Photo: Ellen McDermott


REBECCA ALLAN |  Artist and Horticulturist 

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, trained and certified in Sustainable Garden Design by New York Botanical Garden. I have worked as a plant records manager, staff gardener, teaching artist, writer, and museum educator. 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 maintain sustainable gardens that provide harmonious and unusual color, texture, and fragrance to a home, apartment building or balcony. We offer fine pruning services for shrubs and smaller trees. We also provide horticultural consultation (design, plant sourcing) services for architects and other design professionals.

We work with our clients to create new, or renovate 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 we avoid using gas-powered tools, because everything around us becomes more ecologically balanced when fresh air and soil are preserved.

Photo: Adi Talwar

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