The Southern Plant Conference

Tuesday, July 21, 2015  |  8:30am to 5:30pm
2000 Convention Center Concourse
International Ballroom, Salon 2
Atlanta, GA 30337                                                                Sponsored by HIP Labels and Plant Development Services

The 14th SOUTHERN PLANT CONFERENCE, sponsored by HIP Labels and Plant Development Services, will feature a stellar cast of speakers... 
The brightest minds in horticulture come together to share their knowledge and insight on the best new plants for growers, landscapers and retailers. It's a RARE opportunity you won't want to miss!

The Southern Plant Conference is a unique experience you won't soon forget. A room filled with 17 of the industry's top plant experts sharing their vast knowledge and latest discoveries of the hottest new plants for 8 hours of action-packed, eye-opening drama.

Hold on to your hats for this extraordinary experience as world renown plantsman Don Shadow orchestrates this unique symphony... There's nothing quite like it!

CEUs applied for with ISA, NALP, FNGLA, GGIA, TXNLA, VNLA and other associations within the region. (See details below.)

The 14th Southern Plant Conference is 
Sponsored by

The Southern Plant Conference just keeps getting better! Each year the speaker lineup somehow seems to top the last – and this year is no exception. Don Shadow has done it again and rounded up some of the brightest minds in horticulture to share their knowledge and insight on the best new plants for growers, landscapers and retailers. You won't want to miss this phenomenal cast of the industry's best!
Complete speaker information and program details will be available soon.
The Don Shadow Award of Excellence
Who will receive the 2015 Don Shadow Award of Excellence Recipient? As a past attendee of The Southern Plant Conference you can nominate someone for this prestigious award. 
See award information below.
 The 14th 
 Southern Plant Conference

Scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, during SNA 2015, this conference will feature a stellar cast of speakers. It's a Who's Who of Horticulture. Don Shadow, SNA Past President and internationally recognized plantsman, will once again guide you on a quest to find new plants for your business.

The SOUTHERN PLANT CONFERENCE provides the perfect platform for the grower, landscaper and retailer to come together for a glimpse at exciting new plants coming to market. This fast-paced session, ​filled with loads of takeaways, boasts the best and hottest new plant varieties coming to market in the next season, and provides a unique opportunity to discover new production techniques and a vast array of new plants, with focus on new and superior cultivars, the most resistant, prolific blooming, superior shape or habit, and the most interesting flower or foliage.

8 hours of action-packed adventure with 17 plant enthusiasts, authors, botanical garden directors, professors, and world travelers will get any plant lover's adreneline pumping as you witness their vast knowledge and insight on plants.

Discover new varieties, examine new methods and proven techniques as the South's leading authorities on plants come together for this dynamic, action-packed event!

Registration required. Registration $199 by July 17. $219 after July 17. Continental breakfast, lunch and breaks provided, and a chance to "mix and mingle" with these bright minds! To register for the SOUTHERN PLANT CONFERENCE, Click Here.

Conference Schedule
Speaker Times Will Be Available Soon

 7:30am -  8:30am  Registration  Main Lobby
 8:30am -  9:00am  Introductions  Don Shadow
 9:00am -  9:25am  Session 01
 9:30am -  9:55am   Session 02
10:00am - 10:25am  Session 03
10:35am - 11:00am  Break  
 10:25am   10:35am  Session 04 
- 11:30am
 Session 05
11:35am 12:00pm  Session 06
12:00pm  1:00pm  Lunch &  Award Presentation
 1:00pm  1:25pm  Session 07
 1:30pm  1:55pm  Session 08
 2:00pm  2:25pm  Session 09
 2:25pm  2:35pm  Break  
 2:35pm  3:00pm  Session 10
 3:05pm  3:30pm  Session 11  
 3:35pm  4:00pm  Session 12
 4:05pm   4:30pm  Session 13
 4:35pm -  5:00pm  Session 14
 5:05pm -  5:30pm  Session 15
 5:30pm    6:30pm  Mix & Mingle

For a complete schedule for printing, Click Here.

SNA 2015 
Education CEUs

SNA 2015 offers a wide variety of education for the grower, landscaper and retailer. A total of 20 hours of education and CEU credits may be available for The Southern Plant Conference, The SNA Research Conference, and the Special Education Sessions. 

