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 Stubbs (1969-2017), 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 19 years (so yes, it's the 20th year!), 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.  

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: NCBOLA and NCLCLB 10 credits. From NALP and APLD 9 credits.)

When is this Event?

August 10 & 11, a Friday and Saturday.

Where Did You Say it Was?

DoubleTree  by Hilton Hotel located one block from Biltmore Estate. 

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. 

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.  To be sure you stayed connected, follow Speaking of Gardening on their Facebook page and Instagram page.  

Sign up now for this year's event now, and get the Early Bird registration fee.


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.