Introduction

My first gardening experience dates back to when I was 3, and I used to run ahead of my Dad’s reel mower “saving” the Johnny Jump Ups from being mowed under.

My  first paying job was also in “horticulture”, when at the tender age of 11 I was paid the princely sum of $1 a week to deadhead my neighbor’s numerous pots of petunias.

I was employed for 5 seasons at Gledhill Nursery in West Hartford, one of Connecticut’s destination nurseries.  While there, I founded their retail water garden department.  I also lectured at Gledhill and wrote 2 email newsletters for them, one exclusively on water gardening, and one on general gardening.

I have lectured at Capital Community College where I offered various one-hour courses on gardening, both at their Hartford campus and throughout the community in conjunction with various towns’ Parks and Rec departments.  I currently lecture to homeowner’s associations, garden clubs, women’s groups, nurseries, and in various special places like Gardeners Supply in Burlington, Vermont and at the Envirothon™

In the past, I have done landscape design and garden coaching  and have advised homeowners on such varied topics as houseplants, pond placement, garden re-design and planting.  I continue to assist my homeowner’s association with aquatic weed control.

Currently I am the  garden columnist for West Hartford Magazine and the Book Reviewer for the Connecticut Horticulture Society, as well as the sole author of this organic gardening blog, “Gardendaze.”

My backyard is certified as a Backyard Habitat by both the Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection (Certification #22) and the National Wildlife Federation (Certification # 34,999).  I have been an organic gardener since 1994.

I am member of the Garden Writers Association, the Connecticut and American Horticultural Societies, the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group, the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation and the Connecticut Orchid Society.  I do my best, whenever possible, to tread lightly on the earth.

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. This has been such a great growing season! For the first time, I feel like I have a green thumb. But now that my garden is more successful, Karla, what do you recommend I do to keep some of this rapid growth at bay? For example, the green stalks on my bleeding heart has gone absolutely bonkers after its blossoming season! How drastically can I cut it back?

    • Joyce,
      First, congratulations on the garden! It’s been a tough year for some with the heat and the dryness so consider yourself quite the success!
      If you have the hybrid bleeding heart (and you’ll know this because it stopped blooming and hasn’t re-bloomed) you can cut it all the way to the ground. These generally go dormant at some point during the growing season anyway and begin to turn yellow–mine already have in fact–so I just cut them all the way to the ground.
      If you have the fern-leaf bleeding heart, these don’t go dormant and they re-bloom, so rather than cutting them back to the ground, you might just want to cut back the outer, woodier stalks a bit–and in the fall, or cooler weather, you can divide them. Happy Gardening!

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