Growing up in southern California, my biggest influences were my dad and uncle when it came to my passion for gardening. The two of them were always swapping plants or discussing their gardens. As a young girl, I was always wandering through my uncle’s romantic garden in Los Angeles. It was my very own Secret Garden.
Being the third daughter of my family, my father gave each of us girls our own special plot to plant flowers. I had the gladiolas plot, but naturally I coveted my older sister’s snapdragon, carnation gardens, and to this day I exclude glads from my garden. My dad was always playing in his yard, and I was right there beside him. Years later, I learned that my grandfather specialized in raising bearded iris in southern Indiana. I’m convinced gardening runs in the genes.
In my teens, my older sister and I took a horticulture class at the local community college. We were given a large plot for our own vegetable bed. That was the launch pad for my fascination with growing plants. Each home that I’ve lived in I’ve learned to landscape, and thus developed my hobby.
The greatest challenge was moving from zone 9/10 of southern California to Missouri’s zone 5/6. Exchanging loamy soil where rose bushes flourished without much effort to our suffocating clay of St. Louis. I was clueless to the procedure of overwintering my flowers, raising my beds, contending with the elements and the sweet creatures of the woods. Gardening had become a whole new adventure. The excitement of discovering all the new shrubs, trees and flowers drove me on each year to create yet another attempted “Garden of Eden”. I took classes, read books, joined the rose society and clubs, all to educate myself about our zone. After 15 years of living in Ballwin, I’ve shed a lot of blood, sweat, tears and smiles in my garden learning and creating, a never-ending process.
If you were to ask what would be found in my garden, I’d have to say, anything that creates blooms and color. I love flowers. I’ve obsessed over trees, shrubs, roses, hostas and now herbs and perennials. My regrets are that I didn’t raise all of my beds from the start, and that I love flowers that the deer love as well.
I’ve taught piano in my home for many years, and worked at Sugar Creek Gardens since 2006, while raising a family of four boys. Working at Sugar Creek has been a great experience for me. The exposure to our wide selection of blooming perennials has furthered my education in the world of plants. So, if you’d like to meet me, just look for me among the flowers at Sugar Creek and I’ll talk your ear off if you let me.