GWA Annual Symposium
Valley Forge, PA .
August 25-28, 2006

August 26th it was up early to attend breakfast and learn about what was new from All-America Selections. All America Classics and the 2007 AAS Winners were introduced during breakfast. AAS will be celebrating their 70th Anniversary in 2007. Then William McDonough, Keynote Speaker, Sponsored by Longwood Gardens. William McDonough is an internationally renowned designer and a primary shaper of what he and his colleagues call “The Next Industrial Revolution.” He has set new standards for design quality, environmental sensitivity and functional effectiveness. His numerous honors include the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor and Time magazine “Hero of the Planet.” He is coauthor of the best seller Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. It was a fantastic presentation with a standing ovation. Then it was off to different sessions running at the same time – you can pick and choose which ones you want to attend. Then it was off to our Story Tours…Our story tours began with a box lunch on the way to Conard-Pyle Nursery. The Conard-Pyle Company/Star Roses. A star is never born overnight. As in the case of Star® Roses, it takes years of nurturing and some guidance from Mother Nature for a rose to survive and prove itself a star. Each year the plant experts at The Conard-Pyle Co., one of the largest growers in the US, agonize over which old standards to discontinue and which wonderful new plants will emerge as stars. From hundreds of thousands of crosses to a few hybrid seedlings, how do they know which new varieties to pursue and take to market? During our visit to Conard-Pyle’s trial gardens and 375-acre facility, we saw first hand how one of the largest breeders in the world selects and takes its roses, hollies and woody ornamentals to market. We had a rare opportunity to be part of the evaluation process by going out in to the trial fields with an evaluation pad in hand. Breeders explained what they wanted from a plant and how these selections are meeting the demands of today’s consumer. Since its founding in 1897, The Conard-Pyle Co. has evolved from a retail mail order firm specializing in roses to a wholesale container nursery, growing a wide range of woody ornamental plants. As one of the pioneer container growers on the East Coast, Conard-Pyle grows more than 5 million plants in its Pennsylvania and Maryland nurseries.

We then enjoyed an incredible wildflower meadow as we drove over a hill above the Brandywine River and arrived at a house reminiscent of the Cotswolds. Bill Frederick and Rosemary Verey each played a part in designing this unique country estate, from a Sweet Gum allee inspired by Hidcote, to Ms. Verey’s sunken vegetable garden and formal double perennial borders. Windmill Hollow - It was hard to imagine this garden is not yet ten years old. This property is a true love of the owners and it was the first time they opened it to such a large and public group. It was like being in England! Then back to the exhibits and reception and the rest of the evening was free.







  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row