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You have cancelled the PayPal payment option which means that you will pay by check.

Please send your check payable to "NARGS - Piedmont Chapter" along with a copy of the first page of the e-mail you receive from the Registrar to: 

Bobby Wilder
2317 Elmsford Way
Raleigh, NC 27608-2065

We look forward to seeing you in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina in November.


Other Things to Do While You Are Here

Public Gardens

There are a number of outstanding Public Gardens that you can visit during your trip to North Carolina. Described below are several exceptional public gardens in Piedmont of North Carolina that can be visited on your own schedule.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Located at 420 Anderson St. Durham, N.C. on the campus of Duke University. It is 55 acres of landscaped and woody areas. There are 4 distinct areas: the Historic Terrace garden, the HL Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, the WL Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, and the Doris Duke Center Gardens.

North Carolina Botanical Garden

Located at 100 Old Mason Farm Rd. on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC. As one of the largest natural botanical gardens in the Southeast, its mission is to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants and to advance a sustainable relationship between people and nature. The display gardens feature native plants, herbs, natural habitats, children’s wonder garden, nature trails, outdoor sculptures, plant sales, and a gift shop.

JC Raulston Arboretum

Located at 4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh, N.C., the 10 -acre JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University is a nationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants adapted for landscape use in the Southeast. Plants especially adapted to Piedmont North Carolina conditions are collected and evaluated in an effort to find superior plants for use in southern landscapes.

Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden

Located at 215 S. Main St., Kernersville, N.C .in the historic district. It opened in 2011 with 7 acres under development and 15 gardens showcasing 1300 different kinds of plants. The purpose of the garden is to achieve education, passive recreation, and the cultivation, display, preservation and conservation of garden plants. It is to be a living classroom, civic gathering space, and a place of beauty.

Greensboro Arboretum

Located at 401 Ashland Dr., Greensboro, N.C. in Lindley Park. It is 17 acres featuring 14 plant collections that offer rich educational opportunities for everyone.

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

Located at 3395 Airport Rd., Pinehurst, N.C. It was established in 1978 with the creation of the Ebersole Holly Garden. Today with 32 acres, there are gardens of diverse designs including the natural environment of the North Carolina Sandhills.

Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden

Located at 348 Ridgewood Avenue, Charlotte, NC. The house and garden were the home of celebrated garden writer and plantswoman Elizabeth Lawrence from 1949 to 1984. The Elizabeth Lawrence Garden is the most intact and best preserved work of Miss Lawrence and played a central role in two books that are considered classics in garden literature: The Little Bulbs: A Tale of Two Gardens, published in 1957, and Gardens in Winter, published in 1961.

Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Located at 206 Ridgewood Avenue, Charlotte, N.C., Wing Haven was begun in 1927 by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson, it is a historic garden cultivating sanctuary in nature, environmental stewardship, and the legacy of southern horticulture. It is one block walking distance from the Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden.

UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden

It is located on the UNCC campus at 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, N.C. Begun in 1966, its ten acres serve as a living classroom and horticultural resource for the campus and community.

Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at High Point University

The Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, is a collection of 25 gardens on the campus. The arboretum contains 350 taxa of trees and 2500 different plants. The gardens include roses, herbs, azaleas, bulbs, perennials, woodland ephemerals, a lake, shade and sunny borders, and a sculpture garden.

Other Activities in Durham and Raleigh

November is a great time for outdoor activities in central and coastal North Carolina. Typical highs in mid-November are in the mid-60s with lows in the 40s. Fall leaves are normally at their peak color in the Raleigh - Durham area during early November but can be later depending on the weather. 

Durham has a unique mix of rich history, pioneering achievements, and diverse culture. Visit the Duke Homestead where Washington Duke began a tobacco empire or Brightleaf Square's shopping district. Check out Durham's Visitor's Center for many more places of interest. Other noteworthy places to visit include:

  • Durham Performing Arts Center

  • The Nasher Museum of Art

  • Bennett Place State Historic Site

  • Duke University Chapel

Raleigh, the state capital, is more than the seat of state government. The North Carolina Museum of Art, located near the JC Raulston Arboretum, has a new Sculpture Park with trails and a huge collection of art work. The History Museum and Natural Science Museum, both in downtown, offer interesting and informative exhibits on the cultural and natural history of North Carolina. Other places to visit include:

  • The Executive Mansion

  • Mordecai Historic Park

  • Umstead State Park

  • State Farmers' Market


Thank you for your registration and payment by PayPal.

