OCtech Home and Garden Symposium May 11 | Local

Especially for The T&D

After a two-year hiatus, the Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Foundation’s Home and Garden Symposium returns Wednesday, May 11, at the new Orangeburg County Library and Conference Center on Russell Street in downtown Orangeburg.

Guests enjoy brunch from Buck Ridge Plantation and have a chance to browse the silent auction and plant sale before Maria Baldwin of Wimbee Creek Farm, Cricket Newman of Cricket Newman Designs and Erin Wolfe of LulaMac Floral and Home Styling Show presentations live.

Baldwin and her husband Gary founded Wimbee Creek Farm in 2016. The organic flower farm supplies cut flowers and stems for floral design throughout the South.

The inspiration for Wimbee Creek Farm dates back to 2000 when Maria Baldwin read an article about Sarah Raven and her English country home, Perch Hill.

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“Sarah had planted a flower garden where she started teaching classes and workshops and it expanded and became a phenomenal study garden,” she said. “I’ve been a gardener all my life and enjoy building gardens, and I said to my husband, ‘I’d love to do that one day.’ Now I get the opportunity. We found this farm and made it our home.”

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Baldwin said Wimbee Creek offers guests “the experience of flowers,” from the garden to the arrangement. She will bring some of that experience to the Home and Garden Symposium.

“I’m going to talk about having flowers in your garden that you can make come one after the other so you always have something to harvest and bring in,” she said. “I really emphasize building your arrangement with greenery first, and then layering your blooms using your own shrubs in floral arrangements. It doesn’t take a lot of flowers to create a pretty display for your home, as long as you start with a foundation. I am bringing a nice assortment to show what you may see or have planted in your garden or around your house that you can simply cut out and use as a background for your blooms.”

Newman has been a fixture on Colombia’s event planning and design scene for more than 20 years.

“I don’t have any formal training, but what I do have is an incredible love of the outdoors, for gathering friends for events and making those events something hosts enjoy as much as their guests,” she said. “My approach is very practical. I’m not going to come in and give people an incredibly complex way of arranging flowers. It will be an exercise in frustration.”

Newman shows guests how to quickly and easily transform a lunch table into a dining table.

“What so overwhelms people is the shape of a dining table,” she said. “We will not make any arrangement that will catch people’s eye so they cannot see other guests at the table. I’m going to show people how to do more of a tablescape and conquer this long, thin dining table.”

Wolfe – who curates and sells unique home decor on her Instagram page @shoplulamac – has turned her passion for antiques into a thriving online business.

“I’ve always loved decorating and here I get the best of both worlds,” she said. “I bring the pieces I find to my house and I decorate and style them and set the stage for my flash sales.”

Wolfe is bringing some of her select finds to the symposium for use in a live demonstration.

“I have several ideas in mind,” she said. “I talk to guests about my styling approach and what I think about when presenting a piece and show them different looks with that piece.”

Tickets for the Home and Garden Symposium are $50 per person. Funds raised during this event will provide support and emergency relief to students. In addition, proceeds will support the development of academic programs and curriculum innovation to meet the needs of the community and workforce. The event will also support professional development experiences for faculty to ensure they stay current in their fields.

TheTandD.com: $1 for the first 26 weeks

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Reagan Blanchard at 803.535.1246 or blanchardmr@octech.edu. For more information on the speakers, visit wimbeecreekfarm.com, cricketnewmandesigns.com and shoplulamac.com.

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