The Plant Explorer

Plant explorer Dan Hinkley was one of the speakers at the very first Kansas City Garden Symposium in 1998. He climbed onto the world stage by way of China, the Himalayas, South Africa and South America, where he collected garden-worthy plants that he brought back to the U.S. to trial and introduce to the market. His Heronswood Nursery became a thriving mail-order business catering to plant connoisseurs and collectors. Heronswood was sold in 2000 and was closed in 2006.

Hinkley’s two most recent books, “The Explorer’s Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials” and “The Explorer’s Garden: Shrubs and Vines from Four Corners of the World,” have each earned Book of the Year honors from the American Horticultural Society.

Hinkley now collects plants for Monrovia Nurseries, which created The Dan Hinkley Plant Collection in 2009.

He and his partner have created a new garden, Windcliff, on the Kitsap Peninsula near Indianola, Wash.

For this year’s Kansas City Garden Symposium, Hinkley plans to talk about “Exploring Zone 6 Around the World — Plant Exploration in Northeast Turkey, Northern Japan and South Korea.”





Garden Artist

Lucy Hardiman is a speaker discovered by members on the Gardeners Connect trip in February to the 2015 Northwest Flower Show. She is bubbly, fun and full of solid, practical advice on garden design and garden artistry.

Hardiman has been designing gardens since the mid-1980s. She is the owner and principal of Perennial Partners, an award-winning collaborative garden design group in Portland, Oregon.

She is a freelance writer who is a regional contributing editor for Horticulture Magazine. She has written for several Brooklyn Botanic Garden handbooks, including Intimate Gardens, which she co-authored with C. Colston Burrell. Her own garden has appeared in many books and magazines, including Fine Gardening, Victorian Homes, Pacific Horticulture, and Better Homes and Gardens.

She serves on the Great Plant Picks Committee and as vice president of the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection. She is an active member of the Garden Writers Association, the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers and the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. She is a past president of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and advocates for the Community Garden program in Oregon.

Hardiman plans to give two presentations as part of the Kansas City Garden Symposium.

During the Symposium itself she will talk about “Making the Most of Color in the Garden.”

She will present a fun, light-hearted program, “Beyond Plants: Furnishing Your Garden,” for the Friday, February 26, dinner preceding the full-day Kansas City Garden Symposium.



The Kansas Native

Troy Marden is author of a book published this year by Cool Springs Press, “Plant This Instead — Better Plant Choices.” It is a guide to choosing prettier, hardier, longer-blooming, drought-tolerant and native plants. A carefully selected plant variety can give you all the enjoyment and curb appeal of a gorgeous, painstakingly tended garden but cost you a lot less work and heartache. He suggests lesser-known plants that will thrive naturally in various microclimates, featuring native and noninvasive plants, hardy alternatives to less sturdy species, new introductions and repeat bloomers.

His career began as a teenager working in a retail nursery and garden center near his hometown of Riley, Kansas. His college years at K-State found him focusing heavily on greenhouse management and production, eventually leading to internships at two of the country’s most esteemed public gardens, Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, and Longwood Gardens, a former DuPont estate in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

For the past 20 years, Troy has called Nashville, Tennessee, home. He is watched each week by tens of thousands of viewers on Nashville Public Television’s gardening show “Volunteer Gardener.” His gardens, floral design, writing, and photography have appeared in regional and national gardening magazines, including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Design, Southern Living and Tennessee Gardener.

For the Kansas City Garden Symposium, Marden plans to present two programs: “Plant This Instead!” and “A Passion for Plants: Marrying Garden Design with Plant Collecting.”



Garden Designer

Garden designer Jan Johnsen, author of “Heaven is a Garden: Designing Serene Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection,” is an award-winning garden design instructor at the New York Botanical Garden
She owns a garden design and landscaping business in Westchester County, New York.

A trip to Japan as a college student made a lasting impression on Johnsen. Walking through ancient Japanese gardens made her aware of the power that serene outdoor spaces have to calm and refresh us. She went on to study landscape architecture at the University of Hawaii. Coming back home to New York state, she worked under a Versailles-trained French gardener at Mohonk Mountain House and learned about French horticulture and its rigorous, all-natural standards.

Her book, published in 2014 by St. Lynn’s Press, is full of practical tips for home gardeners. It’s beautifully illustrated with photos of landscapes she has designed and installed.

For the Kansas City Garden Symposium, she plans to present a program about “Liquid Dreams — Ways to Add the Magic of Water into a Garden.”

On the Friday before the Symposium, she will teach a garden design workshop based on her New York Botanic Garden class titled “Creating Your Own Slice of Heaven.”