Monday, July 30, 2012

Georgia Gold Medal Winner Annabelle Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle') is a magnificent June-July flowering shrub ideally suited to shady, moist areas of the garden. The plant averages 3 to 5 feet in height, 4 to 6 feet in width. The ultimate form is a broad-mound of un-branched stems and large three to eight inch long dark green leaves. Green buds appear on the end of each stem in May to early June, with blooms emerging as apple green, then turning creamy white, then brown. These inflorescences range from 4 to 12 inches in diameter. With abundant rainfall, they will flop and may require staking. If the old flowers are removed by late June-early July, a second flowering may occur in August-September, but the flowers are smaller.  'Annabelle' should be utilized in shady areas of the garden, preferably in groupings or masses. Under trees, it makes a terrific color splash.

'Annabelle' was discovered by two ladies who were riding horses near Anna, Illinois. They noticed the uniqueness of the flowers and brought the plant back to their garden in Anna. The two Belles and the town of Anna resulted in the cultivar name.

Hydrangea arborescens is native to North America, including all of the Southeastern states. Since ‘Annabelle’ became the Georgia Gold Medal shrub winner in 1995, other varieties have become available, including the recently released ‘Incrediball’, with stronger stems and very large bloom clusters.
Find out about other Georgia Gold Medal winners here.
GGM Facebook page.
Incrediball Hydrangea is another Hydrangea arborescens selection from Proven Winners with large flowers and sturdy stems.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Free Brass Concerts at SBG

Don’t forget that we still have two free brass concerts planned this summer at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia – inside the air-conditioned Visitor Center/Conservatory!

Evening Concert by the Classic V Brass Quintet

Tuesday, July 24 at 7:00 pm

We are looking forward to this free, lively evening concert by the Classic V Brass Quintet. Expect tunes like Puttin’ on the Ritz, Stephen Foster Medley and American Patrol March, maybe with a piece of Baroque music mixed in.  Make it an evening out – start with dinner at Donderos’ Kitchen inside the Conservatory.

Athens Brass Choir Concert

Sunday, August 5 at 3:00 pm

Expect some Americana, Olympic fanfare, and more ‘fun stuff’ at this concert inside the air-conditioned conservatory.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Experience Foods from Around the World at Cultures & Cuisines Fundraiser in the International Garden

Seven area restaurants will feature cuisines celebrating the Spanish-American, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean sections of the International Garden at Cultures & Cuisines, a fundraising event on August 23 that will help expand the plant collections of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

Square One Fish Co., Last Resort Grill, The Grit, The National, Speakeasy, Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market and Ted's Most Best will offer tastings of dishes complemented by wine selections from Northeast Sales & Distributing and beer from Terrapin Brewing.

Each restaurant will donate the food to support the Garden and advertise this event to their customers.

The event will be located inside the Gardenside Room on the lower level of the Visitor Center/Conservatory and in the International Garden at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 2450 South Milledge, Athens from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Music will be performed by BotJam, comprised of past and present Garden employees who won a crowd favorite award at the 2011 AthensBusinessRocks contest.  “This event will be completely casual” explains Jeannette Coplin, Director of Horticulture and Grounds at the State Botanical Garden. “We want people to enjoy the collections, food, music and each other while showing their support of our gardens.” All funds raised will go towards expanding and maintaining the plant collections, which are not only educational, but inspire visitors to try new plants and plant combinations—tested in this climate—as part of home landscapes. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens includes a Daffodil Display Garden, All-American Selections Display and Conifer Reference Garden.

Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased by calling 706-542-1244 or at the event. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to Camp

By: Chelsea Carter

As a kid I can remember my mom enrolling me in practically every summer camp. I was the hyperactive kid who wasn’t allowed to eat chocolate at snack time in art camp, the clumsy kid who knocked over the Bunsen burner in science camp, and the eager kid excited to learn new tricks at gymnastics camp. Every year I looked forward to summer and the adventures it would bring. When given the assignment to spend the day at the State Botanical Garden’s Earth Garden summer camp I jumped with excitement and was ready to explore nature with the campers.

We started off the day reviewing what the campers had learned earlier in the week and singing a cute song about the water cycle. The group received the daily letter from the mysterious jabberwocky outlining the campers’ task for the day. Along with the note were tools the kids would need along their journey. Today’s task was to catch creatures from the stream and observe their habitat. During the hike to the stream, campers were encouraged to find water. Whoever could find water got to wear the coveted “Sop the Drop” necklace. This trains the campers to be aware of their surroundings and is a fun way to keep the kids attention on nature. However, the most popular conversation on our journey involved the jabberwocky. The question of who is the jabberwocky echoed from camper to camper. A group of boys had formed the “Mystery Club” and deemed themselves investigators of the jabberwocky. The prime suspect for today was Camp Leader Cora. The mystery of the jabberwocky kept the kids entertained during the walk to the stream and ignited the imaginations of many campers.

Camper showing off Sop the Drop.

At the stream the kids learned about the signs of healthy water and the creatures that live in the stream. They picked their tools for catching creatures and went to work. It wasn’t long before the campers learned the best way to catch fast fish and sneaky crawfish. On the walk back to the classroom, the kids played Fox, a hide-and-seek game that helps the kids stay aware of their environment. By the end of our day at camp the kids couldn’t wait to share their exciting adventure with their parents.

While these kids could have learned about the ecosystem of the stream through other creative teaching methods, the hands-on experience provided by the Earth Garden camp increases the chance that this new information will be remembered and creates a more interactive atmosphere. The campers will remember the fun day they had at the stream and what they learned for many years to come, and so will I.

For more information about educational programs at the State Botanical Garden visit our website.