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Tony Avent is the owner of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tony founded this nursery to help fund the activities of Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, a display and research garden with over 11,000 plants. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Tony was a student of the late horticulture professor J. C. Raulston, who instilled in him the quest for the newest and best garden plants from around the world.
Tony is well known as a lecturer and garden writer and recipient of prestigious awards from the American Horticultural Society, the North American Rock Garden Society, and the North Carolina Association of Nurserymen, to name a few.
He was originally drawn to horticulture by a quirky combination of genes. Tony actually began selling plants when he was a young kid, so selling plants as an adult seemed natural to him. He quickly realized that starting a nursery was the best way to cover the costs of plant addiction without having to get a real job. "It's sort of like a gambler opening a casino or a car buff opening an auto repair shop," says Tony. Tony is a lighthearted garden genius who tired of letting Mother Nature put him in his place.
"Nurseries are for people who want to be in a business that embraces gardening, [and] enriches peoples' lives, while controlling their own destinies ... as much as Mother Nature will allow."
Tony Avent runs his nursery, Plant Delights, together with his wife, Michelle; they receive help from their cats Diamond, Pearl, Ruby, and Zirconia.
Books by Tony Avent
So You Want to Start a Nursery by Tony Avent