Zachery Abbey is a natural farmer. As a devotee of "the Divine Mother in her infinite forms of Nature," he has helped establish a community yoga farm and ashram called Ananda Farm on the south end of Camano Island.
Sarah Bergquist is the WSU Extension Island County Waste Wise Program Coordinator, working with adults and children to share the environmental, economic, and societal benefits of composting, recycling, reducing, and reusing.
Retired biochemist and Skagit County Master Gardener since 2009, Robert Bryan lives on a 2.5-acre farm on Camano Island.
Audrey Butler is a member of the Vanden Haak family, who have owned and operated the Greenhouse Florist and Nursery in Oak Harbor, WA since 1954. She has been a floral designer by trade for nearly 45 years. Growing, caring for, and selling houseplants is her specialty and a natural extension of the family's business.
Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Dr. Caruso holds a B.A. in Biology and both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology. He was a professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at the University of Maine, 1979-1985, and at the University of Massachusetts, Cranberry Station, from 1985 until he retired in 2013.
Dr. Frank Caruso
Scott Chase retired in 2017 after 13 years as Island County coordinator of WSU Shore Stewards and Camano coordinator for WSU Waste Wise. Scott has taught classes on native plants for bluff stability, rain barrels, and hunting wild mushrooms.
John Christianson started in the horticultural profession as a teenager, working as a greenhouse laborer at Saxe Greenhouse in North Seattle. Later, he managed the Nursery Department at Molbak's Nursery in Woodinville. John and his wife, Toni, have owned Christianson's Nursery for over 30 years. Located in the Skagit Valley, it is a destination for rare and unusual plants in a historic setting. John and Toni have created many People's Choice Award-winning gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.
Everett Chu is a Skagit County Master Gardener, landscape designer/builder, and resident nurseryman for Azusa Garden Center. He is a certified professional horticulturalist and ecoPRO sustainable landscape designer, and garden creator for Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. He specializes in nature-inspired landscapes that share the land with the wildlife.
Craig Cogger was a Soil Scientist at WSU Puyallup from 1984 until retirement in 2015. He has published research on organic farming systems and organic nutrient management, taught soils classes for Master Gardeners, and written WSU gardening publications.
Eric Conn is a farmer, consultant, and designer. He has been the co-owner/operator of Full Cycle Farm in Clinton for 11 years, growing a wide range of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.
Bill Cromley has been growing peonies for over 25 years. He is a Master Gardener and a self-taught plantsman always willing to help others grow these very special plants.
A Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH), June Davis is one of WGW's popular instructors on all things gardening. She is a garden consultant—The June Garden—with 25 years in the nursery industry. As Sales Manager for Skagit Gardens, she worked with breeders to introduce new plants to the market. She gardens on Whidbey Island.
Marcia Dillon has been a Master Gardener since 2012. She manages the tomatoes at the Bellevue Demonstration Garden, where they trial the latest varieties in a quest to find the perfect tomato.
Chuck Flannery-Jones graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in horticulture and has been designing and remodeling gardens for 35 years, with 20 of those years on Whidbey Island.
Travis Furlanic has been foraging for wild mushrooms for over 12 years. He has always found enjoyment in finding food in the forest, and he hopes to pass this knowledge on to anyone interested.
Toni Gattone's enthusiasm is contagious. Passionate about empowering gardeners with practical, how-to information, her promise is to keep people in their gardens for years to come. Her just-released book is titled The Lifelong Gardener, Garden with Ease & Joy.
Marilyn Glenn is a WSU-trained Master Gardener and is currently on the Board for the Whatcom County MG Foundation. Marilyn and her husband, Steve, have a four-season ornamental garden on Alabama Hill in Bellingham, WA. Their garden was featured by the Whatcom Horticultural Society in 2017 and is an official display garden for the American Daylily Society.
Toni Grove is a Master Gardener alum with a BS in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University. She is the former nursery manager at Lavender Wind Farm and currently works for Mary's Weeding Service, keeping Whidbey Island tidy, one flower bed at a time.
Gwendolyn Hannam has over 10 years experience as an Environmental Biologist, with most of her career based on aspects of water quality, land use and development, water resource management, and critical environmental areas. She holds a B.S. in Oceanography and an M.S. in Botany.
Judith Jones' Fancy Fronds started in 1977 and began mail order in 1982. For thirty years, Judith has participated at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, in everything from landscape displays to plant lectures. She feels fortunate to have the support and encouragement of professional Pteridologists and fern growers all over the world.
Judith Juno has been a Master Gardener since 2008 and an Oak Harbor Garden Club member since 1996. Since 2004 she has judged the National Garden Clubs Flower Show, and in 2013 she earned the status of NGC Master Flower Show Judge. In 2016 she became the Whidbey Island Fair Horticulture Dept. Head Judge. Judith is a retired Language Arts high school teacher from Florida.
Doug Kelly received a B.S. in Geology from Eastern Illinois University and an M.S. in Hydrogeology from the University of Illinois. He holds Washington Geologist and Hydrogeologist Licenses and came to Island County in 1996 to work as the county's first hydrogeologist.
Karen Krug founded Spoiled Dog Winery in 2003 with her first planting of nearly 4,000 Pinot Noir grape vines. As Spoiled Dog's winemaker, she has won several platinum awards for wines produced from her grapes grown on Whidbey Island—Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Rose of Pinot Noir. Viticulture is her third career.
Seth Luginbill currently serves as the Noxious Weed Program Coordinator for the Island County Noxious Weed Control Board. Seth's background is in botany and natural resource management.
