Meet the Writers
Learn more about the experts, amateurs and enthusiasts who write our articles and blog posts
The articles on our website are written — for the most part — by people who work here. We also get contributions from good gardeners and experts all across the country. Learn more about the folks who write articles for our website and our blog, Gardener's Journal.
I've been gardening and writing about gardening for more than 20 years, yet I find I'm always learning new things about the plants, insects and other critters that call my backyard home. That's the great thing about gardening — it's never boring! I've worked as a landscaper, on an organic farm, as a research technician in a plant pathology lab and ran a small cut-flower business, all of which inform my garden writing. A few years ago my husband and I purchased a beautiful old Victorian house and opened a pet-friendly B&B; I've spent the last few summers renovating garden beds and adding new ones. My husband once asked me when I'll be finished, to which I replied, "Never!" For me, gardening is a process, not a goal.
As a founding employee of Gardener's Supply, I wore many different hats over the years. Currently, I have my own company called Johnnie Brook Creative. The gardens around my home in Richmond, VT, include a large vegetable garden, seasonal greenhouse, cutting garden, perennial gardens, rock garden, shade garden, berry plantings, lots of container plants and a meadow garden. There's no place I'd rather be than in the garden.
When I started working at Gardener's Supply in the 1990s, my Vermont backyard was pretty green—with grass. Today, there's just a tiny bit of the original lawn left. Most of the available space has given way to trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and stonework. Watch a slideshow of my garden in Burlington, VT.
In addition to my work at Gardener's Supply, I work in the gardening division at Church Hill Landscapes. In that role, I maintain dozens of gardens and learn a lot in the process. I believe that all gardening is good gardening.
In my tenure at Gardener's Supply, I've been staff horticulturist, retail nursery supervisor, and product information specialist. For a natural teacher, avid gardener and plant geek, my work here is a perfect fit.
Twenty-five years ago, the yard around our old farmhouse was a blank canvas of lawn waiting to be planned and planted. The native shrub and tree borders I planted back then now shelter and feed scores of songbirds. Our fertile soil supports productive vegetable gardens and flowering perennial beds. I've also added fruit and nut trees, blueberries, raspberries and elderberries that feed my family and visiting wildlife. Fussing with chickens and tropical houseplants keep me occupied during the long New England winters. My education is in horticulture and landscape design, and I've authored four gardening books.
I came to gardening as a way to have more control over my food. I was gardening out of a 1986 Chevy van. As I traveled the country selling my photography at juried art fairs, I struggled to find the same quality of vegetables that I had grown up eating out of our family garden. Moving from state to state, I would sun my plants at campgrounds and fetch them water in truckstop bathrooms. I can't boast about a lot of success, but my experience inspired me to head home to Vermont and put down some more permanent roots.
Today, I have an awesome, ever-changing, experiment-friendly garden and greenhouse in the Lake Champlain Islands. My greatest pleasure comes from saving seeds and learning about vegetable breeding. I love keeping chickens and bees, tending fruit trees, and, most of all, eating, eating, eating! I share my simple plant-based recipes at EatLikeAFarmGirl.com.
At Gardener's Supply, I am the Creative Gardener, meaning that the gardens I manage are used for catalog photo shoots and blog posts. This is a perfect fit for me because I get to work with our photographer and photo stylist (Geoff Fosbrook and Lizzy Williams) who speak a language I understand. What's more, I get to be a total garden geek, swimming in a friendly sea with other garden geeks. It's pretty exciting.
Aimee Diehl writes from her home in rural Cornwall, VT, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a dog.
Marty Ross is a garden journalist and gardener who lives in Kansas City, MO, and Virginia’s Tidewater region. She has a community garden plot and grows lettuce and herbs in pots on her front porch.
Ellen Ecker Ogden
Ellen Ecker Ogden, is the author of five books, including From the Cook's Garden, based on the catalog she co-founded in Vermont, and The Complete Kitchen Garden, which features theme designs for cooks who love to garden. Her kitchen garden and articles have been featured in national magazines, including Eating Well, Horticulture, The Boston Globe, Country Gardens and Martha Stewart Living.
She is dedicated to growing ornamental edibles and has been a guest chef on PBS's Victory Garden, and HGTV's Garden Smarts, where she is known as the "baroness of basil." She combines her love of good food with a background in fine art to create kitchen garden designs that turn work into play.
For more information: www.ellenogden.com
I was a champion weeder as a kid, but otherwise a fairly novice gardener when I joined Gardener's Supply back in 1988. Gardener's Supply was a fairly novice company too. Well, both Gardener's Supply and my love of gardening have grown more and more each year. At home we grow some of everything, everywhere. Each summer we buy shares at a local CSA (membership farm) so I am free to experiment at home, growing unusual heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers, fruits and berries. Our flower beds are fairly spontaneous and undisciplined, but they somehow seem to keep us in color and fragrance throughout the garden season.
As company president, I also have a hand in selecting and developing new products. I say it is hard work, but the truth is that it is lots of fun. And I get to help support all the good that gardening and gardeners are accomplishing around the country, through involvement with various nonprofit organizations. Nothing is better than making a living doing what you love.
I love gardening and my absolute favorite plants to grow are fragrant white roses, lavender, yellow Brandywine tomatoes and lime basil. I come by the love of gardening honestly — my father and grandfather introduced me to the joy of a backyard family plot at an early age. I've been gardening ever since, from city apartments to the country backyard we have now. In 2002, I got a Master Gardening certificate.
I feed my passion for gardening with some of the programs that show how gardens can change people and communities. I'm on the Board of the American Community Gardening Association and work closely with the Green Education Foundation. Regionally, I work on gardens at the Committee on Temporary Shelter (our local homeless-advocacy organization), and with the Friends of Burlington Gardens.
I think I have gardening in my blood. My Italian grandparents gardened and made wine in the Roman countryside. Summertime memories from my childhood include plates heaped with just-picked figs and peaches so juicy they'd drip all down my arm. My Nonno was so proud of his roses — if we didn't smell them, he said they might as well not exist. My Nonna loved their cherry tree that looked "like a bride" when in full bloom.
Gardening has continued to be a family activity for me. My kids think it's fun to pick spinach leaves right out of the ground for a quick snack — the same spinach they won't eat at the dinner table. Earthworms from the compost pile have been given names.
I've worked in the gardening industry since 1998, and feel lucky to be Product Testing and Coordinator for Gardener's Supply. I test products in our company's beautiful backyard, and truly enjoy working with fellow gardeners around the country, from a rooftop garden in New York City to the desert-like climate in Arizona. I think gardening really brings people together.