You will receive a receipt for your payment by email from PayPal.

We look forward to seeing you in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina in November.


Travel Planning and Meals

The Sheraton Imperial Hotel will serve as the host for AGM activities. It is located midway between Durham and Raleigh, North Carolina, at 4700 Emperor Blvd., Durham, NC 27703. It is located on I-40, exit 282 (Page Road). It is approximately 150 miles northeast of Charlotte, NC and 270 miles south of Washington, D.C.

Airline and Train Service

Raleigh/Durham International Airport (RDU), is served by 9 airlines. It is located 4 miles from the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. The Sheraton shuttle provides free transportation between the airport and the hotel. For those wanting to fly home on Sunday evening, the Sunday tour buses should be back to the hotel by 4:00 pm.

The conference has been designed to minimize the need for a rental car. However, if you want to do some independent sightseeing in the area, car rentals are available at the airport.

Amtrak train service is available from Charlotte to Raleigh on the Piedmont Line and from New York to Raleigh on the Carolinian Line. The Sheraton Imperial Hotel is 18 miles from the Raleigh Amtrak station and 10 miles from the Cary Amtrak Station. You will have to hire a taxi to get to the Sheraton Hotel.


Sleeping accommodations have been reserved at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel at a block rate of $109 for a single king bed or two full beds (excluding taxes). Rooms may be reserved at this rate using this weblink from 1 day prior to the meeting (check in November 16) and 1 day after the meeting (checkout on November 20). Unreserved rooms may be released back to the hotel on October 14. Rooms can be reserved on Tuesday night (November 14) for participants on the pre-AGM native plant tour for $149 using this weblink. Hotel reservations can also be made by calling the hotel at 919-941-5050 or Sheraton’s Central Reservations at 800-325-3535. The hotel provides free shuttle service between the hotel and airport, as well as to nearby restaurants.


The conference registration fee includes receptions on Friday and Saturday night, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday, dinner on Saturday, and snacks on Saturday during the presentations and on Sunday during the tours. The Friday reception and Saturday dinner will highlight local food specialties. Wine, beer, and mixed drinks will be available for purchase during the evening receptions and dinners, but are not included in the registration fee. Additional information about meal options is provided below. Attendees can pay to bring a guest to the evening activities. Please indicate your food preferences on the registration form.

Saturday Lunch

The Saturday lunch has two entrée options:

  • Salad with grilled chicken or
  • Vegetarian lasagna

Saturday Dinner

On Saturday night, three entrees options are available:

  • Grilled marinated turkey tenderloin with sweet potatoes and seasonal vegetable,
  • Roasted pork loin with garlic roasted red potatoes and seasonal vegetable, or
  • Napoleon of grilled vegetables and brown rice pilaf.


Two breakfast options will be available each morning. The meeting registration fee includes a continental breakfast on Saturday consisting of muffins, bagels, banana bread, and coffee or tea. On Sunday moring, coffee or tea will be available prior to boarding the tour buses; while on the buses, greek yogurt, muffins, fresh fruit, and assorted cold beverages will be available. If you want a wider variety of breakfast options (e.g., made-to-order omelet, bacon or sausage, waffle), the hotel's restaurant is available for purchase.

Sunday Lunch

On Sunday, a lunch consisting of sandwiches, garden salad, chips, fresh fruit, cookies, and a drink will be provided. Snacks and water will also be provided during the Sunday tours.



Pre-Conference Activities

We are planning a small-group tour of native flora in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain on November 15-16 and garden tours on November 17.

Coastal Plain Flora Tour on Wednesday and Thursday

On the Wednesday and Thursday, there will be a pre-conference tour of native plant communities in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. The tour will be led by Dr. Larry Mellichamp, who has led multiple botanic tours throughout the Carolinas (including the tours of the Appalachian Mountains following the 2004 and 2013 AGMs). Dr. Mellichamp is nationally known for his knowledge of the flora of the southeastern U.S., was Director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens for 39 years, and has authored several books, including Native Plants of the Southeast published by Timber Press in 2014.