As former owner of an aquatic plant nursery, both wholesale and retail, Vanca Lumsden has experience with most aquatic plants. She has taught classes for community college, nurseries with water garden departments, and plant organizations. She has also been involved with wetland reclamation and natural and artificial pond design. Vanca has designed gardens for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show for over 20 years and won the Founder's Cup twice. She is now involved in making curly willow garden furniture and colorful banners, as well as in garden-design problem solving.
Skagit County Master Gardener since 2000, Dixie Mitchell discovered a passion for hardy succulents and their enchanting year-round color. She enjoys sharing her successes and challenges—deer, bunnies—with fellow gardeners. Her garden contains over 200 succulents!
John Moritz is a metal and glass artist. He grew up in California and has lived with the Amish, as well as in Japan, Bosnia, Croatia, Fiji, Honduras, Afghanistan, Haiti, and South Sudan—everywhere there are story tellers, listeners, artists, and collectors.
Anza Muenchow has been enjoying growing food on her farm in Clinton for the last 15 years. But beyond her two-acre Maha Farm, she is also passionate about improving fresh-food access for her community, especially low-income families. Anza volunteers for MG's SW Tilth and Whidbey Island Conservation District.
Tobey Nelson has a BS in Landscape Horticulture from Michigan State University and has been designing, installing, and maintaining gardens for over 20 years. Tobey Nelson Events and Design offers garden design and coaching, floral design for special occasions and weddings, and more. Environmentally-responsible approaches such as drought-tolerant plantings, supporting local farmers, sustainable floral design methods, are all a part of her mission.
Kelly Ann Nickerson is a plant medicine enthusiast who is passionate about sharing her knowledge of the wonders of the plant world. Kelly grew up in the woodlands of Anacortes, WA, and has a B.S. in Herbal Science and an M.S. in Horticulture.
Kelly Ann Nickerson
Zsofia Pasztor is the founder and co-executive director of the non-profit organization, Farmer Frog. She teaches restoration horticulture, urban agriculture, aquaponics, and low-impact development at several colleges and abroad.
Dr. Robert K. Pelant is the founding CEO of the Pacific Rim Institute (PRI) established on Whidbey Island in 2009. Robert is a veterinarian by training and has worked and lived most of his adult life in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Dr. Robert Pelant
A horticultural consultant and educator with 40 years experience and a long-time pruning instructor at Edmonds Community College, Christina Pfeiffer holds degrees in Horticulture from Michigan State and the University of Washington and is an ISA Certified Arborist. She is the author of Pacific Northwest Month-by-Month Gardening.
Sarah Richards founded Lavender Wind Farm in 2000. Currently the farm has 6.5 acres in cultivation, growing 17 different varieties of lavender. Sarah is a founding board member of the United States Lavender Growers Association.
Sarah Schmidt is a wildlife biologist active with Whidbey Audubon Society and Bats Northwest. Sarah's fascination with bats originated in the early 1990's when, while working for the US Forest Service in Arizona, she attended a workshop on endangered, small mammals of the national forests. It was here she learned about bats, the nocturnal, flying mammals more closely related to humans than to rodents, with which they are often compared. For more information about Sarah and bats, see Dan Pedersen's article, "Living with Bats on Whidbey Island" at
Joe Sheldon holds a Ph.D. in Insect Ecology from the University of Illinois and has 36 years of college and university teaching and research experience. He is the author or editor of 3 books and over 20 articles in scientific literature on Insect Ecology. He has testified before Congress on the Endangered Species Act.
Dr. Joseph Sheldon
Frank Simpson has a master’s degree in landscape architecture and over 35 years experience designing and maintaining sustainable landscapes in Ireland, England, California, and Washington. He has taught planting design courses at UCLA and is currently the Executive Director of Meerkerk Gardens, a 53-acre woodland garden open to the public in Greenbank, WA.
Cyndi Stuart is a former perennial plant buyer and field biologist and is now a full-time Earth-Friendly Farmer, garden speaker, educator, and author. Her experience and deep knowledge make her an expert on providing tips, techniques, and advice for growing food plants in the PNW.
Eric Studebaker, a garden and landscape consultant in the island area, has been in the nursery trade for over 30 years. He is a veteran, well-versed in the challenges of drought, wind, and deer. He was the trees and shrubs buyer at Whidbey Island’s Bayview Farm and Garden for over a decade, and in recent years was manager and buyer at Venture Out Nursery. He has presented Gardening Workshop talks on Great Northwest Roses, Japanese Maples, Small Shrubs and Trees.
Dave has been growing dahlias since the 1960's. He has over 60 years of garden experience and has taught popular classes on vegetable growing, trees, pruning, and more. He has been the "Field Boss" of the Lord's Garden for 21 years, providing fresh vegetables and fruit to those in need in Oak Harbor & Coupeville, WA.
Dan Vorhis has a B.S. in Agriculture from Ohio State University, as well as nearly 40 years experience in fruit horticulture. With his wife, he owns and operates Muscle and Arm Farm, a small farm and orchard in Freeland, WA.
Laura Watson enjoys sharing her ever-increasing knowledge of vines. She regularly attends international clematis conferences and is a garden writer/blogger. Laura is proud to be a King County Master Gardener and Plant Amnesty Master Pruner.
Tara Austen Weaver is a writer, editor, and avid gardener. Her most recent book is Growing Berries and Fruit Trees in the Pacific Northwest. Trained in permaculture, Tara tends a half-acre garden and orchard in north Seattle.
Tara Austen Weaver
Diana Wisen is a 30-year WSU Master Gardener. She has been a Skagit County Master Gardener trainer for 20 years, serves as Chairman of the Outreach and Education Committee, as well as their Speakers Bureau, and regularly teaches gardening classes to a variety of audiences.