Speaking of Gardening

**Please note the 2018 Speaking of Gardening will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton, Biltmore Village, August 10-11. If you're interested in registration, click here.

HUnter Stubb, landscape designer and partner at B.B. Barns Landscape Company, led the way in bringing some of the best names in horticulture to Western North Carolina for a two day event called Speaking of Gardening.

A Gardener's Symposium

Every August for the last 18 years, smack dab in the dog days of summer, when gardeners are harvesting their tomatoes while ignoring the perennials battling it out in the borders--in other words when all inspiration is gone--a garden symposium is held with some of the top names in horticulture speaking of gardening.  

This event, titled, cleverly, Speaking of Gardening, is the result of BB Barn's own Hunter Stubbs. Hunter was Director of Horticulture for Richmond Hill in 1988 and led the effort to create Speaking of Gardening. Speaking of Gardening is the climax of a summer's labor in the garden. It's a two day event filled with world renowned speakers, book signings, plant auctions, lunch!, and like-minded obsessive gardeners in their quest for knowledge.

Initially held at Richmond Hill, in the early 2000s, the event switched to the North Carolina Arboretum. By 2014 the event became self-hosted with Asheville Greenworks acting as the organization's fiduciary. This year, the event has a new home, the Folk Art Center

a few of the past speakers

Speaking of Gardening has hosted speakers from England, Japan, Ireland and all over the United States. Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at Great Dixter in England was a 2010 keynote speaker. Helen Dillion of Ireland, a celebrated gardener and author for more two decades, and North Carolina's own gardening celebrity, Tony Avent of Plant Delights in Raleigh have both participated to name only a few. This year's line-up is equally exciting. (Click on the link at the bottom for a list of speakers.)

Here's what you don't have to be to come

A professional. Yes, the speakers are professionals in their fields of horticulture and landscape architect. Yes, you can earn CEU (Continuing Education Units) credits if you attend as a professional, and yes, these speakers have years of experience, authored books and traveled extensively, but the mission of Speaking Of Gardening is to bring the professionals and the home enthusiast together. Typically, this sold-out event is 50% professionals, and 50% home gardeners.    

Here's the line-up of reasons to come

  • Inspiring lectures from world renowned speakers
  • Silent plant auction
  • Book signings
  • Sponsors (B.B. Barns is one.) 
  • Lunch!
  • Networking
  • CEUs
  • Discovering new plant material
  • Air conditioning

(List of CEU credits: NC Board of Landscape Architects - 8 credits. Master Gardeners, Association for Prof Landscape Designers - 8 credits. Tennessee, Georgia, and SC Landscape Architects (no approval process). Natl Association for Prof Landscapers - 8 credits.)

When is this Event?

August 11 & 12, a Friday and Saturday.

Where Did You Say it Was?

Folk Art Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in East Asheville.

Address: Milepost, 382 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Asheville, NC 28805

How Do I get signed up and what are the times?

For all the information and to register (do it now before you're stuck on a waiting list): Click here. 

For the two days' schedule in a downloadable pdf file: Click here.

Who's Speaking this year?

For the list of speakers: Click here.

I Can't come this year, Will you have it again next August?

Yep. That will be year 20 of this event. To be sure you stayed connected, follow Speaking of Gardening on their Facebook page here: Speaking of Gardening.  Make it easy. Go ahead and like the page, then the updates will automatically be in your news feed. 

Sign up now for this year's event and avoid the inevitable hot days of August and finding yourself walking around your garden wondering how on earth you got started on this little ever-growing (pun intended) hobby. After a weekend of great speakers, refreshing lunch, and like-minded plant geeks, you'll come away inspired and ready for fall.


Written by Cinthia Milner, garden coach, blog writer and outside sales staff.

BB Barns serves all of Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and Tennessee.