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Festival heralds start of spring gardening

Posted: April 20, 2013 - 11:07pm
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Jeff Tilden, of Jeff Tilden Gardens and Stones, constructs a fiddlehead garden during setup for the 2011 Sacred Heart Garden Festival in Augusta.  File Photo
File Photo
Jeff Tilden, of Jeff Tilden Gardens and Stones, constructs a fiddlehead garden during setup for the 2011 Sacred Heart Garden Festival in Augusta.

The Sacred Heart Garden Festival heralds spring in the Augusta area and signals area gardeners and gardening enthusiasts to take part in an annual rite that marks the change in seasons.

This year’s festival, slated for April 26-28, will convene under the “Southern Tradition with a Twist” theme.

“The theme lends itself to both the traditional and a bit off of the beaten path, if you will,” said Mary Louise Hagler, chairwoman of this year’s festival. “There are traditional style gardens and a couple with that twist of creativity that provides a bit of excitement.”

The festival kicks off on Sunday, April 21, with a garden tea at the home of Mr. and Mrs. R. Daniel Blanton. A preview party will be held Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Cultural Center. Both the tea and preview party require the purchase of advance tickets.

Garden festival hours run Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 28, from noon until 5 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for all three days or $10 for a one-day pass. Both passes include admission to the garden market, lectures and exhibition hall; the three-day pass also includes admission to the garden tours.

Featured gardens on the 2013 tour include 2817 Helen St.; 1920 Highland Ave. (Aquinas High School); 1 Indian Creek Road; 2 Indian Creek Road; 606 Milledge Road; 3003 Park Ave.; and 1901 Pennsylvania Ave.

“The grounds of Aquinas High School are on tour this year,” said Hagler. “The citrus and other tropicals will make you wonder if you are deep in Florida or South America.”

In addition to the tours, an exhibit of dresses fashioned from natural materials such as plants, flowers and newspaper will be on display throughout the Sacred Heart Cultural Center grounds and in the Grand Hall. Local designers are already working on the “Still Magnolias” exhibits.

“We also have designers setting up table displays which will provide inspiration for those who like to entertain in style,” added Hagler. “The workshops are top-notch this year, too.”

Among workshop topics are miniature gardening, cooking with herbs, growing citrus in Augusta, and a question-and-answer session with University of Georgia Extension Agent Sid Mullis.

“I encourage you to take some time to visit Sacred Heart, attend the workshops and see the vendors, plants and displays,” said Hagler.

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