Come listen to some of the foremost garden experts in our area and the Southeast! The Sacred Heart Garden Festival has welcomed many garden experts over the years, offering visitors how-to demonstrations as well as tips and tricks to add more splendor to their own gardens.

We invite you to learn from their wealth of knowledge and experience through educational seminars and interactive demonstrations on many garden-related topics.

Please scroll down for the speaker  & pop-up demo schedules.


Friday April 21

Saturday April 22

9:30 AM

11:00 AM

Judy Kirkland, Master Gardener, Asclepias and More

The Importance of Native Plants and How to Incorporate Them Into the Home Garden

Dr. Allan Armitage, Emeritus Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia

The Making of a Garden: The Chaos and Contentment of Downsizing

9:30 AM

11:00 AM

12:30 PM

Elliot Price, Master Gardener & Project Lead with Vineyard Giving Farm

Propagation: Planting a Seed for Success

Jennifer Millwood, Wild Birds Unlimited

Attracting Birds & Pollinators to Your Garden

Ransom Schwerzler, Meadow Garden Docent

Gerogia's Founding Gardeners

Friday April 21, 2023

Judy Kirkland, Master Gardener, Asclepias and More

The Importance of Native Plants and How to Incorporate Them Into the Home Garden
Friday, April 21, 9:30 AM

Judy Kirkland is becoming known as a leading source for information on native perennial flowering plants, shrubs, trees, vines and grasses needed to support native insects, birds and wildlife.

Judy taught school for 30 years. In addition to a BA from Tift College, she has a Masters Degree in Education and a Specialist Degree in Education from Augusta College. Judy has done post graduate studies in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Vermont and New Mexico.

Judy has an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Horticulture from Augusta Technical College. She is a Master Gardener and has served on the board of The Georgia Masters Association. Judy is a Past President of the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs and has served on the state board. Judy has a vast collection of books written by the best known experts in Native Plant gardening and takes every possible opportunity hear them teach.


Dr. Allan Armitage, Emeritus Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia

The Making of a Garden: The Chaos and Contentment of Downsizing
Friday, April 21, 11:00 AM

Emeritus Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia (retired 2014)
Well known as a writer, speaker and researcher throughout the world.
Written over 70 academic papers, 500 industry papers.
Written 16 books that serve as classroom texts, reference books and gardeners’ companions. His newest book “It’s Not Just About The Hat” describes his journey from a boy in Canada to a internationally known horticulturist.
Teaches two online courses (“for the world”) on Perennials
Has written an App for smartphones and tablets “Armitage’s Greatest Perennials & Annuals” that serves as a bridge between industry and consumer.
Has written a monthly column for a national greenhouse publication, “Greenhouse Grower”, for over 30 years. No column has ever been repeated.
Consults with successful companies on selection and marketing of herbaceous plants and horticultural products.
Holds academic degrees from McGill University, Canada, University of Guelph, Canada and Michigan State University, USA.
His company, Garden Vistas, has organized tours to the Great Gardens of the World every year for over 25 years.
His photos have ben published widely in books, and are sold online for use on labels, bench tags or books.
Introduced over 20 plants to the gardening community, including Verbena “Homestead Purple’ and ‘Margarita’ ornamental sweet potato.
He conducted research in New Crop Introduction and Evaluation, and Environmental Physiology.
Developed and maintained The Trial Gardens at UGA where new plants from breeders throughout the world were evaluated for heat and humidity performance.
Invited lecturer in Canada, the United States, Portugal, Colombia, New Zealand, Australia and Europe and is in constant demand.  He has visited research and production centers throughout the world and studies annuals, perennials, cut flowers and greenhouse crops in various climates.
His two latest books “It's Not Just About The Hat” (2015) and “Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots” (2017) have been unanimously praised and have become best sellers in the Horticulture market.
Many, many awards for teaching, writing and research.


Saturday April 22, 2023

Elliot Price, Master Gardener & Vineyard Giving Farm Project Lead

Propagation: Planting Seeds for Success
Saturday, April 22, 9:30 AM

Elliot Price is a 2015 UGA Master Gardener and the Vineyard Giving Farm volunteer. The Vineyard Giving Farm is a ministry of the Vineyard Church of Augusta designed to deliver fresh, wholesome produce to the Storehouse Food Pantry. Our volunteers have a passion for farming and supplying wholesome, organic food to people with limited means and access to quality food. Teaching effective organic farming practices is a hallmark of our program. Our efforts offer year-round outdoor growing activities tailored to the abilities of each volunteer. Elliot has a M.B.A. from Augusta College and a B.S. in Industrial Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has been married to Bonnie for 41 years and has three grown children, and 5 grandchildren.

If you would like to know more about the Vineyard Giving Farm, please contact our project lead and Master Gardener, Elliot Price, at 706 339-3798 or email at



Jennifer Millwood, Wild Birds Unlimited

Attracting Birds & Pollinators to Your Garden
Saturday, April 22, 11:00 AM

Originally from Alabama, Jennifer has lived in the Augusta area for ten years.  She is an experienced environmental educator, having previously worked as an educational park ranger and naturalist. Jennifer is currently employed with Wild Birds Unlimited and enjoys sharing her love of nature and outdoor activities with others.




Ransom Schwerzler, Meadow Garden Docent

Georgia's Founding Gardeners
Saturday, April 22, 12:30 PM

On one of her first tours as a docent at Meadow Garden, a visitor noted George Walton’s interest in Mulberry trees and asked, “Was he trying to produce silk?”

Silk? In Georgia? This led to a wealth of research down a winding path through the Trustees Garden in the earliest days of Savannah, to botanists John and William Bartram’s explorations, and on to what founders might have been growing in early America and why.

Ransom has a degree in History from Auburn University. She is a volunteer and a former trustee for Meadow Garden, home of George Walton, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Ransom is also an enthusiastic gardener. During her 25 years as military spouse, she tried her hand at growing things around the world -- from window boxes along the Rhine in Germany to raised beds in the high desert of Arizona.



Friday April 21

Saturday April 22

10:30 AM



Campbell Vaughn, Master Gardener

Small Space Gardening

Alexia Gonzales, The Earth Pantry

Homemade surface cleaner workshop

Suzanne Holmes, Master Gardener

Care & Feeding

10:30 AM


1:30 PM

3:00 PM

Kristen Lovell, Towers Garden with Juice Plus


Tonya Duncan, Master Gardener, Volunteer at Golden Harvest Food Bank Urban Garden

Canning Vegetables From Your Garden

Ryan Trusty, Trusty Farms

How to grow mushrooms from start to finish and how they benefit your health

Jason Billue, Billue Family Farm & B2 Beekeeping

"How-to" Beehive Inspection