Former University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley will be the featured speaker at the Central Savannah River Area Hydrangea Society’s 2012 Hydrangea Conference next month.
Author of Digging in the Dirt with the Dawg, Dooley will give the keynote address at the June 7 event, to be held at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans.
“I managed to sweet talk Coach Dooley into speaking,” said Sharyn Altman, former Georgia Council of Garden Clubs president and conference chairperson.
Altman, a Martinez resident, said the conference is for “seasoned Hydrangea lovers and novices and, hopefully, for husbands who love Georgia football and the coach.”
The Hydrangea industry frequently hybridizes new plants, and this conference presents participants with an opportunity to learn more about the new varieties.
“Plant enthusiasts will enjoy getting together and sharing their experiences,” Altman said.
“The target audience is anyone interested in learning about hydrangeas, cultivation, maintenance, new varieties, determining what hydrangea is the best for their garden and for a chance to have their questions answered,” said Kay Mills, a director with the CSRA Hydrangea Society.
The conference, which will begin at 8 a.m. and run until 2 p.m., will also feature Jamie Blackburn, curator of Woodland Gardens at the Atlanta Botantical Garden, and Robert McCartney, co-owner of Woodlanders Nursery in Aiken. Lisa Bartlett of Green and Grow in Atlantawill also present.
Following the presentations, there will be a question-and-answer session with the panel of speakers. An optional guided tour of the Hydrangea Garden at Pendleton King Park will be offered.
“Vince is not only an extremely entertaining speaker, he is also very knowledgeable about hydrangeas and plants in general,” said Mills. “With three other hydrangea experts giving presentations, people will walk away with a wealth of knowledge and be well-entertained.”
The registration fee for the conference and tour of the park is $25 if received by June 1. After that date, the fee is $30. For more information about the CSRA Hydrangea Society and a registration form, go to www.csrahydrangeasociety.org.