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 will enjoy a brunch by Buck Ridge Plantation and have an opportunity to browse the silent auction and plant sales before the live floral and home-styling presentations by Maria Baldwin of Wimbee Creek Farm, Cricket Newman of Cricket Newman Designs and Erin Wolfe of LulaMac.
Baldwin and her husband, Gary, started Wimbee Creek Farm in 2016. The organic flower farm provides cut flowers and stems for floral design across 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 manor Perch Hill.
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“Sarah had created a flower garden, where she began hosting classes and workshops, and it expanded and had become quite a phenomenal study garden,” she said. “I have spent my lifetime gardening and enjoy building gardens, and I told my husband, ‘I would love to do that someday.’ Now, I’m getting 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 garden to arrangement. She will bring part of that experience to the Home and Garden Symposium.
“I’ll talk about having flowers in your garden that you can have coming in succession so you can always have something to harvest and bring inside,” she said. “I really emphasize building your arrangement with greenery first and then layering your blooms, using your own shrubbery in floral arrangements. It doesn’t take a whole lot of flowers to make a pretty display for your home as long as you start with a foundation. I’ll bring a nice assortment to show what you might see or have planted in your garden or around your home that you can just clip and use as a backdrop for your blooms.”
Newman has been a fixture in Columbia’s event planning and design scene for more than 20 years.
“I have zero formal training, but what I do have is an incredible love for nature, for gathering friends for events, and for making those events something that the host and hostess enjoy just as much as their guests,” she said. “My approach is very practical. I’m not going to come in and give people some incredibly complex way to arrange flowers. It’s going to be an exercise in frustration.”
Newman will show guests how to transform a luncheon table into a dinner table quickly and easily.
“What is so overwhelming to people is the shape of a dining room table,” she said. “We’re not going to do an arrangement that is in people’s faces so that they can’t see other guests across the table. I’m going to show people how to do more of a tablescape and conquer that long, skinny dining room table.”
Wolfe – who curates and sells one-of-a-kind home décor on her Instagram page @shoplulamac – has turned her passion for antiquing into a thriving online business.
“I’ve always loved to decorate, and with this, I get the best of both worlds,” she said. “I bring the pieces I’ve found back 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 to use in a live demonstration.
“I’ve got several ideas in mind,” she said. “I’ll talk guests through my approach to styling and what I think about when showcasing a piece, and show them several different looks using that piece.”
Tickets to the Home and Garden Symposium are $50 per person. Funds raised during this event will provide support and emergency aid to students. Additionally, proceeds will support academic program development and curricular innovations to meet community and workforce needs. The event will also support professional development experiences for faculty to ensure they remain current in their fields.
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