Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Romantic Valentine’s Dinner at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Athens, Ga. – The orchids are in a tropical landscape, the lighting romantic, the setting unique for a Valentine’s Day dinner at the State Botanical Garden, 2450 South Milledge Avenue, Athens. “We’ve combines a distinctive atmosphere and special menu into a memorable, yet affordable, evening” explains Andrew Pearson, of Donderos’ Kitchen, the new coffee and sandwich shop inside the garden’s Visitor Center & Conservatory, and Donderos’ Catering.

For $70 per couple or $40 per person (add $10 per person if reservations are made after February 10th) guests can enjoy the following menu:


Vegetable stuffed Vol au Vents
Amaranth Blinis w/ Honey Cream Cheese & Smoked Grapes
Prosciutto & Fig Rolls

Spinach and roasted beet salad with goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette

French –Tropical shrimp sautéed with hearts of palm and cognac
Pork tenderloin medallions braised with cherries
Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breast
Roasted Butternut Squash Strudel
Leek & Potato Gratin
Moroccan Spiced Quinoa Stuffed Portabellas & Zucchinis
Fruit & Nut Biryani
Dinner rolls

Red Velvet Cake
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Éclairs
Mini Seasonal Fruit Tarts
Chocolate Truffle Heart Pies
Raspberry Mousse

Coffee, Tea
Guests are invited to bring their own bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner.

A charming quilt display will decorate the visitor center and the garden gift shop will be open. Call 706-542-6359 or 706-389-7955 to make reservations or for more information. Seating will be at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lecture Series Brings a World of Gardens to Athens

Noted horticulturist Allan Armitage will speak about gardens around the world in a series of talks at The State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Armitage ( is a writer, speaker and researcher who has studied annuals, perennials and more in various climates and runs The Trial Gardens at UGA in Athens.

Once a month through June, attendees will be able to hear about gardens in different countries at ‘The World is My Garden,’ starting with The Gardens of Ireland on January 24, 2012. The $10 ticket price per lecture includes a $2 voucher to purchase a beverage or snack from Donderos’ Kitchen in the Visitor Center. The lectures will be in the Garden’s Visitor Center & Conservatory at 2450 South Milledge Avenue in Athens from 7:00-8:00 pm.

This series is cosponsored by the Friends of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library, with proceeds benefitting the garden and library. Visit or call 706-542-6138 for tickets to the talks.

The first lecture is also the first evening for TGIT: Think Garden – It’s Tuesday! The Garden’s Visitor Center will be open until 8:30 pm on Tuesday evenings so visitors can enjoy the Garden at a different time of day, including the Garden Gift Shop and Donderos’ Kitchen

Schedule for ‘The World is My Garden’:
January 24 - The Gardens of Ireland
February 21 - The Gardens of Japan
March 20 - The Gardens of Wales
April 17 - The Gardens of Eastern Australia
May 15 - The Gardens of Western Canada
June 19 - The Gardens of New Zealand

Friday, January 13, 2012

TGIT: Think Garden - It's Tuesday!

When imagining the perfect place to hear about gardens around the world, enjoy a far-from-average date, meet friends after work, stroll outside, take a class, pull out a sketchbook or engaging novel, or focus on a project with coffee and wi-fi, ‘Think Garden’ – The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, that is.

“We want everyone to enjoy the Garden in all seasons, even in the evenings. In the winter, enjoy dinner or a cup of coffee in the tropical conservatory, which is especially lovely at night. In summer, stroll outside in the evening hours or relax on the plaza” explains garden director Wilf Nicholls. “Our staff had several ideas to make the Garden more available to the public, so we created TGIT – Think Garden, It’s Tuesday!”

Garden classes and talks are often offered on Tuesday nights and may have a admission cost, but anyone can enjoy the art exhibit, free wi-fi, and special beauty of the Visitor Center great room until 8:30 pm for free. Donderos’ Kitchen and The Garden Gift Shop will have extended hours on Tuesdays and local musicians will perform.

On Tuesday, January 24, the first evening the Garden will stay open to the public, there will be both a class and a lecture offered. Botanically Inspired Silk Scarf Creations includes two dying techniques that will be taught by Lauren Zeichner of Good Dirt Art Studio during the 2 hour class ($36, register at or by calling 706-542-6136).

The Friends of the Garden and Friends of the Athens Clarke-County Library are cosponsoring a travel lecture series by noted horticulturist Allan Armitage. Each month through June Armitage will focus on a different country, starting with The Gardens of Ireland on January 24th. Also scheduled are talks about gardens in Japan, Wales, Eastern Australia, Western Canada, and New Zealand. Visit or call 706-542-6138 to register for the $10 garden talks.

Announcing the 2012 Georgia Gold Medal Winners…

2012 Annual Georgia Gold Medal Winner
Million Bells (Calibrachoa)
Calibrachoa is a close relative of the petunia, whose smaller flowers have the same form and last from early spring until late fall.

2012 Perennial Georgia Gold Medal Winner
Coral Bells (Heuchera)
The leaves of this evergreen woodland plant come in many color variations and patterns, in shades of green, chartreuse, peach, burgundy and purple.

2012 Shrub Georgia Gold Medal Winner
Rabbiteye Blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum (ashei))
Not only do you get tasty fruit with blueberries, but spring blooms and fall color.

2012 Tree Georgia Gold Medal Winner
Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’)
This small, finely-textured landscape tree is useful in a woodland edge, as a specimen tree or in a shrub border and is known for its red branches.

2012 Native Plant Georgia Gold Medal Winner
Athens Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens’)
A native shrub that works well for screening, plus adds a fruit-scented fragrance in April.

Georgia Gold Medal plants are proven performers for Georgia gardens. There are now close to 100 Georgia Gold Medal winners, creating a large palette of plants for homeowners to feel comfortable using in their home landscape. Find out more about Georgia Gold Medal plants at