Immerse yourself in the world of perennial plants at the Perennial Plant Association’s (PPA) yearly national symposium. Now in its 36th year, this industry-focused conference brings together more than 500 professionals for networking, learning and special events. And it’s all devoted to perennial plants. The symposium moves to a different region each year, giving participants a unique experience and insight into the area’s perennial scene.
This year’s symposium takes place July 30 through Aug. 3 in the horticulturally vibrant Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina. Attendees can explore outstanding local gardens, visit one-of-a-kind retail garden centers, and tour innovative production facilities. You’ll also hear and engage with industry experts from around the world. Most importantly, you’ll spend time with the best in the industry.
- Keynote by Fergus Garrett: Head Gardener at Great Dixter. Lauded for his extraordinary plantsmanship and sophisticated design sensibility, Garrett is still down-to-earth and accessible. He’ll connect attendees with the Great Dixter approach to planting design.
- Keynote by Richard Hartlage: Founding Principal & CEO, Land Morphology. His award-winning, innovative designs heighten the human experience of the natural world. Hartlage will focus on green trends in landscape architecture, including the European meadow and matrix planting styles now emerging as significant components in American landscape architecture.
- Business Talks: A new addition to the symposium, this one-day intensive features top speakers from the business side of the horticultural industry. Owners and managers will discover new tools to strengthen and grow their operations.
- Tours: See everything the region has to offer during our week-long, behind-the-scenes tours. Some of the site visits include:
- BASF sponsored tour to Metrolina Greenhouse, a family-owned, wholesale plant and services company, founded in April 1972. With 162 acres under roof, they are the largest single-site, heated greenhouse in the United States.
- Plant Delights Nursery & Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. An award-winning, online nursery specializing in rare and unusual perennials. The nursery and adjacent six-acre botanic garden reflect founder Tony Avent’s 60+ plant-hunting expeditions to locations around the world. It’s a plant paradise.
- Hoffman Nursery, Inc., which specializes in ornamental and native grass liners. Owned by John and Jill Hoffman, the nursery has a 51,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, automated production lines, and beautiful gardens focusing on grasses.
- Niche Gardens, a mail-order and retail nursery. They specialize in native and unusual perennials, grasses, ferns, and woodies. Their extensive display gardens are designed for pleasure, learning, and fun!
- Another 20+ speakers, including Ron Gagliardo, Sr. Manager of Horticulture Services for Amazon.com; iris breeder Kevin Vaughn; Judith Jones, owner of Fancy Fronds Nursery; Larry Mellichamp, retired Professor of Botany & Horticulture & former Director of the Botanical Gardens at UNC-Charlotte; Christian Kress, founder of Sarastro-Stauden Nursery in Austria; George Coombs, Mt. Cuba Center; Anne Spafford, Assoc. Professor of Landscape Design at NC State Univ.; and Annabel Renwick, Sarah P. Duke Gardens.