“As a kid I drank from the garden hose and it wasn’t until later that I realized my father put fertilizer through it, so I feel like I was raised like a plant!”, says Master Gardener Instructor Carl Herbison.
Carl started life being born only 200 feet from the greenhouse that started his father’s nursery business in 1953. Carl knew at a young age that he wanted to be involved in the nursery and was willing to help his father anytime he was not in school. After being released from the Army, Carl purchased the one greenhouse nursery from his father and in a few years Carl expanded the nursery to 9 industrial sized greenhouses, a sales yard, a retail store and a full sales & landscaping staff.
Carl says he always felt like he was teaching someone, whether it was an employee, speaking at an event, speaking at a trade show / garden show or instructing a customer how to properly care for the plants they had just purchased. In 1998, Carl decided it was time to start teaching full time. Since then Carl has taught at Universities, libraries, agricultural centers, written magazine articles, sat on the board of many non-profit gardening organizations, organized plant sales to raise money for non-profits and even started his own non-profit called Gardening Partners.
Carl has received countless awards some of which include an Honorary Degree from the University of Tennessee, acknowledged as a Master-Master Gardener of Tennessee, and the award Carl holds closest to his heart – awarded a silver spade from Tennessee Technology Center for his extensive effort in teaching and starting the Gardening Partners. The silver spade can be seen in the Carl’s Garden episodes, but Carl says he will never dig with it.