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Southern Plant Conference Speaker Cast Revealed

01 May 2015 10:39 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

Atlanta, Ga., May 1, 2015 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced final details of the 14th Southern Plant Conference, scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, 2015, during SNA 2015, at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC). Each year, the speaker lineup somehow seems to top the last – and this year is no exception.

Sixteen of the industry’s top plant experts are slated to share their knowledge and expertise during this eight-hour conference. Don Shadow, SNA Past President and internationally recognized plantsman, will moderate the fast-paced sessions featuring an impressive list of authors, botanical garden directors, garden communicators, landscape designers, professors, researchers, and world travelers – all with the goal of expanding knowledge and use of new and improved plants for the landscape. 

The conference, sponsored by HIP Labels, Inc., and Plant Development Services, Inc. (PDSI), provides the perfect platform for the grower, landscaper and retailer to come together for a glimpse of exciting new plants coming to market. This unique conference provides an 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.

The 2015 speaker lineup and sessions include:

Brie Arthur, Growing a Greener World, Fuquay-Varina, NC – Foodscaping

Dr. Andrew Bell, Curator, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL – Windy City Winners

Talon Buchholz, Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery, Gaston, OR – Maple Introductions from Buchholz Nursery

Tom Cox, Cox Arboretum & Gardens, Canton, GA – Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast

Dr. Michael Dirr, Plant Introductions, Watkinsville, GA – Viburnums Past, Present and Future

Brent Heath, Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, Gloucester, VA – Best Bloomin’ Bulbs for Sexy Southern Landscapes

Joseph Hillenmeyer, Joseph Hillenmeyer Garden Design, Lexington, KY – Plants of Inspiration:  A Garden Designer’s Perspective

Ozzie Johnson, ItSaul Plants, Alpharetta, GA – Breeding Adventure from Asia to My Own Backyard

John Malone, Summershade, Madison, GA – Lifting the Veil on Underutilized Tree Species and Growing a Successful Market

Matt & Tim Nichols, Nichols Nursery, East Flat Rock, NC – Ornamental Obsession

David Parks, Camellia Forest Nursery, Chapel Hill, NC – Camellias from China

Karen Perkins, Garden Vision Epimediums, Templeton, MA – Epimediums:  Jewels of the Shade

Ron Rabideau, Rare Find Nursery, Jackson, NJ – New and Useful Plants

Dr. John Ruter, University of Georgia, Athens, GA – Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast

Alan Shapiro, Grandiflora, Gainesville, FL – Cool New Herbaceous Plants

Registration for the conference is $199 (by July 17) and $219 (after July 17) and includes continental breakfast, lunch and breaks, as well as a chance to “mix and mingle” with speakers after the conference. An SNA 2015 Name Badge is included with registration. Speaker bios, session titles and description, schedule and registration information can be found on the SNA website at

SNA 2015, scheduled for July 21 – 23, 2015, combines the SNA Regional Marketplace with The Southern Plant Conference, the SNA Research Conference, the SNA Annual Business Meeting, and SNA State Officer's Conference to deliver one unparalleled event – all under one roof.  The event is expected to draw more than 2,000 breeders, growers, retailers, landscapers, researchers, manufacturers, distributors, and service providers from across the Southeast. 

The GICC, venue for SNA 2015, offers convenience for attendees. A world-class airport, connected to a world-class convention center, surrounded by leading brand hotels, at the edge of a world-class city. And, the ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train, links the GICC to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and car rental center.

For more information on the Southern Plant Conference, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992,, or visit the SNA website at


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