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 2019

Friday April 26
9:30 AM

Gerald Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana

Simplicity in Landscape Design
11:00 AM

Becky Griffin, UGA Community & School Garden Coordinator and Certified GA Beekeeper Our fascinating Georgia bees - from honey bees to native bees

Saturday April 27
9:30 AM

Karin Jeffcoat, Cote Designs

TBA
11:00 AM

Susan Meyers, Monarch Butterfly Expert

Monarchs and Milkweed Across Georgia

Friday April 20

Gerald Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana

Simplicity in Landscape Design
Friday, April 26, 9:30 AM

Gerald Stephens attended Clemson University to study engineering. Duty to his country interrupted his college career and Gerald enlisted in the army and was a 1st Lieutenant in Germany and Vietnam. Upon returning to the States, his brother, Ted Stephens, asked him to help with Nurseries Caroliniana before heading back to college. That was forty-six years ago and he has been VP of the nursery since. Gerald also works as a landscape designer and one of his specialties is to diagnosis disease and problems in plants. Gerald is married to his “sweetheart” of 45 years and has two sons who have joined him at the nursery. Many people wonder about the nursery’s name. "Caroliniana" is a botanical species epithet meaning "from the Carolinas" in Latin. For instance, Carolina cherry is Prunus caroliniana, or literally, "a prune from the Carolinas.”

Becky Griffin, UGA Community & School Garden Coordinator and Certified GA Beekeeper>

Our fascinating Georgia bees - from honey bees to native bees
Friday, April 26, 11:00 AM

Becky Griffin is University of Georgia (UGA) Extension’s Community & School Garden Coordinator where she works with UGA Extension agents across the state helping create successful gardens. Becky believes in the whole ecosystem of the garden and frequently teaches workshops on beneficial entomology and integrated pest management. She is the coordinator of the 2019 Great Georgia Pollinator Census and participates in pollinator research. Being a certified Georgia beekeeper, Becky has great affection for all of our Georgia bees!

Saturday April 27

Karin Jeffcoat, Cote Designs

TBA
Saturday, April 27, 9:30 AM

Cote Designs is owned and operated by lead floral designer and creative genius Karin Jeffcoat. Karin has spent 20 years refining her craft creating luxury events and serving as Augusta National's floral director, but you will always find her with a little dirt under her nails, a warm smile, and breathtaking florals spilling out of her suburban.

Susan Meyers, Monarch Butterfly Expert

Monarchs and Milkweek Across Georgia
Saturday, April 27, 11:00 AM

Susan Meyers has worked in the field of environmental education (EE) for more than twenty years. Now retired, she is now able to devote more time to her passion, “planting the seeds" of awareness, understanding and commitment to monarch education, conservation and research. Susan was “bitten by the bug” so to speak in 2003 after a visit to the monarch winter sanctuaries in Mexico’s Transvolcanic Mountain Range with Dr. Bill Calvert, the scientist upon which Sue Halpern’s travelogue, Four Wings and a Prayer: Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly, was based. Since that life-changing event, Susan has volunteered with Monarchs Across Georgia (MAG), coordinating trips to those Mexican sanctuaries for eight years, administering MAG’s Pollinator Habitat Grants and Certification programs, coordinating their Mexico Book Project and Plant Sales, facilitating teacher workshops, developing lessons and activities for students, and searching out every opportunity to learn more about this fascinating insect. She is a Trainer for the University of Minnesota’s Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP), a Conservation Specialist for Monarch Watch based at the University of Kansas, and routinely raises, tags and tests monarchs for Project Monarch Health, a citizen science program based at the University of Georgia. She is also a Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, Certified Environmental Educator, and a member of The Garden Club of Georgia. Her pollinator garden in Lilburn has six different species of Georgia native milkweeds and a variety of nectar and host plants for butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in environmental science.

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