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The North Carolina Arboretum Hosts Speaking of Gardening Symposium

ASHEVILLE NC – The North Carolina Arboretum proudly hosts the Speaking of Gardening symposium on August 23 and 24, bringing renowned speakers from across the country to Asheville.

The annual symposium is a popular event for horticulture and design professionals and garden enthusiasts, providing an unparalleled experience for participants. This year’s event is no exception, featuring nationally known experts presenting lectures on creative design and cutting-edge plants. Drawing from their work experience, talent and design philosophies the combination of presentations promises to feed the mind and soul of professionals and novices alike.

Speakers scheduled to appear at the Speaking of Gardening symposium include:

Rick Darke ― President, Rick Darke LLC, Landenberg, Pennsylvania
Rick Darke’s work is grounded in an observational ethic which blends art,ecology, and cultural geography in the design and stewardship of livable landscapes. His projects include parks, post- industrial sites, transportation corridors, corporate and collegiate campuses, conservation developments and botanic gardens. Rick is author and photographer of many books including The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest (Timber Press), In Harmony With Nature: Lessons from the Arts & Crafts Garden (Michael Friedman Publishing), The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes (Timber Press), and The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition (Timber Press). His writing and images have been featured in collaborative works including Fallingwater (Rizzoli) and On The High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Urban Park (Thames & Hudson). Darke accepts flux as the signature of today’s ecology and identifies creative strategies suited to an age in which the only constant is the accelerating pace of change.

Tony Avent ― Owner, Plant Delights Nursery, Inc. and Juniper Level Botanical Gardens, Raleigh, North Carolina
Nurseryman and hosta hybridizer, international plant explorer, author and plant ‘evangelist’, Tony Avent shares his passion for plants in a myriad of ways. His international mail order business featuring rare and unusual perennials, hostas and U.S. natives is widely known alongside Juniper Level Botanical Garden, home to a large collection of rare variegated Agave. Tony currently serves on the USDA-ARS Plant Hardiness Zone Map Revision advisory committee.

Steven A. Sanchez, ASLA ― Principal, HGOR, Atlanta, Georgia

Steven’s work is guided by an unmatched talent for defining a project’s designated character and sense of place through the choice and use of native plant material. He oversees the planting designs for each studio in the firm: Workplace, Campus, Community and Urban Design. His expertise ensures that each project’s unique opportunities and site requirements are met with a balance of visual identity and sustainability.

The NC Arboretum is located next to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance at Milepost 393. From I-26, take Exit 33 and follow Blue Ridge Parkway signs for two miles to the entrance ramp. Visit www.ncarboretum.org/plan-a-visit for parking fees, property hours and building hours. For general information call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org.

Sandy’s Plants, Inc. is a family-owned perennial wholesale and retail nursery that has been in operation since 1979. What began as a hobby has evolved into an extraordinarily successful nursery that serves garden centers and landscapers in four states, boasting one of the largest selections of perennials on the East Coast. Sandy travels internationally to collect new plants for evaluation and production. Sandy will discuss some of her favorite plants for ‘throwing and going’ – plants that do their job well with minimal assistant from the gardener once planted.

Speaking of Gardening is supported in part by the following Community Partners: Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park; B.B. Barns, The Garden Company; Biltmore; French Broad River Garden Club; The Gardeners Cottage; Higgins Horticultural Services, LLC; JR Stone Sales; Reems Creek Nursery and Landscaping, Inc.; Siteworks Studio – Fine Garden Design; Thyme in the Garden, LLC; and Wilson’s Natural Landscaping, LLC. The program is developed and supported by an advisory committee of western North Carolina’s most passionate gardeners and horticulturists, alongside local green industry businesses. Speaking of Gardening qualifies for PLANET, NCBOLA and APLD continuing education credits with board approval. Registration for the symposium is $145 for Arboretum members and $170 for non-members through July 1, 2013. After July 1, registration is $160 for Arboretum members and $185 for non-members. The fee includes lectures, book signings, lunches and snacks for both days. Seating is limited and registration is required.

For more information, please call (828) 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org. The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants.

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