Speakers

Our organization strives to bring some of the best presenters from all over the world.

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BRIE ARTHUR

Known for her leadership with the suburban foodscape movement and her work with public schools, Ms. Arthur is a bestselling author and speaker. A recipient of an American Horticultural Society Award, she studied landscape design and horticulture at Purdue University. With experience as a propagator and grower for leading nurseries, she is currently President of the International Propagators Society, Southern Region. Her passions center on sustainable land management and promoting the value of gardening across America.

JESSICA BAUMERT

Currently Executive Director of The Woodlands National Historic Landmark District in Philadelphia, Ms. Baumert grew to love historic cemeteries while obtaining a degree in Historic Preservation from the
Savannah College of Art and Design. She spent a decade caring for the historic structures  in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park. In 2011 her love of gardening and public spaces led her to The  Woodlands where she has created programs like the renowned Grave Gardeners and is cultivating a renewed sense of community within this horticultural oasis.

BRANDON BRANCH

Brandon was born and raised on a farm in south Mississippi, and he has been decorating,
polishing, and enhancing his surroundings as far back as he can recall. He currently resides at the historic St. Francisville Inn with his husband, Jim. Mr. Branch has a degree in Horticulture from Mississippi State University and a great passion for gardening.

LAURA DOWLING

After a career in public policy and strategic communication, Ms. Dowling studied at L’Ecole des Fleurs in Paris, learning French floral techniques. She became a floral designer and was selected to serve as Chief
Floral Designer at the White House, where she managed thousands of official and private events. Her innovative design aesthetic using lush and vibrant seasonal blooms can be seen in her books, Floral Diplomacy at the White House, A White House Christmas, and Bouquets: With How to Tutorials.

JENKS FARMER

A tenth generation South Carolinian, Jenks Farmer grew up on a romantic but failing 1750’s farm filled with heirloom flowers. His studies at Clemson University, University of Zambia, and Seattle’s Center for
Urban Horticulture earned him a master’s degree in public garden management. After working at three major public gardens, he returned to the family farm where he created a unique mail order nursery. The author of two books, his work has been featured in such publications as Garden and Gun, and Southern Living.

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EVAN PARDUE

Being a Louisiana native helps Evan visualize the dramatic ecosystem that is right outside his back door. From the heavy wooded pine forests to the haunting marshlands where bald cypress reign as old kings. A lot of Evan’s influences lay in the folklore and folk art of Southern Louisiana. Being able to immerse himself in the local culture and favor as well practicing the art of bonsai has further enriched his life as a whole.
Evan has a history in art and has been involved with bonsai for 10 years now. Underhill Bonsai is the perfect environment to further his skills and knowledge of his beloved craft. He loves teaching and working alongside others to help guide their hand to further express themselves through the art. Evan likes to bring key principles to the table when talking about bonsai such as the golden mean, horizon lines, and prospective.