Monday, February 27, 2012

Looking for a different way to spend the evening? Why not dance among the palms?

Free Cha-Cha Lesson on March 27th!

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia recently opened its Visitor Center to the public on Tuesday evenings so people could experience the Garden at a different time of day.
“Evenings are a special time to come and visit. In the Conservatory or out in the gardens, there are scents and sounds and an atmosphere totally different from the daylight hours” explains garden director Wilf Nicholls. “Every Tuesday night, the Visitor Center with Dondero’s Kitchen and the Garden Shop will be open and we are planning all sorts of different events to draw people to the garden.”
One upcoming event will be an opportunity for people to learn a new dance inside the great room of the Visitor Center & Conservatory. On March 27, 2012 at 6:30 Ron Putman will be teaching the cha-cha to couples and singles who have always wanted to try a dance class. This free event will start with a demonstration of the cha-cha, then Putman will teach basic steps and variations. “In an hour participants can be dancing the cha-cha to Latin music, Maroon 5 or Lady Gaga” says Putman.
Now a professional instructor and an award-winning competitive dancer, Ron has competed in several states and two countries with four professional and three amateur partners. When not competing, Ron teaches Ballroom, Swing and Country dance as well as wedding choreography to individuals, couples and groups. On April 1st, 2012 Putman will be performing with Barbara Dooley at the Classic Center in Dancing with the Athens Stars 2012, a fundraiser for ProjectSafe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mark your calendars - Major Plant Sales in Athens area on April 14th!

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, The UGA Horticulture Club and
The Trial Gardens at UGA Combine Spring Plant Sales in Athens on April 14th

Athens, Georgia, the hotspot of horticulture, is home to outstanding public gardens, including The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Trial Gardens at UGA, as well as many specialty nurseries, the top school in horticulture, and horticulture celebrities. Athens has long been a travel destination for plant enthusiasts, but on Saturday, April 14, 2012 many gardeners will journey to Athens to attend Plantapalooza at the State Botanical Garden, the UGA Horticulture Club and The Trial Gardens at UGA. A wide array of garden plants that thrive in the Southeast will be available at each location from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, along with horticulturists, volunteers and Master Gardeners to help with plant selections. Admission is free for all plant sales.

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia (, headquarters of the Georgia Gold Medal Plant Program (, will have Gold Medal plants noted among its broad selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, herbs, vegetables, and more. This sale will also offer many native plants grown at the State Botanical Garden. The Garden Gift Shop and Donderos’ Kitchen (serving coffee drinks and a selection of handmade breakfast and lunch items) will be open.

The Trial Gardens at UGA grows and tests the newest annuals and perennials from plant breeders throughout the world and will offer unique plants that are difficult to find anywhere else in the state. Dr. Allan Armitage will be available to sign his books (which will be for sale) and lead tours of the Trial Garden ( Profits from all sales help fund research and student employees in the gardens.

The UGA Horticulture Club will be selling a wide range of garden and landscape plants near the intersection of Riverbend Road and College Station Road. Profits from all sales fund projects for students in the Horticulture program.

Gardeners who participate in the 2012 Plantapalooza will be able to get a special card stamped to receive discounts in many area nurseries. Each participating retailer will have a drawing for $25 worth of plants for Plantapalooza participants. Directions and information about participating retailers are available online at Information on Athens hotels and attractions can be found at

Participating retailers:

Cofer's Home and Garden Showplace
1145 Mitchell Bridge Road, Athens
(706) 353-1519,

Goodness Grows
332 Elberton Road, Lexington
(706) 743-5055,

Specialty Ornamentals
3650 Colham Ferry Road, Watkinsville
(706) 310-0143,

Thomas Orchard and Nursery
6091 Macon Highway, Bishop
(706) 769-5011,

Thyme After Thyme
550 Athens Road, Winterville
(706) 742-7149,

Wildwood Specialty Nursery
4970 Lexington Road, Athens
(706) 201-6559,

Wolfskin Nursery
10325 Double Bridges Road, Winterville

Site Locations:

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
2450 S. Milledge Avenue, Athens

The Trial Gardens at UGA
220 W Green Street, Athens behind Snelling Dining Hall

The UGA Horticulture Club
near the intersection of Riverbend Road and College Station Road

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 cafĂ© is wireless and surrounded by tropical plants – what a great spot to gather!”