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Plants with Purpose™ Keynotes



Plants with Purpose™ Keynotes

Stay Relevant with the Power of Plants

  • Shannon Currey, Marketing Director, Hoffman Nursery, Inc.
  • During prosperous times, pretty plants sell themselves. When times are lean, landscape expenses are often viewed as a luxury. How can we position our plants and services as a necessity and keep them off the budgetary chopping block? How can we better promote the power of plants? Taking a broad approach that includes purpose and functionality (in addition to beauty) can keep the horticulture industry vital and relevant. Hoffman Nursery has been in business 30+ years and has been promoting green infrastructure (GI) and the functionality of plants for almost a decade. Drawing from their experience, Shannon Currey will help you think through strategies to build your market and discover opportunities in your region.
  • About the speaker: Shannon Currey is Marketing Director for Hoffman Nursery, a wholesale nursery in North Carolina specializing in ornamental and native grasses. Shannon began her career as a social scientist, but she changed fields in 2003 to pursue horticulture. At North Carolina State University, she trained in landscape design and horticulture in the Department of Horticultural Science. She joined Hoffman Nursery in 2007 and has had a range of responsibilities—coordinating the plant evaluation program, managing the sales team, and overseeing the marketing program. Shannon writes articles for national trade publications and gives talks on grasses to design professionals and industry organizations. She is currently Southern Region Director for the Perennial Plant Association.

Knock Out Natives

  • George Coombs, Manager of Horticultural Research Programs, Mt. Cuba Cente
  • Mt. Cuba Center’s trial program has been evaluating native plants and their related cultivars for over a decade now. Join George Coombs as he discusses the new approach Mt. Cuba is taking to evaluate plants for both garden performance and ecological value. You will learn about several top-performing selections of Coreopsis, Baptisia, Monarda, and Phlox, including a few species and cultivars that you’ve probably never heard of. 
  • About the speaker:


  • George Coombs manages the horticultural research programs at Mt. Cuba Center, including the trial garden where he evaluates native plants and their related cultivars for their horticultural and ecological value. To date, he has authored evaluation reports on HeucheraCoreopsisBaptisiaMonarda, and Phlox. In addition to the trials, George also evaluates plants for introduction to the nursery trade. Most recently, his work has helped bring to market four new selections of hardy Coreopsis. George is a graduate of the University of Delaware and prior to joining Mt. Cuba Center, he worked in the nursery industry at both the wholesale and retail level.

Contact Us

Western Nursery & Landscape Association
P.O. Box 411747 Kansas City, MO 64141