Garden Design

Our readers have been asking for more regionally focused gardening content for decades, but the logistics and pressures of keeping our national magazine as applicable to as many readers as possible had long prevented us from providing as much regional content as we had wanted to for our subscribers. That all changed in 2019 when we launched Fine Gardening All Access. We worked to find expert reporters for 12 key regions around North America who could provide up-to-date and relevant information for their area and share it every month online. We are so excited to partner with these authors to bring you the best regional plant recommendations, design ideas, and technique tutorials for your garden when you need them. Not an All Access member? Sign up here to get all of the information you need to build the garden of your dreams.

Note: Six of our regional reporters are featured below, and we’re working to get introductory videos from the rest over the next several weeks. View everything about your region by visiting the My Region page.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Reporter: Michele Christiano

Michele fell in love with gardening while working in the annuals department at a nursery in southeastern Pennsylvania while pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology. She has worked in public gardens for most of her career, including Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library in Winterthur, Delaware; and Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She is currently an estate gardener maintaining a Piet Oudolf garden. See Michele’s articles.

Northeast Regional Reporter: Matt Mattus

Matt Mattus’s career in horticulture began when he was 10 years old and started to exhibit marigolds in plant society shows. He currently sits on the board of the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts, serves as vice president of the Worcester County (Massachusetts) Horticultural Society, and is the past president of the North American Rock Garden Society. He’s the author of Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening and Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening from Cool Springs Press. See Matt’s articles.

Northern Plains Regional Reporter: Marti Neely, FAPLD

Growing up in a military family, Marti was fortunate to travel to and live in some diverse locations, from North Dakota to Puerto Rico. In her earliest gardening memory, sunflowers were like Jack’s beanstalks reaching into the clouds. Marti is now a Fellow of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (FAPLD), has over 30 years of practice as a residential landscape designer with continuing education in professional courses through various organizations, and has traveled to gardens across the United States, England, and the Netherlands. See Marti’s articles.

Midwest Regional Reporter: Mark Dwyer

Mark’s love of gardening was certainly a gift from his parents. His mother continues to be an active gardener and included him in much of the family’s gardening activity from a very early age. His father, an urban forester, shared his love of trees and outdoor adventures. Mark’s career started in residential landscape design, and he has now returned to that occupation with his business, Landscape Prescriptions by MD. He finds that guiding people in creating beautiful and livable garden spaces and engaging landscapes is very rewarding. See Mark’s articles.

Southwest Regional Reporter: Mark Brotton

Mark G. Brotton is an APLD Certified Landscape Designer with Design Awards 2019–2021 and was honored as one of the 12 Top Landscape Professionals in the United States for 2015 (Total Landscape Care magazine). He owns and operates Living Water, Irrigation, and Landscape based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a landscape design company specializing in water management. His passion for creating and enhancing beauty in the outdoors, while saving water, is supported by over 35 years of knowledge and experience. See Mark’s articles.

Southern Plains Regional Reporter: Kim Toscano

Kim Toscano is a freelance writer and horticulturalist with an eye on design. Formally trained in horticulture, environmental science, and entomology, she is interested in all things edible as well as garden design and landscaping for wildlife. Before establishing a career in freelance writing, Kim served as writer and host for Oklahoma Gardening, a weekly PBS television program produced by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. In this role, she shared her expertise through more than 1,000 video segments covering all aspects of gardening, environmental stewardship, and sustainable living. See Kim’s articles.

Southern California Regional Reporter: Jane Gates

Jane fell in love with gardening as a small child, and her affair with nature has been the driving force in everything she has produced in her life. She has experience in the gardening industry in sales, home gardening, plant breeding, landscape design, and garden writing. Jane is an award-winning landscape designer, writer, and speaker. She is also the owner of Gates & Croft Horticultural Design in Los Angeles and the author of All the Garden’s a Stage: Choosing the Best Performing Plants for a Sustainable Garden. See Jane’s articles.

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