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SNA News

Welcome to SNA's News Center – designed to provide you with timely and relevant information about the Southern Nursery Association, press releases and industry news alerts.
  • 16 Dec 2014 12:04 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Our Deepest Sympathy Goes Out to the Edwards Family

    We are saddened with the news that SNA Past President Larry David Edwards (71)  passed away yesterday due to complications of a stroke he suffered two weeks ago. David, his son, said he passed away peacefully and for that the family is thankful.

    A celebration of his life will be at The Holden Beach Chapel conducted by Dr. John Gray on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 2:30 PM preceded by visitation from 1:00 to 2:00 in the Fellowship Hall. A memorial service will be held on Friday December 19, 2014 at 1:00 PM preceded with visitation 10:30 to 12:30 at Coddle Creek ARP Church in Mooresville conducted by Rev. James Hunt. A family burial will be in High Point, NC.

    Funeral arrangements are being handled by White Funeral Service in Shallotte, NC; Cook-Cavin Funeral Home in Mooresville, NC; and Cumby Family Funeral Service in High Point, NC.

    Larry David Edwards was born June 1, 1943 to Wilbur and Edna Edwards of Fayetteville, NC. Larry attended Fayetteville High School and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill where he was on the golf team and a big basketball fan. From 1967 to 1970, he was a math teacher at North Mecklenburg High School. Larry and his family founded and have operated Turtle Creek Nursery outside of Davidson for over 40 years. Many organizations have benefited from his leadership including Southern Nursery Association (Pres. 1993), North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Assoc. (Pres. 1986) and Trustee of The Holden Beach Chapel. He was a member of The First Baptist Church of Huntersville, NC and The Holden Beach Interdenominational Chapel.

    Larry served on the SNA Board of Directors from 1989 - 1994, serving as president in 1993. During his administration, he set the goal to increase membership and placed emphasis on marketing by gearing programs to the retailer. He also challenged the board and staff to closely watch expenses and be more conservative, and there were many in-depth discussions on the finances of SNA. Larry brought several ideas to the table for cutting expenses and how generate additional income. A major milestone of the Edwards administration was SNA’s agreement to co-sponsor the annual Southern Plant Conference along with the state association where the Conference was to be held.

    Larry also served five years on the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Board of Directors (1993 - 1997).

    During the six years he served on the SNA board Larry always had the best interest of SNA at heart. We are thankful for his service, his dedication, leadership, insight, and the many words of wisdom he (and Jane) so freely gave to the SNA. He touched the lives of many with his warm and caring personality and he will be missed by all that knew him.

    His term as SNA president is highlighted in The History of the Southern Nursery Association, pages 87-88. This 100th anniversary publication can be found on the SNA website. CLICK HERE.

    Larry is predeceased by his parents, Wilbur and Edna Edwards, and his brother, Joseph Edwards of Fayetteville. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Jane Webb Edwards, son L. David Edwards, Jr. his wife Jennifer, and daughter Mary Ann Edwards all of Davidson. Larry loved his three granddaughters: Sydney, Ashley, and Madison Edwards who all gave him great joy and happiness. He also leaves 5 sisters-in-law Janice Webb Ayers (Bob), Dottie Webb Keever (Jim), Fran Webb White (Lathe), Jackie Webb Lewis (Cal), Mary Webb Marsteller (Doug), and brother-in-law Jim Webb (Marge) and 18 nieces and nephews.

    Larry loved the beauty of nature and growing things. He shared this love and his beautiful plants with many individuals, churches and facilities throughout his life. He was happiest caring for his nursery, his yards and others’ gardens that he blessed with his plants and care. He leaves much beauty for his family to enjoy.

    An online obituary and guest book can be viewed at To view the obituary and/or sign the guest book CLICK HERE.

    Sympathy notes can be mailed to Jane at the nursery at: 

    Jane Edwards
    Turtle Creek Nursery
    12037 Mooresville Rd.
    Davidson, NC 28036

    Memorial contributions may be made to Webb Heart Pillows, High Point Regional Hospital, PO Box HP5, High Point, NC 27261 or to the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization providing horticultural scholarships across the Southeast, and contributions are tax deductible as charitable contributions. For more information contact the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 801513, Acworth, GA 30101, 678-813-1880,,
  • 08 Dec 2014 12:58 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Tracking numerous news articles on the economy and in particular, housing starts, has brought attention to the following article from Business Insider - in their Finance/Markets/Calculated Risks section. 

