— Speakers We have many distinguished speakers, and Thursday night’s focus will be the legacies of great plant explorers.


Our first speaker will be the famous colonial botanist, John Bartram, humorously portrayed by Kirk Brown, Vice President of the Garden Writers Association.


– -He will be followed by one of our most celebrated modern plant explorers, Steve Hootman, Director of the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, WA.



– Rick Lewandowski, the former Director of Mt. Cuba Center, will be Friday’s keynote. He will discuss landscapes utilizing native azaleas and other native plants. Rick is now Director of the Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Texas.


– Saturday’s keynote will be Mike Stewart, past ARS President and noted nurseryman from Sandy, OR. He will share some of the contributions of legendary plant collectors and hybridizers, and their lasting legacies.