Friday Tours

Join us Friday, August 7th for one of our two Bus Tour options. Choose either the Growers & More Tour, Legends Alive Tour or Retail & Natives Tour - details listed below. Both tours end at North Creek Nurseries for a tour, bars, and dinner.

*Friday Symposium Schedule

  • 7:15 AM - 8:30 PM Explore Maryland Bus Tour
  • 8:15 AM - 8:30 PM Hidden Gems Bus Tour

Explore Maryland Tour

*Friday, August 7  |  7:15 AM - 9:30 PM

 

Babikow Greenhouses - Baltimore, MD

After many years in the business, by the end of the 1960’s, the Babikows became aware of the "Greening of America" and by 1995, growing areas and facilities were expanded to utilize the entire 32-acre farm. Production and sales of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, hardy ferns and fall pansies more than doubled. Today, Babikow is recognized not just for quality plants, but also for reliability, continuity and experience. Customers consist of landscapers and landscape contractors (74% of sales) and independent retail garden centers (26% of sales). Babikow delivers to the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Shipping occurs March through December with April, May and October being the busiest. Orders are pulled, placed on racks that are then loaded onto trucks for delivery. Only the best quality plants are shipped. Babikows employs full and part-time people to continue this cycle of producing top quality plants and providing excellent distribution. Employees are recognized as the most important ingredient in this process and are cherished.

Cavano's Perennials, Inc. - Kingsville, MD

Cavano’s Perennials, Inc. began in 1972 as a 5-acre cut flower farm. A shift into perennials led to the 1996 purchase of 25 acres. In 40 green houses, Cavano’s grows 1500 varieties of perennials, ferns, grasses, vines and groundcovers. Seasonal staff is over 50 and some have been with the company over 18 years. Attendees will meet the sales team, quality control, inventory and nursery managers, and view production, order pulling, holding areas, propagation and trials. Cavano’s is heavily invested in natives. University of Maryland Extension has conducted pollinator and beneficial insect research here. More trial gardens are being created to study plant communities in real conditions. Collaborating with local horticulturists and designers, the gardens are a living classroom for students in hort programs who assist with installation and maintenance.

The Perennial Farm - Glen Arm, MD

The Perennial Farm is entering our 40th year in business at its present location in Glen Arm, Maryland. We were originally a landscape design and installation company. These valuable landscape roots have given us valuable insight into the needs of garden centers and landscapers as we have transformed and grown our business through the years. "We continually try to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations."

Kurt Bluemel, Inc. - Baldwin, MD

Kurt Bluemel, Inc. is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s leading wholesale growers and suppliers of native and ornamental plants, specializing in large volume custom growing of liners and containers. Since 1964, KBl has followed three simple strategies: 1. Adherence to the tried-and-true 2. Strict principles of horticulture 3. Market definition through native and ornamental plant selections. The 42 acre nursery in Baldwin, Maryland includes 20 acres of open cold-frame growing, 80,0000 sq. ft. heated greenhouses for propagation and custom growing, and 10 acres of stock fields, display and trial gardens. Founder and former PPA President Kurt Bluemel passed in 2014. Our mission and vision continue under the guidance of his grandsons, President Alexander Betz and Vice President Christopher Betz, who have brought KBI into the next century through LEAN practices, efficiency, technology, and the sound horticultural principles they were taught.

Emory Knoll Farms - Street, MD

Emory Knoll has been a family-owned farm for over 150 years.  Today, green roof plants are the focus of our proud agricultural tradition. Since 1998, EKF has been the nations’ leading wholesale supplier of green roof plants in North America. We have more experience than any other nursery in the United States growing the right plants for successful green roof projects.  Our catalog includes a large selection of the hardiest sedums and herbaceous perennials, proven to grow in the harshest conditions found on green roofs and in other challenging landscape conditions. We are active in green roof plant research, collaborating with educational institutions and nurseries, worldwide. We don’t just sell plants. We offer green roof knowledge and service unmatched in the industry.

North Creek Nurseries, Inc. - Landenberg, PA


Both of Friday’s tours converge at North Creek Nurseries in scenic Chester County, Pennsylvania. Hop off the bus, grab a cold beverage, and close out the conference amongst friends. Specializing in native plants, North Creek is a wholesale supplier of starter plugs of perennials, grasses, ferns, and sedges. This 17-acre nursery comprises extensive trial and demonstration gardens which provide planting solutions for ecological projects including storm water management, soil stabilization, landscape restoration, and habitat establishment. Customize your experience—enjoy a staff-led walk around the gardens, or join general manager Tim McGinty for a peek into production. Guests will learn how production schedules are managed under a lean-flow manufacturing approach. The evening will conclude with a cocktail reception, buffet dinner, live music…and maybe a few party surprises!


