My passion for gardening actually started out of necessity. Though I’m related to a few green thumbs, I didn’t have the itch until 17 years ago. My husband, Bill and I built a home in suburban Baltimore on a piece of property that had been farmland. Our new yard was tree and plant free. 142 trees and several beautiful garden beds later I was hooked! The hours spent “working” in our yard are some of my happiest memories of our time there. My passion for gardening, along with the trees and flowers in our yard has never stopped growing.
I’m thrilled to have the time and opportunity to join the NGC. The ladies I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are delightful! And I’m very excited to learn about gardening in SW Florida and get going on my new yard!!
I’ve lived in many varied climate zones- from the cold of upstate New York to the semi-desert/coastal area of Los Angeles, the midcoastal beach of New Jersey, the city of Philadelphia, and now, Naples! Every one of these areas has very different and specific plants, growing seasons, etc…and I look forward to learning about yet another area….so, thank you, NGC, for this opportunity.
My love of flowers and gardening was seeded in childhood memories of standing close to my grandfather as he tended his rose garden. In middle school, I discovered the magic of our neighbor’s flowers blooming throughout every season. I would climb the fence and carefully gather brilliantly colored tulips to take to my teacher. While Miss Geiger was so thankful, my neighbor Mr. Glazer was not. My dream to be surrounded by the sweet smell of various flowers became a reality in high school when I got hired by a florist for the Valentine’s holiday. I didn’t even care that my main job was to remove thorns from hundreds of Valentine’s roses. Thankfully, I became a certified floral designer after 2 years. As an adult, flower gardening became my passion. I am continuing to learn about gardening in zones 4b and 10a. I also was inspired by bouquets of fresh flowers my foster mom got every Friday from Pops. When she died, I began noticing butterflies following me practically everywhere. What comfort they bring! Today, my greatest peace & joy is being visited by the dainty creatures while tending the gardens of my husband I’s butterfly aviary. And… If I am quiet enough, I can hear my grandfather’s voice singing “In the Garden”.
Here it is, very brief…I was born on an island surrounded by hydrangeas, everywhere you looked, so it is my favorite flower. After several years with the Hills Garden club in Wellesley, I have tried to learn more about design, and horticulture. I hope that it can be said that I will be the “most improved” after I take many of the classes that our garden club has to offer. I am looking forward to it. Every week I get some fresh flowers and make a simple arrangement. It brightens up everything.
During my demanding creative and design career in the Northeast, often traveling domestically and internationally, flowers and gardens always brought me a sense of happiness and tranquility. Be it a colorful bouquet purchased on a Friday for my home to signify the start of the weekend, or the first days planting each spring, flowers with nature’s amazing colors and fragrances enhance my life. While not formally trained in gardening or floral arranging, my creative passions and love of flowers have led me to Naples Garden Club, now that I am retired. I look forward to cultivating and nurturing new friendships and my horticulture knowledge as a member of Naples Garden Club.
Born and raised in Washington DC, I enjoyed a long career first as a professional staffer on Capitol Hill and then as the director of a national membership organization focused on responsible fiscal policy. Although I gardened in my spare time, it was not until I retired and moved to Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills that I was able to become a full-fledged garden club member and activist. Although I have held many garden club posts and offices, my passion has been environmental protection – preserving open spaces, promoting native species and curbing invasives, preventing pollution and limiting greenhouse gases. My husband and I moved to Naples in 2017, and the ecology of southwest Florida is a dramatic change from New England. To learn more about it, I am taking the Florida Master Naturalist Program course on Freshwater Systems at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
My love of flowers and plantings has given me great satisfaction over the years. I had the opportunity to join the Northern Virginia Garden Club while living in D.C. suburbs. We made many wreaths for government buildings and landmarks. We also decorated the National Arboretum at Christmas time. My first career was a cosmetologist, and that grew into me becoming an interior designer. Designing my own gardens has always been my serenity. I’ve always had an artistic flair & need to express it. I am very much look forward to working with the array of beautiful, sub-tropical plants and meeting people that I can share my love of all things beautiful.
One of my earliest memories as a child is of my Mother’s deep purple iris lining one entire side of our house. My love for flowers started then.
When I had a home of my own, my “friendship flower garden” was my favorite place. My friends and neighbors were always so generous with their seeds, bulbs, rhizomes, and cuttings allowing me to have a part of their garden, and by extension a part of themselves that I will always treasure!
