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29th Annual Garden Symposium

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The Biedenharn Museum & Gardens will celebrate it’s 29th Annual Garden Symposium on Friday, April 12 from 9am to 3pm.

The symposium will host two speakers, Harvey Cotten and Allen Owings, along with floral designer Julie Spear. Participants will receive a catered lunch along with first access to the plant sale.

Speaker and Designer Information:

Allen Owings. Professor Emeritus – Horticulture, LSU AgCenter. Retired with 25 years of service. Provided statewide extension service programming for nursery growers, landscapers, garden centers and secondarily to Master Gardeners and home gardeners. Coordinator of LSU AgCenter Louisiana Super Plant program and ornamental horticulture plant trials and evaluation programs. Since October 2017, he has been employed as senior horticulturist at Bracy’s Nursery in Amite, LA and horticulturist at Clegg’s Nursery in Baton Rouge, LA. In this role he provides social media education, horticulture outreach and customer relations.

Dr. Owings was born and raised in Hammond, LA. He holds a BS degree (plant science) from Southeastern Louisiana University, MS degree (Horticulture) from LSU and PhD (Horticulture) from Mississippi State University.

He has been recognized by the Louisiana and National Agricultural County Agents Associations with their achievement award and distinguished service award. He is a life member of the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association and Louisiana Society for Horticultural Research. Dr. Owings belongs to numerous horticulture societies in LA and across the south. He is current president of the Louisiana Chapter of the Azalea Society of America and the region 7 director for the American Rose Society. He enjoys gardening, golf and LSU sports.

Harvey Cotten is a garden writer, designer and consultant.

After 22 years with the Huntsville Botanical Garden, most recently as vice president and chief horticulturist, he retired in 2014.

He continues to present workshops for the Botanical Garden, Master Gardener Associations, Garden Clubs and other botanical gardens and arboreta while lecturing across the southeast on various garden topics.

He is active in the Green Industry and is the Past President of –
· Alabama Invasive Plant Council
· Horticultural Research Institute – now serving as Treasurer
· Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association – now serving as Secretary-Treasurer

Harvey co-authored the popular book “Easy Gardens for the South,” published in 2009.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture from Mississippi State University. Before coming on staff at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, he was general manager of Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, Miss., and co-owner of Chase Nursery Co. in Huntsville.

Julie Spear grew up in Knoxville and moved to Memphis, Tn in 1973. Floral design was a part of her childhood. She grew up in a family of floral designers: her mother, grandmother, and father. (Even though her dad was a pediatrician, he dabbled in horticulture). Her mentor was her grandmother, and much of her teaching revolves around the advice she had been given.

In addition to enjoying time with her grandchildren, Julie is on the flower guild at Calvary Church, which means a great deal to her.

As she focuses on the modern elements of floral design, she has come to understand that all of it is very learnable. The elements and principles of design are constant; they never change; they are present everywhere, from a floral design to a snowflake to a monumental building. They do not waver.

Her mantra in design is: Unfortunately we are not curing cancer, and unfortunately we are not creating world peace, but fortunately we are able to enjoy, work with and share the beauty that God has given us in His creation.

Don’t forget to register today!
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