“Excellently observed,” answered Candide, “but let us take care of our garden.”
I was born in Wilmington, Delaware and grew up in the Brandywine Valley, home to two famous gardens, Longwood and Winterthur Estate. These amazing properties had a huge impact on me. As a child, I was always trying to ‘save’ scruffy-looking plants or design mini garden estates of my own. Growing up, I also loved writing stories. My father’s secretary would type my mini narratives on official office paper and dad would bring the ‘published’ works home for the whole family to enjoy.
Me, in my great uncles’s garden in Worcester, MA
Later in life, I attended Pennsylvania’s Franklin & Marshall College where I majored in French and business. Following graduation, I moved to Paris to work for a Belgian pharmaceutical company (I was the only American!) Living in France and traveling around Europe gave me a whole new perspective on gardens and what they can do for the human soul.
Moving to Washington, D.C. seemed a natural choice after life overseas. My French language skills landed me in the international department of a Georgetown-based public relations firm where I helped create social marketing campaigns targeting problems affecting the developing world.
Me, in Buenos Aires’ El Rosedal
Eventually, I left full-time work to raise three daughters and when they reached their teens, I decided to go back to my ‘roots’ and create a garden. Over 15 years, I gradually transformed a two-acre property in Maryland into a garden paradise of flowering shrub borders, themed perennial beds, an ornamental pond and formal rose garden. My extensive gardens were featured in the local paper. Soon after, I began receiving letters from prospective clients.
In 2014 I opened my gardening business Here By Design. Over the years it has grown exponentially to include clients from all over the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. And my three girls, now in their twenties, each have little gardens of their own.
Late summer garden by Here By Design
In 2016, I became a Maryland Master Gardener and in 2019 was appointed to the Board. Currently, I am a member of the Association for Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) and advisor to a demonstration garden in Montgomery County that draws thousands of visitors annually.
My blog, Here By Design is about gardens and gardening; about living life in harmony with the environment and appreciating the intrinsic beauty of the natural world. It’s an excuse for me to share advice and provide examples of beautiful gardens, sustainable landscapes and of course, garden style. I see notes of the garden everywhere and in all things. I hope, after reading my blog, you will too.
You can also find photos of many of the gardens I have created under My Work on my blog.
To get to know more about me, subscribe below. I post once a week, usually on the weekend.