BIO

A Georgia native and current South Carolina resident, Victoria Blackstone is an avid gardener. She is a horticulturist with a private nursery, from which she sells mail-order heirloom and native seeds & plants; she’s been a professional speaker/teacher/presenter since 2004 at botanical gardens, garden clubs, country clubs, master-gardener classes, churches & community organizations; she is an author of 1,200+ professionally published works and a former gardening columnist for a monthly magazine; she was an FFA (Future Farmers of America) adviser for five years; and she was a Farmers’ Market vendor for seven years at 12 metro-Atlanta markets. 

Currently, she is writing a book – “A Year in my Garden: a Daily Devotional from the Heart of a Gardener.”

 

2015-2016 Topics

Scheduled classes & presentations in RED

Note: Victoria is available to speak on a variety of topics, many of which are archived but presented on request.


Click here to schedule Victoria or request more info.


"Ethnobotanical Diversity of North American Indigenous Peoples"

How Native Americans used plants including agricultural, medicinal and religious applications

emphasis on Southeastern U.S. tribes


"Latin: The Green-Thumb Language"

​Latin for gardeners
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides - say what?
This fun class will give you a basic understanding of botanical Latin to help you decode and demystify the scientific names of plants. You'll learn how to identify plant characteristics including leaf shapes, flower colors, country of origin and more...just by looking at a plant's scientific name.

October 30, 2015

9:00 am - 12 noon

University of Georgia Extension

Cobb County Water Lab

​Marietta, GA

I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends & master-gardener buddies back home in Georgia!

Class free and open to the public


"Gardening Under Glass"

How to design unique terrariums for indoor growing;

learn how to create personalized terrariums as beautiful living accents for your home or office

Thursday, February 18, 2015

2:00-3:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community

Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public ​

Please RSVP to Pam Waterman by Feb. 14th at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com 

"Kudzu Shui"

A uniquely Southern gardening perspective

including anecdotes, ​a discussion of southern heirloom & native plants and their proper garden placement


"Kudzu & Other Comedians of the Plant World"

Funny Plant Names & the True Stories Behind Them

including kudzu, asphidity bags, poke sallet and frog-in-a-blender

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

3:00-4:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community

Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public


"Space Violets"

How the NASA space program introduced a new series of African violets -- they're out of this world!

including complete how-to info for growing and propagating African violets

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2:00-3:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community

Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public

Please RSVP to Pam Waterman at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com

AND

Thursday, September 13, 2016

2:30-3:30

Ann Pamela Cunningham Garden Club

Laurens, SC, Library


"This Class is for the Birds"

How to make easy bird feeders and bird houses from recycled and thrift-store items;
including how to turn a garden nook into a backyard bird habitat

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

3:00-4:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community

Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public

Please RSVP by March 18th to Pam Waterman at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com 


 "Not Your Average Herb Class"

Herb history, uses and culture

asphidity bags and water witching and murder weapons...oh my!


"Making Herbal-Infused Vinegars - easy as 1-2-3"

Infusing fresh-cut herbs from your garden with different vinegars to make healthy salad dressings and marinades;

step-by-step handout instructions and recipes provided


"Floriography"

The "Language of Flowers"
​the meanings assigned to flowers as a way of silent communication during Victorian times

October 15, 2015

Clemson Cooperative Extension

​Laurens County Master Gardener Association Meeting

Joe Adair Education Center

110 Scout Creek Court

​Laurens, SC

​Class is Free and open to the public


"Grocery Store Gardening"

Skip the garden center -- head for your grocery store;

you'll be amazed at how many plant/seed sources you can find in the produce department

Tuesday, April 26, 2015

2:00-3:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community

Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public

Please RSVP to Pam Waterman at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com


"Broken Pot Creations"

Don't throw out your broken flowerpots -- transform them into stunning potted creations;

sometimes trash really IS treasure

June 28, 2016

2:00-3:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community

Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public

Please RSVP to Pam Waterman at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com


"There​'s Gold in Georgia"

Plants for superior performance in Georgia and South Carolina;

a discussion of the Georgia Gold Medal Program and a listing of the winners since 1994

(I'm a former Chair of the State of Georgia Gold Medal Plant Selections Committee at the Univ. of Georgia)


"The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"

Well, mostly the bad and the ugly

​phytopathology (plant diseases); diagnosing problems, disease control & prevention


An expanded version of this class is my 3-hour Phytopathology course for Master Gardeners:

September 29, 2015 & September 13, 2016

​6:00-9:00pm

Clemson Cooperative Extension -- Laurens County, SC

​Extension Office

This course is part of the 2015 & 2016 Laurens Master Gardener curriculum

(Closed to the public)


"Adventures in Urban Agriculture"

Backyard farming on a postage-stamp subdivision lot

​from a veteran farmers' market vendor of seven years who's done it

"Homegrown Tomatoes 101"

Can't grow tomatoes no matter how hard you try? You'll be an expert after this class.

all the steps from sowing seeds (or transplanting seedlings) to harvesting your own tomatoes


"Homegrown Tomatoes 102"

How to graft tomato seedlings for hybrid vigor and heirloom taste

a hands-on demo using hybrid tomato rootstocks and heirloom tomato scions



With church groups in mind:


​​"BIBLE BOTANY"
A horticulturist’s perspective of plants in the Bible.
This is a collective course with six standalone topics that can be presented individually or as a series.