    The article, titled "America's Future Hasn't Looked This Good In Decades", contains numerous sources and 7 charts of indicators. It is very bullish on the US economy moving forward toward a long-term growth era. It is encouraging for all of us in the horticulture industry. To read the full story CLICK HERE.

  • 02 Dec 2014 5:19 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The Department of Horticultural Science and the College of Agriculture and Life Science are pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Weathington as the new Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum. Mark has a long horticultural history, officially starting in the field in 1991 as Assistant Manager for Laurel Creek Nursery. He received his BS in Horticulture and Sociology from Virginia Tech in 1995 and his MS in Horticulture from Virginia Tech in 1999. Mark’s public garden experience commenced in 1996 as a Horticulturist for Atlanta Botanical Garden. In 1999 he joined the Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia, as Director of Horticulture and Facilities for the 155 acre garden. In 2007 Mark was appointed Assistant Director of the JCRA with a wide range of duties including curating collections, writing grants, and assisting in the Arboretum administration. Mark is a frequent and popular speaker, professing his love of plants and horticulture. 

    The JCRA is a nationally and internationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants for landscape use in the Southeast, especially in the area of woody ornamentals. The JCRA is well known for plant introductions and innovative programming and outreach.

  • 19 Nov 2014 10:15 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has partnered with Meritus Payment Solutions to offer members exclusive pricing and reduced rates for payment processing services. Meritus Payment Solutions is the trusted global payments partner. With a client-first mentality, Meritus provides SNA members with global payment solutions that include mobile, credit and debit cards, Automated Clearing House (ACH), and more. SNA Members also benefit from proprietary products, such as Internet-based payment platform, Payment XP, Recurring Billing Manager, and advanced reporting tools. Meritus was built on a foundation of excellence and strives to shape the payment processing industry.

    "In researching various payment processing programs in an effort to save on the costs of payment processing I found Meritus to be the most competitive and offer the most savings. I received very positive references and feel confident that this relationship will not only offer savings to the association but to our members as well," Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President, stated.

    Meritus will be contacting SNA members in the coming weeks to introduce the new program and talk about the savings they can offer.

    Learn more about Meritus Payment Solutions at 

    Watch for more new SNA Members programs in the coming weeks!

  • 04 Nov 2014 4:30 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The National Garden Bureau is sponsoring a fundraiser for Growing Solutions Farm, a vocational therapy garden for young adults with autism in downtown Chicago. Just recently, they found out that they are one of four non-profits eligible for a grant from Toro lawn equipment. They applied in September and were notified a few weeks ago that they are one of the four finalists. You can help them reach their goal by voting online on the Toro Facebook page. Click on the “Green Spaces make Great Places” post or tab and click on the video titled “Growing Solutions Farm” then vote. No registration is required nor do you have to like the Toro page. It’s one simple vote.

    Top vote getters will receive the $7,000 grant. Second place votes will receive $4,000 and third and fourth vote getters receive $2,000 each. Of course, they will be thankful for anything they get but $7k would certainly go further than $2k.

    And remember, you can vote once per day! Even better, after you vote, share the link on your company Facebook page, your personal Facebook page, and forward this information to your friends and family to multiply the impact!

  • 04 Nov 2014 3:31 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA),  has announced the selection of Corey Connors as its new executive director.  Connors will fill the vacancy created by Ross Williams’ retirement, December 1, 2014.   The selection was made after a national search and selection process by NCNLA. 

    “We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” reported Michael Dickey, President of NCNLA. “Corey will bring leadership and vision to NCNLA’s programs and a deep sense of commitment to serving the green industry. His successful experience serving national trade associations as an advocate and coalition builder will guide NCNLA into a new era of service to our members.”  

    Connors served as Director of Legislative Relations for the American Nursery & Landscape Association from 2007 – 2010. In that capacity, he worked closely with state nursery and landscape associations across the country including the NCNLA. He provided leadership for many important regulatory and legislative issues through the ANLA Lighthouse Program. Since 2011 he has served as Senior Director of Government Relations for the Society of American Florists. His primary responsibilities at SAF have included advocacy and outreach, coalition development, and strategic planning. He created and managed the coalition to develop and support legislation addressing ACA compliance issues for highly seasonal employers and chaired the national Main Street Business Coalition. Connors received his Master of Arts degree from George Washington University and Bachelor of Arts from Clarion University. 

