Upon graduating from LSU in Horticulture Trish began her career managing nurseries in Forest Hill and Baton Rouge, La. She then designed and administered estate gardens at White Oak and Bittersweet Plantations for famed chef John Folse. Since 2002 Trish Aleshire has served as Horticulturist and Manager of Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site. She is a member of the Heritage Rose Society.
Mrs. Wanda Chase
Mrs. Chase is the third generation of her family to own and operate one of Baton Rouge’s oldest and largest landscape contracting businesses, Imahara’s Landscape Company. A 1984 graduate of LSU School of Landscape Architecture.. She is a licensed Landscape Architect and past president of the Baton Rouge Landscape Association and the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association.
Ms. Peggy Cornett
Peggy Cornett has worked at Monticello for over thirty years. She began in 1983 as associate director of gardens and grounds, then director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants, and currently as Monticello’s Curator of Plants. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in English and Botany, and earned a master’s degree from the University of Delaware’s Longwood Graduate Program.
Peggy lectures on a variety of garden history topics, writes articles for gardening magazines and professional journals, and edits Magnolia, the quarterly publication of the Southern Garden History Society. She appears regularly on PBS programs, including “Virginia Home Grown” and “P. Allen Smith Garden Home,” and has given radio interviews on stations from Portland to Boston. In 2008 she received the “Flora Ann Bynum Medal” for exemplary service in the field of garden history from the Southern Garden History Society and, in 2016 the Garden Club of American awarded Peggy the Zone VII Horticultural Commendation for her horticultural expertise, generosity in sharing her knowledge, and dedication to the preservation of Thomas Jefferson’s botanical legacy.
Mrs. Margaret Gratz
The writings of Tupelo's Margaret Gratz over the past 20 years have distinguished her as "The Earth Lady" in her hometown, and she is the author and/or illustrator of five books that she hopes will inspire and encourage others to share her appreciation for Mississippi's "natural outdoor treasures" as much as she does. A Master Gardener, Gratz is an avid birdwatcher, gardener, wildflower enthusiast and painter. A "perpetual volunteer," in her Lee County community, Gratz admits she has "no idea" how she has found the time to write a newspaper column, regular magazine articles and four books, plus illustrate a fifth. Her latest volume, "Butterflies: At Home in the Earth Lady's Garden," published by Earth Lady Books, LLC, was released in October 2014.
Mr. Walter Imahara
Mr. Imahara graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette in 1960, earning his degree in horticulture. After serving in the U.S. Army for three years in Germany, he returned home and joined his parents in the landscape and nursery business in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is now retired from a very successful retail nursery and landscape contracting business and is devoted full time to developing the Imahara Botanical Garden. Mr. Imahara resides in St. Francisville, Louisiana.
Dr. Brendon Larson
Dr. Larson is an Associate Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. His research concerns the challenge of conserving ‘nature’ at present given the extent to which it is interwoven with humans. A noted lecturer and author of numerous scientific articles and book chapters, in 2011, he published his book Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability: Redefining Our Relationship with Nature.
Tom & Nancy McIntyre
Tom and Nancy are the owners of A Daisy A Day floral and gift shop in Jackson, MS; voted Best of Mississippi for 7 years in a row.
Dr. Allen Owings
Allen holds a B.S. degree in plant science from Southeastern Louisiana University and graduate degrees in horticulture from LSU and Mississippi State University. As Resident Director of the LSU AgCenter’s Research Station in Hammond, he coordinates statewide AgCenter extension efforts in commercial ornamental horticulture. Allen leads new ornamental horticulture plant trial efforts including annuals, herbaceous perennials, roses, trees and shrubs. He has received extension programming excellence awards for the LSU AgCenter and the American Society for Horticultural Science as well as awards from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. He works with the American Rose Society, Louisiana State Horticulture Society, Louisiana Society for Horticultural Research and other associations.
Dr. Terry Rehn
A retired cardiologist and regular attendee of the Southern Garden Symposium, Baton Rouge resident Terry Rehn is an active gardener whose interests include ferns, orchids, and more. He is president of the board of directors of The Friends of LSU Hilltop Arboretum.
Dr. William Richardson
Vice-President, LSU Agricultural Center
Ms. Jenny Wegley
Senior Manager of Trials & Greenhouse at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX.