Skip to Content

Georgia Native Plant Initiative (GNPI) Industry Symposium 2013

Successes and Challenges for Georgia’s Native Plant Industry: Wholesale Changes Required
Today’s modern nursery grower won’t get excited by selling a few 4” pots of goldenrod to a native plant enthusiast. And today’s requirements for habitat restoration cannot be satisfied by getting a few dozen native plants from a specialty grower or two. If native plants are to make it as a profitable enterprise for suppliers then production needs to stepped up and producers/users linked up.
That is the goal of the Georgia Native Plant Initiative; and the focus of our day of industry-based talks/discussions aimed at realizing the economic/ecological potential of native plants.
When: November 21, 2013
Time: 8.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. (lunch provided)
Where: State Botanical Garden of Georgia,
2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, 30605
Cost: $20 to cover food and beverages
Registration: 706 542 9353 or on-line at
8.30-9.00 Registration, coffee
9.00-9.15 Welcome & Introduction (Wilf Nicholls, Director, State Botanical Garden of Georgia)
9.15-10.00 Trends in landscaping with native plants (Julie Evans, VP, Garden Designer, The Fockele Garden Company)
10.00-10.45 Needing GA ecotypes for US Forest Service Lands restoration (Joanne Baggs, Botanist/Ecologist, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Service)
10.45-11.30 Creating urban public landscapes using native plants (Greg Levine, Co-Executive Director & Chief Program Officer, Trees Atlanta)
11.30-12.00 GNPI Resources at your disposal (Jennifer Ceska, Conservation Coord., State Botanical Garden of Georgia)
12.00-12.45 LUNCH (please let us know any dietary restrictions)
12.45-1.30 Restoring the natural understory in longleaf pine forest (Carol Denhof, Understory Coordinator, The Longleaf Alliance)
1.30-2.15 Developing a native plant business from the ground up (J. Walter Bland, Managing Partner, Rock Spring Restorations)
2.15-3.00 Tour of the Mimsie Lanier Center for Native Plant Studies
Jennifer Ceska
Conservation Coordinator
State Botanical Garden of Georgia
at the University of Georgia

Alternatives in Cool-season Flowers for the Landscape

Allen D. Owings, Regina P. Bracy and Roger Rosendale

The LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station evaluates approximately 300-350 cool-season bedding plants in landscape settings each year from October through May.

Of the annual flowers for the cool season of the year, most people are familiar with pansies, snapdragons, petunias, garden mums and older varieties of dianthus. But there are many more.

To read the entire article, click here.


Coastal Green Educational Event – September 28, 2012 – Savannah, GA

This year, the 2012 Coastal Green will be held at the Coastal Gardens & Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia on September 28, 2012. Registration is $50 per person until September 19 and $65 per person after September 19; registration includes breakfast, snacks, and lunch. To register, please visit this website. The agenda and driving directions for

Coastal Green details are below.

8:15 – 8:45 AM Registration

8:45 – 9:00 AM Welcome – GGIA Chapter 4 Leadership

9:00 – 10:00 AM Hot New Annuals and Perennials for the Landscape – Bodie Pennisi

10:00 – 10:15 AM Break

10:15 – 11:15 AM Non-Native Invasive Pests of Georgia – Mark Raines

11:15 – 12:15 PM Biological Control of Pests in the Landscape – Kris Braman

12:15 – 12:45 PM Lunch (included with registration fee)

12:45 – 1:45 PM Best Shrubs and Woodies for the Coast – Matthew Chappell

1:45 – 2:45 PM On-Site Consulting: A New Business Opportunity – Don Gardner

2:45 – 3:45 PM Pre-emergent and Post-Emergent Use, Safety, and New Products for the Landscape – Mark Czarnota,

3:45 – 4:30 PM Enjoy fellowship and networking.

The Trial Gardens at UGA host 30th Public Open House July 14

Over the last three decades, the Trial Gardens at the University of Georgia have introduced home gardeners and landscape designers to thousands of new plant varieties.
Every year at the Trial Gardens’ open house, visitors have the chance to get an up-close look at a new class of vetted ornamentals ranging from gorgeous flowers and spectacular roses to hardy bulbs.
As the gardens’ staff prepares to welcome the public to the 30th annual open house on July 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., hundreds of new plants will be on display, and a special wine and cheese preview event from 7 to 9 p.m. on July 13.
“We enjoy sharing the beauty of the garden and highlighting some of the new plants that people can plant in their gardens,” said Allan Armitage, a UGA horticulture professor and the gardens’ founder. “After all, where is it written that research has to be ugly?”
Located on the UGA campus in Athens between Snelling Dining Hall and the pharmacy building, the gardens display hundreds of annuals and perennials from plant breeders around the world. The garden is always open to the public free of charge, but the open house gives visitors a chance to learn inside knowledge about this year’s most promising plant varieties.
Dozens of new rose varieties that will hit the market next year will be on display. Vegetables designed for the patio and porch will also be highlighted and include squash, peppers, tomatoes and eggplant.
Armitage, who directs the gardens, will give tours throughout the day. He will also hold a book signing, and his recent titles will be on sale. The open house will include an heirloom tomato tasting, featuring 17 varieties of tomatoes grown in the trial gardens this summer. This year the staff ran trials on heirloom and new patio variety tomatoes, said B.J. Garrett, open house coordinator and garden volunteer.
The tomato tasting, she said, is really the best way to let gardeners get to know a tomato variety and decide whether they want to plant it next year.
Planters designed by the gardens’ staff will also be available for sale.
The open house will be held rain or shine, and a donation of $5 is requested. The preview event, a Summer Evening in the Gardens, will feature wine and cheese, tours of the garden with Armitage, first pick of plants that are available for sale and cooler weather. Admission to this event is $5, and there are a limited number of spaces available. A space can be reserved by emailing or by calling Brooke Pridemore at 770-364-3089.
Parking is available in the South Campus parking deck. The Trial Gardens are located at 220 W. Green St., Athens, Ga. 30602. For more information, see or email

New England Wild Flower Society has a new website!

New England Wild Flower Society has a new website for identification and learning about 1,200 of the more common New England plants. Please let everyone know about

There is a great tutorial on video at

If you or friends happen to be in the Boston, MA area this weekend and would like an in-person tutorial, we have one scheduled at Garden in the Woods this Sunday, April 15 at 1 p.m. with Elizabeth Farnsworth, PhD – details at It is a free class, but pre-registration is appreciated. 

Magnolia Day at the University of Florida NFREC in Quincy!!!

Join us Saturday morning, February 18, to learn about, see and celebrate magnolias! Members of the Magnolia Family are prized worldwide for their flowers and have become some of the most widely planted trees. Since 2000, Environmental Horticulture Professor Gary Knox has planted more than 120 species and cultivars of Magnolia at the University of Florida/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy (NFREC). The purpose of the Magnolia Garden is to evaluate new magnolias and compare them to “standards” in the industry. Many of these magnolias are expected to be in full bloom.
Sponsored by Gardening Friends of the Big Bend (GFBB) and Magnolia Society International, the February 18 program includes special guest speakers Andrew Bunting and John Tobe along with NFREC’s Gary Knox. GFBB and NFREC are very honored to host Andrew Bunting. Andrew is Curator of Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia and President of Magnolia Society International. As part of the American Public Gardens Association, he is also leading a continent-wide effort to coordinate and organize 16 gardens into the national collection of Magnolia species. Andrew will speak on magnolias for the home garden, based on his extensive knowledge of these magnificent ornamentals from working at Scott Arboretum as well as from viewing magnolias during his travels.
As a professional botanist, speaker John Tobe is often in the “woods” and knows our native plants intimately. John will speak about the various magnolias native to our area, and how to incorporate them into our gardens and landscapes. Incidentally, John and his family are the creators of Tobe Botanical Garden in Quitman, Georgia. This beautiful garden features magnolias, many of which were shared with Gary Knox to help create NFREC’s Magnolia Garden. Finally, Gary Knox will report on the best performing magnolias in the Magnolia Garden at NFREC, based on 10 years of data and observations.
Following the presentations and a break, participants will board trolleys to ride to the Magnolia Garden. NFREC’s Gary Knox and GFBB Volunteer Jill Williams will provide a tour highlighting the best performing magnolias.
Upon returning from the Magnolia Garden Tour, GFBB will host a plant sale featuring several magnolias, as well as other seasonal plants. Proceeds are used by GFBB to support ornamental horticulture research and extension at NFREC.
Join us February 18 to learn more about magnolias! Pre-registration is $5 for GFBB members and $10 for non-members; registration at the door is $10 for GFBB members and $15 for non-members. To register and for additional information, please go to

North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) designates national collection of Magnolia and other plants for germplasm preservation and research

The North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) is a network of botanical gardens and arboreta working to coordinate a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm preservation. NAPCC was organized by the American Public Gardens Association and the USDA Agricultural Research Service to identify national collections of plant species. In addition to displaying and preserving plants, germplasm in these plant collections may be shared with researchers and assayed for resistance to new pests or diseases and as sources of germplasm for new plant introduction or breeding efforts. For more information, go to


NAPCC already has identified national collections for more than 35 genera or groups ( Some, like Sarracenia (pitcher plants), are held by one institution (i.e., Atlanta Botanical Garden). Other genera have diverse climatic ranges and require multiple locations. Magnolia is one of these, and is one of the newest groups being authorized by NAPCC. The National Collection of Magnolia will encompass 16 sites, including southeastern US sites of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, JC Raulston Arboretum, the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories Arboretum and the Magnolia Garden at the University of Florida North Florida Research and Education Center (NFREC) in Quincy, Florida. A Magnolia Field Day will be held at NFREC on Sat., Feb. 18, to showcase the collection of magnolias and celebrate its inclusion in the Multi-site Collection of Magnolia. For more information, go to