Hidden Gems Tour

*Friday, August 7  |  8:15 AM - 9:30 PM

 

The Welcoming Place: Mennonite Central Committee - Akron, PA

Designer Earthbound Artisans reimagined a 20 year old garden dominated by shrubs and groundcovers, with cyclical annual plantings. The goal was a more natural space that could educate visitors about the benefits of native plants and conservation landscaping. To remediate the space, they removed all plants deemed invasive or strictly ornamental, with no ecological impact. The remaining mature shrubs give the site great structure and “bones.” The design inspiration sprang from a limited knowledge of Piet Oudolf's work. The desired result was for the whole garden to vibrate with insect and bird activity, and to look and function like one large organism as the breeze passes through the foliage.

Create A Scene Inc. - Malvern, PA


This nursery and gardens are set on five acres of wooded rolling hills, blessed with good topsoil and high-quality water. Gardens include sunny and shaded sites, wet and dry areas, two ponds and a spring.  Abundant containers, including many tropicals, nestle amongst herbaceous and woody perennials. Aquatic plants surround a pond near a colorful gazebo filled with rare and unusual plants. You’ll find sheds, cold frames, a pit greenhouse, and vegetable and herb gardens. The back pond/picnic area features a 'living bridge' of bald cypress; an 'otherworldly' pod offers a quiet respite. Owner Michael Bowell is a noted designer, horticulturalist, writer and speaker on topics including orchid growing, exhibiting and garden fowl. Michael travels widely, collecting orchids, bromeliads, hardy and tender trees, perennials and herbs. An American Orchid Society judge, Michael has exhibited at the Philadelphia Flower Show for decades, with several "Best of Show" awards. He was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in 2010.

Donald Pell Gardens Studio - Pheonixville, PA

At Donald Pell Gardens, inspiration is derived from the New American Garden style which seeks to connect gardens with the greater regional landscape. Their designs mirror Impressionistic examples of the American meadow and Eastern Forest. With great reverence for the wild garden, the American landscape informs their decisions about processes and beauty. They partner with clients to help them realize value from a well-planned garden utilizing sympathetic design to restore harmony. Donald Pell’s designs consider function and circulation to achieve a sensuous experience. Good composition celebrates the evolving seasons. The studio is on a 14 acre property, with gardens spiraling out from a residence. The gardens have been developing for eight years.

Thank you to Donald Pell Gardens providing lunch for our visit!

Tekloc Private Garden - Berwyn, PA

The Tekloc garden is part of a 240 acre estate with beautiful greenhouses and substantial plantings. Designer Donald Pell has gutted and replanted 20 years of landscaping representing approximately 2 acres of garden. Existing plants were relocated using tree spades; an ADA-compliant promenade and additional walks were installed, and approximately 30,000 herbaceous plants were added to this woodland garden. This project has been an "in the works" planting all year but already the herbaceous layers are becoming established. This will be a “must see” garden by 2020. Donald and the owners are excited about sharing their amazing renovation with PPA participants. 

Brandywine Cottage Private Garden - Downingtown, PA

David Culp, creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage in Downingtown, has been lecturing about gardens nationwide for more than 25 years. Articles on David have appeared in Gardens Illustrated, Horticulture Magazine, and numerous other publications. He is the Principle of David L. Culp Designs and Owner of Brandywine Snowdrops. David has developed the Brandywine Hybrid strain of hellebores, and was recently cited in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise on snowdrops. His garden has been featured several times in Martha Stewart Living and on HGTV.  Brandywine Cottage is listed in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Gardens. 

North Creek Nurseries, Inc. - Landenberg, PA


Both of Friday’s tours converge at North Creek Nurseries in scenic Chester County, Pennsylvania. Hop off the bus, grab a cold beverage, and close out the conference amongst friends. Specializing in native plants, North Creek is a wholesale supplier of starter plugs of perennials, grasses, ferns, and sedges. This 17-acre nursery comprises extensive trial and demonstration gardens which provide planting solutions for ecological projects including storm water management, soil stabilization, landscape restoration, and habitat establishment. Customize your experience—enjoy a staff-led walk around the gardens, or join general manager Tim McGinty for a peek into production. Guests will learn how production schedules are managed under a lean-flow manufacturing approach. The evening will conclude with a cocktail reception, buffet dinner, live music…and maybe a few party surprises!


*Schedules are subject to change. Tours must have minimum numbers pre-registered or they are subject to cancellation.

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