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Garden design using shade plants and shade trees   

Rebecca GreenAbout My Shade Garden

In 1993 our family (my husband, two children and cats) moved to Rockland County, New York (about thirty miles north of New York City). Our new home was on the side of a mountain surrounded by forest. As the house was new construction, our yard consisted of dirt and weeds. I quickly discovered everything I planted the deer ate. I obtained a copy of Cornell Co-operative Extension's deer resistant plant list. However, the list of botanical names was meaningless to me. Consequently, I started to read about plants every evening just to be able to use the deer resistant plant list.

About the same time in my life, I was starting to realize I wanted to change professions. I was an engineer, but never enjoyed what would be considered routine engineering assignments. As I always enjoyed writing, most of my engineering career was spent drafting correspondence and reports for electric utilities, making presentations and writing a company newsletter. While gardening, I would think for hours about what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I was now studying horticulture about two or three hours every night on my own. It became obvious that I wanted to work with plants and nature.

In June 1999, I began to take night classes at the New York Botanical Garden, while still working as an engineer during the day. I've been taking a relatively heavy course load and plan to complete the requirements for commercial horticulture certifications in Ornamental Plant Identification and Flower Garden Design this winter. I am also taking courses toward earning certifications in Plant Production and Landscape Management.

Anticipating that I would be leaving the engineering profession, I worked at a garden center during the summer of 1999 on the weekends for some experience and exposure to the horticulture industry. My wonderful husband Ian, (who works for Lucent Technologies and is an absolute computer wiz) and I began building the My Shade Garden website last September. The site went online in February 2000.

In April, 2000 I finally left my engineering job (after nearly 18 years in the field) to work full time in the field of horticulture. I haven't missed engineering for one minute! Besides working for My Deer Garden, during the spring and summer of 2000 I also worked full time at the same garden center where I worked the previous summer. In fall, 2000 I began teaching gardening classes at local colleges.

My Shade Garden is an outgrowth of My Deer Garden.  You may be asking “what does shade have to do with deer?”. Since deer tend to live at the edge of woodlands, many gardens with deer problems are also shady. In addition, many people believe there aren’t many attractive plants for shady locations. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Rebecca Ann Green
Pomona NY

P.S. If you like My Shade Garden and have a web site, I encourage you to Link to Us.  Feel free to just keep looking around the main areas of the web site Shade Gardens, Garden Plans, My Store, Shade Plants Encyclopedia, Other Information and the Discussion Forum.  Or look at the Current Issue of our Newsletter

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Last modified: February 08, 2004