I have had a trowel in my hand and soil under my fingernails for as long as I can remember, but that is just the way it is in England where  grew up. Gardening is simply a part of everyday life where plants and produce are exchanged over a cup of tea and neighbors regularly stop to admire one another’s gardens. And so it was inevitable that when we moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1996 it wasn’t long before I was working at one of the leading nurseries where I could continue to feed my plant fix and share my enthusiasm and knowledge with others. Ten years later I took that a step further by establishing a custom container garden design business, Le Jardinet.

I have been given many opportunities to share my passion with others as a speaker and author as well as on local radio and television. I regularly present seminars and demonstrations to garden clubs, nurseries and at the Northwest flower and Garden Show and my designs and articles have been published in Fine Gardening magazine and by the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association.

My own garden journey is undergoing an extensive overhaul. In fall of 2009 we moved from a small, established garden to a 5 acre field. Since I specialize in designing small spaces this in itself was a challenge! That first winter we discovered a moat surrounding our home; our first clue to drainage problems. A very happy frog under the house also suggested we might have a few water issues…. Had I been looking through non-rosy glasses when we viewed the property I might have also noticed that the ‘meadow’ was actually the highly invasive reed canary grass with a constitution of bamboo and which thrives in wet areas. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. That’s just the water problems. I also have borders deliberately planted with mint, St. Johns Wort and Bishops weed; all gardening nightmares on the top of the “OH NO” list for gardeners. And so it is I must start this garden re-design with heavy machinery, mountains of gravel and a sense of humor. I’m considering a sign at the entrance which says ‘Not designed by karen…yet’. I’ll let you know when it begins to look more like a true garden than a mud bath!