Inspiring Women Magazine May 2022

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<strong>May</strong> <strong>2022</strong>, Volume 6 Issue 2

profiles<br />

9<br />

15<br />

17<br />

23<br />


A World Filled<br />

with Lilies<br />

Amanda Kreuder-<br />

Carrington on her<br />

garden and<br />

especially her love<br />

of lilies.<br />

My Garden: Heidelberg, Germany<br />

Rebekka Lingshirn takes us on a tour of<br />

her garden.<br />

Gardening Is All<br />

About Trade-Offs<br />

Margaret Hunter<br />

tells us about<br />

trying to balance<br />

the environment<br />

and gardening.<br />

My Garden: Vienna, Austria<br />

Ida Vickers takes us on a tour of<br />

her garden.<br />

25 Gardening in<br />

Colombia Brings<br />

Peace to the<br />

Mind Sandra<br />

Montgomery<br />

finds that<br />

gardening brings<br />

her serenity.<br />

34<br />

My Garden: Molineuf, France<br />

Kit Desjacques takes us on a tour of<br />

her garden.<br />

41<br />

43<br />

48<br />

50<br />

55<br />

My Garden: Stettlen, Switzerland<br />

Judy Steinemann takes us on a tour of<br />

her garden.<br />

Filling Old Doc<br />

Bradley’s Garden<br />

with Herbs<br />

Francine<br />

Mihalasky has<br />

filled this garden<br />

with herbs.<br />

My Garden: Cologne, Germany<br />

Lesley Taubert takes us on a tour of<br />

her garden.<br />

“The Sheer Array<br />

of Plant Life and<br />

Rare Species Is<br />

Astonishing.”<br />

Kathy Limbaugh<br />

tends to her garden<br />

in Pennsylvania.<br />

My Garden: Eppelhein, Germany<br />

Lori Dugan takes us on a tour of<br />

her garden.<br />

57 From Florist to<br />

Flower Rescuer<br />

Kati <strong>May</strong>field<br />

started a non-profit<br />

to deal with waste in<br />

the floral industry.<br />

36<br />

A Bird, Bee and<br />

Amphibian<br />

Friendly Area<br />

Sharon Smillie<br />

would like us all to<br />

create gardens that<br />

attract nature.<br />


features<br />

13<br />

Brown Thumb Redemption: The<br />

Splendor of Keukenhof<br />

Mary Adams gets inspiration from the<br />

blooms of Keukenhof.<br />

21<br />

30<br />

A Club Inspires :<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong><br />

Pollinators Liz<br />

Janson tells us<br />

about the<br />

importance of<br />

pollinators to us all.<br />

Barcelona <strong>Women</strong>’s Network<br />

46<br />

“GUAYULE? I’ll<br />

bet you can’t<br />

even<br />

pronounce it!”<br />

Maggie Palu<br />

grows this<br />

amazing crop<br />

in her garden<br />

in France.<br />

39<br />

“Some People<br />

Travel, I<br />

Move!” Anna<br />

Gruner-Hegge<br />

finds inspiration<br />

in the landscapes<br />

of Colombia.<br />

52<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> Reads: Jeanne, Seeds of<br />

Infinity AW Aquitaine member Mary<br />

Bruton Sandifer tells us about her<br />

book and the inspiration for it.<br />

in every issue<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

A Note from the Editor<br />

Liz MacNiven<br />

Gardens as a Touchstone for Life<br />

More about what you can find in this<br />

issue from Elsie Bose.<br />

Garden Party Invitation<br />

8 Advertisers Index<br />

62 <strong>Inspiring</strong> You<br />

63 More About This Issue<br />

64 Coming in September <strong>2022</strong><br />

65<br />

That’s Inspired!<br />


“T<br />

o plant a garden is to<br />

believe in<br />

tomorrow.”<br />

Welcome to another green issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> magazine. This time it’s about gardens<br />