CEUs Pending Approval by

National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP)
International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association
Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association
Georgia Green Industry Association
South Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association
Texas Nursery & Landscape Association
Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association

and other state association certification programs within the region.


The 14th Southern Plant Conference is 
Sponsored by

The Don Shadow Award of Excellence

The Don Shadow Award of Excellence, named for the first recipient, Don O. Shadow, Shadow Nursery, Winchester, TN, will be presented at the Southern Plant Conference to an individual, corporation or organization that has provided exemplary service, leadership and generosity in the development, promotion and use of new and improved landscape plants. Recipients must demonstrate a sincere commitment to and passion for expanding knowledge and use of new and improved plants for the landscape. 

In naming the award for Don Shadow, the SNA also recognizes Mr. Shadow as one of the primary driving forces behind the success of the Southern Plant Conference and the program’s commitment to providing top industry plant experts. This year is no exception.

The Don Shadow Award of Excellence will be presented at the 2015 Southern Plant Conference.

Previous award recipients include:

Don Shadow

Shadow Nursery, Winchester, TN
Rick Crowder
 Hawksridge Farms, Hickory, NC
Margie Jenkins
 Jenkins Farm & Nursery, Amite, LA


Don Shadow presenting 2014 Don Shadow Award of 
Excellence to Margie Jenkins.

Special thanks to Don Shadow, Shadow Nursery, Winchester, TN, for his commitment and tireless effort in making this 14th Southern Plant Conference another stellar event!

Thank you Don!


Nominate a Deserving Person for the 
Don Shadow Award of Excellence

As a past participant of The Southern Plant Conference you are invited to nominate a deserving person for this prestigious award. Simply send an email with the person's name, company, city, state and contact information to or give us a call at 678.809.9992.

Who is Don Shadow?

Don Shadow has been described in many ways:

– Tennessee farm boy

– A modern day Noah

– Father Nature

– The Indiana Jones of Horticulture

Don Shadow is a plantsman extraordinaire. A fourth-generation nurseryman whose plant knowledge is encyclopedic, Don is highly recognized, nationally and internationally, both as an expert horticulturist and for his success in saving endangered animal species. His collection of exotic animals includes more than 600 animals in 60 different species living and breeding under his watchful eye.
QuickLinks About Don Shadow:



 Cast of Speakers

Speaker information, titles and description is updated daily so check back soon for complete information!

Brie Arthur


Brie Arthur, Professional Garden Communicator
Growing a Greener World

Fuquay-Varina, NC


Brie is part of a very exciting group of young people involved in the green industry, committed to getting the message out that plants, gardening and all things horticultural are the way of the future! She has fine-tuned her signature design technique of 'Foodscaping', a landscape design practice that embraces both beauty and utility in its function. Encouraging everyone to "think outside of the box," Brie will explain why pairing your edibles in a traditional ornamental landscape is functional, convenient and attractive. From patio containers to suburban oasis design her ideas are HOA approved and will add a new flavors to every landscape! 

Dr. Andrew Bell


Dr. Andrew Bell
Curator, Woody Plants
Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, IL

Windy City Winners
Chicago is well-known for its long harsh winters but the region also experiences near triple digit summer highs as well as extended periods of drought. This presentation will highlight some of the top performers that continue to weather the harshest of environments year after year. Whether new to market or old and reliable, these plants are sure to perform well in other regions of the country if they can survive and thrive in the Windy City.

 Talon Buchholz


Talon Buchholz
Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery
Gaston, OR
Talon's world-renowned collection of trees and shrubs began in 1980 when he purchased property and six Japanese maples from J.D. Vertrees, some of which are still in his arboretum. To fund the collection Buchholz and Buchholz Nursery was founded, and a symbiotic relationship between the two entities continues to this day.

  Dr. Michael Dirr

John Malone

Dr. Michael Dirr
Plant Introductions
Watkinsville, GA
John Malone
Growing Trees
Madison, GA
Lifting the Veil on Underutilized Tree Species and Building/Growing a Successful Market
Many underutilized trees could be grown for the southeastern market. Mike and John will discuss acer triflorum, acer griseum, magnolia platypetala, magnolia macrophylla, m. sieboldii, m. wilsonii, parrotia persica, fagus grandifolia, x gordlinia, poliothrysis sinensis, and styrax japonicus that John is producing in the nursery. John has built a market that's serves landscape architects, arboretums and botanical gardens looking for uniqueness but also reliable performance. Both speakers travel to the Far West every year searching for the next rare tree.

