Lorene Edwards Forkner—Thank You

By: Jennifer Jewell

Jennifer Jewell is the creator, writer, and host of the award-winning public radio garden program Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural…

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Lorene Edwards Forkner.  Photo: Missy Palacol

It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge the departure of Lorene Edwards Forkner as editor of Pacific Horticulture. This is the final issue under her inspired and very human editorial leadership and creativity.

If you know Lorene, you will know it’s hard to know where to start—she is colorful, feisty, funny, fierce, emotional, chatty, bubbly, beautifully literate, and deeply caring about the work she does—in the garden, on the page, and in her community of gardening folk. For nearly 15 years, Pacific Horticulture has been the lucky recipient of all this, first with Lorene as a dedicated board member, and since 2012 as Editor, leading the society’s flagship publication, membership, and events into a new age of how we garden, why we garden, and how we share the importance of gardening and horticulture forward as far and wide as we can.

Under Lorene’s direction, PHS has continued sharing the stories of plantspeople along the West Coast—a region rich in biodiversity and under great climate change and human development pressures—with the personal details that bring such stories to life, and with an artist’s eye to the larger regional connections and concerns. She has devoted individual issues to The Urban Canopy, Restoring the Landscape, Pollinators, and Changing Times, Changing Gardens, which focused on how our gardens can be proactive responses to climate change.

As gardeners, we know more immediately than most that change is the only constant, and often, even while appearing as loss, change is the exact catalyst needed for the next phase of glorious growth. Pacific Horticulture is profoundly grateful for the riches that Lorene has brought to its legacy. Lorene’s words, included in the profile of her in my upcoming book from Timber Press, The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants, say it best as she goes on to explore, dig, and delve even more deeply into our gardening world:

“I’d love to see a world where the best parts of tending a garden and working in horticulture—nurturing and connection—become a part of the fabric of society. Beauty is a seductive invitation to tend to the larger world. Delicious flavors keep us tethered to real food. Nuanced colors keep us learning to see. And hopefully our personal digging in the garden promotes respect and support for all.”