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,  and Cymron Cottage Nursery. 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.