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
Margaret Gratz writes the “Earth Lady” column for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. In her column, she attempts to educate and enlighten her readers about the wonders of the natural world. For a number of years, she wrote a popular weekly “Wildflower Watch” column about the wildflowers indigenous to her area. Margaret is a regular feature writer for Mississippi Gardeners Magazine and has written for many other publications. She is currently the Garden Editor for Mississippi Magazine.
Margaret is the author of four books, Wildflower Watch, At Home in the Earth Lady’s Garden, Charlie on Safari, and Butterflies, At Home in the Earth Lady’s Garden. She is a Master Gardener and is an active member of the Tupelo Garden Club and the Northeast Mississippi Native Plant Society. She is an avid birdwatcher, gardener, wildflower enthusiast, and artist, and she is in much demand as a speaker for Garden Clubs, Master Gardeners, and Botanical Gardens.
The author has lived most of her life in Lee County, Mississippi and currently resides in Tupelo.
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
Brendon Larson, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and he has degrees from the University of Guelph, the University of Toronto, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. His interdisciplinary research concerns how conservation is changing in this era of widespread human impacts. He has published extensively on topics related to biodiversity and invasive species and has been invited to speak around the world. In 2011, he published his book Metaphors for Environmental Sustainability: Redefining Our Relationship with Nature.
Tom & Nancy McIntyre
Tom and Nancy McIntyre have owned A Daisy A Day Flowers and Gifts in Jackson, Mississippi for 34 years. They dated through high school and college at Mississippi State, taking classes together in floral design, taught by Ralph Null. Their wedding served as a class project!
Tom and Nancy believe in using the freshest flowers and creative designs to keep their flower shop current and growing. Together they teach floral design classes at Millsaps College. Tom has served as president of the Mississippi State Floral Association and the Mississippi Teleflora Unit. They believe it is very important to always keep learning and getting new ideas!
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 a horticulture professor with 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. Dr. Owings has received extension programming excellence awards for the LSU AgCenter, American Society for Horticultural Science, Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association 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
Dr. Terry Rehn, a retired cardiologist, received his medical degree and post graduate cardiology training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Tired of winter and snow he moved to Baton Rouge to start his cardiology practice with Louisiana Cardiology Associates in 1978. He is a Master Gardener and immediate past president of Hilltop Arboretum. His daylily display gardens were one of the featured gardens in the 2011 National Daylily Convention. He has been growing and collecting orchids for over 30 years. He has a special interest in warmth tolerant cymbidiums and teaching others how to grow orchids successfully in the South.
Dr. William Richardson
Dr. Bill Richardson is the LSU Vice President for Agriculture. In this role he provides leadership for the LSU AgCenter which delivers research-based educational information to improve lives and economic well-being through agriculture, natural resources, food and nutrition and youth development. The LSU AgCenter has 64 parish extension offices, 16 research stations and 13 academic departments. He also serves as the Dean of the LSU College of Agriculture, with eight majors and 1300 students. VP Richardson has published 74 journal articles/research papers, 4 textbooks, along with receiving a cadre of awards. A native of Kennett, Missouri, Dr. Richardson received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Arkansas State University and a doctoral degree in agricultural education from the University of Missouri.
Ms. Jenny Wegley
A lover of nature, Jenny grew up in Midlothian, a small town 25 miles south of Dallas, TX. She began cultivating her love for horticulture when she was still in diapers; playing in the flower beds, and most likely eating dirt! She had her first garden at the ripe old age of 3, her first succulent trials at 15, and built her first koi pond at 16. Jenny graduated with a B.S. in Horticulture from Stephen F. Austin State University and started at the Dallas Arboretum in 2009, where she is now the Director of Horticulture, and still playing in the dirt. In 2013, she was recognized as one of GPN’s 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who help determine the future of horticulture. Jenny’s creativity and knowledge of trials has circulated in numerous industry publications throughout her career. This past year, The Dallas Arboretum was dubbed one of the 15 most celebrated gardens in the world by Architectural Digest.