Speakers Series

Come listen to some of the foremost garden experts in our area and the Southeast! The Sacred Heart Garden Festival has welcomed many garden experts over the years, offering visitors how-to demonstrations as well as tips and tricks to add more splendor to their own gardens.

We invite you to learn from their wealth of knowledge and experience through educational seminars and interactive demonstrations on many garden-related topics.

Please scroll down for the speaker schedule.

Speaker Schedule for 2017

Friday April 21
9:30 AM

Ted Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana

Landscaping with Members of the Lily Family
10:30 AM

Vera Stewart, Executive Producer & Host, The Very Vera Show

Cooking with Herbs
11:30 AM

Mary Louise Hagler, MLCHgarden

Grow, Gather and Style
Saturday April 22
9:30 AM

Erica Glasener

A Four Season Garden - more than just flowers
11:00 AM

Allan Armitage, Horticulturalist, Writer, Traveler

Common Sense Gardening, This is gardening, not brain surgery.
12:30 PM

Allan Armitage, Horiculturalist, Writer, Traveler

Walk About through Festival Vendors Booths

Friday April 21

Ted Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana

Landscaping with Members of the Lily Family
Friday, April 21, 9:30 AM

This talk will astound you at the breadth of plant forms found in the Lily family, Liliaceae, which is one of the largest families used in our landscapes. From evergreen ground covers to deciduous perennials to giant vines, the versatility of plants in this family stymies the imagination. There is a plant for every landscape situation from full sun to dense shade and for every palette, to create a design of lines and forms and color to enhance every corner of the garden. From Hostas to Liriopes to Monkey Grasses to Smilax vines to Pineapple Lilies to Rain Lilies to Solomon Seals and yes, even Lilies themselves, this talk will give the attendees new possibilities to enhance their landscapes with this most diverse family.

A popular speaker at the Garden Festival, Mr. Stephens is the founder of Nurseries Caroliniana, a retail garden center focusing on offering rare and unusual plant material to the gardening public. He travels to Japan and other foreign countries regularly to collect new plant selections for introduction into the American market. Mr. Stephens has served as the past president of the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association and on the advisory board of the South Carolina Botanical Garden.

Vera Stewart, Very Vera Show

Cooking with Herbs
Friday, April 21, 10:30 AM

After over 30 years of building a brand that represents southern cooking, home grown hospitality and mentoring of young people, Vera Stewart has taken her journey back to her roots: The Classroom.

The VeryVera Show, currently in its 5th Season, showcases Vera’s natural teaching ability with prompts that remind us to use our manners and modern suggestions to translate a new twist to your grandmother’s favorite recipes. Her early years as a Home Economics teacher make her a natural personality in front of the camera as well as her viewing audience. Her years in catering and mail order give her the expertise to advise you on presentation, service and delivery of most any dish you prepare. Vera’s circle of friends in the industry brings first-class talent and recognition to the screen with noted guests like Virginia Willis, Nathalie Dupree, Rebecca Lang and The Lee Brothers. The chemistry in the kitchen between Vera and her friends make for a fun-filled thirty-minute show and great recipes that are shared during the broadcast and on her website.

While not on the set, Vera still works on special events, her cookbook, and does several community benefit programs in her Augusta, Georgia area. Her VeryVera School Saturday Cooking Class program and Summer Camp series is in its 13th year and is being introduced to franchise in 2017. The regional syndication of the show puts Vera in areas across the Southeast as she promotes her message and her talent.

Mary Louise Hagler, MLCHgarden

Grow, Gather and Style
Friday, April 21, 11:30 AM

Mary Louise Hagler is a life-long gardener and Master Gardener (class of 2000). Her goal is to encourage you through providing tips and practical garden ideas. As a wife, volunteer, and mother of two active young adults, she practices a realistic approach to gardening with vegetables, herbs, perennials, and annuals for cooking and design.

Mary Louise thrives on sharing her love for gardening, floral design, and hobby farming; through various design and gardening workshops throughout the year and speaking engagements. She has contributed to the State-by-State Gardening, Augusta Magazine, Columbia County News Times, and is developing a no-nonsense guide to gardening in Augusta.

Saturday April 22

Erica Glasener, Writer. TV & Radio Host. Marketing Manager Gibbs Garden

A Four Season Garden -more than just flowers
Saturday, April 22, 9:30 AM

Horticulturist and author, Erica has hosted "A Gardener's Diary" on Home and Garden Television (HGTV) for fourteen years. In her role as host, she interviews gardeners from all walks of life across the United States. Her curiosity about the impulse that drives people to garden, as well as her enthusiasm about plants, makes her a natural at facilitating the stories gardeners want to tell.

Allan Armitage, Horticulturalist. Writer. Traveler

Common Sense Gardening, This is gardening, not brain surgery
Saturday, April 22, 11:00 AM

Dr. Allan Armitage is well known as a writer, speaker and researcher throughout the world. Born and raised in Canada, he lived in Quebec and Ontario, then in East Lansing, Michigan and Athens, Georgia. He has worked with landscape plants and greenhouse crops in the North and South, and travels from coast to coast and all parts in between sharing his passion for plants. He holds his B.Sc from McGill University in Montreal, otherwise known as The Harvard of the North, his M.Sc. from University of Guelph and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

His career has taken him all over the world, lecturing throughout United States and Canada, as well as many countries in Europe, South America, New Zealand and Australia. His knowledge has allowed him to write 13 books, countless academic papers and hundreds of articles for professionals and lay people alike. He has been honored for his achievements throughout the country - the respect from his colleagues is most impressive. He has written a monthly column for the national greenhouse publication, “Greenhouse Grower”, for over 30 years and has not repeated one yet.

Dr. Armitage will be selling and signing books before and after his talk.

Allan Armitage

Walk About to Vendor Booths
Saturday, April 22, 12:30 pm

Join Dr. Armitage as he travels through select Garden Festival Booths discussing the properties of various plants and how to use them in your own garden

Proceeds support the enduring legacy of the Sacred Heart Cultural Center.
© Sacred Heart Cultural Center 2017

1301 Greene Street, Augusta, GA 30901
(706) 826-4700