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Cultivating Community

Articles: Cultivating Community

Kathy Musial is a vital member of the West Coast horticultural cognoscenti. Curator of living collections at Huntington Botanical Gardens and an avid world traveler, Kathy still has time for her home garden and is passionate about world handicrafts, folk art, Islamic art, and architecture.

Kathy’s home garden reveals her passion for plants and handicrafts. Photo: Kathy Musial

A conversation between editor Lorene Edwards Forkner and Kathy Musial.

LEF: What came first, the garden or your work?

KM: In my case, the profession became an avocation. I wanted to be an astronomer. I enrolled at UCLA in 1976 to study astronomy, but a childhood interest in the natural world—mostly birds, reptiles, rocks and minerals, and plants—led me instead to the Biology department. I never even heard the word “horticulture” until after I graduated from college, and I never had my own garden until I bought my house in Pasadena 1998.

LEF: Describe the arc of your professional life.

KM: After graduating from UCLA and completing the Certificate in Horticulture program through UCLA Extension, I decided I wanted to work in...


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