One of the first interns at what was then known as the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society.
I am an organic gardening coach, holistic landscape designer, workshop speaker, and Build-A-Garden Party™ host.
Here, I'll share with you my colorful journey so you'll know if I'm the right one to help you with your journey. I look forward to meeting you!
I started loving plants thanks to my grandmother (who grew pecans, loquats, figs, persimmons, strawberries, and vegetables) and my mom (who grew a jungle of exotic houseplants and landscape ornamentals), both in Houston. On my own, I loved exploring the native plants on the woodland trails along Greens Bayou.
My professional adventures began with a Bachelor's degree in horticulture from Texas A&M University. Right out of college, I was one of the first interns at the fledgling Dallas Arboretum. A chance meeting with a volunteer there led me to a five-year position as the environmental educator for over 400 students at The Lamplighter School. I was the farm and garden teacher for students in kindergarten through 4th grade. It was kind of a dream job! I grew plants with kids in a greenhouse, developed curriculum, and supervised the seniors with their farm animal chores.
For further adventures, I moved to New York City and became a forest restoration technician in the Bronx and Manhattan, for a grant-funded project called Urban Forestry and Education Program. Yes, there are forests in The City! Next, I became the supervisor of volunteers for Central Park Conservancy. Many of these volunteers said they credited their sanity to their 843-acre "backyard" and the chance to garden there. I loved working with them and working in the jewel of New York City.
Back in Texas, I worked with the education department at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. I led Little House Children's Programs. I helped coordinate public tours and public education. I learned so much about native plants here. Plus I had the honor of meeting the esteemed First Lady!
At The Natural Gardener in Austin, I served thousands of gardeners and farmers as diagnostician, educator, and staff trainer. This is my "alma mater" of organic gardening education, and my home for over 18 years.
After making the big move to Michigan, I had the pleasure of reestablishing an adult education program at MSU Tollgate Farm in Novi called Evenings in the Garden. I coordinated and hosted this popular series for over two years.
I am always a student - of life and nature. My continuing education includes working on my own homestead, learning more about Michigan native plants, permaculture design, botany, environmental education, regenerative agriculture, and personal development.
Overall, I have more than 35 years’ experience and training in a broad range of horticulture, and over 25 years' experience teaching children and adults. I am so grateful for where my journey has taken me and where I am today.
I created New Earth Home and Garden to share my love and experience of organic gardening and holistic landscaping with Southeast Michigan citizens, and to bring the joy and science of nature to audiences everywhere.
Thank you for reading about my journey.
Please contact me if you would like to begin the conversation about your outdoor environment or your group's educational goals. I look forward to meeting you and being of service to you, your family, or your group.
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