• Gardening Background

  • Biographical Information
    Chris started gardening more than 30 years ago when planting terrariums and growing coleus in coffee cans was the cool thing to do.

    Later, as a Master Gardener she advocated enabling and container gardening for growing vegetables and herbs. In those days, Chris would be found speaking to the Women’s Health Initiative, seniors and veterans groups and at a demonstration garden sponsored by Milwaukee County Extension and a local television station.

    Chris pursued a horticultural education and worked as a private gardener for a hosta enthusiast and hybridizer. In Wisconsin and Ohio, she worked in garden centers, selling plants and talking to gardeners.

    Currently, Chris belongs to the Perennial Plant Association, Garden Writers Association and All Genre Writers Group.

    Past memberships include Southeastern Wisconsin Master Gardeners, Inc. for a time as Program Coordinator. Because Chris loves Hemerocallis so much, for a while belonged to the Daylily Society of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Columbus Daylily Society, in Ohio.

    Writing about gardening; the how-to, make believe and true-life stories remain her passion and payment for living. Zone 5 of south central Ohio, is where Chris and her husband share a home with their dog, cat and gardens.

    “Stay gardening for fun and for life.”
  • My Mulch Profile

  • Website
  • Occupation
    Garden Writer
  • Gardening Ability
    6 - Gardening Professional
  • My 5 favorite plants are
    Each new plant I discover is my favorite. Although coleus and a crown of thorns bush were my very first plants.
  • What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
    That you need a "green thumb" to grow plants; translation, "I really don't want to garden."
  • And, what is the reality?
    If people know, from experience, they do not want to garden. If they can explain why (not necessarily to me,) then usually it is based on some solid well-thought-out reasoning.

    Not knowing how to garden can be easily remedied. Not wanting to garden is more difficult.

    But if one has never been exposed to gardening, and has simply followed societies lead, then I want to have a conversation with that person.

    I work towards a time when the United States is thought of as a place where gardening is the norm not the exception. That growing something is an acceptable part of daily living. I don't think we are there yet, even after all these years.
  • What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?
    Jeans and one of my old denim shirts with a Green Bay Packer logo. I left Wisconsin several years ago but Wisconsin is always in my blood.
  • What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
    I want them to ask me, "Why should I garden?" That little thread starts the conversation. I can talk all day about gardening. Getting people to want to garden is the challenge, as I see it.
  • Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
    Melinda Myers. She was my mentor when I was in school; I know her to be a trustworthy professtional.

    "Right plant in the right place" I learned from her.
  • Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?
    There are many ways to garden - indoors or outside, in garden bed or in containers, perennials, cactus or tropicals. It is all about growing and thriving plants.
  • If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
    That would be a very boring world and unsustainable.
  • What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?
    I try not to remember. There is always something else to grow.
  • What is your favorite time in the garden?
    Early morning, when it is quiet.
  • What is your favorite color in the garden?
    Purple and orange.
  • What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
    Creating potting gardens are my favorite type of gardening. I am an advocate for container gardening because it allows any person to garden, no matter their income, living arrangements or abilities.
  • What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?
    Right now I would say Kingwood Center in Mansfield Ohio. They are a public garden that came out of a private person's vision. Free and open to the public, there is a horticultural library, gardens of all types and plant sales most of the year.
  • What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?
    My parents were my first influences, although I did not garden until I was living a way from my childhood home.

    My primary professional influence has Melinda Myers. She has been my instructor, mentor and friend since being in this garden writing world.
  • Gardening Dilemmas
    The biggest gardening dilemma is trying to grow everything, no matter where one lives.
    It is the human dilemma, always wanting to push the envelope. Except in this case, the envelope is mother nature.
  • What do you dislike most about gardening?
    I dislike nothing about gardening, other than if I could not garden.
    I do dislike the idea that gardening is not in, popular or a modern enough hobby. I think that is a very short sighted outlook.
  • What do you like most about gardening?
    Digging in the soil. It is a comfortable place to be, both my parents were gardeners.
  • Company/Organization
    Freelance - Beside writing for theMulch, my gardenwritings can be found on Suite101.com, Orato.com and in print and on line at Over the Back Fence magazine.
  • Favorite Nursery
    I claim no favorites. No matter where I have lived each plant seller invariably offers unique experiences with different reasons to shop there. Never does a garden center sell all the plants I am interested in or looking for.
    And don't forget the online plant sellers!
  • Cat or Dog person
    Both Cat and Dog
  • Education

  • Favorite Quote
    "Right Plant Right Place"
  • Interests
    Plants, gardening, writing, home & family

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