When I am not living in Naples, Florida (summer months), I reside on a barrier island in New Jersey. Gardening and flower growing is a challenge due to almost constant winds and salt air. Planting sea grass on the dunes to protect us from an angry ocean is a major priority. The garden club to which I belonged always did a Holiday House tour. Over the years, we decorated many beach homes with fresh flowers and cut greens. This is one of my favorite memories of time spent on the island!
I work in our family business every day, but I always make time to learn new things. In fact, I love to learn. Learning forces me to relax and take time for myself. I enjoy taking Gardening, Flower Arranging, Watercolor, Photography, and Cooking classes. I also enjoy Shelling on our local beaches. I have found learning to be the foundation for an interesting and fulfilling life and have gained some great relationships along the way.
The perennial garden in my grandmother’s yard is one of my earliest childhood memories. I grew up working alongside my grandmother and my mother who were both avid gardeners. I learned the love of gardening from them both. Theresa said that she loves pink peonies. She once had a favorite type that she planted along a walk at her home and loved sharing cuttings with friends and relatives.
In high school and college, I worked in a florist shop. I am a retired elementary school teacher. My husband Fred and I lived in Washington DC prior to relocating to Naples. We have family in Columbus, Ohio where we raised our children, and, where we go to visit and attend events. Our children live in Hartford CT, Buffalo NY and Washington DC. We have 3 grandchildren (Riley 12, Cashel 3, Seamus 22 months). Since moving to Naples I have taken up golf. This has been a true adventure since last season was my rookie year. I enjoy yoga, riding my bicycle and riding the elliptical my husband recently bought me. I am very excited to be part of the Naples Garden Club and learn more about gardening in SWFL and developing design skills.
Before we even started our provisional training, Naples Garden Club has had a big influence on me, as I mounted four orchids to a tree on the outskirts of The Brittany property in the latter part of April. They are along a sidewalk I use to walk our dog and to go across the street to our boat, so I call it my secret garden. Now in early August I can see the roots establishing themselves to the wood limb of the tree and two of them have new growth. If they are successful, I plan to invite other residents to contribute their orchids, which have finished their blooms and might be otherwise tossed out. The idea of a garden without digging in the dirt is fascinating to me.
As a single parent, I had to make the decision whether to hire someone to help clean inside or someone to help maintain our 1 1/2 acre yard in Michigan. I chose the cleaning person and proceeded to learn how to drive the riding mower up and down the hill, in the backyard, and, sideways through our roadside ditch. I loved being in the fresh air and the look and smell of a freshly mowed lawn. With my new gained confidence, I progressed to transforming tired old flower beds into fresh perennial havens and have been hooked on gardening ever since. I am excited to be a Naples Garden Club Provisional Member for 2018/2019. This gives me a gardening outlet after downsizing to a postage stamp sized lot in Naples. As my life is transitioning so goes my gardening.
Early childhood memories of gardening remain very vivid. My mother possessed a black thumb, while the adjoining neighbor’s yard was a visual feast for the eyes. Roses of every variety and shade were tended with love while Hollyhocks stood guard. The contrast in yards was staggering. The survivors in our “garden” were a very defiant red climbing rose bush flanked by equally resilient purple irises. Year after year they survived both the New York City winters and my mother’s valiant attempt at gardening. Her children, the neighborhood kids, and a garage basketball net were her greatest joy. As a young child, I was determined to introduce other flowers to those old garden patriarchs. Marigolds grown from seed, given to me by my neighbor, were my introduction to the world of gardening. To my surprise, my thumb wasn’t so black! In the end, all existed in harmony with the basketball, while the perfume of roses filled the air. Sixty-five years later I can still smell those roses.
I’ve learned so much about floral arranging, gardening and horticulture. I have participated in many flower shows and have won some blue ribbons. I look forward to learning about plants and flowers in Florida and meeting new friends. Flowers bring sunshine into your home, especially if you’ve arranged them.
My new passion is painting the sea and landscapes. I am an avid reader and I have started a new book club in the Isles where I live. We enjoy our grandson’s football games in Naples and our granddaughter’s cheerleading for junior varsity. I am also looking forward to learning more about horticulture at the Garden. I am very excited be a new Garden Club member and to participate in all that it offers!!