Melissa Keyser

Melissa Keyser is a naturalist, urban homesteader, and garden designer. Growing up in the Santa Cruz Mountains without electricity, she cultivated a love for the natural world at an early age. She is passionate about living in harmony with the earth, DIY projects, and strives to raise as much food as possible in her tiny backyard. Currently living in Sacramento, Melissa writes about connecting with nature and living in harmony with the seasons at

Barbara Eisenstein

Barbara Eisenstein is a native plant gardener, horticulturist, and writer. Her recent book, Wild Suburbia – Learning to Garden with Native Plants, guides new and experienced gardeners on a journey toward sustainable, habitat gardening. Barbara is research associate at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, horticulture chair for the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of CNPS, and founder and organizer of Friends of South Pasadena Nature Park. Her home garden has been featured on the Theodore Payne Garden Tour.

P. Annie Kirk

P. Annie Kirk runs a landscape and outdoor living design and styling business affectionately named for a lesson she learned in kindergarten. The Red Bird Restorative Gardens mantra—thriving outside and healing inside—is rooted in the rich landscape of nursery country in Aurora, Oregon. In addition to helping people find sanctuary right outside their door, Annie is currently tending to her latest garden—motherhood.

Lorraine Thomas

Lorraine Thomas has been with the Fisher House program for nine years, first as the assistant manager of the Puget Sound House and more recently as the Development Director for the non-profit that supports the House. She is grateful there are people who can design and cultivate outdoor spaces given that she was, sadly, born without a green thumb. Thomas lives in Seattle with her husband and daughter. She is currently writing her first novel.

Susan Gottlieb

Susan Lenman Gottlieb is an environmentalist and philanthropist with a passion for native plants and wildlife. Originally from a small mining town in Canada, Susan graduated from the Mack Training School for Nurses in Ontario before working as a nurse for many years in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 1990, she turned her focus towards creating the renowned Gottlieb Native Garden, which is now a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and a Xerces Society-designated Pollinator Habitat. Susan is on the President’s Advisory Council for National Wildlife Federation and the Board of Directors of Friends of Ballona Wetlands, as well as Audubon California. In 2008, she and her husband Dan started The G2 Gallery, a nature and wildlife photography gallery in Venice, California that donates all proceeds of art sales to environmental causes.

Mallory Smith

Mallory Smith is a freelance writer and editor specializing in environmental, social justice and healthcare-related communications. She graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a B.A. in human biology and a concentration in environmental anthropology. Previously, Mallory worked as a senior producer at Green Grid Radio, the environmental storytelling radio show and podcast that aired on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM in the Bay Area. Her radio work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered (for KCRW, LA’s NPR affiliate), National Radio Project, and State of the Human.

Loree Bohl

Loree Bohl is a plant lover who chronicles her ever-evolving garden and plant-related adventures on her blog, As part of the organizational team behind the 2014 Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland, she was able to share Westwind Farm Studio with other garden writers from around the world. Loree serves on the board of directors for the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon and Pacific Horticulture Society. She can be reached at and on Instagram @thedangergarden

Bethany and Larry Lael

Lael's Moon Garden Nursery

Bethany and Larry Lael are the owners of Lael’s Moon Garden Nursery, located in Rochester, Washington. The nursery features extensive display and test gardens and offers more than 1,000 varieties of large and small trees, ornamental shrubs, edibles, and selected perennials.

Christina Pfeiffer

Christina Pfeiffer is a horticulture consultant, instructor, and garden writer with over 30 years experience in landscape management and arboriculture. In addition to being a frequent horticultural speaker, Pfeiffer has taught courses in pruning, arboriculture, and landscape management at Edmonds and South Seattle Community Colleges, and at the University of Washington.