Award of Merit

logo2The Award of Merit is the highest honor bestowed by the Perennial Plant Association.  The Award of Merit recognizes an individual(s) who has significantly contributed to the herbaceous perennial plant industry in growing, marketing, contracting, writing, teaching, extension, research, landscaping, hybridizing, promotion, or innovation. This prestigious award is presented at the Perennial Plant Symposium.

See previous Award of Merit winners.


2013 Award of Merit Recipient is Tony Avent

Tony Avent cropped

Avent attained a B.S. degree in horticulture from North Carolina State University where he studied under
J. C. Raulston, foreshadowing his amazing career to come. After completing schooling, Avent eventually start- ed Plant Delights Nursery Inc at Raleigh, North Carolina, and later founded the Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina. The nursery grows and carries a diverse list of plants with unique entries from around the world. For decades Tony has participated in plant explorations around the United States and around the world. Avent is not only a plantsman, he is also a plant expert He is recognized as an authority in the field of horticulture.

Avent is a communicator via television and radio. He has made notable appearances on the many gar- dening shows including Almanac Gardener with Mike Gray, Coastal Gardener with Dave Egbert, Cultivating Life with Sean Conway, Gardener’s Diary with Erica Glasener, Gardener’s Journal with Kathy Renwald, In The Garden with Bryce Lane, Martha Stewart Living with Martha Stewart, Rebecca’s Garden with Rebecca Kolls, The Winter Garden Series, and The Secret Garden Series.

Avent is also sought as an author and lecturer. He has written books or parts of books including My Favorite Plant, So You Want to Start a Nursery, and The Roots of My Obsession, 30 Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden. In addition, Avent’s work has been published by dozens of magazines and newspapers.

Tony has contributed articles to the PPA journal, Perennial Plants. He has offered articles on nomenclature. His articles on assessing vitality of plants and validity of plant derivations have been the basis of greater discussion.

Tony Avent has garnered many other awards and accolades. Among other presenters were the American Horticultural Society and the J.C. Raulston Arboretum.

The Perennial Plant Association is honored to include Tony Avent’s name among its Award of Merit designees. Congratulations!