Dan Hinkley's lifelong interest in plants led him to a fascinating career, traveling the globe to uncover rare and unusual plants. He has ventured into the wilds of China, South and Central America, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tasmania and Canada numerous times a year for the past 16 years. He brought thousands of plants to Heronswood Nursery near Kingston, Washington, which he and his partner Robert L. Jones started in 1987. Much to the delight of the gardeners of the Pacific Northwest, the nursery had nearly 3,000 plant species. He writes regularly for many of the top gardening magazines and appears occasionally as the gardening correspondent on Martha Stewart Living television.
Hinkley has been bestowed with many honors and lifetime achievement awards from the most prestigious horticulture organizations, including the Scott Arboretum Gold Medal from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania for his lifetime achievements in horticulture; the Marcel Le Piniac Award from the North American Rock Garden Society; the Medal of Honor from the Federated Garden Clubs of America; the Garden Communicator of the Year award from the American Nursery and Landscape Association; the White Gold Medal from the Greater Cleveland Horticultural Society; the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award from the American Horticultural Society for a lifetime of achievement in education, writing and plant exploration. In 2007, he received the George Robert White Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and, from HRH Princess Alexandra at Hampton Court Palace, the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in England. Even with all his business ventures, his first love is gardening - digging in the soil.