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Dan Hinkley

Image of HinkleyDan Hinkley is a renowned Michigan farm boy, turning into horticulturist who reveals his passion for floral explore in China.

Dan Hinkley is a man who opened Heronswood, his world-famous nursery in Kingston, along with his partner Robert Jones(a Seattle architect).

Hinkley completed his B.S. Michigan State University, Horticulture, Education 1976, and M.S. University of WA, Urban Horticulture, 1983.

Hinkley has turned about 8 acres of rural Kingston wetland into a nursery and woodland garden, in 1987 and sold it to Burpee six years ago.

The largest and certainly most beautiful and diverse horticultural businesses west of St. Louis and east of Japan is the Hinkley's. Heronswood offers some 2,600 varieties of plants that Hinkley and Jones think can survive and offer something special to Pacific Northwest gardens and landscapes.

Nature of Work

  • He wanted to study plants in greater detail.
  • He can see going back to teaching full time, for at heart Hinkley remains an educator, and derives the most pleasure from what he sees on expeditions rather than what he gathers.
  • He treads lightly, leaving the plants where they stand, usually collecting only seed.
  • Back home, he tries to grow these plants in ideal conditions, encouraging, observing, then perhaps writing about the plant.

His Accomplishments

He wrote a book and a number of essays, appearing in the magazines and journals.

  • Heronswood Nursery annual catalog, 25 to 250 pages, 1991 – 2005
  • Open Spaces, Adventures in the Plant Trade, volume 4, issue 4, 2002
  • (Other periodicals on request: American Gardener, Horticulture Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Pacific Horticulture, Seattle Times
  • Pacific Magazine, Gardens Illustrated, Northwest Garden News, Garden Showcase)
  • The Explorers Garden, 1999, Timber Press, fourth printing.
  • Winter Ornamentals, 1993, Sasquatch Press.

His Awards from his contemporaries

  • Rosie Atkins, longtime editor of the award-winning magazine Gardens Illustrated, describes Hinkley as “ the thinking gardener's idol.”.
  • Popular British plant explorer Roy Lancaster says of Hinkley, “He is blessed with a keen eye for a good garden plant that is growing in the wild. But having a keen eye is not enough you also have to get the seed back, propagate it and, most difficult of all, introduce it to the gardening public. Many plant explorers have one of those four skills; Dan has all of them in abundance.”.
  • Hinkley was profiled in The New York Times magazine a couple of years ago. In that article, Hinkley was described as “bearded and balding”.
  • He is an Horticulture Magazine and gardening correspondent to Martha Stewart Living television his friend Martha Stewart in her magazine.

His Recent Awards

  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Award, American Horticulturaql Society, 2006
  • Medal of Honor, Garden Club of America, 2004
  • Marcel Le Piniac Award, North American Rock Garden Society, 2004
  • Scott Arboretum Gold Medal, lifetime achievement award, Swarthmore College, 2002
  • Garden Communicator of the Year, American Nursery and Landscape Association, 2001
  • White Gold Medal, Cleveland Horticultural Society, 2000
  • American Horticulture Society Book of the Year Award for The ExplorersGarden, 1999

His Books

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