The 2nd Annual Flower and Garden Conference draws large crowd

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Sara Woods, owner of Sunshine Tea Louisiana, holds a jar of ‘Papa Woods Magical Royal Tea’ during her Art of Blending Tea presentation at the SU Land-Grant Campus’ 2ndAnnual Flower and Garden Conference. The event was held on April 25 at the SU Ag Center.

The aroma of fresh cut flowers flowed throughout the room during the Southern University Land-Grant Campus’ 2nd Annual Flower and Garden Conference on April 25.

Approximately 100 individuals attended the conference, which was held at the Southern University Ag Center.

Karen “Mimo” Davis, founder of ‘Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers’ in St. Louis, Mo., was the conference’s guest speaker.

Davis has 24 years of experience growing specialty cut flowers. Prior to founding Urban Buds, Davis operated Wild Thang Farms in Ashland, Mo. When Davis operated the farm it was considered the largest cut flower farm in the state. She is also a graduate of the SU Land-Grant Campus' Small Farmer Agricultural Leadership Institute.

During her presentation, Davis discussed the history behind the historic farmstead in which the business operates, the growing techniques that are used to grow the 70 different types of flowers that the business grows, and the different services that the business provides. Davis also demonstrated how to make a flower arrangement from fresh cut flowers.

Sara Woods, owner of Sunshine Tea Louisiana, made a presentation on how to make sunshine tea and discussed how she uses flowers in her tea blends.

Florist Rita Stephens demonstrated how to make a corsage with either fresh or silk flowers.

The participants were given an opportunity to put what they learned during the conference to the test by working in groups to make their own floral arrangements.

Participants were also able to tour the SU Ag Center’s greenhouse and Urban Demonstration Farm.

Everyone in attendance also received a flowering plant to take home.

The conference was hosted by the SU Land-Grant Campus’ Wisteria Alliance Program, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program and the Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild.

The Wisteria Alliance Program prepares women to own and operate their own farms and other agricultural based businesses. It began in 2012 as a pilot program aimed at providing practical, hands-on training for women who live on farms, and those whose interest lie in starting a farm, and/or urban or community garden.

The Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild begin on November 20, 1953 with a group of women gathering to organize a club that would enable them to learn more about flowers, to exchange ideas about their culture and to fellowship. In March 1954, the women decided to call the club the “Town and Country Garden Club.” In October 1956, the name of the club was changed to the “Flower Lovers’ Garden Guild.” Its focus is the beautification of the community and homes with flowers and plants.

The SU Land-Grant Campus will hold its annual ‘Fall Garden Workshop’ on November 20, 2018 at the SU Ag Center.

For additional information about the Spring or the upcoming Fall Garden Workshop, call 225-771-2242 or email, or

Contributed by SU Ag Center