Stephen F. Austin State University

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Locals to polish green thumbs at azalea symposium

February 19, 2009 - Office of Public Affairs

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Whether your prized and pampered azaleas are the talk of the town or you have the blackest thumb in the neighborhood, the upcoming Azalea Trail Symposium is the place to be March 21.

Titled "Azaleas and More - Companion Planting," the symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, in the Agriculture Building at Stephen F. Austin State University. Registration is $50 per person or $20 for students and includes the workshop, lunch, a grafting knife, a plant and a guided tour of SFA's Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, the largest of its kind in Texas. Barbara Stump, the Mize garden's primary designer, said the symposium will provide information on colorful garden companions for azaleas such as Japanese maples and perennials. The program should be helpful to master gardeners and novices alike. The only prerequisite for attendance is being an admirer of these beautiful flowering shrubs.

"We are so lucky to have so many experienced and renowned speakers in Nacogdoches for the symposium this year," said Ashleigh Endicott, meeting and event coordinator for the Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau. Elizabeth Mundy, owner of Acer Acres in Beaverdam, Va., will speak on "Japanese Maples in the Landscape." Her firm grafts 400 different varieties of the tree. SFA Research Associate Dawn Stover will present "Perennials for Shade" based on her years of experience with plant evaluations at the SFA Mast Arboretum. The guided tour will let guests in on design secrets of the Mize Azalea Garden.

The Azalea Symposium is part of the annual Nacogdoches Azalea Trail, which will be held March 14-31. The event also will feature a floral-design exhibit, plant sale, Little Princess Garden Party and more than 22 miles of self-guided driving tours.

For more information or to register for the Azalea Symposium, contact the Nacogdoches Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-888-OLDEST-TOWN or visit www.nacogdochesazaleas.com.