Lead designer/Owner, NW Bloom, Mill Creek, Washington nwbloom.com
Jessi Bloom is an award-winning ecological landscape designer, professional horticulturalist, and certified arborist. She is lead designer and owner of N.W. Bloom—EcoLogical Landscapes, known for innovation in sustainable landscape design, construction, and maintenance. Bloom is committed to educating others and now spends much of her time teaching, consulting, and speaking nationwide in addition to designing landscapes.
Her best-selling book Free-Range Chicken Gardens has been praised for being informative and inspiring and for changing the way people integrate animals into their landscapes. Her work has been recognized and awarded by the Washington State Department of Ecology; the American Horticultural Society; Pacific Horticulture magazine; Sunset; the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association; and the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals. Bloom lives north of Seattle with her sons on her permaculture homestead.
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Author, Tomatomania, A Fresh Approach to Celebrating Tomatoes in the Garden & in the Kitchen, Ojai, California tomatomania.com
Avid gardener, sometime farmer, and enthusiastic landscape designer, Scott Daigre is happiest when showcasing rare and classic tomato varieties as owner and producer of Tomatomania, the world’s largest tomato seedling sale. The multi-day phenomenon that is Tomatomania started in Pasadena in the 1990s and includes classes, sales events, tomato tastings, and impromptu social gatherings at popular nurseries and gardening hotspots. Out of this extravaganza emerged Tomatomania, the book. In this practical and fun guide, Daigre offers the reader a peek into his Ojai tomato patch and a “reality gardening” approach to growing the world’s favorite summer treat.
As a fourth-generation citrus nurseryman, Aaron Dillon is proud to carry on his family’s tradition of providing customers with high-quality, disease-free citrus trees for use in any landscape setting. (Dillon’s great grandfather, Floyd Dillon, founded Four Winds Growers in 1948.) Since 2002, Dillon has helped expand Four Winds Growers’ offerings to include a wider range of edible fruit trees, bushes, and vines for sustainable and productive landscapes, big or small.
Dillon completed his M.A. in Geography with a concentration on Environmental Planning and Resource Management at San Francisco State University in 2013. After that, he spearheaded Four Winds Growers’ newest venture: four acres of insect-resistant citrus production facilities in Watsonville, where he lives with his wife Carrie and their daughters Olivia and Amelie.
Four Winds Growers are widely known for their dwarf citrus trees that bear full-size fruits. Their offerings are available in nurseries throughout Northern California as well as online at fourwindsgrowers.com.
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Associate Garden Editor, Sunset magazine, Menlo Park, California
Bay Area native Lauren Dunec oversees the Editorial Test Garden at Sunset, designing small-space gardens to be featured in the magazine. With her background in horticulture and design, Lauren has a knack for creating personal retreats, be they edible, Mediterranean, or modern. Luckily for her, Dunec’s work at Sunset requires close collaboration with growers, designers, and horticultural pioneers. Before any new plant variety or garden product is recommended in Sunset publications, Lauren puts it to the test in our garden. Check out her work in this February’s issue, where she created the ultimate backyard berry retreat, and take a look at what’s currently displayed in the Editorial Test Garden for a preview of what’s next in the garden pages of Sunset.
Over the course of thirty years, John Greenlee has created grass ecologies overseas and in some of the country’s most famous public and private gardens, among them Los Angeles’ Norton Simon, the Getty Museum, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, and the San Diego Zoo. He has advised top landscape architects and designed private gardens for Hollywood glitterati such as Diane Keaton, Ed Harris, Tea Leoni, and Steven Spielberg.
From 1985 to 2010, Greenlee operated the oldest specialty grass nursery on the West Coast. Today, besides designing green landscapes, he addresses audiences nationwide on the need to transform lawns from staid, wasteful monocultures to sustainable, lively meadow gardens. His movement to reinvent our turf-lawn culture has grabbed headlines in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Architectural Digest, and Sunset. Greenlee is the author of The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses and The American Meadow Garden.
Daniel Nolan drew landscapes constantly as a child, and that love of art lead him to Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles to further develop his talent. But after five years he moved to South Carolina to pursue his other passion and begin his own landscape design business. There, Nolan mixed the Mediterranean plant palette he’d loved in California with the formal aesthetic of the historic gardens he grew up near in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley.
Since joining Flora Grubb Gardens in 2009, Nolan has become known for botanically sophisticated combinations of the familiar and the foreign. He has worked on projects ranging from living walls for homes and restaurants, to transformations of residential gardens, to the planting design for the Powell Street Parklet, which garnered praise from the San Francisco Chronicle and The American Society of Landscape Architects. Nolan’s work has also appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Elle Décor, Condé Nast Traveler,Sunset, and San Francisco Magazine.
