Virginia Tech events gives experts chance to weigh in on future of horticulture
The Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association Field Day gathers hundreds of Virginia Certified Horticulturists, VNLA members, industry leaders, horticultural experts and the public to discuss, celebrate and predict the future of horticulture in Virginia.
“It’s vital to the health of Virginia’s green space that we organize this Field Day to encourage discussion between industry leaders and horticultural scientists,” Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association Executive Director Jeff Miller said. “The health and well-being of Virginia’s landscapes are more delicate than one may think. It is the VNLA’s role to bring these groups together to ensure our industry is encouraging best practices and educators are addressing the latest in industry trends with their students to ensure healthy and robust Virginia landscapes.”
Field Day features tours of Virginia Tech’s Hahn Horticulture Garden throughout the day. Referred to as the “jewel of campus,” the garden features six acres of sustainably managed teaching and display gardens. The interactive tours feature fantastic and unusual plants, interesting garden features, recent renovations and more.
Expert presentations begin at 9:00a.m. with a panel discussion focused on the Future of Horticulture led by Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture faculty. The interactive discussion encourages industry leaders to provide input aimed at keeping horticultural education, research and extension programs current and dynamic as they serve the nursery and landscape industry in the Commonwealth and beyond.
Following the panel discussion, horticulture professors Alex Niemiera and Holly Scoggins take an entertaining look at Virginia’s top perennials and woodies during “Fabulous Plants for Virginia”.
Rounding out the expert discussions is University of Delaware Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology Doug Tallamy’s presentation focused on saving local biodiversity by using native plants to create “socially acceptable” landscapes.
“The opportunities to learn from these experts, as well as to pass along our own experience as professionals is a unique offering,” Saunders Brothers, Inc. Sales Associate and VNLA Member Sonya Lepper Westervelt said. “We’re busy with the day to day of running our own businesses throughout Virginia and these educators are swamped with their education and research duties. The VNLA Field Day is a rare and valuable opportunity for all of us to come together and discuss industry best practices, responsible landscaping and the future of the industry with a broad group of educators and horticultural professionals.”
In addition to Field Day on August 14th, the VNLA is also hosting a LEAN Management Workshop on Wednesday, August 13th and Private Garden tours on Friday, August 15th. Registration is open to the public and discounts apply for all VNLA Members.
About the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association
The VNLA is the state trade association for garden centers, nursery growers, landscape designers, installation and maintenance contractors, greenhouses, and horticultural suppliers. Its mission is to unify, strengthen and promote the Green Industry, while certifying industry practices and principles that keep Virginia green and growing. Additionally, VNLA focuses on Research & Education, Industry Advocacy and Publications & Communications. Visit www.vnla.org for more information.