Since 1988, THE source for buying native, rare, and unique perennials.

Tony Avent Biography

SPOUSE: Anita J. Avent

EDUCATION: B.S. NCSU, Horticultural Science - 1978

OCCUPATION: Plantsman and Proprietor 

1988 to Now

  • Proprietor, Plant Delights Nursery, Inc., retail mail-order rare, unusual, and native perennial plants
  • Proprietor, Juniper Level Botanical Garden (22,600 + accessions, as of 1/1/2015)
  • International Plant Explorer (Mexico-1994; China-1996; Korea-1997; Argentina-2002; South Africa-2005; Thailand-2005; Taiwan-2008, Crete-2010; Bosnia-2012; Croatia-2012; Montenegro - 2012; Slovenia-2012; Texas (5 expeditions); Vietnam-2005 + 43 other plant expeditions in the US since 1994)
  • Hybridizer of Hostas;
1984 – current.
  • Freelance Garden Writer & Lecturer (750 lectures since 1987) as of 1/1/15

1978-1994

  • Landscape Director, NC State Fairgrounds
1985-1994
  • Volunteer Curator - Shade House, NCSU Arboretum
1987-1998
  • Weekly Garden Columnist - The News & Observer, Raleigh
2012-Now
  • Monthly Garden Columnist - Walter Magazine, Raleigh 

ADDITIONAL:  

2006-2010        Woody Plant Advisory Committee - JC Raulston Arboretum

2004-2009        Advisory Committee - USDA-ARS Hardiness Zone Map Revision

2001                 Invited Participant at St. Louis Summit (Workshop on Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Prevent Plant Invasions)

2001-2009        North Carolina Department of Agriculture Rare Plant Conservation Scientific Committee (Appointed 2001)

2002-2008        Contributing Editor, Horticulture magazine 

AWARDS:  

  • Award of Merit – Perennial Plant Association - 2013
  • J.C. Raulston Distinguished Leadership Award, NC State University - 2012
  • Perennial Plant Association Retail Award - 2011
  • Certificate of Recognition - Garden Writers of America - 2009
  • American Horticulture Society Outstanding Commercial Award - Individual - 2002
  • D.H. Copeland /NC Association of Nurserymen Award - 2002
  • Robert Balentine Horticulture Award/ Southeastern Flower Show - 2001
  • Marcel LePiniec Award / North American Rock Garden Society - 1999
  • Nursery Innovator of the Month Award - GM Pro Magazine - 1998
  • Outstanding Alumni Award/ NCSU Dept. of Horticultural Science - 1997
  • NC Nurserymen Award for Landscape/Beautification of NC State Fairgrounds 1990
  • Outstanding Journalism Award / Men's Garden Club of America 1986, 1987, 1988
  • Outstanding Senior, NCSU Dept. of Horticulture - 1978
 MEDIA:  
  • Almanac Gardener with Mike Gray (NC Public Television) - numerous since 1994
  • Coastal Gardener with Dave Egbert (Network) - 2008
  • Cultivating Life with Sean Conway, Aspidistra, Ferns (PBS) - 2006
  • Cultivating Life with Sean Conway (PBS) - 2008
  • Gardener’s Diary with Erica Glasener (HGTV) - winter 2002/3
  • Gardener’s Journal with Kathy Renwald (HGTV) - 2002
  • In The Garden with Bryce Lane (NC Public Television) - 2007
  • Martha Stewart Living, Nursery Segment (HGTV) - February 2004
  • Martha Stewart Living, Propagation Segment (HGTV) - February 2004
  • Martha Stewart Living, Hardy Arailaceae Segment (HGTV) - February 2004
  • Martha Stewart Living, Extreme Propagation (NBC) - February 2007
  • Martha Stewart Living, New Plants (NBC) - March 2008
  • Rebecca’s Garden with Rebecca Kolls (Hearst Broadcasting) - 1997
  • The Winter Garden Series (HGTV) - 1999
  • The Secret Garden Series (HGTV) - Spring 2001
  • Beautiful Madness by James Dodson, 2006
  • The Collector’s Garden Book by Ken Druse, 1996
  • The Plant Hunter’s Garden by Bobby Ward, Fall 2004
AUTHOR:  
  • So You Want to Start a Nursery - Timber Press, 2003
  • The Roots of My Obsession (one chapter) - Timber Press, 2012
  • My Favorite Plant (one chapter) - compiled by Jamaica Kincaid, 1998

CONTACT:  

TONY AVENT
Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road, Raleigh, NC 27603
919-772-4794
tony@plantdelights.com
http://www.plantdelights.com