South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium The symposium is an annual event featuring knowledgeable speakers, providing information about native plants and important conservation issues.
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03/13/2020

After much discussion and debate, the decision has been made to cancel SGNPWS that was scheduled for Wednesday March 18. Our prime concern is the safety of all who would attend, and their family members. Flat Creek Nursery is still making native plants available. Visit the symposium plant sale page to view the list of plants.

03/03/2020

There is still time to register for the 2020 symposium!

03/01/2020

The Certificate in Native Plants Program has been available at the State Botanical Garden in Athens for many years. We are pleased to announce an elective course will be held in Tifton, at Fulwood Garden Center, on Tuesday, March 17, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Course Title: Native Plants for Your Garden & Landscaping › Cost: $50 (Friends receive 10% discount). Katherine Melcher, Associate Professor, College of Environment and Design, University of Georgia Amy Carter, Horticulturist, Landscape & Grounds, UGA Tifton.
While we often think of plant selection as the beginning of installing a new garden, but understanding your landscape and available design strategies are critical first-steps to creating a sustainable garden even before choosing plants for your space. This class will focus on how to design a small site using Coastal Plain native plants by following the process of site evaluation and design. In this course, you will learn the basics of site analysis, plant selection, and plant arrangement. Participants are encouraged to bring aerial photos of their own site and develop a design for it in the class.

The Coastal Plain Chapter of Georgia Native Plant Society will have a meeting on Wednesday at three o'clock, after the symposium.

2020 feature photo and schedule
02/23/2020

2020 feature photo and schedule

11/23/2019

SGNPWS 2020 will be held on Wednesday, March 18.
Details have been posted on the website. The location will again be the Georgia Museum of Agriculture, formerly known as Agrirama.

The schedule for March 27, 2019, speaker biographies, and exhibitors list.  Visit the website, http://www.sgnpws.org to ...
03/06/2019

The schedule for March 27, 2019, speaker biographies, and exhibitors list. Visit the website, http://www.sgnpws.org to see the plant list and registration form.

SGNPWS 2019 will be held on Wednesday, March 27.Information will be posted on the website soon.  The location will again...
01/01/2019

SGNPWS 2019 will be held on Wednesday, March 27.
Information will be posted on the website soon. The location will again be the Georgia Museum of Agriculture, formerly known as Agrirama.

03/31/2018

The 2018 event is over. Another big success! Photos coming soon and then plans for 2019 will begin. Thanks to all who attended and participated.

03/07/2018

The big day is only three weeks from today. Be sure to get your registration sent in!

New location info and feature plant: Itea virginica, Henry's Garnet
01/18/2018

New location info and feature plant: Itea virginica, Henry's Garnet

10/19/2017

The 2018 symposium will be at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture on March 28. Visit the website in the near future for updates.

07/29/2017

Plans are in the works for the 2018 symposium!

02/26/2017

Visit the website http://www.sgnpws.org to find information about group discounts for the event.

02/08/2017

The 2017 event will be Wednesday, March 22 at Southern Regional Technical College, in Tifton. Details available at http://www.sgnpws.org

03/29/2016

The disastrous event described below is an example of why the South Georgia Native Plant & WIldflower Symposium exists and stresses the importance of EDUCATION about the benefits and beauty of God's creation and our stewardship of it.

PLANT RESCUES: more to be scheduled as requested

Plant rescues will continue at the now closed public butterfly garden at Cherokee Lake in Thomasville; some citizens and City found it too untidy, and assumed it was not being managed.
No notice and only one unsuccessful attempt to contact anyone. A guest editorial by Beth Grant to the Thomasville paper enclosed below, in case you are interested in more details. Available are PLENTY of narrowleaf sunflower, goldenrod, coreopsis, wild fall asters, white bidens (which was declared by several websites last year as the very best nectar plant - too bad it's such a nuisance, too!)Also available: frog fruit (groundcover); many false dragonhead or obedient plant, wild violets, Georgia aster (endangered in the wild but easy to grow in the garden), lyreleaf sage, and possibly wood sage (American germander), purple coneflower, if they recover from being mowed. Maybe some others as they emerge. Maybe the ironweed, giant goldenrod, red salvia and others will appear or re-appear soon. There was a HUGE patch of blue curls that had volunteered and spread over the years. Bring pots, and especially flat plant trays (for large mats of plants). Maybe some little seedlings will be found soon. FB notices will be placed on GA and FL native plant/wildflower sites. Please feel free to share this announcement with your contacts.

Beth Grant's Letter to the Editor: On Tuesday evening I was enjoying the beautiful atmosphere of Cherokee Lake park, planting many new nectar and host plants in the Butterfly Garden there. That evening a fellow volunteer at the garden returned home after several months travel. She went Wednesday to see the progress of the garden, especially the large vine grouping of native coral honeysuckle that she had trained up a large circular support about 4 feet tall. I had told her it was full for the first time and covered in dozens of the beautiful red and yellow blooms.

She arrived at the park on Wednesday and found everything of the garden over a few inches tall gone! Gone were the honeysuckle, nectar and host trees, the large plants that were getting ready to bloom, and the signs that the City had installed, all of these not only cut down but dug up and thrown away! The next morning I found that all of the smaller plants had been mowed but not dug up. All but two of the plants I had planted on Tuesday were completely gone, as well as most of the large ones that had been growing for months or year. We have grown and purchased many hundreds of plants for the garden over the years, many had come in on their own, and we happily watched them all grow and multiply.

