Monthly Archives: July 2009

Introducing Holly Scoggins

Greetings from the southernmost member of this squad!  I’m an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at Virginia Tech and Director of the Hahn Horticulture Garden, our fabulous 6-acre teaching and display garden on campus. Blacksburg is in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwest Virginia, USDA Zone 6-ish,  elevation of 2,080 feet. I teach Herbaceous Landscape Plants, Greenhouse Management, Floriculture, and  a Public Gardens course. My research focuses on nursery and greenhouse production of perennials. In both sharing my research and in learning what’s new and improved, I interact extensively with the state and regional green industry – growers, plant breeders, landscapers, and garden centers. I love the business side of things – and am a rabid plant shopper, so this works out well!

I’m originally an Army brat but spent most of my formative years (the 80′s and 90′s) in Athens, Ga.  My B.S. (Agricultural Economics) and M.S. (Horticulture) are from the University of Georgia, and my Ph.D (Horticulture) is from North Carolina State University.  So lotsa Zone 7 experience under my belt.

Professional credentials aside, I guess I would describe myself as a card-carrying plant dork (actually, I’m just a dork, period). Love, love, LOVE to garden, whether at work or at home. My partner and I have a 19-acre farm stuck on the side of mountain – we have four acres of u-pick blueberries along with Christmas trees, honey bees, chickens, a small greenhouse, veg gardens, and lots and lots of ornamentals, of course.  Just in case you were wondering where I was coming from. I’m so pleased to be working with such talented and clever folks on this blog!

Introducing Linda Chalker-Scott

I’m an associate professor in the department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University.  I’m also an Extension Specialist in Urban Horticulture, meaning that I have a global classroom rather than one physically located on a college campus.  I’m trained as a woody plant physiologist and I apply this knowledge to understanding how trees and shrubs function in urban environments.  This is a fancy way of saying I enjoy diagnosing landscape failures – sort of a Horticultural CSI thing.

I’m a native Washingtonian, but I spent my academic life at Oregon State University and then moved to Buffalo for my first university position.  I moved back to Seattle in 1997 and worked at University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture.  In 2001 we were fire-bombed by ecoterrorists (and yes, the irony of the greenest center on campus being targeted by ecoterrorists is not lost on me) and I lost my ability to do lab work.  During this time I developed a more applied research program and in 2004 I began my Extension position with WSU.

Jeff and I have never actually met, but we’ve been chatting via internet for some time.  Apparently he manages his time better than I, since he has the ability to spearhead this blog on top of everything else he does.  I know I’m looking forward to this new venue for discussing the science behind America’s favorite outdoor activity (assuming that’s still gardening and not Ultimate Frisbee or frog licking).

Introducing Jeff Gillman

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I’m an associate professor in the department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota.  Officially I work mostly with trees and shrubs, but I’ve also been known to test things like egg shells for stopping slugs, beer for its qualities as a fertilizer, and milk for its fungicidal qualities.

I come from a small town in Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia, where I first learned about growing trees in my parents’ small orchard.  I attended Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster PA, then earned a masters degree in entomology and a Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Georgia (which, incidentally, is also where I met my wife).  After Georgia I came north to Minnesota.

I’ve been itching to do a blog for about a year now, one where I could share my “adventures in horticulture,” but I never felt that I had the time to actually put one together.  Then, a couple of months ago, Linda Chalker-Scott (who you’ll meet shortly) from Washington State and I had a conversation which resulted in our getting together with Holly Scoggins from Virginia Tech, James Nienhuis from the University of Wisconsin, and Bert Cregg from Michigan State and setting up this blog.

For now, each of us will be posting one day a week starting on August 3rd.  Before that each of us will post a short introduction of ourselves so that you can get a sense of who we are.  I look forward to blogging soon!