'Diggin It' Spring Garden Festival
Saturday, March 22
  - Festival is free with garden admission. Important Note: Guests who come to "Diggin It" will receive a bounce back voucher for FREE admission when we have our Plantacular Sale.

Our annual garden festival offers an exceptional opportunity to get expert advice on a wide range of gardening topics. From demonstrations and guest speakers to workshops and a container plant silent auction, this event offers excellence in horticulture education and ideas. All programs are in the Wall Lowcountry Center Auditorium, Learning Labs, and Program Shed, so the event is accessible rain or shine. Here’s the event schedule (subject to change.)

Lectures in Lowcountry Center Auditorium

11a.m. – 12 p.m. "40 Years of Horticulture: Observations, Inspirations, and Invitations" Guest speaker Bryce Lane produces and hosts the two-time Emmy award-winning public television show “In the Garden with Bryce Lane.” Since 1981, he has served the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University as Lecturer, Undergraduate Coordinator, and Professor Emeritus. This is an entertaining and thought-provoking talk about gardening.


1 p.m. – 2 p.m. “Winging it in a Human World” Join Patrick McMillan as he explores the intricate connections from end to end of the globe that can be traced to changes we see here in South Carolina. You'll be amazed how the stories of Red Knots, Painted Buntings, Warblers, and waterfowl are connected to our personal choices. Patrick McMillan is the host, co-creator, and writer of the popular and award-winning ETV nature program, “Expeditions with Patrick McMillan”. Patrick is a professional naturalist, lecturer, and director of the Campbell Museum of Natural History at Clemson University.

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. “I’m not From Around These Parts: Putting Down Roots in the Southeast” As a transplant to the South from New England, Bryce Lane has learned much about gardening here in the past 32 years. He will talk about many of the successes and failures he has experienced and translate what he has learned into recommended garden practices for all gardeners in the Southeast.

Lectures in Lowcountry Center Learning Lab 1

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. “Lifelong Landscape Design: Gardens for Health and Longevity” Licensed and seasoned landscape architects Hugh and Mary Palmer Dargan, enjoy creating custom master plans for living environments. Their designs for residential properties, museums, churches, and campuses have received innumerable awards. They will talk about how to design a lifelong landscape to produce food, healthy activity, social interaction, and stress reduction.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. “Liberated Gardeners Get More Done: Saving Your Planet, Your Time, Your Budget, and Your Back” Frank Hyman has created beautiful and sustainable gardens in Durham for20 years as the owner of Cottage Garden Landscaping. He is an experienced practitioner of organic and sustainable gardening and farming techniques. He will share methods and experiences to increase efficiency and decrease gardenmaintenance.

3 p.m. – 4 p.m. “Photographing Spring Flowers” Brookgreen’s photographer, Anne Malarich, will share tips and secrets of photographing flowers in the garden. She’ll show you how to capture macros/close-ups by controlling the background, light, and composition, as well as affordable tricks to use for enhancing your photos. She is an award-winning photographer with over 35 years in the marketing and photography industry.

4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Photography Workshop in the Gardens ($25 per person) After her lecture, join Anne Malarich for a specialized photography workshop in the Gardens. Participants should bring and have a working knowledge of their own cameras. The workshop is $25 per personand reservations are required by calling (843) 235-6016.

Demonstrations in Lowcountry Center Program Shed

10 a.m. – 11a.m. - Tom Francis, of Bees by the Sea, is an experienced beekeeper and even has honeybee hives at Brookgreen. Tom will share secrets of the honeybees, highlighting their significant role in the natural world, as well as secrets of beekeeping.

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. - Sharon Stollenmaier has years of experience creating and maintaining water features of all sizes, from fountains to ponds. Sharon will share her expertise of pond and aquatic systems of varying scales, offering practical techniques for the installation, cleaning, and maintenance of garden water features.

12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Ananda Fitzsimmons, co-founder of Inocucor Technologies, a company that makes natural microbial products for use in agriculture and soil and water remediation, will discuss the role of beneficial microorganisms in plant growing systems. An out-of-the box thinker and environmentalist [who has been growing her own organic vegetables for over 30 years], Ananda has discovered natural, effective, and user-friendly ways to decrease the use of harmful chemicals in the environment.

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Todd Stephenson, of Total Tree Care, will show us proper pruning techniques to increase plant health and appearance, focusing specifically on Crape myrtle.

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Pruning Workshop in the Gardens ($25 per person) After the lecture, join Todd Stephenson for a hands-on demonstration of proper Crape myrtle pruning techniques in the Poetry Garden. Put an end to “crape murder” – unsightly topping – and other pruning nightmares. Reservations required by calling (843) 235-6016.

Silent Auction
A creative selection of unique and interesting container designs by Brookgreen’s horticulture staff will be available for bids.

Our Spring Garden Festival is sponsored in part by