HalleckLeslie is a Degreed & Certified Professional Horticulturist with more than 20 years of Green Industry experience and many more of hands on gardening. She earned my Masters of Science degree in Horticulture at Michigan State University (MSU). Prior to attending MSU she earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from the University of North Texas (UNT), where my studies focused on botany and plant ecology. Leslie is a Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH) via ASHS, The American Society for Horticulture Science.

Leslie began her career in Horticulture in 1992, where she worked at and helped run a retail plant nursery and also operated her own small gardening business. In December of 1998 she began a position at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (DABS). As Curator of Plants, and then Director of Horticulture Research, her specific activities included the creation of their nationally recognized plant trials program and gardens, design and plant selection for all the display gardens, plant collections management, teaching, and website development. In 2001, Leslie was selected as an All-American Selections Judge and established an official AAS test garden at the Arboretum. She launched Halleck Horticultural in 2000, an independent business through which she now provides consulting services to green industry businesses. After making the decision to move on from the Arboretum in 2003, she spent two years editing and producing an organic gardening magazine, website and forum and working with Roundtree Landscaping in Dallas. In January of 2005 she accepted the position of General Manager for North Haven Gardens, an innovative independent garden center in Dallas, Texas where she spent 8 years managing all aspects of the business.

During her career, Leslie has written hundreds of articles for local, regional and national publications such as Fine Gardening, D Home and Garden, Neil Sperry’s Gardens, Edible Dallas & Fort Worth, Lawn & Garden Retailer, Garden Center Magazine, Greenhouse Management, Produce Grower, and published scientific research in The Journal of Tropical Ecology, The Hosta Journal, Greenhouse Grower and Grower Talks. She currently provides regular print interviews to any number of publications such as The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Observer and more; and also provides regular radio and TV interviews for local media outlets Leslie served for many years as a test gardener for Organic Gardening Magazine and has twice served as an All-America Selections Trial Judge (AAS).

Over the last 23 years she has taught countless classes on a multitude of gardening topics as well as provided professional lectures for larger events and conferences. In 2007, she launched her popular growLively garden blog, where she offers updates on her own garden goings-on plus helpful gardening tips. She is am currently the Editorial and Horticultural Consultant and Contributor for GIE Media’s Greenhouse Management, Produce Grower Magazines and Contributing Editor for Garden Center Magazine.

Leslie is currently the Southern Regional Director for the Perennial Plant Association (PPA), sits on the Gardens & Grounds committee at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society (DABS), is a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) and a certified CPH, Texas Nursery & Landscape Association (TNLA), the Garden Writers Association (GWA), Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), AmericanHort, the American Herbalist Guild (AHG), and twice past president of the Trinity Blacklands Urban Forestry Council (TBUFC).


Marketing your IGC: Defining your identity, developing your brand and spreading the word. In order to differentiate, you first have to find yourself. Once you’ve defined your identity, you need to develop your brand it and brand it well. A solid identity and great branding won’t get you far, however, unless you commit to putting it out there with consistent communication. We’ll discuss how to define your identity and employ creative marketing and advertising strategies to drive traffic.

Restoring the Landscape One Backyard at a Time. Due to concerns over water shortages and wildlife preservation, the demand for native varieties is growing among consumers. Trends in public spaces and landscape design are also shifting. How is your garden center responding to meet these shifts in demand and design? We’ll cover what consumers are looking for in natives and nativars, the latest trends in landscape design and public spaces and how your garden center can meet demand.