The reviews on the Gardening Products Review are written by a group of talented writers and avid gardeners who thoroughly test out each product. You can learn more about our Contributors below.

Patricia Armstrong

Patricia Armstrong, GPReview ContributorPatricia is a retired corporate lawyer, recently relocated to Arizona and struggling to learn how to garden in a new climate.  She has been gardening for about 30 years in Canada, the Northeast and Midwest, with a focus on organic edibles and flowering plants.  It all started with pulling weeds from her parents gardens when she was a child, and eating the peas right off the plant with her feet in the dirt.  Patricia has had an ongoing fight with fauna in all of her gardening locations.


Robert Bornstein

Robert Bornstein photoRobert is a media professional with television, journalism, blogging and marketing expertise. He is a Registered Horticultural Therapist with the American Horticultural Therapy Association, Past President of the Florida Chapter of the American Horticultural Therapy Association and recipient of the 2010 Professional Achievement Award from the Florida AHTA Chapter.


Laurie Brown

Laurie BrownBoth of Laurie’s grandfathers were avid gardeners, so her passion for plants may be genetic. She grew up and started gardening in southern California where the biggest problem she faced was Bermuda grass. A move to north Idaho presented a whole new set of gardening challenges. It’s too cold for about half the roses in existence and the deer and gophers eat everything. The growing season is short and the soil stays cold. It took a lot of Extension Office classes, reading gardening books, becoming a Master Gardener in 1996, networking with local gardeners and trial and error to achieve what she wanted- and she’s still learning.

She’s been a professional gardener for nearly 20 years, owned a small nursery at one point, and has written gardening articles for various publications and websites; currently she is the Spokane Gardening Examiner and teaches a class or two every year locally. She sometimes writes about gardening at Many Cats Manor. Her passions are plant propagation, hardy roses, perennials, holistic gardening, and acquiring one of every single plant that will grow in zone 4.

Kathy Connolly

Kathy Connolly photoKathy has been involved with gardening, horticulture, farming, and landscape design for 30 years. As a designer, she works primarily with low-impact landscape developments, such as flowering meadows and installation of native plants. As a writer, she is a columnist for The Day community papers which circulate throughout southeastern Connecticut, is a regular contributor to Connecticut Woodlands Magazine, and is the editor/guide for Her work has appeared recently in Lawn & Landscape, Connecticut Gardener, and The Habitat. She speaks regularly for garden clubs, libraries, schools, master gardeners, and garden centers.

Kathy has a master’s degree from the Conway School of Landscape Design, is an advanced master gardener, and an accredited organic land care professional. She also has an MBA from New York University and a BA in Writing from Pennsylvania State University.

Learn more about Kathy:
Facebook-icon Twitter-icon icon-linkedin Her website is Speaking of Landscapes.


Linda Cook

Photo of Linda CookFor the past three decades Linda has been growing plants, cooking plants, eating plants, and drawing and writing about plants. As a devoted organic gardener she makes it a priority to focus on environmentally sustainable garden practices. She is a Master Gardener and an advocate for inspiring everyone to grow at least a little bit of the food they eat.

Linda was one of the four winners of The Sacred Seeds Challenge sponsored by Organic Gardening magazine. The group was treated to an inspiring visit to Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica to learn more about saving the biodiversity of seeds for all useful and healing plants protecting our planet’s future. This experience forged her determination to devote her energy full time to support the efforts of environmentally preferable businesses that can use her plant illustrations, research, and writings, to help further their cause. Some of her clients include Mother Earth News, the American Horticultural Society, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Taking care of her own large vegetable garden has given Linda a new appreciation for the right tool for the right place. She is excited to be able to help test and review new garden products to help novices, as well as experienced gardeners, get the very best out of their gardens. You can follow her at:


Lois J. de Vries

Photo of Lois DeVriesLois works with folks who want to learn how to garden from the inside out. She enjoys visiting other people’s gardens, and helping them create personal outdoor settings that are beautiful, healthy, and a sanctuary from the world that speaks to the soul. As a regional field editor for Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Media, Lois honed her skills while talking with more than 300 gardeners.

She trained as a Psychology of Meaning Coach with Dr. Eric Maisel, has an AB in Geology from Rutgers University, and a Black Belt in Isshinryu Karate. Lois’ articles have appeared in Nature’s Garden, Garden Rooms, Garden, Deck and Landscape, Garden Ideas and Outdoor Living, Horticulture, California Garden, and Do It Yourself magazines, as well as The Christian Science Monitor.

