This spring, the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Foundation is offering even more to the public during its Spring Brunch & Home and Garden Symposium. The annual fundraiser has turned into a multi-faceted event spanning two days.
A flower show that will be open to the public will be held on Tuesday, May 8. Gardening enthusiast Dr. Robert Polomski with Clemson University’s School of Agricultural, Forestry and Environmental Science will speak. There will be no charge for these activities.
The Spring Brunch featuring an array of fabulous foods is set for Wednesday, May 9. Tickets will be $35 per person. Guests will be able to view dozens of garden-related items and bid on them in a silent auction. A presentation by Santee native Rebecca Bull Reed, associate gardens editor with Southern Living magazine, will invigorate the audience.
Signature sponsor for the Spring Brunch & Home and Garden Symposium is Hay Hill Garden Market. Reservations for the brunch should be made by Tuesday, May 1. Call the foundation at 803-535-1246 for reservations.
“A Survivors Guide to Southern Gardening” will be the topic of Polomski’s talk. Polomski, who is originally from “up north,” said he is excited about sharing knowledge specific to Southern gardening that he has distilled over two decades of living in the Southeast. His goal is to educate and energize, tapping into the spring fever that hits as the weather warms.
“I’ll be talking to the ‘newbie’ and the seasoned gardener, as well,” Polomski said. “There are important skills that gardeners need to be successful, for growing either edible or ornamental plants.”
Polomski is well-versed in a wide range of horticultural topics. He currently divides his work between teaching at Clemson University and Extension Service responsibilities. His numerous articles on gardening appear in publications across the Southeast, and he contributes to various radio and television programs.
Whether he’s traveling with landscape architecture students to a competition in Kansas or putting the finishing touches on an educational brochure on home lawn management, Polomski is all about horticulture.
“I am an extremely passionate gardener,” Polomski said. “I look at everything, all areas of gardening.”
Polomski’s area of emphasis since obtaining his doctorate has been arboriculture. An updated version of his book, “Month by Month Gardening in the Carolinas,” will be released soon. “Carolinas Gardener’s Resource: All You Need to Know to Plan, Plant, & Maintain a Carolina Garden,” which is co-authored by Polomski, Toby Bost, Jim Wilson and Steve Dobbs, is another must-have for gardening enthusiasts.
If you have ever picked up a copy of Southern Living magazine — and what gardener hasn’t? — then you’ve seen the handy work of Reed. She will present “A Southerner’s Guide to Curb Appeal.”
“It is always such a treat to come back here — to talk to home folks,” Reed said. “It really makes me happy.”
Reed, who has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in horticulture from Clemson University, worked in agriculture sales and landscape design before signing on with Southern Living. In 1998, Reed moved to Washington state with her husband David for his career. As the online garden editor for SunGro Horticulture, she actively aided in the creation of the world’s largest garden database at that time. She returned to Southern Living in 2004 and today delights in bringing the best of the South to more than 16 million readers.
“As part of my talk, I’d like to tell a little bit about how a garden makes it into the pages of Southern Living magazine,” Reed said.
Reed likes to be informal in her presentation and strives to give gardeners examples that they can put to use in their particular situation.
“I believe in having fun,” she said.
Herb Bradley, an OCtech Foundation board member and chair of this year’s brunch and symposium, is also a Master Gardener. Promoting gardening through education is very important, Bradley said, and what the foundation is offering this year will appeal to a wide audience because of its diversity.
“We are really excited about this year’s format,” Bradley said.
Entries for the Flower Show should be dropped off between 5 and 7 p.m. Monday, May 7, or between 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 8, at the OCtech Math and Science Center. For specific guidelines about show entries, call 803-535-1424 or visit octech.edu. Copies of the guidelines can be picked up at OCtech, Clemson Extension, Century 21 and The Times and Democrat.
Entries will be judged by two members of the Orangeburg Council of Garden Clubs, as well as a plant expert from Clemson University.
For more information about the featured speakers, visit their respective websites at http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/departments/horticulture/faculty_staff/staff/polomski_robert.html and http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/rebecca-bull-reed-southern-living-home-garden-editor-00400000044462/.
Contact the writer: 138 Nature’s Trail, Bamberg, SC 29003.