Karen’s first garden, when she was in second grade, was a flat full of sand studded with twigs and flowers gleaned from her father’s garden. Her love for plants and gardening grew and she majored in Botany, earned a Master’s in Plant Ecology and has gardened in New York, Maryland, Tennessee, Wyoming, and Philadelphia. She and her husband Chuck have owned a wholesale nursery in New Jersey since the early 60s where they have produced “Plants with Character” for the landscape trade throughout the Eastern seaboard. Karen now gardens nine months of the year in the Piedmont of North Carolina, and three months in Southern California. Her garden in North Carolina includes a formal garden for roses, a bog garden, vegetable garden, herb garden, dwarf conifer collection, iris garden and English style garden. Other gardens are under development. Karen is a novice in Southern California gardening but is running full steam ahead.
In addition to her gardening, Karen earned a secondary teaching certificate and Masters in Ancient History and studied under Wilhelmina Jashemski, the world’s expert on ancient Roman gardens and the gardens of Pompeii. Karen followed in her mentor’s steps and gives lectures on the gardens of Pompeii both here and in Italy. For the past 30 years Karen has taught various combinations of high school biology, Latin, world history, and art history. She lives with her landscape architect and chief gardener husband, Chuck, and two Siamese cats but enjoys often visiting her sons in Atlanta and Agoura Hills, California.