She is a popular regional speaker who writes and gardens in Northwestern New Jersey. Lois chairs the Garden Writers Association Sustainability Committee and is a recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Presidential Award for nearly a decade of service in environmental advocacy. Her interests include astronomy and space science, environmental science, mystery and crime novels, cooking, music, and the arts and fine crafts. She and her husband are volunteer puppy raisers for The Seeing Eye.

Learn more about Lois:
Twitter-icon Facebook-iconSign up for her free newsletter at her website, Cultivating the Inner Gardener, or read her blog at


Catriona Tudor Erler

Catriona Tudor Erler photoCatriona is a freelance garden author, photographer, and speaker. She has written nine garden books, many of which feature her own photography, and contributed to many others. She also has written for magazines such as Architecture Digest, Coastal Living, The English Garden, Log Home Living, and Garden Design, and her articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the country, including the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Denver Post, and San Jose Mercury News. A popular garden lecturer, she has spoken on gardening to many groups and clubs throughout the United States and in England, and has been a guest expert on television and radio shows related to gardening. Catriona gardens at her home in Charlottesville, Virginia and at Smith Mountain Lake in south-central Virginia.

Maureen Farmer

Maureen Farmer, GPReview ContributorMaureen Farmer is master gardener and the founder of The Farmer’s Garden website . She is an avid gardener, adjunct horticultural professor and a former Board member of Urban Oaks Organic Farm in Connecticut.

Connect with Maureen: FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


Debbie Harris

Debbie Harris
Debbie is a native of Maine and has lived all over the country, from Arizona to Florida and even lived in Japan.  She has always kept a garden no matter where her travels took her.

Debbie is currently studying Horticulture and has a Liberal Arts degree from/at Southern Maine Community College. She is licensed for Pest Control, which was part of her horticulture studies.

Having two grown children, one in New Mexico and one in California she and her husband now have the freedom to move and are planning a move to Oregon where she hopes to start a business growing and selling flowers. They hope to turn their passion of growing lilies and plumerias into a new business.

Debbie likes to try new adventures, relying on the quote;  “it’s not for everyone, but it’s for everyone to try”.


Julie Hill

Julie Hill, GPReview ContributorJulie is a native Texan transplanted in South Carolina. She grew up with parents who always had a large kitchen garden, and she can never remember a time when she wasn’t involved with some kind of gardening. Whether it was working in the vegetable garden, house plants in her bedroom as a teenager, container gardening in her first home or butterfly gardens on her farm, Julie has gardening in her blood.

As a garden designer and a serial do-it-yourselfer, Julie enjoys working with people who want to do their own projects at their own pace but need a little design assistance. Specializing in perennial gardens, using native and adaptive plants, and container gardening, Julie’s design business is built on the belief that we share this earth with all creatures, and everything we do to manipulate the environment should benefit all.

An educator by training, gardener by choice, and worshiper of the natural world, Julie has a masters degree in instructional design and a diploma in landscape design. Her professional work experience includes teaching children to read, writing and editing educational materials, and owning and operating a butterfly farm and nature center. Learn more about Julie on her website/blog, Southern Wild Design.

Connect with Julie: FacebookLinkedInPinterest, and Houzz.


Leeann Lavin

Leeann Lavin, GPReview ContributorLeeann Lavin is completely smitten by Nature: especially gardens and homegrown farm-to-table and garden-to-glass food and drink. Leeann has worked in restaurants, bars, and food catering; and creates food and drink recipes with passion, using local ingredients – making sure to always add the best ingredient: love.
She is the author of the successful, groundbreaking foodoir: The Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook. She is a food and garden thought leader and frequent guest speaker; she recently spoke at the NKBA about the “Future of Food.” Leeann is the author and designer for Finishing Touches: The Art of Garnishing the Cocktail (2/17 publication).
For nearly ten years, Leeann wrote a Food & Drink column for, and today writes for several national food & drink columns including, SheKnows Media, and her popular Garden Glamour blog. Her blog covers the nexus of garden art and culinary art, food events, artisanal food makers, and cookbook reviews. Leeann wrote three chapters for the seminal book, Savoring Gotham, and Ladies Who Lunch. She also wrote the Foreword to the best-selling nutrition book, Alive and Cooking – An Easy Guide to Health for You and Your Parents.
A Garden Specialist, and principal of Duchess Designs, LLC., she designs artful, sustainable ornamental and edible gardens that tell stories & are endlessly beguiling.She received a Certificate in Landscape Design from The NY Botanical Garden (NYBG) where she also worked as Associate Director, Public Relations and writing instructor for The School of Professional Horticulture. Leeann is an award-winning landscape designer, earning top honors in the first “Broadway in Bloom” contest. Two Duchess Designs’ gardens are featured in the book: Cottages and Mansions of the Jersey Shore.
Leeann has served as judge for the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest and the New Jersey Flower and Garden Show. She is a member of Metro Hort Group, The Garden Writer’s Association, The Horticultural Society of NY, The Culinary Historians of New York, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, Association of Food Journalists, and The Garden Conservancy. You may reach Leeann via email at:


Theresa Martz

Theresa Martz, GPReview ContributorFor almost 40 years, Theresa Martz has been an organic gardener, depending on the outcome to feed herself and her husband. She marketed her produce for more than a decade and still offers perennials for sale.


Peggy Riccio

Peggy Riccio, GPReview ContributorPeggy Riccio is married with two teenagers in Northern Virginia and works full-time for the federal government in Maryland. A Virginia Tech graduate with a B.S. in horticulture, Peggy is most interested in garden/horticulture communications. She has written over 70 articles for magazines such as Horticulture, The American Gardener, Chesapeake Home, and Early American Life. As a former member of the Maryland Horticultural Society and the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America, she wrote articles for their newsletters based on interviewing members and soliciting ideas and information. For Brookside Gardens, she developed and presented a workshop and handout entitled “Newcomer’s Guide to Gardening in the Metropolitan Area” and a hands-on workshop on plant propagation. Peggy is a member of the Garden Writers Association and has initiated a garden club at her office. Although she has a typical suburban yard with perennials, annuals, and shrubs, she is very interested in edible gardening and is carving out more lawn for more veggies. In the past year, Peggy has initiated her own web site designed for people who are new to gardening or new to the Washington DC metropolitan area. With a focus on edible gardening, her site,, features local resources, events, books, public gardens, nurseries, and her own experience gardening in USDA Hardiness Zone 7. She also likes to tweet and talk with friends on Facebook (

Pamela Ruch

Pamela Ruch headshotPamela Ruch is a horticulturist and garden writer living in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Formerly the test garden manager for Organic Gardening magazine, she tends vegetables and ornamentals for public and private gardens. She is the current director of Urban Gardening at the Nurture Nature Center in Easton, PA, and recently began teaching nature journaling workshops. Learn more at her website, Art of Nature Journaling.



Jacqueline A. Soule

Jacqueline A. Soule photoJacqueline A. Soule is a long-time Southwest gardener and has written nine volumes on gardening in this unique climate. She is an award-winning garden writer who is a popular lecturer and has been a columnist for many years with weekly and monthly columns in a number of national, regional and local publications, including The Explorer Newspaper, and Angie’s List magazine.

Raised in Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Soule has a B.S. in Horticulture and a B.S. in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona both with Honors and Cum Laude, a M.S. in Botany from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas.

Jacqueline’s garden is the entire landscape around her home. She prefers to landscape with plants that need as little care as possible and also provide color, texture, and movement in the garden while they foster native wildlife. Food for the kitchen is an additional benefit. Many of the plants in her latest books were test grown in her own yard.

You can find her work online at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens, Savor The SouthwestBeautiful Wildlife Garden and on her own website, Gardening With Soule. You’ll also find her on Facebook at Gardening With Soule.

Claire Splan

Claire Splan, authorClaire Splan, a freelance writer and editor, is the author of California Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year and California Fruit & Vegetable Gardening: Plant, Grow, and Eat the Best Edibles for California Gardens, both published by Cool Springs Press. In 2006 Claire began her garden writing career by blogging about her growing interest in gardening and environmental issues at her garden blog called “An Alameda Garden.” A member of the Garden Writers Association, Claire has written for several garden-related websites; done presentations at the UC Botanical Garden, the Los Angeles County Arboretum, the Southern California Spring Garden Show, and numerous garden clubs and other venues; and been interviewed on radio shows such as “GardenLife,” “Bob Tanem in the Garden,” and “Gardening Today.”

Learn more about Claire:
Twitter-icon Facebook-icon Instagram  Her website is An Alameda Garden.




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