Locations to be visited during the tour include the Green Swamp Reserve, Lake Waccamaw State Park, Carolina Beach State Park, and Jones Lake State Park. Flora that we should see includes late-flowering Pine Barrens Gentian (Gentiana autumnalis), Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), Pyxie-moss (Pyxidanthera barbulata), various pitcher plants (Sarracenia spp.), and several ferns. We are also expect to see Coastal Fothergilla (F. gardenii), Coastal Azalea (Rhododendron atlanticum), Swamp Azalea (R. viscosum), Honeycups (Zenobia pulverulenta), Coastal Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia), Southern Sheepkill (Kalmia carolina), Dwarf wax-myrtle (Morella pumila), Long-leaf Pine (Pinus palustris), and many other coastal shrubs of pocosins, wetlands and forests. The flora is among the most diverse in North America. The flowering season will be over, but the specimens will still be quite evident, especially their habitats and associations. We should also see some extraordinary fall colors among the wetland shrubs if the weather has been right. There will be opportunities to collect seeds from “not-in-preserves” roadside habitats as well as purchase plants from a local native plant nursery if there is interest.

Enrollment in the tour is on a first-come basis and is limited to 36 participants. The tour will leave from the Sheraton Imperial at 8:15 on Wednesday morning, November 15, and will return to the Sheraton on Thursday evening, November 16. All the locations are relatively flat and hiking conditions are relatively easy, but depending on weather conditions may be muddy. Bothersome insects should be at a minimum. The cost of $300 per person includes transportation, snacks and drinks during the tour, and overnight lodging (based on double occupancy, $345 for single occupancy). Meals will be at local restaurants, with food selection and payment by each participant. You can register for the tour using the AGM registration form (Current Status: Full, Accepting requests to be 'wait listed')

Garden Visits on Friday

On Friday, we will operate shuttle buses for NARGS attendees who are interested in visiting Juniper Level Botanic Garden & Plant Delights Nursery, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden. The current plan is for the buses to go to Juniper Level and Plant Delights in the morning (8:30 – 12:00) and to Duke Gardens and NCBG in the afternoon (1:00 – 4:30). The buses to Juniper Level and Plant Delights will allow participants to spend roughly 2.5 hours on-site. The buses to Duke Gardens and NCBG will allow participants to spend roughly 1.5 hours at Duke Gardens and 1.0 hours at NCBG. The fee is $25 per person for morning or afternoon transportation or $40 for both. The service depends on having at least 10 people sign up for each trip. (Current Status: Full, Accepting requests to be 'wait listed')



Books and Reference Materials

A Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia by Bruce A. Sorrie. Southern Gateway Guides, 2011.

A Garden of One's Own: Writings of Elizabeth Lawrence - by Barbara Scott and Bobby J. Ward (Editors), UNC Press, 1997

A Rock Garden in the South by Elizabeth Lawrence, edited by Nancy Goodwin and Allen Lacy. Duke University Press, 1990.

A Year in Our Gardens by Nancy Goodwin and Allen Lacy. UNC Press, 2001.

Chlorophyll in His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador by Bobby J. Ward. BJW Books, 2009.

Gardening in the South by Mark Weathington. Timber Press, 2017.

Looking for Longleaf: the Fall and Rise of an American Forest, by Lawrence S. Earley. UNC Press, 2004.

Montrose: Life in a Garden by Nancy Goodwin, Duke University Press, 2005

Native Plants of the Southeast by Larry Mellichamp. Timber Press, 2014.

No One Gardens Alone: a Life of Elizabeth Lawrence, by Emily Herring Wilson. Beacon Press, 2004.

Plan - and Plant for a Better World: J. C. Raulston and the North Carolina State University Arboretum, Molly Renda (editor), NCSU Libraries, 2016.

Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style, by Joseph Tychonievich. Timber Press, 2016.

Snowdrops: a Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus, by Matt Bishop, Aaron Davis, and John Grimshaw. Griffin Press, 2001

The Natural Gardens of North Carolina (2nd Edition) by B. W. Wells. UNC Press, 2009

Wild Flowers of North Carolina (2nd Edition) by William S. Justice, C. Ritchie Bell, and Anne H. Lindsey. UNC Press, 2005

Wildflowers and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont: A Naturalist's Guide to the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia by Timothy Spira, UNC Press, 2011



The conference is being planned by members of the Piedmont and Southern Appalachian Chapters of NARGS. Key individuals involved with conference planning include:

Conference Coordination: Amelia Lane, Bobby Ward, and David White.

