Opening Keynote Speaker Norman Winter 

Norman is Director of the University of Georgia’s Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in 
Savannah, Ga. He has also served as Executive Director of the Columbus Botanical Garden, the
National Butterfly Center and the American Rose Society. Thousands of TV viewers and radio
listeners have followed his programs on Southern Gardening over the year, and his gardening
column is syndicated nationally by McClatchy-Tribune News Service. He is the author of four books, including; Mississippi Gardener’s Guide; Paradise Found: Growing Tropicals in Your Own; Tough-As-Nails Flowers for the South and Captivating Combinations Color and Style in the Garden. 

Topic: Hot New Plants and Captivating Combinations

We have all seen those landscapes where we hit the brakes quickly becoming fixated and frantically trying to create the plant combination recipe in our mind. You’ll see it’s not that hard as Norman shows you how to harmony or maximizing contrasts. You’ll see the latest combination ideas from for flowers, foliage, grasses and herbs. Get tips on theme gardens, such as cottage, butterfly and hummingbird, herd and edible and of course mixed containers too.

Topic: Paradise Found

Growing a tropical garden is most assuredly an attempt to get a certain appearance, but it also says something about the gardener’s disposition. You’ve left your work at the office; you’ve abandoned your stress at the freeway exit. A tropical garden creates a mood; the gardener can use design and plants to make a private utopia. Tropical plants have an uncanny ability to transform the mind and emotions of the gardener. These plants show up at garden centers each spring and summer just waiting for you to adopt them. Norman will show you his pick of the best of these for your home and so it won’t be Paradise Lost but Paradise Found.
Closing Keynote Speaker Paula Gross
Topic: The Winter Garden

One of the joys of gardening in the South is experiencing the “fourth season.” Planned wisely, a southern garden can have something in bloom every day of the year. But, the beauty of the winter garden goes far beyond the blooms of camellias and witch hazels – think silvery buds, colorful bark and berries, and the deep shades and textures of well-placed evergreens. The winter garden hold many treasures, able to be discovered and appreciated in the quieter season, without the distractions of pests, rapidly growing weeds, or dragging the water hose.

Session Speakers

Anna Brown

Topic:  Bokashi Composting and Deep Mulch Gardening
Bokashi Composting is an easy, approachable way to compost ALL of your food waste. Deep Mulch Gardening is a simple method to reduce work in the garden and improve production. No more weeding, watering or tilling!

Tony Melton

Topic:  Veg-i-tales and How To Know What They're Saying
Tony believes that vegetables communicate their needs to gardeners. He says he can walk into a vegetable garden, a small farm or a 1,000+acre mega-farm and tell immediately whether the vegetables are happy. He will share tips on how to recognize when your own veggies need some TLC and what steps you need to take to get them saying happy tales to you.

Joey Pellegrin

Topic:  Sensational Succulents
Joey will discuss advantages of this fascinating, drought-resistant plants, proper soil conditions and. where to best utilize them, depending on their cold tolerance. Depending on what’s in the greenhouse in late February, he’ll bring some of his favorite succulents.

Topic:  Putting Pop In Your Pots
Joey will share ideas on how to get the most out of your pots, whether they are placed in sun or shade, and tell how by selecting the right combination of plants, you can count on color all season long. He will also suggest plants to avoid.

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson (B.S. and M.Ag., Clemson University) is Senior Associate Agent - Horticulture in York County; a Certified Nursery Professional with the SC Nursery & Landscape Association; coordinates the Master Gardener Program; and conducts educational programs for consumers and horticulture professionals. He co-hosts The Gardener’s Bench on WRHI News Talk 1340 AM on Saturday mornings. He writes for YC Magazine, SC Farmer’s magazine, and is a regular guest on SCETV’s "Making it Grow". He has received many awards for his programming and communication efforts.
TopicAttracting Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects
Paul will share tips on how to attract pollinators to your garden through plant selection and avoiding the use of harmful pesticides. Many of the plants also attract other beneficial insects that aid in managing pests in an environmentally friendly way.