Hi, I’m Jane. I’m an artist and self-proclaimed garden fanatic. I’ve spent a lifetime painting, drawing, designing and working in nurseries, garden centers, horticulture and construction.
After helping a number of people solve design problems in their gardens, I realized landscape design allows me to fuse my love of gardens, my fascination with building and my artistic creativity. I went back to school, took the necessary exams and became a licensed landscape contractor in California. Then, I officially opened my company, Gates & Croft Horticultural Design. Since then, I’ve designed hundreds of gardens, solved all kinds of practical and artistic problems and built landscapes to expand living space, to increase productivity, to add beauty, imagination and whimsy to a space and to improve the quality of outdoor life for homeowners.
In our busy, technological and stress-laden world, gardens and gardening can not only make our homes lovely, they can also offer balance, enjoyment and productivity to our lives. I love helping folks create environments that enrich their lives and at the same time fit each person’s unique lifestyle and budget.
Since I find gardening and landscaping fun, I figure learning about it should be fun, too. After writing (literally) thousands of articles for the Internet, I decided to write a book about how to put together successful gardens — and I wanted to make it entertaining. All the Garden’s a Stage: Choosing the Best Performing Plants for a Sustainable Garden (Schiffer Books) was released this year.
I continue to share what I learn about landscaping by writing articles for the Internet, magazines and newspapers, as well as by giving lectures and seminars across the country. I say ‘learn’ because the more people I meet, the more things I learn. I figure if I live to be 150, I will finally be able to boast being a genuine novice. There is always more to learn, whether it’s from my clients, working on jobs or listening to other experts. The more I learn, the more I have to pass on.
Creative ideas are limited only by the imagination. There are multiple ways to build almost any structure. Plants are continually being discovered, hybridized and used in different ways for different effects. New landscaping materials and systems are being developed all the time. Different people have unique experiences that I can add to my own, then pass on to others who can benefit. I love what I do, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to share my ideas and whatever I learn with you.
I hope you’ll check out my eHow landscape blogs often, and please feel free to share your own experiences and questions with me. Let’s learn and share together.
Photo credits: Jane Gates