    “I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with North Carolina’s nursery and landscape industry again. I look forward to working with our dedicated volunteer leaders and staff to tell this industry’s great story: the products and services that NCNLA members provide offer far more value than meets the eye. They are essential investments that provide cost-effective, meaningful solutions to the consumer.”

    The North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA) represents growers, landscapers, retail garden centers, suppliers, horticulture students and educators. NCNLA’s ultimate goal is to benefit its members’ economic, professional and personal growth. More information about NCNLA can be found at

  • 22 Oct 2014 3:23 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA) announces special features and highlights for the 2015 Green & Growin’ Trade Show, the largest green industry event in the southeast! It is the first show of the year, taking place January 5-9, 2015, in Greensboro, NC. This is one week earlier than its normal time, as Green & Growin’ and MANTS have switched weeks for 2015 only. The trade show includes over 400 exhibitors featuring nursery and greenhouse plants, equipment, and allied supplies; the show also features over 100 education classes!

    NCNLA will welcome John Kennedy, with Kennedy Consulting, as this year’s keynote speaker. Join John as he walks you through the process of strategic planning, change management, and creates your very own roadmap for the next year ahead.

    In addition to NCNLA’s two-day 2015 Green & Growin’ Trade Show (January 8-9), it’s unique three-day Education Conference (January 5-7) will highlight classes, seminars, & workshops from top industry educators and other NC green industry associations, including a Hispanic education track – taught in Spanish. Attendees will also be presented with a variety of opportunities to earn professional green industry credits, certifications, & licenses during the week, such as “Energy Saving Landscape Certification” and CEU’s for pesticide, irrigation, landscape architect, and arborist licenses.

    You don’t want to miss the “New Products Showcase", featuring the hottest new plants, equipment, and supplies for 2015. Also, Check out the NEW event this year, "Show Floor Demos", where exhibitors will teach "how-tos, tips, and tricks" for featured industry products & equipment. Both events will be held on Thursday and Friday during the Trade show (January 8-9).

    Registration is now Open! To register today, please visit:

    If you would like additional details about attending or exhibiting at the 2015 Green & Growin’ Show, please visit:

    The North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA) represents wholesale growers, landscapers, retail garden centers, suppliers, horticulture students and educators. NCNLA’s ultimate goal is to benefit its members’ economic, professional and personal growth. More information about NCNLA events and membership can be found at

  • 09 Oct 2014 10:56 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    John Hoffman, president of Hoffman Nursery, Inc., received the 2014 Service Award from the Perennial Plant association (PPA). The award was presented at the 32nd Perennial Plant Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio in July.

    The award recognizes a PPA member who has contributed considerable time and effort to the organization and has demonstrated leadership and outstanding service.

    Hoffman served as PPA President from 2009-2011 and was active on the membership committee for several years. He represents PPA at PLANET Student Career Days and will continue to be involved with promoting the organization. Hoffman was previously recognized with an award for Outstanding Service as President and Director of the Southern PPA Region in 2013.

    According to Hoffman, “PPA is filled with great people from all walks of life who share an enthusiasm for plants. I love plants, and being with people who share that love is just plain fun. PPA is a great experience for anyone devoted to horticulture.”

    John Hoffman started his horticultural career in design and installation in 1981. Through this work, he developed a passion for ornamental and native grasses. In 1986, John and his wife, Jill, founded Hoffman Nursery, Inc. in Rougemont, North Carolina. They supplied ornamental grasses to what was then a niche market. With the increased popularity of grasses, the nursery has expanded to include a production facility with automated mixing and potting equipment and over 60 cold frames and hot houses. They ship ornamental and native grass liners to wholesale customers across North America.

    Hoffman joined the Perennial Plant Association in 1997 and has developed an extensive network of friends and colleagues through the organization. John’s work with the PPA exemplifies the nursery’s commitment to horticulture and to promoting community service. The Perennial Plant Association is composed of growers, retailers, landscape designers and contractors, educators, and others that are professionally involved in the herbaceous perennial industry. It strives to promote perennials and serve as a definitive source of information for education.

  • 10 Sep 2014 11:12 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Jay Streck, Twin Branch Nursery, Woodstock, GA and Stanley Kirby, Bowsmith, Inc., Avon Park, FL are the lucky winners of an iPad! 