Brent Heath


Brent Heath
Brent & Becky's Bulbs
Gloucester, VA
Best Bloomin’ Bulbs for Sexy Southern Landscapes
Brent will provide an overview of the kinds of bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes that have effectively perennialized or naturalized in ‘Orgy Gardens’ from Virginia to Florida and west to the Mississippi River”.

Joseph Hillenmeyer

Joseph Hillenmeyer
Joseph Hillenmeyer Garden Design
Lexington, KY
Joseph was born into a family with a horticulture tradition dating back to the 1700’s in France and Germany. His great-great-great grandfather, Francis Xavier Hillenmeyer, came to America in 1838 after horticultural training at the Baumann Brothers Nursery in France. His arrival set into motion what has now been six generations of Hillenmeyer’s in the horticulture industry.

Ozzie Johnson

Ozzie Johnson
ItSaul Plants
Alpharetta, GA
Ozzie is a noted plantsman who has traveled the world collecting new varieties. Ozzie designs and installs high-end Japanese gardens for Atlanta homeowners and volunteers extensively at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Roy Klehm

Roy Klehm
Klehm's Song Sparrow
Farm & Nursery
Avalon, WI
Roy is a fourth generation nurseryman and actively involved in growing a wide range of plants. He has selected, hybridized, and introduced numerous varieties of herbaceous and woody Peonies and Hemerocallis along with varieties in the genera of Tilia, Thuja, Hosta, Fothergilla, Fraxinus, Amelanchier, Euonymus, Spiraea, Hamamelis, Ginkgo, and Viburnum. His Peony, “Pink Hawaiian Coral” was an American Peony Society Gold Medal Selection. 

Gary Ladman


Gary Ladman
Classic Viburnums
Upland, NE
Ladman, the owner of Classic Viburnums, started his business in 1999 after more than 40 years in the nursery and landscaping industry. He is now the largest grower of Viburnums in the U.S. with the most diverse selection.

Matt & Tim

Matt & Tim Nichols
Nichols Nursery
East Flat Rock, NC
Matt and Tim Nichols, the brothers behind Nichols Nursery, have been in horticulture all their lives and specialize in Japanese Maples, with over 1,000 cultivars in propagation. 

David Parks

David Parks
Camellia Forest Nursery
Chapel Hill, NC
David grew up surrounded by all things Camellia. After college and a short laboratory career in botany and molecular biology, he found his way back home to run the family business where he grows hundreds of different Camellias and other species. In his spare time, he tends his collection of rare and unusual plants, and enjoys traveling as a modern-day "plant hunter".

Karen Perkins

Karen Perkins
Garden Vision Epimediums
Templeton, MA
Epimediums – Jewels of the Shade
Karen Perkins comes to the nursery business via the botanic garden world where she spent the first half of her career. Her venture into epimediums was the result of working alongside plant collector and hybridizer Darrell Probst. He started Garden Vision in 1997, as a way to pay for his plant collecting passion and to preserve the genus, if not in the wild (where it is often over-collected for medicinal use) then in gardens around the world. Karen is currently the owner of Garden Vision Epimediums, which offers over 170 species and varieties of Epimediums, and other choice, hard to find shade perennials.

Ron Rabideau

Ron Rabideau
Rare Find Nursery
Jackson, NJ
Ron has a BS in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts, and has participated in four plant collection expeditions: China (2000), Tibet (2002), Arunachal Pradesh, India (2005), and Siberia (2007). A rhododendron and daylily hybridizer since 1987, and member of the American Rhododendron Society, Ron puts his passion for new plants to work seeking out new and noteworthy plants, including variegated plants.

Dr. John Ruter

Tom Cox

Dr. John Ruter
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 
Tom Cox
Cox Arboretums & Gardens
Canton, GA

Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast

Alan Shapiro

Alan Shapiro
Gainesville, FL
Cool New Herbaceous Plants
Take a look at the latest developments in the 
non-woody, non-tree 
plant world that includes perennials, grasses, and even some herbs and annuals!


Copyright  2015

Southern Nursery Association, Inc.
PO Box 801454

Acworth, GA 30101

Tel:   678-809-9992

Fax:  678-809-9993

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