Thank you for taking the time to meet us and join us on our gardening journeys. We love landscaping, gardening and sharing our knowledge, experiences, and mistakes with you. We plan to post twice monthly.
Gardening is in my blood. Growing vegetables, harvesting sour cherries from the tree in our childhood backyard (that doubled as a climbing tree,) being raised in a home surrounded by pretty specimen shrubs and roses, having an uncle with a masters in horticulture who loved flowers so much his nickname was Rosebud…tagging along as my parents pruned and deadheaded…asking questions…and soaking in the pleasures of connecting with nature. That's when my love for growing things started. It’s been a life-long journey of fulfillment.
Let me tell you about myself. I have lived in Pittsburgh most of my life, except for seven years in Colorado during high school and college. Married thirty-four years to one of my favorite people in the world. We have two sons, 19 and 26. They make me so very happy.
Professionally, I have a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Journalism and an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Point Park University. My work experience has been fairly diverse. Was part of a creative team in Product Information for Federated Investors, Inc. Freelanced as a production assistant and makeup artist for corporate video. Was a location assistant on a movie shot in Pittsburgh. Collaborated and wrote scripts for training and educational video. Freelance contributor (mostly features) for Mt. Lebanon Magazine. Twenty plus years of writing experience.
Active volunteer with my church, community, and board service with Family Promise of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which serves homeless children and their families.
Gwen and I have been friends for thirty years. We met through our husbands, who were and still are work colleagues. We also attended the same church. That connection helped establish an enduring friendship as we volunteered together and raised our young children in a community of faith.
Gwen and I have a lot in common. We share a passion for gardening. I was so proud when she went back to school for her second Masters degree, focusing in Landscape Studies. Out of her passion, she grew a thriving business.
Other ways we are similar: I’d say we are both independent women and prefer to define our own paths in life. We have similar priorities. We love meeting new people, but we also maintain old friendships. We’re lifelong learners. We share a reverence for both the magic and complexity of horticulture. And we love life.
Through the years, Gwen has always been there for me when I struggled with everything garden-related. Selecting out-of-the ordinary ornamental trees, adjusting from a shade garden to full sun after we lost an enormous silver maple in an ice storm, designing a hillside garden, seed-starting, and trips to nurseries where I tried to memorize her tidbits of wisdom while trying to manage my excitement of being in my “happy place.”
Gwen has a treasure of knowledge to share that will make us all better gardeners. We hope you’ll subscribe!
My love of outdoors started when I was a young girl sailing with my family on the Chesapeake Bay. When we weren’t on the water, I was watching my father tend to our vegetable and flower gardens. Some weekends my sister and I would go on ‘expeditions’ with my dad in the woods and swamps of my sleepy southern Maryland community. Gardening is in my blood, too. My maternal grandfather owned and operated a thriving apple business in West Virginia and my paternal grandfather traded his home in Mt. Lebanon, PA for a farm in Peter’s township, PA. The desire to transform my gardening hobby to a profession was during a visit to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada. When I had a young family, I created an English perennial garden, children’s garden and taught myself about composting and amending tough clay soil.
Let me tell you about myself: I married and raised my family in Pittsburgh, PA. I have been blessed with four wonderful children and one grandchild. I married the love of my life 29 years ago. We continue to enjoy hiking, traveling to see our family, national parks, cycling, and skiing.
Professionally, I have a BS in Communication Disorders and MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State. Like Holly, I spent my initial career in training and development, developing customer service and team training videos and print material. After my third child I closed this chapter and focused on my family. When this door closed (corporate work) another opened when I pursued an education in gardening and landscape design. I began teaching garden and landscaping at a local community college, taught annual gardening classes at Trax Farms as a PAWC outreach, and started my formal Landscape education at Chatham University. From here my business started as my students asked for design assistance. While continuing my landscape consult work, I continued with my graduated studies and earned a MA in Landscape Studies in 2004.
I love to learn and teach others. During the past 5 years I have continued my professional education and enjoy sharing the knowledge with my friends and clients. In 2016 I completed Phipps Conservatory’s Sustainable Landscape Certification and courses in Organic Lawns, Pests and Diseases. The Penn State extension offers many informative classes. I have taken IPM (Integrated Pest Management), Pest Identification, and an 8-week seminar called ‘Woods in your Back Yard’. I am also a certified Master Watershed Steward.
My landscape design mottos: Plant a 10 cent tree in a 10 dollar hole. Plant the right plant in the right spot. The best designs are formed when I have a collaborative client relationship.
Stay in Touch with us. It is a gift to know Holly and her family. I am excited to collaborate with her to bring you fun and informative landscape, gardening, and sustainable environment topics. We will begin with some broader landscape subjects for the first couple months and then dig into more specifics later this summer. Along the way we may share some of our own gardening challenges and successes. In the future we hope to visit various botanical gardens and share our visits with you. If there are topics you’d like us to cover, please reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for finding us! Holly and I have collaborated to bring you informative, fun, and seasonal garden inspiration blogs. Friend me on Facebook to stay updated. Please visit us often, especially on the 1st and 15th of the month when we plan to update our blogs--Gwen
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Gwen Wisniewski: Landscape and Garden Designer. Contact me. Let me help you integrate these garden inspirations. Choose the links below to find out more about my landscape design service or to make an appointment.