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The Inspired Gardener Virtual Symposium

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January 29, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

$60 – $65

The Inspired Gardener Virtual Symposium


January 29, 2022
9:00 am - 3:30 pm
$60 – $65
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Shake off the winter blues and get in gear for springtime with this full day of garden inspiration! Join us for a virtual symposium, and pick up new ideas from seasoned experts!

Schedule: Saturday, January 29* 9a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Fee: $65 ($60 for Garden members, GPPA members)
Deadline: Thursday, January 27
Virtual Platform: Zoom

*The symposium will be recorded, and will be available for viewing up to two weeks after the symposium.

The Inspired Gardener Virtual Symposium is co-hosted by the Georgia Perennial Plant Association and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Featured presentations:

Todd Lasseigne
What makes a Southern garden Southern?

What makes a Southern garden Southern?  Is it an old favorite plant or two?  A plant from your grandmother?  An “heirloom” plant – whatever that means?!  Or, does it relate to plants that grow here in zones 7, 8 and 9 that aren’t cold hardy to grow further north?  Is it related to “old-ness” or “new-ness,” or does that even matter?  Whether native or exotic, exuberant or achingly slow-growing, the latest-and-greatest razzle-dazzle plant or the tried-and-true, join Dr. Todd Lasseigne for a lively talk on Southern gardens both in terms of where they were and where they’re going.

Dr. F. Todd Lasseigne, a highly respected horticulturist and public garden leader, holds horticultural degrees from three universities. He earned his BS and MS degrees in Horticulture from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Georgia. He earned his Ph.D in Horticultural Science from North Carolina State University. He is currently the Executive Director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama. Before coming to Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Dr. Lasseigne was President and CEO of Tulsa Botanic Garden in Osage County, Oklahoma, a position he held from 2011 to 2020. Under his leadership, Tulsa Botanic Garden was developed into a nationally recognized botanical garden. In addition, Dr. Lasseigne was the founding Executive Director of the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden in Kernersville, N.C., and Assistant Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

Amanda Bennett & Michael Sheek
Channel Garden Greatness and Challenges: A look behind the curtain of curating and installing a prominent new landscape in Storza Woods

Amanda Bennett, VP of Horticulture & Collections and Michael Sheek, Outdoor Horticulture Manager, will pull back the curtain and walk you through curating a brand new garden–even with labor and supply chain issues.  Coordinating with landscape architects, construction contractors, and landscape contractors is just part of the fun–everyone really just wants to know about the cool plants!  From beautiful renderings to beautiful reality, a lot goes into getting from beginning to end.   

Amanda Bennett joined the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2002 as a horticulturist and is currently the Vice President of Horticulture & Collections.   Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in horticulture at the University of Georgia and completed an internship at Chicago Botanic Garden before joining the garden.  In her current position, she oversees both indoor and outdoor plants, collections and facilities, managed by 33 professional horticulturists, as well as overseeing the landscape design, continued execution of the master plan, and seasonal displays.

Michael Sheek graduated from N.C. State University in landscape horticulture and design. He worked for a couple of landscape installation/design companies as a project and crew manager in Atlanta, Georgia for many years. He is currently a horticulture manager at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and manages the teams maintaining the outdoor gardens as well as a member of the annuals design team. He has been with ABG for 8 1/2 years.

Sam Hoadley
Knockout Natives

Join Sam Hoadley, the Manager of Horticultural Research at Mt. Cuba Center, as he highlights knockout native species and cultivars from our trials. Top performers and favorites of CoreopsisBaptisiaMonarda, Phlox, Helenium, Echinacea, and Hydrangea represent some of the best native plants for the mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Sam will discuss their horticultural and ecological performance and will share important information on standouts that will make beautiful additions to your garden.

Sam Hoadley is the Manager of Horticultural Research at Mt. Cuba Center where he evaluates native plant species, old and new cultivars, and hybrids in the Trial Garden. Sam earned his degree in Sustainable Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont.

Abra Lee
The Influencers  

Black Americans have long laid out a cultural blueprint for garden design in their own personal spaces. In this conversation, we will discuss these historic legacies and meet some influential people and the plants they used to beautify homes and communities.   

Abra Lee is a national speaker, writer, and founder of Conquer the Soil a community dedicated to celebrating the history, folklore, and art of horticulture! She has spent a whole lotta time in the dirt as a municipal arborist, extension agent, airport landscape manager, and more. Lee is a graduate of Auburn University College of Agriculture and an alumna of the Longwood Gardens Society of Fellows, a global network of public horticulture professionals.   

Bryce Lane
The Nuts and Bolts of Container Gardening: From Media to Nutrition     

Gardening in containers continues to be a red hot trend throughout the country. The average property size is still shrinking, urban living is growing, and the pandemic has us all sprucing up our gardens, both inside and out. There is a ton of information “out there” about how to choose & design attractive gardens in containers, however, the success of these wonderful creations comes down to the science behind creating an environment and culture for outstanding growth. This talk will focus on the mechanics, and science of growing all kinds of plants in containers, including trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals & houseplants. We will talk about container science, potting soil selection & management, soil column dynamics, water relations, fertility, repotting, and overwintering.

Bryce Lane discovered his passion for plants, and telling others about them while working at a small Massachusetts garden center through high school and college. After earning his BS and MS in Horticulture, he came to the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University as an Instructor and Undergraduate Coordinator. He spent 34 years teaching and advising over 20,000 students. Bryce retired in 2014, but still teaches part-time in the department. From 2003 to 2014 Bryce hosted, and produced a three-time, Emmy winning, UNC TV public television show called “In the Garden With Bryce Lane”. 

He now spends his time giving teaching part-time at NC State, and at the JC Raulston Arboretum. He has also worked for the past 6 years helping to train Extension professionals in video production. He still can be found giving horticulture talks at conferences and symposia both in person and on Zoom!

An avid gardener, Bryce has gardened on the same one quarter acre plot for 38 years. He and his wife of 44 years also spend plenty of time with their 6 grandchildren!

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