Nationally known plant expert to speak in Loomis

Author Dan Hinkley will give two lectures at High Hand Nursery
By: Gloria Young, Home & Garden
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By Gloria Young Home & Garden A plant expert who has gained nationwide acclaim through his books, articles and television appearances is visiting a local nursery this month. Horticulturist Dan Hinkley, who has won many awards, written numerous articles for national magazines and appeared on Martha Stewart, Nova and other shows, will be at High Hand Nursery in Loomis June 13 and 14. “We’re super lucky,” Michele Parry at High Hand Nursery said Tuesday. “What’s interesting about it is he has crossed over from the horticulture arena into the mainstream with what he does.” Hinkley was previously associated with the now closed Heronswood Nursery in the Pacific Northwest. “It is 15 acres and it is the most beautiful garden in the United States,” Parry said. “He has sold it and is now working on another garden.” Hinkley has gained fame for his worldwide travels in search of exotic plants. He specializes in introducing rare and unusual plants to North American gardeners and, in search of these plants, travels to China, South and Central America, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tasmania and Canada, according to a biography provided by High Hand Nursery. “As with the great plant explorers of previous centuries, what Hinkley brings back from his expeditions may not only enrich our gardens, it may even shed light on the evolutionary relationships among plants,” Parry said in a press release. Locally Hinkley will focus his talks on plants that do well in the foothills’ arid climate. “He’s an exciting person to talk to,” Parry said. “He’s going to be talking about drought-resistant plants, eco-friendly plants and how to use resources well. On Saturday, June 13, Hinkley will discuss “Good Plants for the 21st Century.” Sunday’s lecture is entitled, “Recent Travels — in Search of Good Plants.” High Hand Nursery will have a dinner for Hinkley Saturday evening, where he will sign copies of his newest book, ”The Explorer’s Garden; Shrubs and Vines from the Four Corners of the World. Among attendees will be Nancyjo Riekse, Placer County agricultural marketing director. “Several months ago Scott Paris (owner of High Hand Nursery) told me about (Hinkley’s) visit,” Riekse said. “I checked it out and found he has a great reputation. He’s someone that’s vary rare to come to this area and I’m very excited to see him because of his sustainable practices.” The visit has raised a lot of interest. “We have such a huge garden club group all over the county,” Riekse said. “High Hand Nursery is already a great destination. With (Hinkley) coming, it’s going to make it even better. They’ve done a lot of renovations lately at the packing house, so they’re going to be able to host a lot of people.” Hinkley has written articles for Pacific Horticulture, The American Gardener, Garden Design, The Gardener, Horticulture Magazine, American Nurseryman, Gardens Illustrated, Martha Stewart Living and Fine Gardening. His books include “Winter Ornamentals and The Explorers Garden: Rare and Unusual Perennials,” which received the 1999 Book of the Year Award from the American Horticultural Society. During the weekend visit, High Hand Nursery will have samples of some of Hinkley’s plant discoveries for purchase. Monrovia garden center, which carries Hinkley’s line of plants, will set up a kiosk at High Hand. The plant collection will offer gardeners an early opportunity to buy specimens not set for release until 2010, Parry said. Among the plants is a fuchsia that thrives in the local growing region. “It is one of the most beautiful plants I’ve seen,” Parry said. “(The blooms) look like little pearl-drop earrings.” Another featured plant will be a crimson red fan leaf mukdenia. Tickets are $5 per person for each of the two lectures. Tickets for the dinner are $65 and include an autographed copy of Hinkley’s new book. The dinner will be held in High Hand’s Conservatory restaurant, with a menu featuring produce grown in the nursery gardens as well as other locally produced items, with dishes prepared by chef Randy Kewlier. Gloria Young can be reached at ---------- Author Dan Hinkley at High Hand Nursery 1 p.m. Saturday, June 13 — “Good Plants for the 21st Century.” Cost is $5 per person 11 a.m. Sunday, June 14 — “Recent Travels — In Search of Good Plants.” Cost is $5 per person Dinner with Dan Hinkley at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13, in the High Hand Conservatory. Cost is $65 per person and includes a autographed copy of Hinkley’s new book. Tickets may be purchased online at or e-mail High Hand Nursery is on the grounds of the historic fruit shed site, 3750 Taylor Road, in downtown Loomis.