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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

Cudos to you!

If you are looking for the perfect gift or home decor, you must check out Cudo’s! Cudo’s is the best gift store in town! They also have a florist located in their shop. At Cudo’s you will find gifts for everyone at any age. They carry name brands such as Vera Bradley, Waterford, Dept.56, etc., collegiate gifts, jewelry, holiday decorations, invitations, and much more! They also provide engraving and monogramming. Cudo’s has been voted the best gift store five years in a row! This is a must see shop that you do not want to miss. If nothing else, just stop in to check out their Christmas trees..they have many trees, all with a different theme! Anytime I need a gift for someone or even an idea for my home, Cudo’s is the first place I go!!

The A List

Top 5 things to get excited about in Augusta, Ga during November

November 5

Just in time to see all the beautiful fall colors, take a hike through Phinizy Swamp this weekend for Swamp Saturday! A trained volunteer will guide you through an 2.5 mile hike through the trails at Phinizy. And best of all, it’s FREE! Make sure you bring your camera!

 

November 11 – 13

The clock has begun ticking down for the holidays and Christmas Made in the South is the perfect opportunity to get some early gift shopping done. All those hard to buy for friends and family will be happily surprised! One of our favorite things about Christmas Made in the South is the free samples – so your taste buds will be happy too!

 

November 11, 12, 18, 19 & December 2 – 3

 In the South, we take our annual Christmas pageants very seriously. Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre’s Christmas Belles takes an annual Christmas play, throws in three crazy sisters, a vengeful sheep, and a family secret to create one holiday show you won’t forget!

 

November 17

The holidays make us think of warm cookies, hot chocolate, fireplaces, beautiful decorations, caroling and family.  Savor the sounds, smells, and tastes of the season at Sacred Heart Cultural Center during the annual Holiday Open House.

 

November 26 – 28

 This Thanksgiving weekend, you can spend an evening with your family at the historic Imperial Theatre for a night of magic and sugar plum fairies during The Nutcracker. Dance Augusta’s grand production has become a local favorite and a holiday tradition in Augusta.

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. So whether your planning a weekend trip to visit Augusta or looking to show visiting friends and family a good time, this is a fun itinerary that has a few of my favorite things to do.

Friday Night

Get a taste of Augusta’s downtown dining scene. There’s something to please everyone’s taste buds. Feeling adventurous? Try Bees Knees – this tapas style restaurant adds Southern flair to international dishes.

Get a shot of Augusta’s downtown nightlife. While you’re out and about, enjoy live Indie bands, bar bands, and drink specials downtown. A few of my favorite hot spots are Sky City, Soul Bar, Metro Pub and Stillwater Taproom.

   If you’re in town the first Friday of the month, go and enjoy the First Friday festival in the Augusta Commons area. It’s one of my favorite things to do on a Friday night. You’ll find live performances, music, art, vintage cars, fair food and more. Many of the downtown businesses host special First Friday events as well.

Saturday

Get a look at the local market. Take advantage of the cool morning weather and stroll down to the Saturday Market on the River. Grab a freshly roasted and brewed cup of coffee and some locally grown fruit to snack on for a light breakfast while you peruse the work of local artists and are serenaded by local jazz musicians.

Get some grub. Since you had a light breakfast, grab a good lunch—there are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from. One of my favorite lunch spots is New Moon Café. They offer a good variety of soups, sandwiches and Panini’s that are made with fresh, and mostly local, ingredients.

Get on a trolley. Hop on the Lady Liberty trolley for the Saturday Historic Trolley Tour. Hear the legend of the Haunted Pillar and Civil War stories. Learn about the bones in the Old Medical College basement and a rambunctious boy who grew up in Augusta and became a U.S. President. Tour historic downtown and get a feel for all the unique shops and restaurants that you want to visit and more! Sound like fun? Make sure you call ahead  (706-724-4067) and make reservations at least 24 hours in advance.

Get a glimpse of nature. Rent a canoe, pontoon boat, or jetski from the Riverwalk Marina before setting off for a self-guided nature cruise down the beautiful Savannah River. If you prefer to hand over the captain’s hat, try an Augusta Canal Cruise so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Get some seafood. Before you head out for a night on the town, stop by Rinehart’s Oyster Bar for a “beyond casual” experience and enjoy fresh, simple seafood. My favorite thing on the menu is their fresh oysters, of course!

Get your groove on. A short drive down the road from Rinehart’s, you’ll find the Country Club Dance Hall and Saloon. Grab a friend and hit the dance floor. If you’re feelin’ lucky, go try and grab a balloon during the balloon drop and see if you’ve won a prize!

Sunday

Get to sleep late. After a late night, if you’re like me, you’ll want to sleep in a little. But don’t worry, you can still make it in time to enjoy “Augusta’s Best Sunday Brunch” at the Partridge Inn. Cheesy grits, bacon, biscuits and gravy, omelets, muffins, fresh fruit…you name it, they’ve got it!

Get a piece of Southern art. Take some time to explore the Morris Museum of Art. It’s the first museum that is dedicated to Southern art and works of Southern artists. Admission into the Morris is free on Sundays.

Get something to take home with you. I never leave someplace without doing a little shopping first. Augusta has tons of cool shops for you to check out. Downtown you can hit Artists Row—a group of galleries and studios that sell local art and hand-made jewelry, The Book Tavern—a little bookstore packed full of new, used and rare books, Vintage Ooollee—a vintage clothing and accessories boutique, and any of the quirky antique shops—my favorite thing about antique shops is you never know what you’ll find!  

Looking for someplace to stay? Check out our hotel listings to see which Augusta hotel best fits your style and budget.

Elduets Treasures of the World

One of my favorite shops in downtown Augusta is Elduets Treasures of the World. I sort of stumbled upon it one weekend when I had friends from out of town visiting and I was showing them around downtown. Little did I know, I’d find a few discoveries of my own that day!  The shop was immediately intriguing to me, since they had all sorts of things in the shop window and who doesn’t love ‘treasures’?  When we first walked in, I didn’t really know where to start. It’s not overwhelming, there are just so many different things to look at.  They have everything from sculptures and recycled artwork to candles and organic, fair trade coffees and teas.  I found some great handmade jewelry there recently for a birthday gift and the earrings were a hit!    

Elduets is located between the 11th and 12th Street block on Broad Street and is open Monday through Friday from Noon to 5:30 and 10 a.m. to 5:30 on Saturdays. They also stay open late on First Fridays! If you’re into rare gifts and treats, you should definitely check it out. It really is a unique place in Downtown Augusta.

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