I have a Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from the University of Delaware.
My career has spanned almost every aspect of gardening, garden design and teaching folks how to garden with plants – especially natives. I’m the founder and now team partner in Plants Nouveau, LLC. a new plant introduction company based in Charleston, SC. I travel around the World searching for new plants to introduce. I have always had a passion for new plants and selecting the best new plants is what I do best.
Plants Nouveau allows me to take everything I’ve learned (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and apply it to introduce plants the way I think they should be introduced.
The motto of Plants Nouveau is “Responsible introductions. Making tomorrow’s gardens possible”
Plants Nouveau is know for it’s wild and colorful marketing. Wild and colorful for sure, yet very thoughtful and jam-packed with information to help growers and consumers succeed with our new plants.
Plants Nouveau is the fashionista of the new plants world.
Before embarking on my own, I managed the staff and development of ½ of the collections at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC, as well as their Elite Plant Introduction Program. I also curated the Introduction Garden.
I was a perennial buyer/grower for one of the largest retail garden centers on the East Coast, Homestead Gardens/Growers, in Davidsonville, MD.
For three years, I managed the Plant Introduction Program for Chicagoland Grows®, Inc. This was the plant introduction program of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum.
I served an even longer term as the Director of New Products for one of the largest wholesale nurseries on the East Coast, The Conard-Pyle Co, where I learned from the best.
I also worked with the horticulture staff in Baltimore City to design gardens in public spaces. My most recent design achieved lots of press because it was a 2200 square foot vegetable garden (that’s about twice the size of the one at the White House) in front of City Hall that supplied a local homeless shelter with fresh vegetables and herbs all summer.
When I’m not working way too many hours or traveling around the World looking for new plants, I spend time studying and planning for our brand new our 3/4 acre trial garden on the north shore of Massachusetts. I enjoy spending time with my husband Andrew, soccer and lacrosse star son Keegan, my incredibly fashionable and all-knowing daughter Eleanor (Ella).
One more thing…I also serve as the conference Director for the annual Native Plants in the Landscape Conference held at Millersville University each June. That keeps me grounded in ecology, current environmental issues and feeds my soul each year with my adoration of U.S. native plants.
My career has taken me around the world. From evaluating the scents of fragrant roses in the south of France to botanizing in the Karoo of South Africa and back to the woods of rural West Virginia. I’ve experienced world famous gardens and hiked through remote areas looking for new ideas and exciting plants. And even though my husband is licensed as an attorney who knows very little about plants or gardening (he’s learned a lot though), he supports my habit and loves doing manual labor on the weekends.
He’s also the genius behind the curtains of our smashing internet presence and success! I don’t know what we would do without him.
He’s the drive behind our popular weekly e-letter and social media presence. If you have not signed up for The Weeding Gnome, please do. It gives insight into the workings of new plant introduction. It also allows me to rant on a weekly basis about how stupid and behind the times our industry is and to opine about all else that irritates me.
Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and by all means, please become a fan of Plants Nouveau on Facebook too. You can live vicariously through my travels and frustrations with life and the nursery industry on a weekly basis.
It’s all good therapy.
I love my family, traveling, music, red wine, good beer, collecting garden gnomes from around the world, vacations on the beach in Mexico and my very soft, cuddly puppy, Frothy Brown Porter (Porter or Po-Po for short) who’s named after a tall, frothy pint of one of my most favorite beverages.
Let us not forget Violet Beauregard (Violet or Vi-Vi for short), our other dog whose “a little bit crazy” and if you know me, you’ll know she’s named after a precocious character in one of my all time favorite movies, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory – both old and new versions. Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp are both amazing in their own ways.
President, Plants Nouveau