Jackie listens carefully to each client and understands their gardening dreams and goals before devising an action plan to turn them into reality.
Jackie lives her values by upholding them. She rejects capitalism’s compartmentalized architecture that separates identities, blending spiritual practice with her daily work life. She practices healthy eating habits, exercises regularly, meditates and periodically visits both alive and dead elders.
Jackie spent much of her youth foraging for wild blueberries and raspberries in New York’s Catskill Mountains, then later, when she moved to California with a large backyard, growing everything she needed – even melons like cantaloupes and Armenian cucumbers! Eight years after downsizing to a quarter-acre lot in California, Jackie still grows everything possible, with strawberries, snap peas, and tomatoes, among others, being particularly beloved plants for Jackie. But her favorite flower remains gardenias, which she always plants whenever possible!
Jackie suggests that newcomers to vegetable gardening should opt for starter plants over seeds; this way, you’ll harvest in weeks rather than months. Furthermore, Jackie recommends that gardening novices visit their gardens daily to maintain interest and understand how each species develops differently.
Jackie specializes in organic vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and garden design. She enjoys working closely with clients, listening to their ideas, and helping create what will become their ideal garden space. Jackie finds great satisfaction in seeing completed projects come to fruition; walking clients around after planting gives her immense joy; no two gardens she designs look identical!
Herbs are essential in many kitchen dishes, aromatherapy treatments, and medicinal remedies. Jackie has extensive knowledge of herbs and uses them extensively in her garden and orchard designs, including those featuring rare culinary plants like anise hyssop, lovage, lemon balm, and sage that often go overlooked.
Jackie designs gardens not only for herself but also for her clients. She takes great care and time working closely with each client, creating their perfect outdoor living space that speaks to their SOUL. Jackie has expertise in organic vegetable gardens and fruit trees.
Jackie has amassed years of hands-on gardening experience through years of tinkering, trying new ideas, and sharing them with her community. Through this process, she has earned widespread respect as a gardener and horticulturist, lecturing throughout the United States at garden societies, herb societies, Master Gardener conferences as well as local events in rural Wisconsin (GO PACK!) where she maintains both an herb garden as well as her Planhigion Herbal Learning Center and Hiraeth Herb Shed; which offer classes and workshops covering herbs as modalities used towards holistic lifestyle living.
Jackie’s garden boasts flowers of every variety, from bright red roses to fuchsias and gladiolus. She loves their type and how they add color to her yard, while vegetable gardening gives her hope that grows from planting seeds, watching them flourish, harvesting them, and then sharing it all with her friends.
Jackie has loved gardening for over 20 years; taking an Intro to Horticulture class as an undergrad was where her passion for plants blossomed. Now, with nine potted fruit trees in her collection and tomatoes being her go-to crop of choice (though something did manage to snack on her first batch before they grew!), Jackie’s passion is undiminished! She especially enjoys growing tomatoes, Armenian cucumbers, and fresh-picked peas – though something ate her first crop before it could grow! Her favorite plants include tomatoes (which she ate before growing them!) She has enjoyed gardening since taking an introduction horticulture course as an undergrad, which ignited an infatuating love of plants, which continues even today despite living so close.
Marty and Jennifer specifically searched for a place where Jennifer could cultivate things outside. Now, with over an acre to grow in their yard, there’s plenty of space for vegetables, herbs, and flowers to flourish.
Jackie is an artist and activist, having her works exhibited across North America and Europe, earning her the 2017 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist-As-Activist Fellow title. Jackie founded the Solitary Gardens project, an interactive sculpture garden honoring Herman Wallace, who spent over 40 years behind bars. This garden strives to transform solitary confinement into an inspiring garden of growth and hope.
Jackie and Bryan have planted their property with an extraordinary array of edible crops – native fruit trees (with extensive understories), hardy vegetables suitable for our cool climate, and tropical plants that shouldn’t survive frost zones (Jackie is adept at creating warm groves) as well as edible tropicals that support birds of many varieties. All these produce gardens provide shelter to birds.
Every garden is an ongoing project and can teach us many valuable lessons with each season that passes. When rabbits were devouring her peas and beans in their first year, it turned out to be snails eating away at them instead – after which time the beans grew enough to yield an acceptable crop.
As an avid vegetable grower, Jackie is always keen to see which varieties will thrive best in our cool climate and actively participates in the Master Gardener trials at BBG. These trials keep detailed records of germination rates, plant size, harvest time, fruit production, and produce ratio. They provide invaluable guidance when searching for what will work in their garden.
Jackie is also co-author of Solitary Gardens, an art/horticultural project about prisoner Herman Wallace from California’s Insane Asylum for Criminals, who was active in anti-segregation movements and hunger strikes for equality in prisons. The project aims to turn confinement into a garden of life and hope.
Perennials are essential elements in any garden. While initial costs may be higher than annual, perennials provide long-term investment returns throughout multiple seasons. Such perennials can include asparagus, rhubarb, mint, parsley, and rosemary, as well as flowers like asparagus, rhubarb, mint parsley, rosemary hollyhocks, lavenders, phloxes Shasta daisies, wood ferns and mosses, as a groundcover. Tulips, roses, lilies, delphiniums, Hyacinths, and peonies bloom between spring, summer, and fall, while others like Foxgloves Dianthus, Hollyhocks hollyhocks, hollyhocks pansies complete their life cycles between two years, with foliage production being followed by flower production for flowering the second time around a biennial complete their process and then blooming the second time round!
Jacquie’s cottage garden-style perennial gardens are carefree and naturalistic. Her island flowerbed features low, mounded plants such as little leaf linden or Kennedy saucer magnolia that don’t block out taller blooms such as bright yellow rudbeckia blooms; instead, they add color splashes that keep viewers interested year-round.
Perennial flowers provide nectar for butterflies and other pollinators in Jackie’s garden, including purple sage (Salvia pungens ‘Purple Mist’), lavenders (Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’ and ‘Steeple Jackie’), scented geraniums Peter Moore ‘Dark Blue’ and Sweet Williams, hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Jackie Grant’) and hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus ‘Jackie Grant’), in addition to adding fragrance. Some perennials possess interesting foliage properties, making them even more visually appealing to pollinators!
Jackie enjoys helping clients realize their ideal gardens. After an initial consultation and listening closely to each client’s gardening goals and dreams, Jackie works closely with them to determine how best to bring those dreams to fruition – whether through retrofitting irrigation systems to reduce water use, replacing lawns with colorful climate-appropriate garden beds where practical; mulching garden beds to keep soil moist while feeding soil nutrients back in; creating rainwater swales or dry river beds so water percolates into the ground quickly; growing organic vegetables or fruit trees among many other techniques used; etc.
Jackie first discovered her passion for gardening while taking an Intro to Horticulture class during college. This led her into law school and eventually a legal career – yet she never lost her power for plants or working around the yard – whether pruning hedges or caring for nine potted fruit trees, Jackie thrives.
At the unveiling of the White House Rose Garden renovation in 2020, much of the attention was focused on its unveiling without ten crab apple trees that had lined its paths during the Kennedy administration and been popular among visitors due to their color matching the flowers; these were part of Rachel Lambert Mellon’s original 1960 design as overseen by Jackie Kennedy herself.