Garden Visits: Bobby Ward

Meals, Transportation, and Website: David White

Registration: Bobby Wilder, David Duch, and Karen Duch

Speakers: Bobby Ward

Tours: Tom Harville and Charlie Kidder

Vendor Sales: Elsa Liner, Amelia Lane, Tim Alderton, and Bobby Ward



AGM Program

The AGM program includes a welcome reception and introductory presentation on Friday night; followed by five presentations during the day on Saturday; and a dinner, awards ceremony, and presentation on Saturday night. On Sunday, participants will visit Montrose, Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery, and the JC Raulston Arboretum. During the visits to Montrose and Plant Delights Nursery, participants will have the opportunity to purchase plants.


Tim Alderton – Horticulturist at the JC Raulston Arboretum

Tony Avent – Internationally known plant explorer, hybridizer, and speaker; owner of Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden

John Grimshaw – Internationally known plantsman, author of Snowdrops: A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus, and director of the Yorkshire Arboretum, Castle Howard, England

Larry Mellichamp – Author of Native Plants of the Southeast, former Director of the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Garden, and Immediate Past President of the North Carolina Native Plant Society

Jeremy Schmidt – Grounds and research staff, Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Andrea Sprott – Curator of the Elizabeth Lawrence Garden in Charlotte, NC

Joseph Tychonievich – Author of Rock Gardening: Reimagining a Classic Style, editor of NARGS Rock Garden Quarterly

Bobby Ward – Author of multiple books, including Chlorophyll in His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador


Montrose is nationally known for the multiple woodland and sunny gardens that Nancy Goodwin has developed at this historic site. The mail-order nursery operated by Nancy that specialized in hardy cyclamen and other unusual perennials closed in 1993 so she could spend more time working in the garden, but she still propagates plants for sale to garden visitors. Of special note for AGM participants is the collection of fall-blooming bulbs and perennials, especially the large drifts of Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus (the bloom time varies depending on the weather).

Plant Delights Nursery is one of the best known mail-order nurseries in the U.S. Critical to PDN’s success are the plant research and propagation activities at Juniper Level Botanic Garden, where over 22,000 plant taxa are being evaluated for garden worthiness. Many of these taxa are the result of Tony Avent’s numerous collecting trips and plant hybridizing activities, and include almost 500 taxa suitable for rock gardens (the plant photos in the scrolling banner at the top of this page are examples of these plants and have been used with permission from PDN). Of specific interest to NARGS members are the multiple display gardens, one of which is a recently installed 250-foot-long crevice garden.

JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University is nationally acclaimed for its large and diverse collections of plants that are suitable for landscape use, primarily in the southeastern U.S. The mission of the arboretum is to introduce, display, and promote plants that diversify the American landscape. Of specific interest to NARGS attendees is the crevice garden and troughs that are part of the roof-top garden and the xeric scree garden funded partially by NARGS’s Norman Singer Endowment Fund.

Sales and Raffles

Plant sales: There will be no plant sales at the Sheraton. However, participants will be able to purchase plants at Plant Delights Nursery and Montrose during the tours on Sunday. Plant Delights will also be open for sales on Friday morning.

Books and Signings: There have been a number of books written on the flora of the southeastern U.S. that are of interest to attendees. The authors of several of these books will be available during the meeting to sell and sign their books.

Raffle and/or Silent Auction: On Friday and Saturday evening we will raffle plants, books, and other garden related gems.

Schedule Overview

Friday, November 17

10:00 am NARGS AdCom Meeting

12:30 pm Registration desk opens

1:00 pm NARGS Board of Directors Meeting

3:00 pm Chapter Chairs Meeting

7:00 pm Reception and Book Signing (heavy hors d’oeuvres, cash bar)

8:00 pm Welcoming Remarks and Presentation

Early arrivers can go on your own to any of the public gardens listed on the Public Gardens page of the website or make a shopping visit to Plant Delights Nursery on Friday morning. Rather than arranging your own transportation and tours, you may want to sign up for the shuttle bus described on the Pre-Conference Activities page of the website.

