“The only thing that two gardeners ever agree on is what the third gardener does wrong.”
— Tony Avent —
Next weekend is your chance to see (and hear) garden guru Tony Avent. If you are not familiar with Avent, he's the resident genius behind Plant Delights Nursery and the Juniper Level Botanic Garden in North Carolina. Avent's passion for gardening goes back to childhood when — as an eight year old — he convinced his parents to build him a greenhouse. Today he's an intrepid plant hunter, plant breeder and one of a shrinking group of independent mail order nursery owners. A number of my favorite plants came from PDN, so I am very much looking forward to his presentations as part of 2011 Wisconsin Master Gardener Assocation Annual State Conference here in town. Though Avent lives and gardens in a hotter climate than ours, he offers plenty of gems perfect for our Wisconsin gardens.
The Madison Area Master Gardeners Association is the host for the conference which is scheduled from Friday August 5 to Sunday August 7 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Madison's east side near East Towne mall (4402 East Washington Avenue, map). Avent's doing two different presentations: “Plant Exploration to Plant Exploitation, How Plants Make Their Way From the Wild to Market” on Friday and "My Favorite 100 Perennials I wouldn’t Garden Without in Wisconsin" on Saturday. The conference is open to non-Master Gardeners.
Saturday August 6: At the Crowne Plaza Hotel Conference site, there will be two keynote speakers, 3 breakout sessions with 10 speakers, along with socializing with other Master Gardener Volunteers, a silent auction, and vendors.
Sunday August 7: Many local Master Gardeners will open their gardens for tours.
A number of local nurseries will also have special discounts available to conference participants during the conference dates of August 5-7, 2011.
Here are the complete details and registration info as well.