Nursery and Staff

Carolina Native Nursery Staff

Carolina Native Nursery is located in Burnsville, N.C. in the Southern Appalachian Mountains 30 minutes north of Asheville and is staffed by a handful of native plant enthusiasts. Established in 2003, Carolina Native grows close to 200 species of Eastern U.S. native shrubs, perennials, ferns, and grasses. We specialize in indigenous Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Mt. Laurels that we grow from seed. Carolina Native’s clients include landscape architects, landscape design and installation firms, independent garden centers, commercial developers, and home gardeners that want native plants for their backyards. In fact, you can find our plants on the Biltmore Estate, in Central Park, on the Mall in D.C., at Monticello, and gardens both public and private from Atlanta to Maine. Plus, our retail area is open Monday – Friday 8:30-5:00 from April 1st through Thanksgiving. Please plan on coming to see us soon. Our staff is ready to help you with all your native plant needs.

Bill Jones, Founder & President

Bill Jones


Bill is President and Founder of Carolina Native Nursery. He is responsible for the great staff at Carolina Native Nursery. Bill resigned from sales and marketing with AT&T in 1991 to be the founder and President of Terra Systems  in Charlotte, N.C. Terra Systems Specialized in organic-based lawn and shrub care services before selling to Scotts. Inc in late 2001.  Bill is a member in good standing of The Sierra Club, The N.C. Nurseryman and Landscape Association, the S.C. Nurseryman’s Association, International Plant Propagators Society, and the Asheville Rugby Club. He has served on the Charlotte Tree Commission, Earthday Charlotte Festival (chairman), the Asheville Tree Commission (chair for 4 years), the Strategic Planning Council for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service for NC A&T University, and the Asheville Civic Center Commission. He has also served on the board of trustees for The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy and Asheville GreenWorks.  Bill founded Carolina Native to aid in the preservation of the plants, birds, butterflies, bees, and the rest of the flora and fauna that make western N.C. one of the truly special places in the world.

Bill lives in Asheville with his wife Jill and sons Will (lives in Atlanta) and Henry (NCSU).

Shelby Singleton Jackson, Horticulturist & Head of Sales

Shelby Singleton


Shelby’s responsibilities include better client relations, increasing awareness of plant availability, and sales. As importantly, her eye for overall plant quality demanded at superior garden centers, high-end landscape design and installation firms, and landscape architects are essential to Carolina Native’s continued success. She joined us in 2010 and became part owner in 2014.

Shelby, a University of Tennessee Horticulture alumnus, came to us after 3 years as Nursery Sales Manager at BB Barns in Asheville. She brings extensive knowledge to our staff in native plants, as they are one of her passions, and also well beyond the shrubs that we currently offer. Her experience besides sales includes speaking and leading seminars, horticultural research in the field and the laboratory, landscape design and consulting. She is an N.C.N.L.A. Certified Plant Professional. She has served on the Hendersonville Tree Commission and is currently on the Horticulture Technology board at Blue Ridge Community College. She also participates on the board for her local greenway, Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway in West Asheville.

Shelby Makes 40 Under 40

Shelby currently lives in Asheville with her husband Jonathan and dogs (Lilly and Pele).

Alisha Conde, Nursery Manager

Alisha Conde: Nursery Manager


Alisha Conde is the Nursery Manager at Carolina Native Nursery. She is an alumnus of Ohio University who earned a B.A. in Applied Plant Biology in 2015. She joined Carolina Native Nursery in the spring of 2019. She spent time in Newport News, Virginia working with native plants as the Horticulture Specialist at the Virginia Living Museum. There she was assigned with growing plants for native plant sales and for enhancing native animal exhibits within the museum. She has also been a landscaper, school garden program coordinator, and an intern at United Plant Savers.

As Nursery Manager at Carolina Native, Alisha is in charge of plant propagation and production, including seed collection and processing, irrigation, I.P.M., nursery personnel, and more.

Alisha moved to Asheville in 2018.

Alisha Makes 40 Under 40

John Benner, Retail Specialist


All of our retail clients have met John Benner. He manages our retail area. John brings over 30 years of garden center experience to Carolina Native. We met John years ago as we made deliveries to Feed Seed in Weaverville, N.C. for their retail and landscaping divisions. He has been with us over 6 years, has done about every job there is to do, now has run of the nursery to bring the best we grow to our retail sales area. He enjoys sharing his extensive plant knowledge with all his clients. Please plan on coming for a visit.

John lives on a small farm in Mars Hill, N.C. with his wife Marie.

Rob Ray, Construction & Assistant Nursery Manager


Rob joined Carolina Native in 2009 and is a native of Burnsville. He is longest serving member of the staff at Carolina Native. Since then, he has been an integral part of Carolina Native’s continued expansion. His responsibilities include greenhouse and cold frame construction, irrigation construction and maintenance, facilities and equipment maintenance, and much more. Around the plants, Rob prunes, is vital in seedling production, aids in development of potting up and other SOP’s, and helps in pulling orders and delivery.




Nichole Melnick: Route Specialist, Bee Keeper

Nichole is the newest member of the team.  She is a transplant from the coast of Virginia after graduating from Old Dominion University in 2014.  She came to western North Carolina in search of a closer relationship to nature and to be part of a community that was focused on preserving the natural world. She took a strong interest in pollinators, joined the local beekeepers association, took classes through Warren Wilson College, and started keeping bees shortly after moving to Asheville. While keeping honey bees is one of her greatest passions, she has a deep appreciation for native pollinators as well and wants to do her part in maintaining a healthy, balanced ecosystem to support and protect them.  Nichole is new to the plant world but eager to plant responsibly and spread the word on how vital and equally beautiful native plants are.  You’ll see her driving around the Carolina Native truck bringing plants to our awesome local garden centers!