One of my biggest heroes is Tony Avent, owner of Plant Delights Nursery at the Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Raleigh, NC. His motto "I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least three times" justifies my own garden philosophy that you should "grow what brings a smile to your face" and "makes your heart soar". His garden paths are definitely not your standard formal garden. The winding trails display visual beauty filled with textural interests that defy description. When you walk on the grassy paths, you constantly have to catch your breath at the unique ornamental varieties planted side by side.
Visiting his nursery during a tour last summer at the National Garden Writers Association conference, I was delighted to find Florida native plants there along with flowers that I would disappointly never find in any Florida nursery. I couldn't stop taking pictures of all the lovely flowers and ornamentals. Tony's love of naturalism takes him around the world in search of more horticultural rarities.
Last week, the NY Times article featured Tony's talents and own philosophies and thoughts of the nursery industry. A video garden tour is also available. You may have to subscribe, but it's free.
If you haven't ordered Plant Delights Nursery's catalog famous for its' front covers, check them out.