    Jay won an iPad mini in the SNA 2014 Pre-Registration Drawing for registering to attend SNA 2014 before the pre-registration deadline on July 18. His name was entered in the drawing along with nearly 1,000 others that pre-registered for the event. 

    Stanley Kirby won an iPad Air in the SNA Mobile App Drawing for downloading the new SNA Mobile App and checking in at all of the SNA 2014 sponsor booths participating in the program. 

    The new SNA Mobile App was rolled out just in time for SNA 2014. The new SNA Mobile app features a directory of exhibitors, news feeds for everything SNA, marketing messages and videos, instant coupons and as an added bonus, a plant database from MasterTag. 

    This cutting edge technology was developed by Sunrise Marketing to provide a look at the future of retailing with Apple's new iBeacon technology, epunched mobile app and more - all designed to create a more rewarding shopping experience and help you engage your customers.

    More information on the SNA Mobile App

    More information on Sunrise Marketing

  • 27 Aug 2014 2:47 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    As bee death and colony collapse remains in the mainstream media headlines with much controversy of the cause, it becomes imperative that we all support saving our bees. Whether the bee decline is due to pesticides, decline in food sources, stress, or other factors, we can all do our part to help raise awareness – and even raise bees!

    Although most of the focus has been on honey bees, we all know that other bees also play a vital role in the pollination of our food supply. A program, recently awarded The Garden Center Group's Retailers' Choice Award™ was discovered at the 2014 Farwest trade show in Portland, Oregon. 

    Dave Hunter, owner of Crown Bees sells both spring mason bees and summer leafcutters for pollination of fruits, nuts vegetables and plants. To help wholesale clients sell bees and bee products, the company developed an innovative marketing program to create awareness and drive customers to their stores. It includes a win-win for wholesalers, landscapers and their customers. 

    The Crown Bees retailer program includes:

    1. Advertorials: Crown Bees helps prepare articles for the local newspaper under the client’s name, not Crown Bees. Submit the article about the value of gentle bees for pollination, and how the nursery or landscaper is participating.

    2. In store marketing:

    Cross selling signage reminding customers to buy bees to pollinate their newly purchased fruit tree.

    Colorful end cap signage and display ideas are also available.

    A buying guide helps the customer select products for their gardens and yards.

    3. Events: Excellent opportunities exist to bring customers into the store.
    Hold seminars on the value of bee pollinators. Host one for spring mason bees and later one for summer leafcutters. These coincide with the purchase of fruits, vegetables and plants.

    Book a speaker from the company’s developing speakers bureau, or have a staff member make a presentation using a free speakers presentation.

    Conduct a bee harvesting party in the fall for customers to harvest their bees.

    4. Bee BuyBack Program: Today, there are not enough mason bees to pollinate commercial food crops. To increase the population, Crown Bees buys excess bees from gardeners who are successful raising bees for their own use. These bees will be rehomed in other gardens and on farms for commercial growers. This is one solution to protect the food supply.

    “Selling an unknown product is challenging," Hunter said. "That’s why we take a team approach to working with our wholesale clients. We want them to be successful selling gentle-natured bees and bee products. In turn, we want their garden customers to succeed in raising bees for food and plant pollination. The more successful we all are, the more we can ensure a sustainable food supply for the future,” he added.

    Hunter noted that bees pollinate 1/3 of our food. Solitary gentle bees are an efficient supplement to the troubled honey bee. In fact, one mason bee can pollinate 12 lbs. of cherries, a task that requires 60 honey bees.

    Crown Bees also offers a New2Bees Mini Course designed to get you quickly buzzing with success in raising the following amazing pollinator bees: spring mason bees, summer leafcutters and eastern states bumble bees. It includes 9 short lessons. After that, use our monthly Bee-Mail for reminders on what to do when. Crown Bees makes it easy for us all to be a part of the solution in increasing the bee population.

    Dave Hunter founded Crown Bees in 2008 to introduce gentle-natured mason bees to gardeners and nurseries. Their mission is to supplement the declining honey bee and protect the food supply. Delivering quality products and great service wasn’t enough. In order to help nurseries sell this little known, but amazing bee pollinator, Crown Bees developed an innovative nursery marketing program. As Dave says, nurseries don’t have to be experts. It’s Crown Bees job to be the experts, and to lend support to help nurseries and their customers be successful.

    For more information on Crown Bees visit

    To create a free account to access the wholesale area of the website go to: Use registration code "gentle".

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