Saturday, November 18

7:30 am Continental Breakfast (coffee, tea, morning breads and pastries)

8:15 am to 4:30 pm Speaker Presentations (break for included lunch)

6:00 pm Reception and Book Signing (cash bar)

7:00 pm Dinner

8:15 pm NARGS Announcements and Awards

8:30 pm Presentation

Sunday, November 19

7:30 am Coffee and Tea

8:10 am Depart for Garden Tours (breakfast included)

12:00 am Lunch (lunch included)

4:00 pm Return to hotel (transport to airport provided)

More detailed schedule information will be provided to attendees by early September.


Contact Us
  1. Piedmont NARGS
    3 Ontario Ct
    Durham, NC 27713
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The 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) will be in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and is being hosted by the Piedmont Chapter. The AGM will explore the past, present, and future of rock gardening in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S.

The meeting is being held in November to see the amazing drifts of fall-blooming snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus) and other bulbs at Nancy Goodwin’s garden at Montrose; to see Tony Avent’s Juniper Level Botanic Garden (and its recently installed crevice garden) and to shop at Plant Delights Nursery; and to see the plants and gardens at the JC Raulston Arboretum. It will be an opportunity to learn about and see other outstanding gardens. The Triangle Area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), North Carolina, has a rich history of outstanding gardeners, including Tony Avent, Nancy Goodwin, Elizabeth Lawrence, William Lanier Hunt, and J. C. Raulston.

The conference includes outstanding speakers as well as visits to some of the area’s best gardens. In designing the meeting, we have minimized the hassle and expense associated with renting a car or hiring a taxi. The host hotel - the Sheraton Imperial near the Raleigh-Durham (RDU) airport -- will provide free shuttle service between the airport and the hotel. In addition, transportation will be provided for the garden tours.

The AGM will include a welcome reception and presentation on Friday evening, November 17; a full day of presentations on Saturday, November 18; and tours to three gardens in the Triangle area on Sunday (November 19). Additional activities include an optional pre-conference, two-day guided tour of botanically interesting natural areas in North Carolina's Coastal Plain on November 15 and 16, and optional visits to public and private gardens in the Triangle area on November 17.

Please use the Menu bar on the left side of this page to explore the website . It will be updated as details are finalized. To register for the conference, go to the Registration page. Registration will be limited to 120 participants. We hope you will join us!




Please use this on-line form to register up to two NARGS members living at the same mailing address, or for a guest to attend the evening meals and presentations.

Fees: The Conference Registration Fee includes all programs, transportation, and food on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday. If you are not currently a member of NARGS (the national society), you will need to join to attend and can do so while registering for the conference. The pre-meeting tour of coastal plain flora and the garden shuttles on Friday are additional.

Registration for current NARGS members - $325/person
Registration plus one year NARGS membership - $365/person
Guest: Friday reception and evening program - $40/person
Guest: Saturday dinner and evening program - $55/person
Pre-Conference Trip on November 15-16 - $300/person double occupancy, $345/person single occupancy
Garden shuttle on morning or afternoon of November 17- $25/person
Garden shuttle on both morning and afternoon of November 17- $40/person

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Hotels: Make hotel reservations directly with the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. See the Accommodations page of the website for details.
Pre-Conference Trip on November 15-16: See the Pre-Conference Trip page of the website for additional information. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to 24 people. If the trip is full when you register, you can indicate if you want to be added to the Standby List.
Payment Choices: The preferred payment option is via NARGS PayPal portal using either a PayPal account or credit card. However, you may pay by check if you prefer. With both payment options, you will be sent an e-mail from the Registrar detailing your registration.

If you chose to pay via the PayPal portal, you will be redirected to PayPal after you hit the “Submit Form” button.

If you chose to pay by check, close the PayPal page after you hit the “Submit Form” button. Send your check payable to "NARGS - Piedmont Chapter" along with a copy of the first page of the e-mail you receive from the Registrar to Bobby Wilder, 2317 Elmsford Way, Raleigh, NC 27608-2065.

There will be a processing fee of $25 for cancellations received by October 15, 2017 and a $100 fee for cancellations received between October 16 and November 8, There will be no refunds for cancellations received after November 8. For questions, send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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