Greetings from the southernmost member of this squad! I’m an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech and Director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden, our fabulous 6-acre teaching and display garden on campus. Blacksburg is in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwest Virginia, USDA Zone 6-ish, elevation of 2,080 feet. I teach Herbaceous Landscape Plants, Greenhouse Management, Floriculture, and a Public Gardens course. My research focuses on nursery and greenhouse production of perennials. In both sharing my research and in learning what’s new and improved, I interact extensively with the state and regional green industry – growers, plant breeders, landscapers, and garden centers. I love the business side of things – and am a rabid plant shopper, so this works out well!
I’m originally an Army brat but spent most of my formative years (the 80’s and 90’s) in Athens, Ga. My B.S. (Agricultural Economics) and M.S. (Horticulture) are from the University of Georgia, and my Ph.D (Horticulture) is from North Carolina State University. So lotsa Zone 7 experience under my belt.
Professional credentials aside, I guess I would describe myself as a card-carrying plant dork (actually, I’m just a dork, period). Love, love, LOVE to garden, whether at work or at home. My partner and I have a 19-acre farm stuck on the side of mountain – we have four acres of u-pick blueberries along with Christmas trees, honey bees, chickens, a small greenhouse, veg gardens, and lots and lots of ornamentals, of course. Just in case you were wondering where I was coming from. I’m so pleased to be working with such talented and clever folks on this blog!