"Flowers are the spice," said Ms. Askey, a Birmingham, Ala., gardener who has written for Southern Living . "The real fabric of the garden is woven out of the leaves."
She will be one of four speakers at the 18th annual Sacred Heart Garden Festival, which begins today and runs through Sunday at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.
Ms. Askey will speak at 11 a.m. today on creating structure in the garden with well-chosen foliage.
When your garden is built on interesting leaves, even during nonblooming periods, "you'll still have a garden that's interesting," she said.
She also will teach the principles of texture.
"You really don't get to use it until you combine it with something for textural contrast," Ms. Askey said.
Other speakers include garden designer Jeff Tilden, who will speak at 9 a.m. today on The Renaissance of Southern Gardening.
Ted Stephens, the founder of Nurseries Caroliniana on Mims Grove Church Road in North Augusta, will give a talk at 9 a.m. Saturday on Thinking on a Broader Scale with Herbaceous Perennials, and Jenks Farmer, the owner and operator of Lushlife Nurseries in Columbia, will speak at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Mr. Farmer will discuss ways to acquire plants, ranging from plant swaps to splurge buys, and plants that give you the best value for your investment.
He said he is interested in all kinds of gardens, and he has collected slides of gardens from around the world.
"I like to be able to introduce how people can take ideas from those gardens and use them in their yards," Mr. Farmer said.
The festival also will feature garden exhibitions and a tour of private gardens.
Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SACRED HEART GARDEN FESTIVAL
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today-Sunday
WHERE: Sacred Heart Cultural Center is at 1301 Greene St.
TOUR OF GARDENS
You must purchase the three-day ticket to participate in the tour of private gardens.
Hours: Noon to 5 p.m., today-Sunday
- Rosary garden of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, 720 Telfair St.
- Garden of Crystal and George Eskola, 1215 Magnolia Drive
- Garden of Helen Hendee and Linda McIntosh, 2266 Overton Road
- Garden of Kate and Trav Paine, 820 Milledge Road
- Garden of Nola and Charles Falcone, 3106 Walton Way
ONE-DAY TICKET: $10
THREE-DAY TICKET: $25
Visitors younger than 12 admitted free.