Horticulture alum is now an international consultant

Dan Hinkley has collected seed and studied plants all over the world.

Dan Hinkley

Dan Hinkley grew up in north-central Michigan, where he possessed an innate interest in the natural world from a very young age; geology, birds and especially the flora of our region. He earned a B.S. in Horticulture from Michigan State University (MSU) and says "it was a natural fit because of its strong horticultural associations."  

Where did you go after MSU?

I first began teaching secondary vocational horticulture in southwestern Michigan in the late '70s. In the early '80s, I moved to Washingston State and began an M.S. program at the University of Washington.

Following my degree, I taught horticulture at Edmonds Community College while beginning my own enterprise, Heronswood Nursery, devoted to rare and unusual plants, many of which I ultimately had collected by seed in South America, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Nepal, Taiwan, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Mexico and Turkey.

Describe your current work. What keeps you engaged in your work?

I wear many hats. I am currently the Director Emeritus of Heronswood Garden, a public garden now owned and operated by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.

I continue to work as a horticultural consultant with landscape architects and architects on world-wide projects. I am now 20 years into my second garden, Windcliff, on a high bluff above Puget Sound and continue to travel extensively both within North America and abroad in search of plants appropriate for responsible gardening in the Pacific Northwest.

What advice can you give current or potential students?

You already know if you possess a passion for horticulture and the natural world. Follow it madly and take no prisoners in the process. This planet needs to be held by hands that cherish the majesty and magic of the natural world. Take up the mantle and be its champion.

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