On Oct. 2, Spartanburg Community College will hold its fall Arboretum Adventures fundraiser. Each year the supporters of this award-winning school of horticulture gather for lectures from the staff of the department and then dinner. The event is a great way to keep up with what is happening each year at the school.
Last year, SCC held an event in September to support Great Dixter, an English Center of Learning. Fergus Garrett and Aaron Bertelsen came from England to lecture.
The event was so successful that Garrett invited Tanner Howell, one of SCC's horticultural students, to come to England and attend a symposium. In addition, Kevin Parris was also invited to Great Dixter. The two schools were successful in building a bridge to connect North America with England in horticulture.
Now, one year later, Howell and Parris are ready to share their experiences from "across the pond," as they say.
Howell will speak first and relate his exciting experiences during the time he spent in England. This is a rare opportunity for two worlds to share horticulture and how they each practice it.
After Howell, Parris will speak about what he and his wife, Melissa, discovered in England. One of Parris' pivotal moments was standing in one of the gardens in England under an alee of Kay Parris Magnolia trees.
Parris named the Kay Parris Magnolia tree after his mother. He bred the tree himself, and now it is a well-respected magnolia tree used all over the world.
This is just one example of the kind of work that this talented trifecta of teachers accomplish at Spartanburg Community College in the department of horticulture.
"The invitation extended by Fergus Garrett at last year's event was something I knew would mean great things for our program and for me personally," Parris said.
"One year later, I can proudly say I witnessed one of our students taking part in a learning experience in one of the world's premier gardens. This trip also provided me with the opportunity to see a plant I nurtured and named in memory of my mother being cultivated in royal and prestigious gardens across the ocean.
"I know I have a home away from home at Great Dixter, and this experience opened a doorway for students that works in both directions."
The SCC Horticultural gardens consist of 11 acres, including greenhouses and the nursery production area as well as several special garden areas designed with themes.
"Our arboretum provides the SCC Horticultural students with an outdoor lab complex," Jason Blackwell said. "It also gives our population and the community a beautiful space to enjoy and learn in.
"Over the last 16 years at SCC I have been amazed at the connections we have made. Throughout the Southeast, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Asia and now Europe, we are an integral piece of the world's horticulture puzzle."
This event is growing and this year offers a morning component for the horticulture students called "Cultivating Conversations" which connects the students with horticulture industry leaders.
This year, the speaker of the morning event is Chris Hansen, owner of Great Garden Plants, a successful Internet plant business. He will speak on how he started his Internet plant business.
Then Bob Head, a well-known South Carolina plant propagator and George Gunter, from Gunter's Gardens, will join Hansen on a panel that will answer any questions for a question-and-answer session while lunch is served.
The fundraiser delegates part of the funds to the Jimmy Painter Scholarship Fund. Painter was the instigator of the School of Horticulture, along with Doug McAbee, and built this amazing course over a period of 36 years as department head.
The scholarship is designed to allow anyone with permanent residency outside of Spartanburg and Cherokee counties to pay in-county tuition rates, which are much cheaper, if awarded this foundation scholarship.
"Horticulturally speaking, our sphere of influence and the folks that influence us has grown dramatically because of this partnership. In my eyes, the world is now a smaller more comfortable community of horticulturalist that
I am happy to be a part of," said SCC instructor Jay Moore.
There are four levels of sponsorship available for this event ranging from $250 to $1,500. Each sponsorship comes with free tickets to the event as well as membership to the arboretum.
Tickets to the 2014 Arboretum Adventures are $60 per couple or $35 per person. The program starts at 6 p.m. with lectures from student scholar Howell and Parris in the Tracy Gaines Auditorium on the SCC campus.
Bagwell, Moore, and Parris will be available for arboretum tours starting at 5 p.m.
To obtain a ticket for this event or to sponsor the event, please call Kim Fogle at 864-592-4624 at the Spartanburg Community College Foundation.
Linda Cobb is a master gardener who lectures, teaches, and does garden design in South Carolina. She can be reached at 864- 574-8493 or email her at email@example.com. Visit her website at www.mygardenersguide.com
View article as it appears on GoUpstate.com