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Tending Gardens at Filoli with Hallie Schmidt

Articles: Tending Gardens at Filoli with Hallie Schmidt

Hallie and author Clare Al-Witri, a professional gardener at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, work side by side on a warm day last November in Filoli’s Lower Balustrade Garden. Photo: Ryan Tuttle
The following conversation took place last fall when the author chatted with a fellow professional gardener as they worked side by side in a garden at Filoli.
I walk through the Sunken Garden at Filoli, a below grade garden room with annual beds bordered by small boxwood hedges and red brick paths surrounding a rectangular reflecting pool. I am looking for Hallie Schmidt, the lead horticulturist in this section of the garden. It’s an unseasonably warm morning in early November 2016, and the garden is bustling with activity—volunteers huddle in groups of two and three chatting and weeding—despite the garden being closed for the winter season.

Hallie Schmidt is one of several horticulturists responsible for managing the gardens at Filoli. Photo: Ryan Tuttle

Hallie is nearly hidden between two sprawling ‘Graham Thomas’ roses. We move to a ...

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