Welcome to Betty on Gardening

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Apr 202012

Hello! I’m Betty Sanders and, in these pages, you can explore my ideas about gardening, including a monthly to-do list of garden chores that appears under the tab “Horticultural Hints”.

Let’s start with my background. I’m a Lifetime Master Gardener with the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. I’m also a nationally accredited flower show judge. I have studied gardening everywhere from Arnold Arboretum to the New York Botanical Garden and the New England Wildflower Society. I’m also a scientist. I hold a degree in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

I’ve lectured at the New England Spring Flower Show, the Boston Flower & Garden Show, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Boston Public Library, Tower Hill Botanical Garden and  the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as at numerous garden clubs, civic organizations and corporations.

My juxtaposition of backgrounds gives me a somewhat unique perspective from which to approach many gardening subjects. When I speak about ‘healthy lawns’, for example, I understand the scientific principles that underlay the claims of both the ‘traditional’ lawn care companies and their ‘organic’ competitors. I can explain which claims are driven by marketing and which are wishful thinking. When I offer a homeowner advice about what to do about a given problem, that advice is backed by extensive coursework and a careful, critical reading of current literature.

A purist will look at my gardening practices and say, “she’s not organic.” That purist would be correct. I’m about 95% organic. That last five percent is a thoughtful recognition that, sometimes, ‘inorganic’ solutions are both appropriate and non-harmful to the environment. It’s the same advice that I give when I speak and when I work with clients.

Finally, here’s a link to an interview I did recently on the subject of  adapting your garden to a changing lifestyle.  My thanks to Sandra Lawson for making this available.


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