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 16 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!

Download the SNA 2015 Brochure including the full Southern Plant Conference Program.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for 
The Southern Plant Conference
The SNA Research Conference and the 
GGIA Educational Sessions. 
For details go to the Continuing Education Units page.


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 CONFERENCEClick Here.

The Southern Plant Conference is sponsored by
HIP Labels and Plant Development Services.

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 Southern Plant Conference is 
Sponsored by
HIP Labels and Plant Development Services.

 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 16 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!

Southern Plant Conference SCHEDULE
TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2015

 7:30am -  8:30am Registration Main Lobby
 8:30am -  9:00am Introductions Don Shadow
 9:00am -  9:25am Michael Dirr Viburnums Past, Present
 9:30am -  9:55am  David Parks Camellias from China
10:00am - 10:25am Ozzie Johnson Breeding Adventure
10:25am - 10:35am Break  
 10:35am   11:00am 
J. Ruter/T. Cox
Landscaping with Confiers
- 11:30am
J. Ruter/T. Cox
Landscaping with Confiers
11:35am 12:00pm Karen Perkins Epimediums
12:00pm  1:00pm Lunch & Award Presentation
 1:00pm  1:25pm J. Hillenmeyer Plants of Inspiration
 1:30pm  1:55pm John Malone Lifting the Veil
 2:00pm  2:25pm
Brent Heath
Best Bloomin' Bulbs
 2:25pm  2:35pm Break
 2:35pm  3:00pm Brie Arthur
 3:05pm  3:30pm Alan Shapiro
Cool New Herbaceous Plants
 3:35pm  4:00pm Andrew Bell
Windy City Winners
 4:05pm   4:30pm Matt/Tim Nichols
Ornamental Obsession
 4:35pm -  5:00pm Ron Rabideau
New & Useful Plants
 5:05pm -  5:30pm Talon Buchholz
Maple Introductions
 5:30pm    6:30pm  Reception
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 Approved by
National Association 
of Landscape 
Professionals (NALP)

CEUs Pending Approval by

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

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 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
Maple Introductions from Buchholz Nursery
Many of the world's best gardens have been enhanced by plant introductions from Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery (home of Flora Wonder Arboretum). Buchholz enjoys close relationships and plant sharing with some of the world's greatest plantsmen – and he will share his spectacular array of maples and some exciting varieties under observation.

  Dr. Michael Dirr

Dr. Michael Dirr
Plant Introductions
Watkinsville, GA
Viburnums Past, Present and Future: A View to the Best of Each Generation
Viburnums are a great group of garden shrubs comprising 150-170 species offering beautiful foliage, flowers, fruits, and a range of habits and sizes. In a 2011 survey of 4,000 designers, architects, and contractors, Viburnums ranked second to Boxwood and ahead of Hydrangeas in landscape use. This session reflects on the best of the old and presents a view to recent and potential future introductions.

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
Plants of Inspiration: 
A Garden Designer's Perspective
With his focus on
creating residential gardens that withstand the test of time, Joseph has secured his position as one of the South’s top young designers. He will provide an overview of the many inspirational plants of gardens from around the world and share his perspective of those that transform best in his gardens of distinction.

Ozzie Johnson

Ozzie Johnson
ItSaul Plants
Alpharetta, GA
Breeding Adventure from Asia to My Own Backyard
Ozzie is a noted plantsman who has traveled in Asia for over thirty years. Fall usually finds him on some distant mountain collecting seed not only to preserve germplasm but to improve our plant palette. He is a partner at ItSaul Plants LLC, a new plant introduction company located in Alpharetta, Geogia and is currently working on new and interesting begonias, hydrangeas, mahonias and Japanese maples among others. His presentation will guide us through the weird world of creating a plant introduction the hard way.

John Malone

John Malone
Growing Trees
Madison, GA
Lifting the Veil on Underutilized Tree 
Species and Growing a Successful Market
Many underutilized trees could be grown for the southeastern market. 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 he 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. John travels to the Far West every year searching for the next rare tree.

Matt & Tim

Matt & Tim Nichols
Nichols Nursery
East Flat Rock, NC
Ornamental Obsession
Although best known for their spectacular maples, Matt and Tim Nichols are simply obsessed with woody ornamentals and they have some exciting things to share... the new, the odd, the promising and rare. From Ginkos to Dawn Redwoods, you won't want to miss their passion – you too will be obsessed.
David Parks

David Parks
Camellia Forest Nursery
Chapel Hill, NC
Camellias from China
In recent years several new species of Camellia have been discovered and these have unique traits such as summer bloom and alkalinity tolerance. Although interesting, these species are not going to be the next hot plant. They are useful to the plant breeder and already Chinese hybridizers have created many seedlings that are being evaluated. Some of the selections will be discussed and possibilities will be considered.

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
New and Useful Plants
A Rhododendron and Daylily hybridizer since 1987, Ron's passion for new and noteworthy plants takes him on explorations around the world. Over the years, he has amassed an incredible collection of plants and will present some new, little-known and interesting shrubs, trees and perennials.

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
A pioneer in the evaluation of conifers for adaptability in the Southeast and recognized as one of the leading authorities on growing conifers in the region,Tom Cox will make the case for growing conifers and ginkgo in the Southeast by discussing their history and merits.

Dr. John Ruter is a pioneer in his own right in evaluating and developing new plants for the Southeastern landscape and he will share his insight on selections of conifers that are garden-worthy based on his research trials in South Georgia and observations from around the region.

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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