Guest List is a new 4-part limited series from PlantPop. Join host Brie Arthur and her dinner guests as they share wide-ranging conversations about the world of horticulture.
In this episode, Brie and her three guests discuss their individual experience at Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh. The conversation later moves to a discussion of their opinions on native plants.
Keith mentions his favorite types of people who come to the nursery are the ones who are bent down looking closely at the plants.
“Those are my kind of people because they’re looking very closely at the plants, which means they’re inspecting minute details and you don’t find that kind of clientele in any other nursery.”
Preston talks about how he used to be the weekend waterer at Plant Delights when he was in his late twenties and found that it was the perfect job for an introvert like himself.
“That job was an excellent opportunity for me to be quiet and just walk around and absorb all of these new plants…and processes.”
The group discusses their opinions on Epimedium and Hostas.
Preston says there’s a stark difference in how people view certain plants.
“Gardening from different perspectives has been a challenge.”
Coming back to the conversation about Plant Delights, Keith asks Kata to share how she came to be there from Austria.
“Hosta is one of the first things that drew me to Plant Delights…the very first thing I read about Plant Delights was actually that Tony’s [Tony Avent, owner] really big into hosta breeding.”
They talk about the issues with American native plants. Brie feels very strongly against the narrative of exclusivity.
“Here, I feel like we’ve created a very toxic environment when we have a natives versus ornamentals discussion. In my opinion, it’s completely misguided. If you love plants, you need to love them all…”
Preston agrees and points out that the real argument is native plants versus exotic. It seems like people have comfort in native plants because it signifies that you’re from a specific place rather than being overwhelmed by a global perspective.
“How willing are we to be a global people?”
Brie Arthur is a Horticulturist and Author from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her goal is to inspire people to foodscape their yards, planting fruits and vegetables alongside their ornamentals. Visit her website for more information and follow her on Instagram.
Keith Lukowski, at the time of this recording was the Garden Supervisor and Programs Coordinator at the Juniper Level Botanic Garden. He is now a traveling Horticultural Consultant.
Kata Wallace is currently the Production Supervisor at Hoffman Nursery in Rougemont, North Carolina. Visit the Hoffman Nursery website for more information.