The 2024 Aiken Garden Show will feature interesting and informative speakers. Plan to join us in the parlor of the Aiken County Historical Museum to learn the best way to design, grow, maintain, and enjoy your garden.

Friday May 17th at 9:00

Michaela Berley – “Bringing Life to Your Garden with Native Plants!”

Michaela Berley, a resident of Aiken since 1988, is renowned for her role as the creator of the city’s Christmas in Hopelands program with Hopelands Gardens. Transitioning from her tenure with the City of Aiken’s Parks, Recreation & Tourism Department, Michaela followed her horticulture passion, dedicating almost 13 years to Cold Creek Nurseries. As the Greenhouse Manager she oversees various departments including annuals, perennials, herbs & vegetables, and houseplants embodying her commitment to fostering meaningful plant connections.  Michaela invites you to join the journey to understand what defines native plants and gain practical insights on where to start your botanical adventure, creating a vibrant and sustainable oasis right in your backyard.

Friday May 17th at 3:15

Kate Van Cantfort – “Sustainable Gardening in the South”

Kate Van Cantfort is the head farmer and garden designer based on her sustainable flower farm, Southerlee Farm, in White Pond, SC in rural Aiken county. Kate has over 20 years experience as a sustainable gardener and green living educator. She will lead a session as an introduction to sustainable gardening in the South including the importance of native plants, pollinators, and more. Bring all your questions about the why’s and how’s of sustainability. You can also find her at the Southerlee Farm & Design vendor space.

 Saturday May 18th at 9:00

Joe LeVert – “The Opportunity to Grow Citrus in our Area”

Joe LeVert, originally from Atlanta, graduated from Notre Dame and later from the University of Georgia where he studied Landscape Architecture. He currently teaches at Aquinas High School. He is a past part owner of LeVert Landscaping. He was been:  president of the Southeastern Palm Society; member of the advisory board for the Coastal Gardens and Bamboo Farm in Savannah; guest lecturer for Landscape Design at Augusta College, Clemson University Extension Service and the University of Georgia Extension Service. Joe will introduce you to citrus, emphasizing varieties that grow and produce fruit in this area.

Saturday May 18th at 3:15

Kate Van Cantfort – “Your Yard IS a Cut Flower Garden and It Can Be Sustainable Too”

For nearly 25 years, Kate Van Cantfort has been teaching and coaching clients as they grow their skills and experience with sustainable gardens. From organic herb and veggie gardens to diverse hedges and naturalized woodlands, Kate has partnered with over 125 clients to decrease their ecological impact and increase the beauty in their home spaces.  She will lead a session to help us see how the gardens we already have are rich in material for home flower arrangements. Cut flowers are vital to our Southern homes and can have a lighter impact on the environment, Kate will share helpful tips.