Aug 21, 2007
“AZUSA, Calif. – Monrovia, the leading grower of premium ornamental plants, has partnered with Dan Hinkley, who is known worldwide throughout the horticulture industry for his amazing ability to identify rare and interesting new plant varieties.
Hinkley will help Monrovia’s new plants team identify exciting plant varieties and to integrate those efforts with Monrovia’s sales and production craftsmen. This will ensure that Monrovia is focusing on plants that can be propagated in large quantities and will be desired by retailers and consumers. According to Nicholas Staddon, director of new plants, “Hinkely’s vast experience and wealth of knowledge will be a tremendous asset and help us maintain our leadership in this area.” Over the years, Monrovia has become known for introducing fabulous new varieties that are more interesting in color, texture or size, and plants that tend to be hardier and more pest resistant.
Monrovia will be sponsoring numerous events at which Dan will be featured. “He is a natural at speaking and most entertaining,” said Staddon. “Avid gardeners will have a chance to hear him talk about topics such as landscape design, unusual and under appreciated plants, plant hunting, importance of foliage and texture in the garden, drought tolerant plants and xeric garden design.”
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 and his partner Robert L. Jones started in 1987. Much to the delight of the gardeners of the Pacific Northwest, the nursery had nearly 3000 plant species. When W.A.Burpee closed the original site of Heronswood and Heronswood Garden in May of 2006, Dan has independently focused his attentions on continued plant hunting, writing and speaking.
“Monrovia is a superior company with quality products and I’m really looking forward to this partnership,” said Hinkley. “We are eager to bring new plant varieties to market that are truly remarkable and will stand the test of time.”
His first book, Winter Ornamentals, was published in 1993 and his second, The Explorers Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials, received the 1999 Book of the Year Award from the American Horticultural Society. His latest book, Making Heronswood, will be published next year. 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 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 Nurserymen and Landscape Association and 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. His latest project underway is the Gardens of Windcliff on a south facing bluff overlooking Puget Sound, which recently was featured in Garden Design magazine as one of the best new gardens in North America.
Background on Monrovia:
Monrovia is one of the world’s largest producers of container grown plants, with more than 2,000 different varieties. Since it was founded in 1926 by Harry E. Rosedale, the company has introduced hundreds of patented plants, more than 200 of which are Monrovia exclusives. Monrovia plants are shipped to independent garden centers nationwide from its nurseries in Visalia and Venice Hills, Calif., Dayton, Ore., Springfield, Ohio, LaGrange, N.C. and Cairo, Ga. Throughout its history, Monrovia has pioneered many new technologies and new plant introductions. It remains a family owned entity. To find the nearest garden center that carries Monrovia plants, visit www.monrovia.com.”