I was raised in an Italian-American family whose members branched out along the Great Lakes from Ashtabula, Ohio, a small town on Lake Erie. My grandmother planted old-fashioned portulacas on (what else?) her back porch, and my great-uncle had a lush vegetable garden brimming with tomatoes, Swiss chard, and hot peppers. Gardens have so many benefits but I believe that a garden must have a soul-that quality that draws you in and makes time stand still.

Informed by my expertise as a professional artist, I am an experienced horticulturist who has worked as a plant records manager, museum educator, teacher, and writer on art and horticulture. I have cultivated and maintained gardens from the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, for more than twenty-five years. I am currently completing my Certificate in Sustainable Garden Design at the New York Botanical Garden School of Professional Horticulture.

At Painterly Gardens, we design, install, and care for gardens that provide harmonious and unusual color, texture, and fragrance to a home, terrace, residential, or commercial property. In addition, we offer horticultural consultation services (recommending appropriate plant selections) for architects and other design professionals.

Painterly Gardens works with our clients to create and maintain  gardens that encompass their vision, emphasizing proper care of the soil, successive seasonal interest, and native (pollinator-friendly plants) wherever possible. We pay close attention to the soil, because everything around us becomes more ecologically balanced when it is sustained.

Envisioning, cultivating, and caring for gardens, no matter the size, brings enduring pleasure, learning, and friendship, as well as the opportunity to reconnect to our histories and appreciate our everyday surroundings more deeply. 

Rebecca Allan
Photo: Adi Talwar

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Salmonberry, Thimbleberry, Wild Buttercup, 2004, watercolor on paper