In this issue:
  • A New Native Favorite: Andropogon ternarius 'Black Mountain'
  • Join us in North Carolina for the Perennial Plant Symposium
  • Masses of Grass: Planting Large Groupings of Ornamental Grasses
  • Rain Gardens are a Win/Win
  • How to Make Your Garden Take Wing
  • A Sense of Accomplishment: Head Grower Bill Hall
  • Landscape Journal: Creating Spring Interest
  • Upcoming Events
A New Native Favorite
Andropogon ternarius
'Black Mountain'
Black Mountain Bluestem puts an underappreciated native grass squarely in the spotlight. Andropogon ternarius varies across its natural range, growing up to 5’ tall in some areas. ‘Black Mountain’ has stayed at 3’ or under and is more compact and refined than the species.

‘Black Mountain’ thrives in poor soils that are coarse, rocky, or sandy, and it’s not fussy about pH. It's perfect for tough spots, lending itself equally well to urban landscapes and ecological plantings.

Terry Dalton, Sustainable Landscape Curator at the North Carolina Arboretum, shared this selection with us. Hear Terry's story and find out why 'Black Mountain' is sure to make this native grass a star! 

Quick Facts:

  • Warm season
  • Bluish-green/multi-colored foliage
  • Flowers early fall
  • Height: 1.5’-2’; 2.5’-3’ with blooms
  • Exposure: sun
  • Soil moisture: dry
  • Zones: 6 to 9
  • Origin: Southeastern North America
Join Us in North Carolina
We love the nursery business for many reasons, but the people and the plants are at the heart of it. Put the two together, and you've got the yearly Perennial Plant Symposium.

The tours, presentations, and time spent with experts offer outstanding professional development. It's well worth your time to attend. This year's symposium will be headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is right down the road from us. The tours include a visit to Hoffman Nursery, and we've been sprucing up for your visit.

In addition, we're sponsoring one of the afternoon sessions. It includes talks on plants that work for green infrastructure and using biologicals in the greenhouse. Join us and experience North Carolina horticultural hospitality first hand!

To get more information and register, visit

Early bird discount rates are available through June 1, so don't delay!
Planting Design and Selection
Masses of Grass: Planting Large Groupings of Ornamental Grasses
David Salman is the Founder and Chief Horticulturist for High Country Gardens, a mail-order nursery offering plants for waterwise gardening and eco-friendly landscapes. In this recent blog post, Salman outlines ways to use grasses in large groups. He provides guidelines and suggestions for grasses that work best for formal, geometric groupings and for combinations.

Salman is responsible for one of our favorite grasses, Bouteloua gracilis 'Blonde Ambition', a top choice for mass plantings.
Rain Gardens are a Win/Win

This short and sweet article on rain gardens describes how they work, how to plant, and which plants work best. You can bet grasses are on the list.

Read more
How to Make Your Garden Take Wing
Homeowners are increasingly choosing plants that provide habitat for birds. Little Bluestem, Big Bluestem, and other native grasses provide food, cover, and nesting material. This article aimed at bird enthusiasts outlines native grasses and other plants for bird-friendly gardens.

Articles like these help promote the benefits of plants. See what your customers are asking for.
At the Nursery
Landscape Journal:
Creating Spring Interest
This winter was a long one for many of us, which has made the onset of spring particularly exciting. In this month’s Landscape Journal post, we suggest ways to add interest to the garden when warm season grasses are still dormant or just emerging. Spring flowering bulbs, sedges, and cool season grasses can fill the gap until soil and air temperatures warm and the garden gets going.

Have an idea or question you'd like to see in Landscape Journal? Drop us an email at
A Sense of Accomplishment
Bill Hall brought both a fresh perspective and am experienced eye when he joined our team as Head Grower. Greenhouse Grower profiled him in their "Meet the Grower" segment in March.

As the article explains, Bill added new skills, tools, and experience to his repertoire with each growing operation he joined. His work helped make them more efficient and sustainable. At Hoffman Nursery, he has taken on new challenges that have pushed our already-successful business forward.

He's got a soft spot for dogs, too.

Helping Your Business Grow!
"Y'all are the best vendor I have. Every plant is perfect every time. Never a miss, never inconsistencies. Keep up the awesome work."

-Wholesale nursery owner in Eastern Pennsylvania
Upcoming Events
Hoffman Nursery will be closed on Monday, May 28
in observance of Memorial Day.
June 21, 2018
Raleigh, North Carolina

Each year the North Carolina Green Industry Council (GIC) hosts a water symposium. It features presentations by innovative thinkers, policy makers, and water experts. It offers information about new technologies, innovative water management methods, and ideas being considered for the state’s water policy. Hoffman Nursery is pleased to again help sponsor this year's symposium. We'll see you there for a day filled with learning and networking.
July 14-17, 2018
Columbus, Ohio
Cultivate brings it all together. With over 10,000 attendees, it offers a huge range of options, from educational courses to networking events to a monster trade show. We look forward to it every year. Come visit us and see what's happening with grasses in Booth 3013.
July 30-August 3, 2018
Raleigh, North Carolina
Great times and a host of perennial devotees await you this summer in North Carolina. The Perennial Plant Association's annual symposium is in Raleigh this year is shaping up to be outstanding. The site committee is working to bring you a program filled with compelling tours, talks, and conversations.

It's a chance to learn from experts in the industry and exchange ideas with everyone from nursery owners to landscape architects. Hoffman Nursery will be on the tour, and our team is helping make this a symposium to remember. We hope to see you there!
August 10-11, 2018
Asheville, North Carolina
In their 20th year, the Speaking of Gardening symposium is the place to be this summer. On the agenda are past favorite speakers and brand new faces. This year they're looking back, growing forward, with two days of inspiring lectures on creative design, innovative horticulture, and rare plants. This two-day symposium includes book signings, plant auctions, sponsor displays, lunch, making new friends and catching up with old ones. 

Hoffman Nursery's Shannon Currey will give a talk at the symposium on "New Perspectives in Ornamental Grasses." 
August 16-18, 2018
San Antonio, Texas
Texas loves grasses, and Hoffman Nursery will be there this summer to connect with growers. Hosted by the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association, Expo offers the mores than 6,000 attendees a trade show and sessions with industry experts.

We'll see you there in Booth 4014.
September 17-19, 2018
Erie, Pennsylvania
Registration is open for the 11th Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Get the latest from renowned presenters, best management practices, and field tours. It's a fantastic, multidisciplinary look at our native grasses. 
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