Wednesday nights - January 6, 2016 through February 3, 2016
FIVE-WEEK COURSE - ALDERSGATE UMC "CONNECT" (Greenville, SC)

Part 1:
God Planted a Garden
25 uses of plants in the Bible and examples of each

Part 2: Figs, Flags and Frankincense
Bible Flora Part 1: plant stories that include naughty figs, Nile crocodiles, frankincense & myrrh
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
2:00-3:00
Martha Franks Retirement Community
Laurens, SC
Class is Free & Open to the Public
​Please RSVP to Pam Waterman by Feb. 14th at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com

Part 3: Moses, Mummies, Mallows, Maypops and Mimosa Trees
Bible Flora Part 2: plant stories that include the balm in Gilead, cedars of Lebanon and a tale of three arks

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
2:00-3:00
Martha Franks Retirement Community
Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public
Please RSVP by March 11th to Pam Waterman at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com

​Part 4: Seeds & Roots
Anatomy of a seed (with some insights into the parable of the mustard seed), Job's tears
​and a botanical examination of spiritual roots
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
2:00-3:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community
Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public
Please RSVP by April 15th to Pam Waterman at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com

​​

​Part 5: Grafting & Pruning Plants
Including principles of grafting (e.g., olive trees and grapevines): how 1 + 1 = 1
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
2:00-3:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community
Laurens, SC
Class is Free & Open to the Public
​Please RSVP to Pam Waterman at 864-681-8235 or MarketingAssistant@SCBMA.com


​Part 6: Plant Problems – Pathogens and Other Pests
Stories that include the Parable of the Wheat & Tares, Rusts, Mildews, and Locusts

Thursday, October 27, 2016

3:00-4:00

Martha Franks Retirement Community

Laurens, SC

Class is Free & Open to the Public


"An Ethnobotanical Walk Through the Bible"

Wednesday nights

October 15, 2014 through November 19, 2014

6:45-8:00

FREE SIX-WEEK COURSE - BRUSHY CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH "GREENHOUSE" (Taylors, SC)

To view the 2014-2015 Brushy Creek "Greenhouse" Course Guide, click HERE

Ethnobotany is the study of how people of certain cultures use plants in their daily life, including agricultural, medicinal and religious applications. Across the Bible's historic timeline, learn how different societies in different regions incorporated plants into their culture. We'll start at the Garden of Eden and walk our way through the Bible to discover the diversity of God's botanical creations and their uses.

This is a collective course with six standalone topics that can be presented individually or as a series
Part 1: Clothing, Other Textiles, Dyes & Cosmetics

​from fig leaves to fine fashion, plant fabrics, a surprising source of dye, Lydia, ​Joseph's coat and ancient makeup

Part 2:​ Food & Feasts

​the Gezer Calendar, herbs, spices, grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and the history of scallions and shallots

Part 3:​ Medicine & Music

a visit to the Wailing Wall, plants that healed the body and music that healed the spirit

Part 4:​ Weapons, Writing & Currency

David's sling, bows and arrows, and ​how ancient peoples made paper from plants

Part 5: Shelter, Transportation & Fuel

homes, houses of worship, land and sea conveyances, and fuel for the fire

Part 6: Ceremonies & Symbolism

​Jotham's parable, a crown of thorns and crowns of victory


"Garden Crafts and Gifts with a Scriptural Message"

Easy-to-make crafts and gifts with a garden-related scriptural theme

This is a collective course with six standalone topics that can be presented individually or as a series

​Part 1: Planters (including my "broken pot creations")

​Part 2: Garden pavers and markers

​Part 3: "His eye is on the sparrow"

Part 4: Jewelry made from Job's tears seeds

Part 5: Bible bookmarks made from pressed flowers and Job's tears seeds

Part 6: Herbal-infused vinegars and other culinary goodies from the garden


"Designing a Bible Garden"

​Incorporating native plants from Palestine as well as plants with "Bible names" into your garden


"Adventures in Urban Agriculture"

Wednesday nights

February 25, 2015 through April 8, 2015

6:45-8:00

FREE SIX-WEEK COURSE - BRUSHY CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH "GREENHOUSE" (Taylors, SC)

 To view the 2014-2015 Brushy Creek "Greenhouse" Course Guide, click HERE

Our contemporary generation has lost touch with the land, lacking the knowledge and skills to grow even a simple backyard food garden. Learn from a veteran farmers' market vendor of seven years how to grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs. Whether you only want to grow homegrown tomatoes, or do some serious vegetable gardening, this course is a rich how-to resource with a simple step-by-step plan. You'll find out how biblical principles of preparing the site, amending the soil and sowing the seeds are still relevant today.

Part 1 : Site Prep & Making a Garden Plan (February 25)

Part 2: Pollination, Propagation, Problems (​March 4)

Part 3: Herbs, Fruits & Nuts (March 11)

Part 4: Cool-Season Vegetables (March 18)

Part 5: Warm-Season Vegetables (March 25)

Part 6: Tomatoes (April 8)



​​Click here to schedule Victoria or request more info.

Speaking Bio, Topics & Schedule

Can't make it to one of my "live" presentations?

​Click here to be invited to my free online gardening classes

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