- A.S. Degree, Ornamental Horticulture and Crop Production, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA - 2005
- Certified Master Gardener, University of California Cooperative Extension, Inland Empire Master Gardeners - 2001
- Qualified Rater - Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping
- Associate Member -California Landscape Contractor's Association
- Member - Master Gardeners of Monterey Bay
- Member - Ecological Landscaping Association
- Member - California Native Plant Society
- 2008 Theme Award Winner, Mediterranean Plants Category, WaterSmart Gardens competition, Santa Cruz, CA in collaboration with Susan Wyche, Green Perspectives Landscape Design.
- 2106 - Al Derrick Master Gardener of the Year, UC Master Gardeners of Monterey Bay
Born and raised in Southern California during the post-war housing boom, weekends were sometimes spent helping my parents as they created a landscape from scratch for their new tract home. As an incentive to continue pulling the weeds out of the Dichondra lawn, I was given a small garden plot and a packet of mixed flower seeds. Tending my own little garden and watching the process also planted a seed within me, a growing sense of wonder and respect for the natural world.
Moving to the mountains of Southern California, I learned about the local ecosystem, and the sometimes daunting challenges of growing ornamental and edible plants in rocky soils and extreme temperatures. During these years, I earned my first University of California Cooperative Extension certification as an Inland Empire Master Gardener. Always concerned for the environment and its balance, I also volunteered with local gardening clubs to provide educational opportunities through informal workshops and by designing a demonstration garden using drought-tolerant and cold-hardy plants.
Relocating to the beautiful Santa Cruz area in 2003, I enrolled as a full-time Horticulture student at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA, and earned an A.S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Crop Production, and another in Landscape Horticulture. Concurrently, I joined the UC Monterey Bay Master Gardeners and studied their coursework, earning a new Master Gardener certification for my new home region. I'm honored to have recently been recognized with the "2016 Al Derrick Master Gardener of the Year" award and also to have earned the "Lifetime Master Gardener" status with 1000 hours as a volunteer, including serving as a member of the advisory board and spearheading the annual Home Gardening Boot Camp.
I have been fortunate to gain practical experience with a local Landscape Contractors, and honed my design skills interning with a very talented, award-winning Landscape Designer. I am delighted to have the ongoing support of numerous friends and colleagues in the green industry, from who I draw upon for assistance and expertise as needed.