Perennial Fun in Raleigh This Summer


I love the Perennial Plant Association’s (PPA) summer meetings. I’ve only missed a handful over thirty-five year. The PPA will meet this summer in Raleigh, NC from July 30th—August 3rd.  Fergus Garret, Head Gardener at Great Dixter will be a keynote speaker. He’s good. If you don’t believe me, read what Susan Harris wrote about Fergus, after hearing him in Baltimore a few weeks ago.

Other speakers (20 +) include garden designer Richard Hartlage; Ron Gagliardo, Sr. Manager of Horticulture Services for Amazon; 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.

The tours include some hot spots I always enjoy visiting, including Tony Avent’s Plant Delights Nursery and the Hoffman’s Nursery, the beautiful wholesale, native and ornamental plant liner nursery. I haven’t been to Niche Gardens a few years, but it has always been a gem and it will be fun to return. And there’s plenty more.

The speakers and tours are only half the fun. The camaraderie is unmatched. Don’t sweat it if you’re a newbie. I’ll take you under my wing and we’ll make the rounds together. We will head home at week’s end full of ideas and loaded down with wonderful, new plants.

Advanced registration is required and early bird pricing ends June 1st. See the program description, plus registration and program information on the PPA website.

See you in Raleigh.

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Allen Bush

Allen is the former Director of Special Projects for Jelitto Perennial Seeds. It was a fun job. Jelitto offers over 3,700 different seed choices of perennials, alpines, herbs and ornamental grasses. Prior to his 22 years with Jelitto, he owned Holbrook Farm and Nursery in Fletcher, North Carolina. Allen gardens in Kentucky with his wife, Rose Cooper, who is sometimes known as Rose Bush.



  1. I attended part of the national symposium when it was in Baltimore and found it a wonderful opportunity to get to know real plant people. Actually some of the TOP plant people anywhere. Susan

  2. Hi Allen! I hope to see you again this year. My garden, just a 1/2 acre #sustainable habitat will be one of the gardens on the private garden tour day, Friday August 3rd. Hope to see you there!

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