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Sacred Heart Garden Festival

I’m a dream gardener. As in I dream big. I have these grand ideas of this beautiful backyard paradise that I’ll develop from scratch and plant with my own two hands – complete with lush greenery, gorgeous flowers and a bountiful garden. I think one day I’ll actually make it to my dream, but until then I try in vain not to kill window boxes (apparently they need a lot of water) and take great pride in the fact that I can work wonders on my front yard with petunias.

I also drool over fancy gardens in magazines and can lose hours watching HGTV. But my favorite window (and some actual) shopping for my dream garden is the Sacred Heart Garden Festival. Held annually over the last weekend in April, the Sacred Heart Garden Festival provides an opportunity to learn, plan, shop and get ideas from gardens that are the envy of Augusta. The festival includes workshops by master gardeners, vendors and admission to tour the gardens of private homes.

The Sacred Heart Cultural Center – a one-time catholic church that is a beautiful attraction in its own right – is filled with garden vendors. You can buy everything from vases to scarecrows to beautiful bird houses. Home items are also available. I almost took home this beautiful rocker (I really need a front porch).

Head outside and find even more vendors that have unique garden art, neat little hanging mechanisms and all the plants you could hope to find.

And then, my favorite part, the dream gardens. Local landscape architects and nurseries create sample gardens. And although I always say that I really want the first one that I see, then I see the next one. And the next one. And the next one. I want them all. They are fabulous, and many of the creators actually provide schematics for each that detail directions and exact plant types. I went home with several big ideas for my one day garden.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do the garden tours. But there’s always next year….

Sacred Heart Garden Festival

April 27 – 30, 2012

www.sacredheartgardenfestival.com

Rock Fore! Dough

Rock Fore! Dough this year was once again a great time! The 7th annual concert and fundraising event is held every year during Masters Week at the First Tee of Augusta. Last year, the concert took place on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.

This event has become a Masters Week tradition for both locals and visitors. It’s a great event because it’s your opportunity to listen to music and help raise money!

The Sibling Strings, a local band, started the night off. Next came Edwin McCain singing his famous hits “I’ll Be” and “I Could Not Ask For More.” He also sang several well-known cover songs including one of my favorites from the talented Bob Marley, “No Women, No Cry.”

Michelle and I had a great time singing and dancing along, especially when Sister Hazel took the stage next. My favorite part was when they did what lead singer/guitarist, Ryan Newell called a “smooch up.” This was a compilation of several pieces of all their great songs and a real crowd pleaser. They also did a great job covering Bad Company’s “Shooting Star.” 

The moment everyone was waiting for was when the headliner, Darius Rucker  took the stage. Rucker has played at Rock Fore! Dough four times in the past as a member of Hootie and The Blowfish. 2011 was his first year headlining the act as Darius Rucker. He sang several of his new songs like, “Come Back Song,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” and his newest single “This.” He also gave the people what they wanted and sang some of the hits from his former band Hootie and the Blowfish like, “Hold My Hand,” Let Her Be,” and “I Only Wanna Be With You.” He also did a fabulous job covering Hank William Jr.’s “Family Tradition.”

If you have never been to Rock Fore! Dough I encourage you to get your tickets for 2012! It is usually held the Tuesday during Masters Week.

Mountain Biking in Augusta

Mountain biking is a great activity to explore the area around Augusta.  With over 100 miles of single track, you can take your pick from all sorts of trail options.  This weekend we decided to check out a new section of Bartram trail that connects two parks at Lake Thurmond.  The new section extends the length of the original trail to 18 ½ miles one way from West Dam Park to Wildwood Park while passing by Spring Lakes and Petersburg Campground.  Depending how far you want to ride on this in and out style of trail, you can start at any of the four trailheads.  We met up with friends at the trailhead just outside the Petersburg Campground to ride the new section that extends towards Wildwood Park.

The new trail is considered intermediate level and was designed with exciting banked turns, dips, and jumps.

With all those fun features and the occasional beautiful view of the lake while meandering through the woods, this trail could easily become a favorite of mine!

If you’d like to ride Bartram Trail or explore some of the other trails in the area check out SORBA-CSRA, our local mountain biking club. Their website  and forum are great resources for biking information and directions.

If you need to rent a mountain bike during your visit, contact Chain Reaction Bicycle Shop at (706) 855-2024.

See you on the trails!

Weekend Whirl

“Whirl (N): a rapid round of events, affairs, etc”

We all need a little mini-vacation sometimes and a weekend whirl to freshen things up is always fun. October in Augusta, Ga ushers in cool fall weather and plenty of ways to enjoy it. Downtown is in full swing with exhibits, concerts, performing arts and festivals. So start planning your trip now for October 14th – 16th!

Friday Night

Cruise the Augusta Canal. Order dinner to go from Casa Blanca Cafe, grab a bottle of wine and a light blanket and put it all in a picnic basket before you head down to the Augusta Canal for a moonlight cruise with live music on board.

   

Saturday

Cruise around town. After strolling through the Saturday Market on the River, head over to the Augusta Museum of History and take a historic tour of Augusta aboard a trolley. You’ll learn about the legend of the Haunted Pillar, the bones in the basement of the Old Medical College building and lots of other cool facts about the history of Augusta.

Art Credit: Leonard "Porkchop" Zimmerman

 

Cruise through Gåårtdensity. Pronounced Garden City, Gåårtdensity Gallery offers an eclectic mix of urban art and jewelry from local artists. Make sure you check out one of my favorite artists – Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman – at the gallery. You’ll love his fun interpretation of pumpkins as part of the “Lurking in the Orange” exhibit, opening this weekend!

Cruise to 5 O’Clock. Head over to Kings Way and dine like a king for dinner at the 5 O’Clock Bistro. Make sure you try the Southern Fried Goat Cheese Pie with Georgia Peach Vinaigrette – it is absolutely delicious!

  

Zombies are cruisin’ for a bruisin’. Learn how to spot and slay zombies in Augusta’s first interactive haunted attraction – Zombie Apocalypse Survival Camp. Le Chat Noir combines off-Broadway style theatre with haunted house scares and audience participation for an awesome Halloween season experience that you definitely should try.

Sunday

Cruise through the sky. Boshears Skyfest is a local favorite each year. Take a ride on a helicopter or airplane, watch air shows and parachute teams perform, ride the carnival rides and eat fair food for lunch before heading home.

Hispanic Festival

Note: This blog was written last year after the Hispanic Festival. The 2011 Hispanic Festival is this weekend – October 8th & 9th.

Augusta is home to many different festivals, celebrating all sorts of different things. Each year in the fall the Hispanic American Cultural Association in Augusta hosts a weekend-long festival celebrating Hispanic heritage in Augusta.  A couple of weeks ago I decided to check out the Hispanic Festival. I love festivals, especially all the food!  This year there were food vendors from fifteen different Spanish speaking countries.

Everything smelled so good that it was hard to choose what to eat!  There were also plenty of choices for refreshments like pina coladas and fresh squeezed lemonade from the lemon truck.

The Augusta Common is always really lively during festivals and events like First Friday. There were a ton of folks enjoying the day along with the fantastic food and music.  I also found a fantastic pair of earrings for $5 at one of the vendors’ tents!

I had such a great time that I’m looking forward to the Hispanic Festival again next year!

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