Mid-Atlantic Editor

Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association
Barbara Martin

Mid-Atlantic Editor

Barbara Martin
South Central PA

Echinacea in my perennial garden

My favorite shade plant has got to be hosta. Their leaves come in many shapes and colors.

I love ornaments such as gazing balls and benches.

Tuberous begonias are beautiful planted in containers hanging on a deck.

Barbara Martin's love affair with home gardening began nearly 20 years ago with zinnias and baseball-bat-sized zucchinis in a tiny backyard plot. Now she has a sprawling country-style cottage garden in Pennsylvania complete with marauding woodchucks, poison ivy, and "about a million" plants. This rambunctious garden alternately delights, amazes, and overwhelms her.

Barbara has gardened all her adult life - first and foremost as a hobbyist and now as a professional. Over the years, she has designed gardens for herself and others in six states, most recently through a prominent Harrisburg area nursery and in private practice. She has worked for retail nurseries and an organically-oriented small market garden. She has worn many hats from chief weed puller to propagation expert to salesperson to designer.

Barbara began to enjoy gardens as a child when she visited Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia, although her childhood memories are primarily of the koi pools there. As a teen, she rambled through the arboretum in Nairobi, Kenya, finding it a calm and peaceful place. Later, as a college student, she spent a semester teaching outdoor education in the woods of New Hampshire. As a graduate student, she admired the Joshua trees in Arizona.

Much of her gardening knowledge is self-taught, but she has some formal training, too. Barbara studied at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., the USDA Horticulture Certificate Program, and Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Now Barbara occasionally sits on the other side of the desk. Her most recent gardening presentations and lectures for garden clubs, garden festivals, Harrisburg Area Community College and the Pennsylvania State University Extension Garden School have covered topics ranging from the principles of garden design and landscaping, to planting herbs and perennials, to gardening with Xeriscape techniques.

Barbara has also been publishing her own weekly Internet Cottage Garden Web site since early 1997, www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/cottage_gardening


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