Pat McCracken’s passion for plants started at a very young age. He still remembers all of the plants in the garden he moved from when he was five years old. He followed his love of plants by getting a BS and MS in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design at the University of Tennessee and has worked in the nursery industry for over thirty years. He as an extensive background in research, plant propagation and production and has used this knowledge to build his own nursery. Pat has an insatiable desire for collecting plants and has been collecting plants most of his life. The collections have changed over the years but have included huge numbers of African Violets, bromeliads, arid plants, tropical plants, Japanese maples, magnolias and Camellias. His current collections of many thousands of rare and unusual plants is planted on about five acres on his farm is Zebulon, North Carolina. Pat has travelled to fourteen countries in pursuit of new plants for his collections. Additionally he has found many new mutations and unusual seedlings that he has propagated and evaluated for landscape worthiness and has a special fondness for variegated or golden plants. He also has an active breeding program for Hibiscus, Southern magnolias, Cytisus, and Camellias. In his spare time he loves to cook and does pottery.