Special Events


Saturday, February 28, 2015
8:00 AM to 3:30 PM

The Inspired Gardener
A Symposium and Silent Auction

Presented by the
Atlanta Botanical Garden
and the
Georgia Perennial Plant Association

Held in Day Hall of the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Registration fees:

$79 GPPA and ABG Members / $89 Non-members

$5 Pre-paid parking / $12 Boxed Lunch

(register before February 6, 2015 for discounted parking)

Registration Deadline
February 20, 2015 - Space is Limited!

(Refunds granted if requested on or before Feb. 20, 2015.
A $10 processing fee charged for all refunds.)

To register online: atlantabotanicalgarden.org

To register by voice mail: (404) 876-5859 ext. 2558

To register by mail, click here to download the brochure / registration form.

Read about this upcoming GPPA Event at:

The Atlanta Botanical Garden Website


Shake off the winter blues and get inspired for springtime! Enjoy the camaraderie of other enthusiastic gardeners as you pick up new ideas from seasoned experts.

Symposium Schedule
8:00 a.m. Check-in and Silent Auction bidding begins
9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
9:15 a.m. The Know Maintenance Garden
Presented by Roy Diblik
10:15 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Unusual Plants for Dry Shade
Presented by Hayes Jackson
11:30 a.m. Vultures on the Front Porch
Presented by Elizabeth Dean
12:30 p.m. Lunch & Book-Signing
1:15 p.m. Silent Auction Bidding Closes
1:30 p.m. Lessons on Dirt
Presented by Jenks Farmer
2:30 p.m. Summer Tropicals with an Autumn Finale
Presented by Becky Heath
3:30 p.m. Symposium Concludes
Retrieve Silent Auction Merchandise

Featured Speakers

The Know Maintenance Garden
Presented by Roy Diblik

Roy Diblik

Roy’s thoughtful way to design perennial plantings welcomes fresh contemporary styles and plant diversity integrated with responsible maintenance concerns. Using a selection of regionally dependable perennials, endless natural plant patterns can be constructed, each relating to time and cost to maintain. He will discuss the developing partnership between the gardener, the plants and nature, always knowing the beauty is in the doing.

Roy Diblik has been growing and caring for traditional and native perennials since 1978. Beginning his plant career at The Natural Garden, then developing Northwind Perennial Farm with good friends in 1991. The nursery is located in Burlington, Wisconsin. His garden designs emphasize plant relationships to maintenance strategies and costs. Roy’s work includes the Louis Sullivan Arch Garden for the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago and the lakeside plantings for the new Oceanarium at the Shedd Aquarium. Recently he completed two new entrance gardens for the Mitchell Park Garden Domes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His new book, The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden, is now available, published by Timber Press.

Unusual Plants for Dry Shade
Presented by Hayes Jackson

Hayes Jackson

Hayes will look at different options for shade plants addressing those tough shade issues and root competition for those who garden in a grove of majestic trees. Those trees can really suck up the water, so we will look at plants that thrive and compete in shady, forest-like rot zones.

Hayes Jackson graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Landscape Design and Ornamental Horticulture. After working in southern California with Armstrong Nurseries, he returned to Alabama to work on his masters in Environmental Biology at Jacksonville State University. Hayes is the Urban Regional Extension Agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Anniston where he works with urban horticulture and community-based programs concerning urban horticulture.

Hayes has a seven-acre garden that contains just about one of everything. A fine example of a "botanical wonderland", the garden is mostly composed of paths, beds packed with plants, and the grass can be cut in thirteen minutes. The garden contains large collections of palms, ginger lilies, bamboo, camellias, azaleas, conifers, hosta, natives, cacti and succulents, trilliums, cannas, elephant ears, wildflowers, magnolias, amaryllis, daffodils, hollies … oh gosh, the lists goes on, but you get the idea. However, you won’t see a Bradford pear or a hybrid tea rose on the place.

Vultures on the Front Porch
Stories, Observations and Opinions from 10 Year with Plants
Presented by Elizabeth Dean

Elizabeth Dean

Sometimes funny, often thoughtful, usually informative and always lively, Elizabeth will share selected opinions, observations and knowledge gained from a life in the dirt.

Elizabeth Dean and husband, Gene Griffith, started Wilkerson Mill Gardens in 1990, and what began as a business growing woody plants for cut stems has shifted into a specially plant nursery with online sales and on site sales by appointment or during Open Days.

Gene's serendipitous acquisition of www.hydrangea.com led them to collect what is perhaps the most extensive collection of hydrangeas on the east coast. It also led to Penny McHenry. Elizabeth was a founding board member of American Hydrangea Society.

They now are focused on hydrangeas: collecting, observing, propagating, growing, selecting for reliable hydrangeas for the garden. Unable to restrain themselves they continue to offer a scattering of some of their other favorite woody plants. They delight in sharing their experience and opinions gained by working with plants over the last 25 years with the goal of helping gardeners to succeed and to relish their gardens.

Lessons on Dirt
Presented by Jenks Farmer

Jenks Farmer

Combining the best of old school country wisdom and modern soil web microbiology, Jenks will discuss how he manages the dirt on his crinum lily farm. In researching for his new book Deep Rooted Wisdom, he spent time with old farmers and soil scientist. He'll share lessons from them, as well as pictures of their gardens, and describe how he cares for and builds soil in the modern gardens he designs.

For 20 years, Jenks Farmer led teams to plant and establish the vision for two of South Carolina's major botanical gardens. He is the former director of Riverbanks Botanical Garden and founding Horticulturist of Moore Farms Garden. Currently, he is interium director of Gardens for Historic Columbia and runs his own organically managed nursery.

An engaging teacher, he's established internship programs, taught in Haiti and has lectured for groups as varied as the NC State Agricultural faculty, the Smithsonian, Wave Hill, lots of Master Gardeners and of course, his grandmother’s Allendale Ladies Afternoon Reading Club. Jenks holds a BS from Clemson and an MS from University of Washington. He's the author of Deep Rooted Wisdom from Timber Press.

Summer Tropicals with an Autumn Finale
Presented by Becky Heath

Becky Heath

In the perfect work, the garden would continue giving color after the spring bulbs are finished. Becky will share ideas of other bulbs that can be added to the same garden that will create a summertime tropical garden, an area that attracts birds and butterflies and an area that can be used as a cutting garden. Also instead of feeling like the garden is done in September, she will share with you the numerous bulbs, tropical plants and perennials that continue to give color well into fall until frost.

Becky Heath is co-owner and President of Heath Enterprises, Ltd., the home of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, located in Gloucester, Virginia. A Virginia native, as a child, Becky spent a lot of time visiting her uncle’s farm and as an adult has enjoyed starting plants from seed and nurturing them to full growth in her garden. Becky’s training and college degrees are in music and teaching but for the last 35+ years, she has been married to and worked side by side with the real bulb expert, Brent Heath, where she has absorbed much knowledge about bulbs, their care and how to help ensure their success in gardens.

Becky utilizes her training as a teacher developing their web site, writing the catalogue and articles for magazines and co-authoring their award winning books, Daffodils for North American Gardens and Tulips for North American Gardens.

To register online: atlantabotanicalgarden.org

To register by voice mail: (404) 876-5859 ext. 2558

To register by mail, click here to download the brochure / registration form.

Registration is Open for the Symposium until February 20, 2015