I have a confession to make. I am 100% addicted to plants. Members of my family have attempted interventions, but they finally realized the futility of their efforts and caved in to my obsession.
As a long time gardening enthusiast, I am passionate about sharing my love and knowledge of plants with anyone who will listen. Having recently retired from my advertising business, I am now fortunate to be able to focus more time on gardening and helping others achieve their Dream Garden.
As a member of the Board of Trustees for Symphony New Hampshire it was great fun to have my garden featured in both the 2016 and 2018 SNH Garden Tours!
There are only a few weeks during the year when I’m NOT thinking, planning or actively involved in gardening, for myself or for others. From April to November, the majority of my human interaction involves plants and the topic of gardening. It’s so bad that I can barely have a conversation without injecting a gardening reference, metaphor or analogy!
Friends and family are now accustomed to my obsession with gardening books, gardening shows, and gardening movies. They have come to expect to both give and to receive gifts of gardening tools and paraphernalia for birthdays and at Christmas. From April to November, the majority of my human interaction involves plants and the topic of gardening. It’s so bad that I can barely have a conversation without injecting a gardening reference, metaphor or analogy!
From growing seeds indoors for spring planting to over-wintering tender container plants in the living room, under grow lights in the basement, and in the corner of the garage, (and leaving very little room for my Mini Cooper), my obsession knows no bounds. By early April, I can NOT contain my excitement as Spring arrives in our New Hampshire garden. The snow Gods may curse us still with a bit of the white stuff, but I am undeterred in my race to “get ready for Spring!!”
Years ago in a different career in the investment sales business, I built an entire training presentation using gardening as a metaphor for cultivating client relationships - complete with diagrams of plant root systems! I explained how annuals with their shallow root systems and a single season of life were like shallow client relationships – easily uprooted! But perennials, with their deep roots and year over year “returns” were like clients who had purchased multiple types of investments from us and therefore were more likely to keep us as their financial advisers. So, my professional advice to my team mates was “become a perennial gardener!” Perhaps not the perfect analogy for my audience, but it sure made sense to me!
passion boils over
This addiction simmered for decades but didn’t reach Code Red levels until about 2010 when our daughter left for college. Faced with “empty-nest” syndrome, I threw myself into the garden for solace. I needed something to nurture, and the garden became my “happy place”.
I still had to keep my thriving advertising business (I had left my financial services career by then) to pay for said child’s college education, but the garden was never far from my mind. And, happily, I was able to move my “office” to the back patio and work among the plants, pollinators, birds and critters. I highly recommend this office environment to maintain sanity.
university of trial and error
While largely self-taught through trial and error over many years on the same property, I also completed the NH Master Garden Program in 2008. In 2016, I had the pleasure of attending a Master Class in Garden Design at the amazing Chanticleer garden in Philadelphia, where our award-winning UK instructor, Annie Guilfoyle, encouraged us to take risks, think big and be bold!
My extensive experience with hundreds of species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, trees, bulbs, climbing vines and annuals allows me to quickly identify the perfect palette of plants for your garden sanctuary. I like to say, “I’ve made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to!”
a family affair
As you’ll discover while perusing pages of this website, I am a fanatic about abolishing pesticides in the garden. And I have a special love for pollinators, especially our dozens of species of native bees.
Luckily, my husband, Dave, shares my love of the little guys and is helping to promote their habitat with a variety of bee hotels. He’s even become accepting of the annual ritual of shrinking our lawn in favor of larger and larger garden beds. What a guy!! He now asks if I’ll be sure to buy more plants for pollinators when heading out on my many shopping excursions.
Unless there’s a torrential downpour, you can usually find me (with Harry the cat sleeping in the sun nearby) deep within one of my perennial gardens, primping the hundreds of specimens, talking to the bees, and coaxing the plants to "be the best that you can be!"
We welcome visitors who would like to get ideas for their own gardens, learn more about the importance of biodiversity and native pollinators, or to just share notes about their favorite plants for the southern New Hampshire climate.