All-America Selections Summer Summit

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Last Friday we welcomed attendees from around the country (and globe) to Rotary Botanical Gardens as part of the All-America Selections Summer Summit 2016!  Above is the group which included growers, seed producers, horticulturists, botanical garden folks, garden media, etc.  There were some significant VIPs in the crowd and the next generation of growers and horticulturists. They were a fun group and their event went from Wednesday through Saturday morning.  Their visit Friday to RBG included a stop at the Horticulture Center to view our brand new AAS Perennial Trials and then plenty of time in the gardens proper.  We planted over 25,000 AAS winning annuals around our entrance and terrace garden with a collective representation of 100 varieties of these excellent plants.  After cocktails and dinner, an award ceremony was held and I was the emcee for the evening!  Jim Nau (Ball Horticultural Company) won the Medallion of Honor and Janika Eckert (Johnny’s Selected Seeds) won the Breeders Cup Award on Friday evening with both awards being extremely prestigious.  Diane Blazek, Executive Director of AAS, ran a great event and we were honored to be part of the experience for these folks.  I went to this event a couple years ago when it was in Michigan and enjoyed similar experiences and also meeting great people and making new friends.  The networking at these events can never be underestimated.  On Thursday, I was the “bus captain” as the group toured the Madison area to include the West Madison Agricultural Research Station, Epic Systems Campus (Verona) and A.P. Whaley Seed Company (near Mt. Horeb, WI).  The group was also able to visit Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI), Song Sparrow Nursery (Avalon, WI with Roy Klehm) and had many other opportunities for exploration.  What a great Summit and an excellent crowd in which to share what we’re doing at RBG!  Special thanks to Marsha Mood, RBG volunteer photographer, who took and shared these photos!

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West Madison Agricultural Research Station

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Epic Systems Campus (Verona, WI) – above and two below

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A.P. Whaley Seed Company (above and below with tomato tasting)

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Above and all photos below (thanks Marsha M.!) feature the attendees at RBG

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Rachel and Sam (above from Ball Horticultural Company)

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Rob Johnston (founder and CEO of Johnny’s Selected Seeds), Diane Blazek (Executive Director of AAS) and Aaron Whaley (owner of A.P. Whaley Seeds) above (left to right)

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RBG Docent Chuck S. with John (England) and Anka (Germany)

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Jim Nau (Medallion of Honor) and Janika Eckert (Breeders Cup Award)

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vases done by RBG volunteers Magda and Olive with some help from Cindy B.

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