Envisioning, cultivating, and caring for gardens, no matter their scale, brings enduring pleasure, learning, and friendship, as well as the opportunity to reconnect to our histories and appreciate our everyday surroundings. I believe that a garden, like a painting, must also have a soul quality that draws you in and makes time stand still.

I was raised in an Italian-American family whose members branched out along the Great Lakes. My grandmother planted old-fashioned portulacas on  her back porch, and my great-uncle had a lush vegetable garden brimming with  Swiss chard and hot peppers. 

Informed by my expertise as a professional artist, I am an experienced horticulturist and designer, trained and certified in Sustainable Garden Design by New York Botanical Garden. I have worked as a museum educator, plant records manager, staff gardener, teaching artist, and writer. From the Pacific Northwest to the Northeast, I have designed and cultivated gardens for more than twenty-five years, as well as publishing writings on art and horticulture. As a board member of the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, I advocate for the conservation of large forest tracts and migratory corridors.

At Painterly Gardens, we design, install, and care for sustainable gardens that provide harmonious and unusual color, texture, and fragrance to private homes and residential buildings. We offer fine, artistic pruning services to promote health and beauty of shrubs and small trees. We also provide horticultural consultation (design, care of plants, and plant sourcing) services for landscape architects and other design professionals.

We work with our clients to create new, or revitalize existing garden spaces that encompass their vision, prioritizing proper care of the soil (the basis of healthy plant life), seasonal interest, and native (pollinator-friendly) plants whenever possible. We pay close attention to selecting the right plant for the right place, and use only battery-powered and hand tools, because everything around us becomes more ecologically balanced when fresh air and soil are preserved.

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