I am a writer, consultant, teacher, lecturer, beekeeper, and garden designer. I love to write about all my successes and failures (many of these!) of gardening. My designs have been featured in Wall Street Journal, Chesapeake Home, Style Magazine, and Garden Design. I love to write and photograph and also run my landscape/design build service, and enjoy cooking, volunteering, and playing with my animals. Yes, I like to keep busy!
Starting Out Young With Dirty Hands...
A garden/floral designer who has had a trowel in hand and dirty fingernails since I was four years old, I have over 30 years of hands-on experience, first doing maintenance for a large landscape firm, then running maintenance crews, and segueing into design and eventually starting my own business. Gardening only organically from the first time I put a shovel in my hand, I still adhere to natural and organic methods.
Gardening Became a Living & Growing Part of Me…..
Educated with a degree from Towson University, Maryland – focusing on Biology and Botany – I went to Community College of Baltimore County later in my career to take the landscape design track and became a Certified Horticulturist with the state of Maryland. Jumping into the world of Garden Clubs fresh out of college, I still am an active member. Serving as a board member of Maryland Federated Garden Clubs, I became a Master Judge and served as Director of District III of Maryland Garden Clubs.
Promoting the Love of Gardening
Sharing her horticultural and design knowledge through frequent presentations around the country like the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, and the Philadelphia Flower Show, Claire has won numerous design awards in floral design competitions. Her landscape designs have been awarded an Award of Merit from the Perennial Plant Association and ’Best of Houzz’ Design Awards for 3 years.
Christmas Decorating and Floral Design
Chosen to decorate the White House for Christmas for three years out of thousands of applicants, I have developed a love of holiday decorating and enjoy presentations and demonstrations on Holiday decorating. My busiest season comes in the late fall when I decorate for others with Christmas themed window boxes, containers, and wreaths.
Teaching and practicing floral designs with flower shows and workshops, has been one of my favorite pastimes. I recently started the Facebook group #BouquetOfTheDay to encourage participants to create floral designs.
Photography & Writing …..
A garden writer at The Garden Diaries, for online publications such as Mother Earth News, native plant nurseries, and print magazines,I am always with a camera in hand trying to capture the natural world in pictures. Illustrating all my writing with my own images is my greatest accomplishment. Joining the Garden Writers Association, GardenComm, opened up opportunities and networking with other garden writers.
Have Camera… will Travel...
My greatest joy is combining my love of travel, with photography and gardening. Asked to lead trips by many friends who wanted to travel and see gardens also, I turned it into a business, and what better job than discovering new gardens and the people who garden?
Beekeeping and Pollinators...
Becoming a beekeeper 20 years ago was a huge learning curve for me and very exciting!. An understanding of the natural world and pollinators come hand in hand with learning about the life cycle of the honeybee and other pollinators. Maintaining three bee hives in my meadow at home has given me a new appreciation for the natural world and how we can become earth stewards of our own little bit of earth.