March into Spring XXIII: Adventures in Botany

8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Saturday, March 16, 2019
Delaware County Community College, Media PA

Click here to see the event brochure with schedule and pricing

Click here to register for the event.

Click here to volunteer for the event.

Plant Explorer Dan Hinkley in the Himalayas

This year’s symposium focuses on fascinating tales of plant exploration around the world, from the time of the founding of our nation through the present day.

For centuries, people have searched for new food, medicine, and aesthetic delights in the plant world. Some, like John Bartram, enjoyed long, successful careers botanizing in the new world, while David Douglas, for whom the Douglas fir is named, was lost in mysterious circumstances in Hawaii at a young age, and E.H. Wilson, best known for finding the Davidia involucata, or handkerchief tree, sent back many thousands of new plants from Asia to his patrons in Europe and America that we still happily grow in our gardens. 

Today, legendary adventurers like Dan Hinkley, our keynote speaker, continue to risk life and limb (or at least a bandanna) in pursuit of new botanical gems from Vietnam, Chile, and elsewhere that add diversity and a ‘wow’ factor to our own landscapes. Presentations will cover: a short history of the evolution of plants
and some surprising new discoveries; Lewis & Clark’s historic Western expedition; the awe-inspiring first public botanical garden in America, now hidden beneath Rockefeller Center in New York City; a plant breeder’s latest plant discoveries from as close as Virginia and as far away as Myanmar. 


Bruce Crawford is the Director of Rutgers Gardens in New Brunswick, N.J. and an adjunct professor in landscape design at Rutgers. He is a popular educator throughout the state and a regular contributor to Gardener New. He’ll set the stage for the day with a lively review of the latest findings about botanical evolution. 

Dan Hinkley is an internationally known plant hunter, author, and former owner of the Heronswood Nursery in Washington state. (Many of you probably still have copies of that catalogue!) Dan will share his plant hunting adventures and plant discoveries from around the world, focusing on finds most suitable for Mid-Atlantic gardens.

Victoria Johnson is associate professor at Hunter College and author of the new bestseller American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic. Hosack was Alexander Hamilton’s family physician, who became obsessed with using plants as medicine, leading him to found the first public botanical garden in America. It now lies buried beneath Rockefeller Center in New York City. 

Rick McCourt is the Curator of Botany at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. The Academy is home to the herbarium of more than 200 specimens collected on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Rick will tell us all about that collection and some of the plants introduced to the Mid-Atlantic region. As an extra treat, tours of the herbarium—in Philadelphia—will be scheduled later in the year. 

Peter Zale is the Associate Director, Conservation, Plant Breeding and Collections at Longwood Gardens. He makes several plant hunting trips each year, has has introduced and bred dozens of new introductions currently under evaluation, and will share some of his latest discoveries from across the U.S. and around the world. 

Click here to read extended bios of all of our speakers.

Enroll and Experience It!

The March Into Spring Symposium offers a full day of great horticulture information for both novice and seasoned gardeners. Besides a day of great speakers, there will be shopping opportunities with local growers and other special vendors, plus an extensive silent auction with lots of unique garden-related books, plants, and tools. Come celebrate the end of winter with a group of like- minded plant geeks from the tri-state area. We have state- of-the-art facilities at the DCCC campus, which is set in a beautiful arboreal landscape in Media PA.


Shop 'til you drop with our wonderful PLANT AND GARDEN VENDORS, Gettysburg Gardens, Cairnsgrove Gardens & Apiary, Tiffany Perennials, Cymron Cottage Nursery, Peony's Envy Flower Farm and Triple Oaks Nursery & Herb Garden. Also, back again will be our AWESOME SILENT AUCTION, our carefully curated selection of THE BEST NEW GARDEN BOOKS AT DISCOUNT PRICES (including those by our speakers), Atlas Gloves and eco-friendly HPS water bottles. NOTE: HPS will accept cash, checks and credit cards for the Silent Auction and book sales. Some vendors accept cash/checks only.

Silent Auction

The Silent Auction Committee are busy assembling some awesome items for this year's Silent Auction.  Items that have come in already are:

  • Broken Arrow Nursery- 50 gift card
  • Carolyn's Shade Garden- Helleborus Frostkiss® Sally's Shell
  • Cairnsgrove Gardens & Apiary- Bee products, retail value $25
  • Chanticleer Gardens- 4 admission tickets (retail value $40) and a book 'The Art of Gardening' (retail value $35) and poster and magnet (retail value $10), total retail value $85
  • Charles Cresson-Japanese Iris and other plant TBD
  • Colbrano Nursery- Thujopsis dolobrata "Hondai, retail value $65.00
  • Cymron Cottage Nursery- Rhododendron 'Memory of Fred Galle',  retail value $60.00
  • Dan Long-Clematis Super Nova and Picotee, retail value $55.0
  • Gettysburg Gardens- XGordinia grandiflora
  • Jenkins Arboretum- Walking Iris Hanging Basket (Neomarica gracilis), retail value $25.00 and 2 Assorted Succulent Collection 12 plants
  • Kirkpatrick Nurseries- Cephalotaxus harringtonia 'Fritz Huber Plum Yew, retail value $48.00, Howell's Dwarf Bicolor Spruce, retail value $60.00, Adcock's Dwarf Japanese White Pine, retail value $50.00 and Jeddeloh Dwarf Eastern Hemlock, retail value $70.00
  • Longwood Gardens-admission tickets
  • Martin Greenhouse- Salvia collection and amaryliss bulbs
  • Mostardi Nursery-Nano Dome Lighted Mini Greenhouse, retail value $60.00
  • Nemours-4 passes
  • Octoraro Native Plant Nursery-$75.00 gift card
  • O'Briens Nursery-$35.00 gift card
  • Plants Delight- $100.00 gift card
  • Pleasant Run Nursery- 4 each: Helleborus x ballardiae HGC Merlin, Helleborus x ballardiae HGC Pink Frost and Helleborus x Royal Hertiage Strain, Hechera x Frosted Violet and Heuchera x Rave On
  • Point Phillip Perennials, hypertufa leaf, retail value $20.00, planted hypertufa pothead, retail value $50.00 and planted hypertufa trough, retail value $50.00
  • Shannon Nursery, 3 Frost Kiss hellebores, Dana's Dulce, 1 Glenda's Gloss and Reanna's Ruby, all have a retail value of $25.00 each
  • Stoneleigh: A Natural Garden, Lonicera sempervirens 'John Clayton', retail value $32.00
  • Tiffany Perennials, Garden Tour for 2, available on any open tour date, retail value $50.00
  • Winterthur-Admission Tickets, includes admission to exhibit 'Costuming the Crown'
  • Wolf Run Nursery, chamaecyparis obtusa bassett, retalil value $40.00