Karen was born, raised and educated in Connecticut. She is now retired but spent her career working as an Executive Secretary. In 1980, Karen received her Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) designation. She recently retired after spending the last 22 years in the Finance Department at the Town of Glastonbury. It was in anticipation of retirement that Karen decided to join the Connecticut Horticultural Society (CHS) in 2016. To get involved in the workings of the Society, she also agreed to accept the position of Secretary to the CHS Board of Directors. As Secretary, Karen covers all the CHS Board meetings to document the topics covered.
Tell us about yourself, what are your hobbies and interests?
Well of course I love to garden and I am also interested in cooking, traveling and decorating.
Describe your gardening style.
I prefer to garden with perennials. That way, I don’t have to replace plants each year. Then I fill in with impatiens for color, as needed. My goal is to maintain a yard that accommodates easy mowing.
What do you like best about your own garden?
I like the joy that I have created with my garden. It looks especially pretty in the spring, at a time when I can’t wait to see it return to life.
Which plant(s) do you wish you could grow but can’t?
Plants that require full sun. My garden is shaded so there are many plants that aren’t suitable for it. I wish my hill garden was totally in the sun so I could plant and have flowers all year long.
Did someone in your life inspire you to become interested in gardening?
My mother enjoys gardening and working outside so I must have picked up the gardening bug from her. My parents are in their 90s and live nearby. I’m hoping they passed their longevity along to me and my two brothers.
What gardens do you like to visit?
I’m up to visit any style of garden, anywhere, at any time. They are all beautiful to me and I can learn or see something new in each garden I visit.
What is your biggest gardening success?
That would be the hill garden in my backyard that runs the width of my property. In the spring, it is filled with color from daffodils and many spring flowers. Then a succession of other shade-loving flowers proceeds to bloom until the 4th of July.
What is your biggest gardening mistake?
I keep trying to grow sun-loving plants on my shady hill.
Do you have a favorite plant? Why is it your favorite?
I really love azaleas. I remember seeing the bright pink azaleas during a trip I took to Washington D.C. back in high school. I’ve never forgotten how beautiful they looked.
What are you working on now in the garden?
I’m still attempting to grow some sun-loving plants in my shady garden on the hill. I strategically position them in the sunniest spots and cross my fingers.
Care to share a fact about yourself that others may find surprising?
I consider myself to be a shy person.