscape Association.  Paul coordinates the Master Gardener Program and conducts educational programs for consumers and horticulture professionals. He co-hosts The Gardener’s Bench on WRHI Newstalk 1340 AM on Saturday mornings. He writes a monthly garden column for YC Magazine, a quarterly column for South Carolina Farmer magazine, and is a regular guest on SCETV’s Making it Grow

Topic: Favorite Native Plants

In addition to having an extensive background in commercial horticulture, Paul Thompson is a South Carolina native who enjoys walking the woodlands near his home in Tega Cay and elsewhere in the Carolina Piedmont. He will share some of his favorite native plants and suggest how to acquire these hardy and beautiful native specimens.