March 4, 2014
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Kirk Brown is a recipient of the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association “Green Achiever” Award for advancing horticulture in Pennsylvania.  He is Vice President of the Garden Writers Association and previous chairman of the PLNA Landscape and Nursery Conference. He has published articles in American Nurseryman, Garden Design and Quill and Trowel, among many other journals.  The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the Pennsylvania Green Commission and the PLNA have all presented the gardens he has designed and installed with Outstanding Design awards. He teaches many topics for the Certified Landscape Design School courses.


John Bartram: The King’s Gardener

John Bartram comes back to life in a captivating lecture: passionate, moving, humorous and educational. We will experience the life and times of America’s First Botanist, inveterate traveler, collector and father of the nursery industry in the original thirteen colonies.  His story starts at the very beginning of the international world of plant discovery. Bartram’s travels in the Carolinas were extensive and often traumatic, but the plants of our region lured him to return to fulfill his mission as the King’s Collector in the Americas.  You will never look at your Columbines in the same way again.


David Culp's beloved Brandywine Cottage is the stage for his astounding series of gardens in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  The gardens highlight his plant collections and hybridizing work (the Brandywine Hybrid strain of Hellebores), and were the basis of his book The Layered Garden, which received the Garden Writers Association 2013 Gold Award.  Mr. Culp’s articles have appeared in Fine Gardening, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Green Scene and many other publications.  He is Vice President of Sunny Border Nurseries, an Instructor at Longwood Gardens, and served as a contributing editor to Horticulture magazine.  The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has presented him with the Award of Merit and the Distinguished Garden Award.


The Layered Garden

When we think of a garden, a vision of flowering abundance comes to mind, but our own gardens often fail to live up to that colorful image.  David Culp has created a majestic display of continuous bloom by using layering techniques in the design of his garden and will show us how to achieve the same in ours.  He will discuss how to choose the correct plants by understanding how they grow and change throughout the seasons, how to design a layered garden and how to maintain it. He will illustrate the concept with a tour through his own woodland garden, perennial border, and kitchen garden. 


Holly Shimizu has served as the Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden since 2000, the culmination of a life of service to public gardens. She has worked in public gardens in the U.K., Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands, as curator of the National Herb Garden, and as managing director of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Many of us remember her as the Victory Garden correspondent who, for 12 years, took us to enticing gardens around the world. She continues to contribute to National Public Radio and has written and lectured extensively in her field. Holly still answers to Ilex, her botanical nickname from her college years.


Influences and Inspirations – Gardens Then and Now

From our earliest roots, we have depended on plants; the founders of this country recognized the essential role that plants played in people’s lives.  George Washington’s vision for the U.S. Botanic Garden was unequivocal; he wanted Americans to learn about and understand the value of plants. We will look back to our early gardens, our essential plants, and move into our current approach to gardens, nature, and sustainability.   With some dramatic examples of gardens in the mid-Atlantic area, we will explore their designs, their successes (or failures), as well as how they have achieved an alluring sense of place and a harmony with the natural world.   


Paula Gross is the Assistant Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. After receiving her Master’s in Horticulture at the University of Georgia, she worked with Alan Armitage, then at Goodness Grows Nursery in Lexington, GA. Ms. Gross co-authored the book Bizarre Botanicals, teaches courses, proposes and administers grants, helps run the operations of the Botanical Gardens, and writes articles on horticulture and plant identification. She is considered one of only a few local “go-to people” for expert advice on Southeastern native plants.  Students of her courses in the Certificate in Native Plants Studies, (which is open to the public), claim that they all would have become botanists if she had been their high school instructor.

Paula’s Perennials: A Southeastern Plantswoman’s Favorites

What wouldn’t you give to have even a smidgen of the beauty and serenity of an Asian garden in your back yard?  Or just a little corner of the Van Landingham woodland garden, bursting with a spring celebration of pastels, a summer medley of silvers and greens and the stunning reds and golds of autumn.  There are many choice plants that thrive in the heat and humidity of a southeastern red clay garden, and Paula Gross, one of the guiding spirits behind the Botanical Gardens at UNC Charlotte, will share her favorite perennials for every season under the sun (or shade).


Tony Avent is the owner of Plant Delights Nursery and the Juniper Level Botanical Gardens in Raleigh, NC. He is an intrepid plant explorer who has searched the mountains and plains of Mexico, China, Korea, the Balkans, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. He has led over 50 plant expeditions in the Southeast and Texas, seeking the horticultural equivalent of the Holy Grail. Mr. Avent returned to his alma mater, NC State University, to receive the J.C. Raulston Distinguished Leadership Award in 2012 and has published over one hundred articles for international and national journals and newspapers. A Hosta hybridizer of renown, his extensive rare plant collections are closely monitored and evaluated by PDFF (the Plant Delights Family of Felines.)


Plant Exploration: The Search, Discovery and Exploitation of “New Plant Introductions”

“I gazed at the graceful form, the vibrant good health, the silver sheen of the petals and wondered at the long and arduous journey it had taken on it’s way to my garden,” wrote Beverly Nichols, describing in one sentence the hopes of every plant explorer; that an intriguing plant from a remote place would adapt and thrive in the climate and conditions of our gardens.  Tony Avent, an avid explorer, will present plant introductions, some of which have become staples of our gardens as well as exciting newcomers; how they were discovered, tested and evaluated, propagated and distributed to nurseries on the way to our gardens.


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