Special Event


Saturday, January 25, 2019
8:00 AM to 3:30 PM

The Inspired Gardener
A Symposium and Silent Auction

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

Held in Day Hall of the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Registration Deadline: January 20 - space is limited!

Fee: $94 ($84 GPPA and ABG Members)

To register online: atlantabg.org

Questions? Call (404) 876-5859 ext. 2558 or email registrar@atlantabotanicalgarden.org

If you are a GPPA member but not an ABG member, please see the Members Only section of this website for a code to receive your discount for the symposium.

Non GPPA members can first join GPPA at the Membership Info section of this website.


Shake off the winter blues and get in gear for springtime with a full day of garden inspiration. Enjoy the comradery of other enthusiastic gardeners as you pick up new ideas from seasoned experts during the Inspired Gardener, Symposium and Silent Auction on January 25. Come join us!

The Inspired Gardener, Symposium and Silent Auction, takes place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in Day Hall, and is presented by the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Georgia Perennial Plant Association.

Symposium Schedule

8:00 AM Check-in and Silent Auction Bidding Begins
9:00 AM Opening Remarks
9:15 AM Playing in the Dirt in the Ripley Garden
Presented by Janet Draper
10:15 AM Break
10:30 AM Propagation Inspiration
Presented by Ethan Guthrie
11:30 AM Design Evolution of the Gravel Garden
Presented by Lisa Roper
12:30 PM Lunch & Book-Signing
1:15 PM Silent Auction Bidding Closes
1:30 PM Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden
Presented by Jessica Walliser
2:30 PM A Tree for Every Garden
Presented by Jamie Blackburn
3:30 PM Symposium Concludes
Retrieve Silent Auction Merchandise

Featured Speakers

Playing in the Dirt in the Ripley Garden

Presented by:
Janet Draper
Horticulturist, Smithsonian Gardens

For over 20 years, Janet Draper has been inspiring people to look beyond the common when planting their gardens through her inspirational plant combinations in the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden; part of Smithsonian Gardens located on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Propagation Inspiration

Presented by:
Ethan Guthrie
Horticulture Manager, Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville

Every inspired gardener at least dabbles in propagation at some point in their gardening journey, often with varying rates of success. Ethan Guthrie will introduce you to some of the basic dos and don’ts of seed and cutting propagation, offering tips that will help increase your confidence. Get helpful hands-on tips to get up and running trying your hand at propagating, and learn more about the Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville’s successful propagation operation.

Design Evolution of the Gravel Garden

Presented by:
Lisa Roper
Gravel Garden and Ruin Horticulturist, Chanticleer

Lisa will discuss how form, texture, color and rhythm are carefully considered. She will also cover planting techniques, the importance of editing constantly to tame plants that seed in enthusiastically, and the technique of using photography to inform her design decisions.

Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

Presented by:
Jessica Walliser
Horticulturist, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Columnist and host of KDKA Radio’s The Organic Gardeners

Using information assembled for her award-winning book, Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, Jessica shines a light on the methods needed to attract pest-eating beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps, to the garden – and keep them there. She describes over a dozen species of beneficial insects found across North America and accompanies the lecture with beautiful images of the predators themselves and their favorite host plants. You’ll never look at bugs the same way again!

A Tree for Every Garden

Presented by:
Jamie Blackburn
Manager, Arborguard Tree Specialists

Trees are typically one of the main structural elements of most gardens in the Southeast. Even the most astute gardener may only get one chance to select the best new tree for their site, especially in today’s smaller garden spaces. Proper cultural and aesthetic considerations are therefore critical, and this presentation is designed to give practical information and ideas about some of the best trees for this region. Native, exotic, big, small, showy, edible ... there is a tree for every garden!