The garden had been managed by a group of volunteers. One of them contacted the City staff, who said they had had some complaints about the garden’s appearance. “The group who planted the butterfly garden did not meet their commitment to maintain and take care of the area they planted. Because of this, the City has not been able to tend to/maintain this area. After failed attempts to reach out to the butterfly group, the City decided to revert the area back to its original grassy appearance.” On the phone he was told they had emailed me a couple of weeks ago, but I find no such email in my mailbox; perhaps they sent it to a wrong address. They made no further attempts to reach us by phone or by mail.

The problem seems to be with the common ignorance about the natural world in general, and native plants and pollinators specifically. This type of conflict with governments and neighborhood associations has been going on for years all over the country. A neighbor of mine and I had been told by the City that we needed to clean up our yards, but we were able to successfully resolve this.

I teach a class based on the book Bringing Nature Home by Dr. Douglas Tallamy, which explains that all of the natural world depends on native plants. Insects can only reproduce on plants they evolved with, and with no insects there is no web of life. For example, baby birds can only eat insects and spiders, not the seeds and fruits their parents can also eat. Butterflies can only lay their eggs and their caterpillars can only eat the specific native plants they adapted to over the millennia. A monarch requires milkweeds, etc. This is the philosophy and science that the butterfly garden was managed by. It teaches us to keep, plant and nurture native plants, especially those that have the most ecosystem services; appreciate insects and avoid pesticides, eliminate invasives; eliminate as much grass as possible, as it does not support biodiversity; and create wildlife corridors.

Adult butterflies eat nectar from flowering plants and their caterpillars eat the native plants, called hosts. Many of the very best nectar and host plants, such wildflowers as white bidens, rattlesnake weed, goldenrod, lyre leaf sage, wild petunia, all thriving in our garden, are considered weeds by the general public. Similarly, it is known that many butterflies overwinter in the egg, larval, and chrysalis stage on the last year’s growth, the dead stems that look so unattractive all winter. Therefore the untidy appearance of the garden was well thought out and the “weeds” desired.

For us the garden was a living classroom. The volunteers learned about pollinators, native plants, and exotic invasives (which are our weeds and were studiously removed or destroyed). Many visitors enjoyed its beauty, especially in late summer and early fall, when it was in its glory. We have hosted two butterfly festivals, with one already scheduled for this October, with tours of the garden, educational talks and handouts. Last year a bee-keeper joined us and planned to return this year.

The butterfly garden was an important part of my life. I was usually there working in it once or even several times a week, year-round for years. I led the monthly or more frequent volunteer days, with volunteers from elementary school age to 91. Hands on Thomas County and Keep Thomas County Beautiful were involved. We shared plants and information with locals, several retirement centers, native nurseries, and friends who also work with us at the butterfly garden at Birdsong Nature Center, belong to the Georgia and Florida Native Plant Societies, and St. Mark’s Wildlife Refuge.

I believe in doing what we can to make the best of all of life’s circumstances. I am not interested in any negative consequences toward the City employees (as some have assumed), but hope everyone in government will put more thought before action, with greater effort to communicate, especially when it directly involves citizen volunteers. My error was not communicating directly with the office staff of the City, which I have belatedly been doing during this crisis. Hopefully they will not pursue destruction of the remaining thousands of plants until we can rescue as many as possible and share them with anyone who wants them. My greatest hope, my retirement goal, is that more people will choose to educate themselves on native plants and their essential role in biodiversity, our complete dependence on the ecosystem services they provide, and the great need for the conservation of natural areas and wildlife corridors.


Beth Wiggins Grant

Native Plant & Wildflowr Symposium
03/28/2016

Native Plant & Wildflowr Symposium

Native Plant & Wildflowr Symposium

Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium
03/28/2016

Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

03/28/2016

The event is now a part of the past! Now it is time to analyze it and begin to plan for 2017.

Registration is still open for the 2016 symposium!  Visit the website, www.sgnpws.org to see the schedule.  Fill out the...
03/22/2016
South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

Registration is still open for the 2016 symposium! Visit the website, www.sgnpws.org to see the schedule. Fill out the registration form and email it or the information required to [email protected]. Payment will be accepted at the door.

The symposium is an annual event featuring knowledgeable speakers who are experts in their field and a native plant sale. The goal is to provide information about the importance of natives and environmental issues.

It is not too late to register!  Visit HTTP://www.sgnpws.org and fill out the registration form, get in the mail.  It's ...
03/11/2016
South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

It is not too late to register! Visit HTTP://www.sgnpws.org and fill out the registration form, get in the mail. It's of good information, plants, tools, treasures AND great attendees to network with.

The symposium is an annual event featuring knowledgeable speakers who are experts in their field and a native plant sale. The goal is to provide information about the importance of natives and environmental issues.

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo
03/05/2016

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo
03/05/2016

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo
03/05/2016

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo
03/05/2016

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo

03/02/2016

The 2016 event will be on March 23. Go to HTTP://www.sgnpws.org to see the schedule and speaker information.

Plants featured on website and brochures.
02/08/2015

Plants featured on website and brochures.

Plants featured on website and brochures.

SGNPWS Chair, 2000-2014
02/08/2015

SGNPWS Chair, 2000-2014

SGNPWS Chair, 2000-2014

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo
02/08/2015

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium's cover photo

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium
02/08/2015

South Georgia Native Plant & Wildflower Symposium

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Tifton, GA
31793

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