Skip to Content

Southern Garden All-Stars

Are you busy on June 21, 2018? If so, you might want to change your plans! I just got this information and an invitation to share with MGEVs! Go here to register for this event ($40).

Southern Garden All-Stars Athens Garden Program

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 8:20am – 12:00pm

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia


Each year, a group of horticulture faculty from across the Southeast gathers to enjoy one another’s company and talk plants for a few days. Several years ago, we began a half day program for the public along with our travels. We’ve hit Hammond, LA; Asheville, NC; Louisville, KY – and this year we’re in Athens, GA. You’d be hard pressed to find a group of plant geeks this diverse and talented and they’d love to share their knowledge with you!

The Lineup!

8:20 AM – Welcoming remarks

8:30 AM – Mike Arnold, Texas A&M University
Nativar Design Elements Supply Enhanced Aesthetics, Environmental Adaptation, and Ecosystem Services to Southern Gardens

Dr. Mike Arnold at Texas A&M university has been on the hunt for excellent native plants to be included in his ornamental breeding program for more than a decade. This has led to several releases in 2018 with excellent ornamental traits, which will be described in this talk.

9:00 AM – Alex Niemiera, Virginia TechPlant Gems for the Nearsighted – Or You Just Need to Look More Closely

We often view trees and shrubs from a distance and do not pay close attention to the exquisite detail of bark, leaves, flowers, fruit, and other such plant aspects – truly living art. Additionally, there are plant cultivars (variants of a species) that offer an array of fascinating and visually tantalizing traits that will almost make your eyeballs start rolling in their sockets! Dr. Niemiera will present these often overlooked and underappreciated features of numerous plant taxa that are charming and some that are no-less-than-spectacular!

9:30 AM – Gary Knox, University of FloridaNew Developments in Magnolias for American Gardens

Dr. Gary Knox, past president of the Magnolia Society and longtime trial site (at his base in Quincy, FL) will describe some of the amazing breakthroughs that are happening in the world of magnolia, both deciduous and evergreen.

10:00 AM – Break

10:15 AM – Yan Chen, Louisiana State University – Caladiums and Hostas for the Deep South

Dr. Chen at the LSU Hammond Research Station has been, in conjunction with Drs. Allan Owings and Jeb Stuart, a number of plant trials over the years. Dr. Chen will discuss two particular trials, involving hosta cultivars and caladium cultivars that work in deep south gardens.

11:00 AM – Matthew Chappell, the University of Georgia – The Best Azaleas for Extended Bloom Time and Insect Resistance

Between 2015-2017, Dr. Chappell and staff at the Center for Applied Nursery Research trialed nearly 150 azaleas to determine bloom characteristics and insect resistance. Dr. Chappell will share the best of the best with you.

11:30 AM – John Ruter, the University of Georgia – Conifers for the South

Dr. John Ruter literally wrote the book, Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast. So, come out and hear from the man himself on the best choices if you’re looking for a few good gymnosperms! 



Posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

About sdorn

Sheri is the State Coordinator for the Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program and Extension Specialist for Consumer Ornamentals. When she is not traveling about the state of Georgia admiring the work of Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, she spends time in her own (real and virtual) gardens.