We’ve had quite at year already, but the best is yet to come. In just under three weeks, we welcome the Perennial Plant Association meeting back to the Triangle region for the first time in 21 years. The Perennial Plant Association is a professional association of folks in the business of perennials. This includes growers, retailers, marketers, writers, landscape designers, etc. So far, over 435 folks from all over the world have signed up.
The Monday plant talks are the only part of the meeting open to non-professionals, but what a day of talks it is.
Monday Speakers include
Dr. Patrick McMillan, Director of the SC Botanical Garden, and one of the top plantsmen in the country. Patrick is a dynamic speaker, plant explorer, and Emmy Award winning television celebrity. He will be speaking twice, once on Native Plants of the Carolinas and again on Growing Southwest native plants in the Southeast.
Dr. Kevin Vaughn is a highly-awarded breeder of hostas, hemerocallis, iris, and much more. His book, Beardless Irises will be the topic of what will be a informative and humorous talk.
Dr. John Kartesz of Bonap (Biota of North America) is a walking encyclopedia of North American Native Plants. His on-line database allows you to find out where any plant is native in the US, and to indentify it on-line with visible characteristics. Don’t miss this fascinating presentation.
Christian Kress is the owner of Sarastro Nursery in Austria. This amazing specialty nursery is the go to source for rare perennials throughout the entire EU. Christian is a world-renown plant explorer, who has ventured through many of the worlds most dangerous countries in search of great new garden plants.
George Coombs in the perennials trial manager for Mt. Cuba Gardens. In this capacity, George oversees the side by side evaluations of new perennials in a garden setting. You’ll be amazed to hear his real world results.
Dr. Larry Mellichamp is the retired professor and director of the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens. Larry is renown for his botanical knowledge, keen sense of observation, and dry sense of humor, all of which will be front and center, when he explores the quirky and secret life of plants, from his book, Bizarre Botanicals.
Judith Jones of Fancy Fronds is a woman who eats, sleeps, and breathes ferns. Judith will regale us with her encyclopedic knowledge of ferns we probably don’t know, but should be growing.
Lauri Lawson has long been a student and teacher of medicinal plants, especially those derived from perennials. With a horticultural background that included stints at both Niche Gardens and Plant Delights Nursery, Lauri has a wealth of plant knowledge to share about remedies from plants you may already be growing in your own back yard.
If you don’t want to sit all day, then there are also two tour options for Monday
The first option is to Metrolina Greenhouse near Charlotte, where a large portion of the perennials sold in the region are grown. Metrolina only has one greenhouse, but it covers 162 acres. In addition to their incredible automation, they employee up to 1300 people, and ship out 180 tractor trailers of plants daily. This is truly a mind-boggling operation.
Tour 2 on Monday is for garden designers
We have an amazing tour lineup Monday tour that includes the famed Chatham Mills Pollinator Garden, the NC Botanic Garden, the Honeysuckle Tea House, and the amazing Red Door Garden. These tours all focus on sustainable, organic, and pollinator-friendly gardens. You can find out more about each of these by clicking this link.
And that is the pre-convention day! The core days are Tuesday-Thursday. You can find the full agenda here. Some spaces still remain, so sign up soon!