Garden Gnome: Sacred Heart Garden Festival includes tours, speakers

People browsed at last year's Sacred Heart Garden Festival. This year's event begins Thursday.

The gardener’s favorite time begins this week with the Sacred Heart Garden Festival.

Everyone can get the first peek at the local landscapers’ exhibits at the downtown cultural center at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The $65 ticket includes dinner, an open bar, music and the chance to be the first at vendors tables in the garden market.

The highlight of the festival, the tour of gardens, takes place noon to 5 p.m. April 27 through 29. The $25 ticket includes a visit to each of the five Summerville gardens on the tour and unlimited access to the Sacred Heart Cultural Center.

There is a one-day ticket available for $10, but it does not include the garden tour.

During the festival, the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs will hold its Standard Flower Show with floral designs and flower exhibit in the horticultural tent.

At 6 p.m.Saturday there is an exhibit, Golden Afternoon: Watercolors from the Elsley Col­lection. John Elsley will discuss his collection of 19th-century painting of Victorian-era English Gardens. The reception includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are $5 e ach.

This year’s festival includes a speaker’s series. On Friday, Sharyn Altman will speak on Butterfly Gardening; Bill Bambrick on History of Nurseries in Augusta; Everette Jones on the Three Steps to Successful Shade Gardening; Charlie Shaw on Daylilies; and Jeff Tilden on The Perfect Garden: Recognizing Eden.

On Saturday, Mary Louise Hagler will speak on Garden Herbs; Sid Mullis will hold Ask the Expert; Kathryn Prysiazny will speak on Japanese Gardening; and Jane Waldrop will speak on Garden Ornamentals.

This year tickets are available online at sacredheartgardenfestival.com and at various ticket outlets in Aiken, North Augusta and Augusta.

Tickets may also be purchased at the downtown cultural center, 1301 Greene St.

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