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My Horticultural Odyssey

Articles: My Horticultural Odyssey

Standing stones in the completed front garden are reclaimed Kansas fence posts, pieces of ancient ocean limestone bed, used to mark farm boundaries in a prairie ecosystem lacking trees. Photo: Cordelia Donnelly

Sailing across the extensive blue waters of the South Pacific with my family as a child informs my garden today. During our voyage, my mother allowed me to choose a course of study. I chose to study plants, and I spent my time observing their biology, illustrating their forms, and writing about their economic and ethnobotanical uses in newsletters mailed home from each port. I received a liberal arts education in the truest sense: fine art, applied design, education, ecology, land and water management, and writing.

I completed my garden renovation in San Marino in 2011 in order to close the building permit for a 1926 Spanish house remodel on a plot of land measuring 57 by 119 feet. My early studies helped me plot an interdisciplinary garden voyage and prepared me for my land-based adventures in engineering, science, law, code compliance, community design review, culture, horticulture, garden aest...


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