Wine, Moonlight and Magnolias to help support garden

Courtesy of: Julie ChurneyA Garden of the Coastal Plains volunteer welcomes patrons to the annual Wine, Moonlight and Magnolias at last year’s event. The garden will host its 13th annual event tonight from 7-9 p.m.

Grace Huseth

The Gardens of the Coastal Plains at Georgia Southern University believes that green thumbs help gardens grow, but so does wine.

The garden will host its 13th annual Wine, Moonlight and Magnolias tonight from 7 – 9 p.m. The money raised through tickets sales will help support the garden’s growth.

“The garden will be filled with the distant chatter of friends enjoying a good conversation and winding notes of soulful jazz,” Julie Churney, Garden of the Coastal Plain administrative coordinator, said.

The event will raise money for educational programs at the garden, as well as bring the community together for an evening with wine and music, Carolyn Altman, director of the botanical gardens, said.

An entry fee of $60 might deter students, but it is tax deductible, provides two full hours of tasting quality wine and more importantly supports the garden, Hattan said.

Money raised from past benefits helped fund the building of the covered pavilion and develop horticultural and educational programs. The pavilion now serves the public as a venue for receptions, weddings and community events. One of the garden’s educational programs includes a display garden that educates the public on how to grow native plants in Georgia.

The benefit has been teamed up with the Camellia Garden Club and will feature wines from distributors in the Southeast.

The wine distributors will bring knowledgeable experts who will pour small samples of various wines. They will explain each wine and educate the public on wine varieties and pairings, Churney said.

“Every distributor chooses what they bring to the gardens and usually bring a good mix of reds and whites. It’s a great way to have a nice wine experience and learn about wine,” Deborah Hattan, Camellia Garden Club member, said.

In addition to wine, the event fee will include hors d’oeuvres catered by the Beaver House, live jazz music by Georgia Southern University Jazz Combo and a lesson in wine.

An auction will also be held for a private wine tasting party with football head coach Jeff Monken.

Altman said, “This benefit is a great chance to dress up, enjoy and support the garden on a warm evening.”