William A. McNamara
2019 Show Judge; President and Executive Director, Quarryhill Botanical Garden
William A. McNamara, President and Executive Director of Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen, California, has devoted his career to discovering, researching, protecting, and promoting plants in North America and abroad. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975 with an English degree he spent a year visiting gardens and botanizing in remote natural areas around the globe, discovering that the flora of Asia that most captivated him. McNamara settled in Sonoma, California, where he established Con Mara Gardens, a residential landscape contracting business that he successfully ran for 16 years. In 1987, he became an assistant director at Quarryhill Botanical Garden, a private research garden in Glen Ellen, California, that specializes in displaying plants from temperate East Asia. McNamara rose through the ranks, becoming director in 1994, and today he is its executive director and president. In 2005 he earned a Masters degree in conservation biology at Sonoma State University. Bill McNamara has been honored with two of the top three awards in the field of Horticulture in 2017— the Veitch Memorial Medal from England's Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award from the American Horticulture Society (AHS). Bill had previously received the Award of Excellence from the National Garden Clubs in 2013, the California Horticultural Society Annual Award in 2012, the Scott Medal and Award from the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College in 2010, and the Garden Club of America’s Eloise Payne Luquer Medal in 2009.
How the Modern Rose Came to Be: The Unique Influence of China’s Wild Roses
Wednesday, February 20 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: The Trials and Tribulations of Plant Hunting
Thursday, February 21 at 1:00 pm / Rainier Room