12th Annual Garden Symposium
12th Annual Garden Symposium

12th Annual Garden Symposium

Cultivating Extraordinary Plants


From Rare to Spare – Propagating, Growing, and Sharing the World’s Coolest Perennials
with Tony Avent

Join renowned plant guru Tony Avent as he shares the trials and triumphs of running one of the most well-known specialty nurseries in the U.S.: the legendary Plant Delights Nursery. A favorite of plant collectors everywhere, Plant Delights Nursery and the affiliated Juniper Level Botanic Garden are bursting with gorgeous and unique perennials collected or cultivated by Tony over nearly 30 years in business. You won’t want to miss hearing this visionary plantsman share his first-hand experiences and recommendations for growing extraordinary plants.


The Unexpected Houseplant: Bringing Nature into your Home
with Tovah Martin

Get ready for the Houseplant Revolution. What the world needs now is green close by – and houseplants are the answer. These aren’t your grandmother’s dowdy, dusty versions. These are houseplants with panache. These are plants that you don’t necessarily associate with windowsills. Have you ever thought of growing a perennial as a housemate, for example? Heucheras and primroses are just a couple of the unexpected houseplants recommended in this lecture. We’ll talk all about how to bust houseplants out of their plastic past and into a swank future. What? You’ve tried and failed with houseplants? Here’s how to make your windowsill into a success story without quitting your day job.


Striking, Uncommon Plants and Awe-Inspiring Design Tips
with Kerry Ann Mendez

In her extensive travels, Kerry’s had the opportunity to stroll through some remarkable gardens representing a range of design styles and plant material. Every garden has a lesson to offer! This presentation features some fascinating plants that are not only available (she’ll tell you where) and grow-able. Kerry will also share simple-to-replicate, design strategies to transform conventional gardens to astonishing!

Our Speakers


Tony Avent

Tony Avent is the founder and proprietor of the famed “Plant Delights Nursery” and founder of Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is perhaps best known for his expertise in the area of rare, unusual, and native perennial plants, about which he writes and lectures widely. An avid plant explorer, he has made expeditions around the globe. He is also the author of “So You Want to Start a Nursery” (Timber Press 2003).


Tovah Martin

An avid (verging on obsessed) gardener indoors and outside, Tovah Martin is the author of many gardening books – most recently The Indestructible Houseplant (2015, Timber Press) which follows the success of The Unexpected Houseplant (2012, Timber Press) and The New Terrarium (2009, Clarkson Potter) as well as the popular Tasha Tudor’s Garden (1994, Houghton Mifflin). A freelance writer, her articles have appeared in publications throughout the country including Garden Design, Martha Stewart Living, O the Oprah magazine, Horticulture magazine, Yankee, and others. She is an honorary member of the Garden Club of America and the recipient of their medal for outstanding literary achievement.

Photo By Eric Jenks

Photo By Eric Jenks

Kerry Ann Mendez

Kerry Ann Mendez is an award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer who has been featured in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. Kerry Ann was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for her horticultural accomplishments. She has published three popular gardening books, including her most recent, The Right-Size Flower Garden.