CHRISTOPHER LEE WASSENBERG is Director of the Leaning Pine Arboretum and a lecturer in the Horticulture and Crop Science Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Christopher received his Bachelors degree in Environmental Horticulture and his Masters degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration at Cal Poly. He teaches students about arboriculture, California native plants, landscape maintenance and construction, and public garden management.
NANCY SWEARENGEN has been an active leader in the International Mediterranean Garden Society since the early 1990s. As a staff member at University California Botanical Garden she specialized in interpreting botanical and natural history subjects and programming field trips and study tours throughout the West. Nancy is a Berkeley native and a member of the Pacific Horticulture Society office staff.
Virginia Hayes is Curator of the Living Collection at Ganna Walska Lotusland in Santa Barbara, California, where she is responsible for maintaining plant records for the extensive plant collections. Virginia holds a Master’s degree from University California Santa Barbara where she did research on the unique floral characters of lotuses (Nelumbo nucifera) and their variation among wild populations. She writes a popular gardening column for the Santa Barbara Independent and contributes to other California and national publications.
ERLE NICKEL is an Oakland-based horticulturist, writer, and photographer. He writes a weekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle profiling garden-worthy plants and has contributed feature articles to Pacific Horticulture, Fine Gardening, and various Bay Area newspapers. Since 2007, Erle has been a nurseryman at Grand Lake Ace Garden Center. He maintains a large and varied garden and blogs weekly at www.normsnursery.blogspot.com.
Daniel Mount hails from a long line of wandering gardeners, nurserymen and farmers. He received his first shovel for his second birthday and began his gardening career in the sand box later that afternoon. Spending most of his youthful summers in a vegetable patch, on a farm, in parks, or in the woods, the curiosity of a scientist and the soul of a poet were awakened in him. Daniel went on to study fine arts and botany at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, from which he received a BS in Botany.
Drawn to the legendary gardening climate of the Pacific Northwest, Daniel moved to Seattle, Washington in 1988. Since that time he has created, maintained and consulted on gardens primarily in the Puget Sound Basin. The skills he acquired working in the passionate gardening environment of Pacific Northwest have opened many doors. Daniel was invited to Cologne, Germany, where he worked on urban rooftop and courtyard gardens as well as rural estates. He was next called to Orto dei Semplici Elbano on the Island of Elba, Italy where he collected and designed with the unique flora of this island. He maintains an ancillary connection to this garden to this day. Closer to home he has consulted on projects and designed gardens in and around Durham, North Carolina; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona.
Daniel has settled on a small farm nestled in a 150-acre bird sanctuary, which he shares with his partner, innumerable slugs and a bear, in the Snoqualmie River Valley east of Seattle. He enjoys growing organic vegetables and fruits, raising ducks and experimenting with flood tolerant plants. He creates gardens and also teaches and writes about plants and gardening.
Lorene Edwards Forkner lives and gardens in Seattle where she pursues a good and delicious life filled with family and friends together with all things horticultural, believing that the really good part is in the blending of one’s passions.
Lorene is the author of five garden books including Hortus Miscellaneous (Sasquatch Books), Handmade Garden Projects, and The Timber Press Guide Vegetable Gardening: Pacific Northwest. She has been the editor of Pacific Horticulture since 2012.
Carol Bornstein is one of Southern California’s most highly respected native plant specialists and co-author with David Fross and Bart O’Brien of California Native Plants for the Garden (Cachuma Press, 2006). Carol was horticulturist for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for nearly thirty years.