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Garden writer/Lecturer, Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles, California slowflowers.com
Debra Prinzing is an award-winning author, speaker, and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. She is the creator of slowflowers.com, a free online directory that helps consumers find florists, designers, studios, and farms that supply American-grown flowers. Prinzing’s newest book Slow Flowers (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013) received a Silver Medal from Garden Writers Association in 2014.
Prinzing is a frequent contributor to Sunset magazine and a contributing garden editor for Country Gardens. Her feature stories on architecture and design also appear regularly in the Los Angeles Times’ home section. She is the landscape and culture editor for Seattle-based Gray Magazine and she writes frequently for Alaska Airlines Magazine and other shelter and consumer publications.
Prinzing serves on the board of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-to-florist cooperative. She is also the producer and host of the Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing, which is available for free download on iTunes or at debraprinzing.com.
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Associate Garden Editor,Sunset Magazine, Menlo Park, California
Sunset associate garden editor Johanna Silver is always seeking out the latest movers and shakers in garden design, outdoor living, and sustainable agriculture. But anytime her eyes get too strained from staring at the computer, she heads out to Sunset’s test garden, where she designs, builds, and maintains small-scale gardens to be featured in the magazine. Silver’s two favorite parts of gardening are seed germination and compost making, and she loves spreading the gospel of each. At home, she can be found digging the dirt out from underneath her nails and enjoying city life in San Francisco.
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Horticulturalist/ Curator, Sunset Western Garden Collection, Berkley, California [email protected]
As a sixth-generation member of a Dutch seed family, Janet Sluis suspects that plants are in her DNA. By the age of six she was hybridizing ranunculus and growing kale in her garden. After studying marketing, horticulture, and agricultural business, Sluis spent twenty years in production and product development for wholesale plant nurseries in California. Today, she evaluates, writes, and speaks about new plant introductions and how to use them in a garden setting. She also works with breeders, hybridizers, and nurseries all over the world in search of worthy plants. Her plant collection test garden is shown in Kathy Brenzel’s latest book The Sunset Western Garden Book of Easy Care Plantings. When she is not traveling, you can find her battling slugs in her organic Berkeley test garden.
Indiana farm girl Christina Stembel had always wanted to start an innovative, creative business that also promoted the social good. So, in 2010, after researching how the average person receives flowers and finding a huge industry with little innovation and wasteful numbers of imported flowers preserved in U.S.-banned chemicals and wrapped in excess packaging—Stembel knew she had her challenge. In solving some of these big negatives, her transformative new model for flower delivery was born.
By offering one daily arrangement™ made of 100% American-grown flowers, her company, Farmgirl Flowers, is able to minimize flower waste by 40 percent and provide designer-quality arrangements at generic e-commerce prices—all while supporting American flower farmers. Their beautiful bouquets are wrapped in burlap made of recycled coffee sacks and delivered by bike messenger all over San Francisco, and in vans farther afield. Farmgirl Flowers is now shipping California wide, with national shipping on the near horizon.
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Owner, Succulent Gardens, The Growing Grounds, Castroville, California sgplants.com
Raised on the coast of Northern California, veteran green thumb Robin Stockwell has worked in nurseries since the age of 12; he began growing succulent plants commercially in 1972. An advisor for the San Francisco Flower and Garden show, Stockwell speaks to gardening groups of all sizes. He has been featured in the Monterey Herald, the San Jose Mercury News, Sunset, and Garden Design magazine, and on radio and television.
Although succulents are ideal for water-friendly landscapes, Stockwell notes that people are hesitant to use them, so he invites readers to visit the three-acre growing grounds of his Castroville nursery, Succulent Gardens. “The candy shop,” as it is known to landscape architects and designers, is open to the public Monday through Saturday. Its demonstration gardens and emphasis on education will empower anyone to get started using these wonders of the plant world.
Molly Wood is an award-winning Orange County–based landscape designer whose work epitomizes the fresh, clean, and casual coastal California lifestyle. In 2012, Wood was awarded the “Stars of Design” award for environmental design by the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. She has also been named to Western Interiors Gold List as one of the West Coast’s most influential landscape designers.
In 2008, the designer opened her flagship retail boutique in Costa Mesa as an extension of her design firm Molly Wood Garden Design. The store features unique treasures reflective of her personal style. Wood’s work has been showcased in numerous publications including Better Homes and Gardens, Coastal Living, C Magazine, Elle Décor, Luxe, and Sunset.