Meet Your Gardening Regional Reporters—Half 1

Meet Your Gardening Regional Reporters—Part 1

Our readers have been asking for regionally oriented garden content for decades, but the logistics and pressure to keep our national magazine as comprehensive as possible has for a long time kept us from the regional orientation desired by our subscribers. That changed last year when we launched Fine Gardening All Access. We have worked to find expert reporters for twelve key regions in North America who can provide updated and relevant information for their region online every month. We love working with these writers to bring you the best tips, plants, and ideas for your garden when you need them. Not an All-Access member? Sign up here for all the information you need to start building the garden of your dreams.

Note: Five of our regional reporters are listed below. We are working to have introductory videos from everyone in the next few weeks. See everything about your region by visiting the My Region page.

Regional reporter southeast: Dr. Andy consoles

Andy grew up in the kindergarten industry in Grand Island, Nebraska. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Science from the University of Tennessee, where he is now on faculty in the same department. His duties include teaching and advising. He also coordinates UT’s Plant Science Bachelor program. In addition, he speaks regularly to different groups and travels a lot to nurture his passion for people and plants. Over the course of his career, he has contributed to a variety of gardening publications and has hosted a garden radio show. He is also an internationally certified arborist. Andy works in a shared apartment north of Knoxville. He is looking for unusual plants for his home garden that stimulate questions from visitors. He and his wife Beccy have two outdoor-loving boys who are always on the lookout for their next adventure. See Andy’s posts.

Mountain West regional reporter: Michelle Provaznik

Michelle discovered a penchant for gardening when she and her husband and friends rented a community garden in Arlington, Virginia. A few years and two states later, she turned her passion into a career by studying ornamental horticulture at Foothills College in Los Altos Hills, California. During her school days, she worked in a local kindergarten, gardened on private property, and practiced in a public garden. Moving back to Colorado introduced Michelle to the challenges of gardening in the mountainside west, where she ran her own horticultural maintenance company for six years and served on the nonprofit board of a developing public garden. In 2008 Michelle became General Manager of Gardens at Spring Creek, Fort Collins Botanical Gardens. Since then, she has expanded the gardens on Spring Creek by building gardens and overseeing visits, programs, volunteers, and partnerships. She looks forward to future programming in the new facility that accomplishes her mission of enriching life through horticulture. See Michelle’s posts.

Regional Reporter for Northern California: Fionuala Campion

Fionuala has loved nature all her life. Her passion for gardening began when she was playing in the gardens of her native Ireland. After moving to California over 30 years ago, she became the owner / manager of Cottage Gardens of Petaluma, a nursery school in Northern California. From this platform she shares her love for growing plants and changing landscapes while continuing to design and maintain gardens for clients. After raising four children with an appreciation for the outdoors and successfully sending them on their way with remarkable weed control skills, Fionuala now lives in the Petaluma countryside with her dogs, chickens, ducks and traditional pigs. See Fionuala’s contributions.

Northwest Regional Reporter: Susan Calhoun

Susan’s horticultural career began with an accountant staring out the window trying to find a way to work outside. After going through a retraining program to study horticulture, she asked an amazing plant grower, Junkoh Hararui, to hire her as a designer. After rejecting her four times, he finally said yes, if only to silence her. She worked at Bainbridge Gardens Nursery for a year and then started freelance work and founded Plantswoman Design. Bainbridge Island, Washington, where Susan lives and works, has a huge gardening community with many wonderful artists and gardeners to work with. “Horticulture is a great place to work because there is always something new to learn, new plants to try, and climate, hardiness and sustainability challenges to keep things interesting,” says Susan. See Susan’s posts.

Southern Plains Regional Reporter: Karen Beaty

Karen is a gardener at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. She works primarily in Luci and Ian’s 4.5 acre family garden, but also participates in land management efforts such as mandatory burns. She received an MS in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BS in Biology from Davidson College. As a fifth generation Texan, she is intrigued by the native flora of the Southern Plains region and enjoys hiking and camping to learn about new plants. Her outside interests also include vegetable gardens, homesteads, and building things with flushed materials. See Karen’s posts.

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