She was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, but she now lives in the quaint little historical town of Punta Gorda in Southwest Florida. Before moving there, she lived in Charleston, SC for 10 years.
Her talent for creating unique and beautiful planters and container gardens is awe-inspiring, and her passion for plants is infectious! Read our interview with her below to learn more about her and get inspired for a fantastic 2022 gardening season!
What inspired you to start gardening?
While in college I needed a part time job that was flexible, not too stressful, and outdoors since at that time I was always inside studying, so I got a job as a plant merchandiser for a company that distributed plants to big box stores. I knew a little about plants, being that I was raised with an appreciation for gardening from my mother who inherited a green thumb from her father (my grandfather). It didn’t take long for me to be bitten by the love-for-gardening bug and to discover my own green thumb. My boss would call me to give me the schedule for the next day and my parents would answer the phone and tell her that I had gotten home from work and was outside gardening. I figured out at that point that I had discovered a true passion. When you work all day around plants and then come home and play with your own plants, you know you’re on to something!
Describe your garden.
We recently moved into a newly constructed home, so my garden is a work in progress for the time being. It's mostly container gardens as I've been getting acquainted with the light conditions, irrigation, and drainage. The trees still have yet to fill in, which will dramatically affect the sun exposure in the future. So as exciting as it's been to move into a new home, the garden will have to evolve over time. But, I have about a dozen or more containers of all sizes that I keep planted up. I have a thing for blue, so all my pots are cobalt blue. I find it's an easy color to work with for each season and/or holiday. So far, what I have planted in my beds has been a mix of perennials in blues, purples, and whites.
How have you used Wave Petunias or Cool Wave Pansies in your garden?
I've used Easy Wave petunias and Cool Wave pansies along the front border of my flower beds, spilling over the edges of window boxes, and in hanging baskets. I have found all the varieties of both petunias and pansies to be the secret sauce to many of my designs as they grow so prolific and lush. They really make a statement! Even as a single feature they hold their own as many other annuals just can’t compete in terms of growth, size, and beauty! Some of my favorite colors of Wave Petunias I use often would be... Wave Classic Purple, Easy Wave Lavender Sky Blue, Violet, and Plum Vein. As far as pansies go... my favorites are Cool Wave Raspberry, Morpho, Berries and Cream, and Blue Skies.
What’s one piece of advice you would give a beginner gardener?
My advice would be to spend a lot of time at your local garden centers asking questions, reading labels, and just playing with plants. Be open to asking a lot of questions and don't be shy. Most people who work with plants do so because they love it and therefore love talking about gardening and offering their advice and personal experiences. I always love helping people discover a passion and build the confidence to keep growing with it.
What would you tell someone who has never heard about Wave Petunias?
I'd say you’re in for a treat. They are the spice and the salt and pepper to any garden. They give the greatest payoff and deliver the lush drama and pizazz every garden designer craves.
Do you have any tips for planting window boxes?
My tip would be don't skimp on plant material you use. You want to create interest. Plants are more resilient than you think, and they adapt to their space and environment. Part of the art and care of window boxes is maintaining size, shape, thinning out, deadheading, and even transplanting if need be. You want it to be full enough that it will look good throughout the inevitable change in each plant’s cycle. It's an evolving thing, but you have to treat it as living art. The same as you'd approach a multi-seasonal planned garden bed with different heights, tones, and textures. Layering, placement, and care needs are key to a well thought out dynamic and whimsical design.
What flower colors do you find yourself gravitating toward every year?
I gravitate towards both deep rich and pastel cool colors as I find gardening and being amongst plants calming and peaceful, so I like the colors in my own garden to reflect and encourage that. I tend to use white, purple, lavender, blue, burgundy, and fuchsia type colors in my personal designs. I certainly try to always cater to the needs and desires of my client, but if they give me free range those are the colors I tend to use.
I have two cats that are ragdolls and a dog that's a shih-tzu. Our youngest cat who is 8 months old now named "Dahlia" was the inspiration for me to start my IG page. I had an account I used for my work in the past, and a personal account, but when we adopted her, I wanted to share her cuteness because who doesn't love a serotonin boost brought on by cute kitty pictures? I was inspired to combine my accounts because I have found that most who love plants also love cats, and it just seemed easier and more authentic to do so.
Do you know any gardening jokes? If so, tell us one.
Not so much a joke but a phrase and that is that “there's a fungus among us". This is just something we girls (my coworkers and I) would say when we'd come across a plant with a fungal disease. I always say it to myself now when I come across this, and it just makes me chuckle.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.
Most people don't know that I've been artistic my whole life. Even in grade school when most only knew me as an athlete (also something many don't know) playing basketball, volleyball, soccer, track, and softball, I was also attending private art lessons. I was a fine arts major in college though I later changed my major to art history as I just felt the need to be more versatile with my education. I ended up receiving my B.A in Art History with a Minor in Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design Architecture, Art, and Planning (D.A.A.P). My broad range and knowledge of art theory and practice has certainly helped me in my garden design career.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I'm honored that such a respected and successful brand as Wave has chosen to feature me! Thank you so much!