Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday nights in February

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s Visitor Center & Conservatory in Athens is now open to the public on Tuesday evenings until 8:30 pm. People can meet with friends to enjoy coffee or a light dinner at Donderos’ Kitchen, the new coffee and sandwich shop. Visitors may browse the Garden’s gift shop or enjoy the conservatory plantings, the display gardens or the art exhibit in the Garden’s Visitor Center & Conservatory at 2450 South Milledge Avenue in Athens.

In addition, an eclectic mix of activities is offered throughout February. On February 7 at 7:00pm, Stuart Cofer of Cofer’s Home & Garden will speak about camellias, a classic Southern shrub that was a 2011 Georgia Gold Medal winner. If your garden already contains these diverse evergreens or the sculptural blooms inspire you to add camellias to your garden, Stuart would be a knowledgeable resource to help select camellias and guide you in pruning and care for these low-maintenance landscape plants. He will bring some examples of camellias that bloom in February.

On February 14 there will be a romantic Valentine’s Dinner in the conservatory catered by Donderos’ Kitchen. For $70 per couple or $40 per person (add $10 per person if reservations are made after February 10th) guests can enjoy a delicious buffet and are welcome to bring their own wine. Call 706-542-6359 or 706-389-7955 to make reservations or for more information. Seating will be at 6:30 pm.

On February 21 noted horticulturist Allan Armitage will speak about The Gardens of Japan as part of ‘The World is My Garden’ series. This series is co-sponsored by the Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library, with proceeds benefitting the State Botanical Garden, The UGA Trial Gardens, and the library. Visit or call 706-542-6138 to purchase the $10 tickets to these talks.

Live music is planned on February 28. “Actually, we welcome musicians to gather for an impromptu jam session in the garden on Tuesday evenings. We can always find a spot for you to play,” reports William Tonks, the Garden’s director of facilities and a musician himself. “We also welcome painters, book groups, writing groups, and more. Our café is wireless and surrounded by tropical plants – what a great spot to gather!”

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