and all things gardening-related and featuring the<br />

stories of six women’s different journeys into<br />

gardening from their earliest days. We also have a<br />

beautiful photographic feature, showcasing six<br />

different gardens cared for by FAWCO<br />

members. Then there are features on pollinators,<br />

a plant you’ve probably never heard of before<br />

(Guayule), and the beauty of Colombia’s<br />

landscape, as well as our usual A Club Inspires and<br />

book feature, <strong>Inspiring</strong> Reads. So lots to dig into!<br />

Are you a gardener? Do you have green fingers?<br />

My maternal<br />

grandmother<br />

definitely had<br />

very green<br />

fingers.<br />

Although she<br />

stood only just<br />

five feet tall, she<br />

was a force to<br />

be reckoned<br />

with. I<br />

remember<br />

hours spent in<br />

the garden<br />

pottering<br />

around with<br />

Gardening with Grandma, me aged<br />

five<br />

Audrey Hepburn, Actor<br />

her. In the<br />

autumn we<br />

would help<br />

sweep up the leaves along the drive, while in the<br />

summer we helped picked all the wonderful fruit<br />

and vegetables she had grown and admired her<br />

stunning, fragrant roses. Grandma’s raspberries<br />

and blackberries were a particular highlight of the<br />

year I remember.<br />

One of my special treasures is a delicate, clearglass,<br />

bubble-shaped vase with black dots on it<br />

that belonged to her. I remember when I went to<br />

stay she would allow me to fill it with forget-menots<br />

or other small flowers from the garden. That<br />

level of responsibility for something so fragile...<br />

Wow, I felt so grown up!<br />

A Note from<br />

the Editor<br />

My mum, unlike her mum, wasn’t a huge outdoor<br />

gardener. But whenever you were out for a walk,<br />

she knew the names of every wildflower you came<br />

upon and her house plants were things of legend.<br />

Amongst many specimens there was a yucca plant<br />

that grew as high as the ceiling and too many<br />

spider plants to count.<br />

I don’t think I could describe myself as having the<br />

green fingers which both Grandma and Mum had,<br />

but I am very willing to experiment in our garden.<br />

For me, as Audrey Hepburn said, the garden is<br />

often about the future, the promise of things to<br />

come. During the pandemic, where here in the UK<br />

we were confined to our homes for many weeks<br />

unable to see friends and family, our garden<br />

became our refuge and companion. It gave us<br />

hope that things would get better, that things<br />

would continue to grow and thrive and that we<br />

would have a tomorrow. We spent many pleasant<br />

hours, especially in 2020, tending it and enjoying it<br />

and gave daily thanks for its existence; we still do.<br />

Talking of growing and thriving, we have another<br />

new member of the <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> team.<br />

Kristin Haanæs of AWC Oslo, who has been<br />

working behind the scenes on FAWCO<br />

publications for many years, has kindly agreed to<br />

join us as our layout coordinator starting with the<br />

fall issue. We know she can only improve the<br />

magazine with her wealth of knowledge of all<br />

things layout-based.<br />

I hope you enjoy reading the profiles and features<br />

in this issue. Please do let us know what you think<br />

by completing our survey (p. 62) or sending me<br />

your thoughts at<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org.<br />

Liz x<br />


Gardens as a<br />

Touchstone For Life<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> founder Elsie Bose<br />

introduces our gardening theme.<br />

I am not a gardener, but there have always been<br />

gardens in my life. My grandfather found his<br />

vegetable garden at the cottage a great source of<br />

relaxation in the summers. His idea of kicking back<br />

was to abandon his lawyerly suit jacket and tie, roll<br />

up his shirt sleeves, don a straw hat and spend<br />

early Saturday morning deciding what fruits and<br />

vegetables were ready for the weekend’s meals.<br />

As my family moved from place to place, it<br />

seemed we were always doing something in the<br />

yard. In Colorado, as I remember, what grew really<br />

well was…snow! When we moved to Hawaii, my<br />

father planted a gardenia bush under my parents’<br />

bedroom window so that the beautiful fragrance<br />

would greet my mom every morning.<br />

As an adult, I have found gardens lovely but<br />

gardening hard. It has been a blessing that most<br />

of my homes have been apartments. Until now.<br />

Which is why this issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> is<br />

perfect for me! Reading the profiles and features<br />

has inspired me to begin to grow something. More<br />

than the technical aspects, the PASSION that these<br />

women have for “working the earth” has made me<br />

intrigued by the possibilities.<br />

I am looking forward to June 8 th when <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> hosts its first live event - a Garden Party<br />

on the Hopin platform. We’ll kick off the event with<br />

our signature cocktail “Mothers of Nature” toast,<br />

recipe to be provided! We will have interesting<br />

presentations on the main stage and some<br />

amazing sessions presented by our profilees and<br />

featured members. And a couple of surprises! If<br />

you want to turn your “all thumbs” into a “green<br />

thumb” or just want to join in the fun, register now<br />

(see invitation on p. 6)!<br />

Elsie<br />

advertising@fawco.org<br />


June 8, 20<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> W<br />

“It’s a Gar<br />

Celebrating New Beginnings! Join us for a couple of<br />

presenters from around the world speak to the grou<br />

their gardens. There will be special interactive sessio<br />

questions and get tips for your garden.<br />

We’ll start with a virtual Pimm<br />

Sessions Include:<br />

• Permaculture Gardening - A Revolutio<br />

Disguised as Gardening<br />

• Gardening Adventures with Children<br />

• “Let’s Get Dirty” the Benefits of Comp<br />

• Busy Bees Bring Better Blooms<br />

• And More!<br />


omen—Live!<br />

den Party”<br />

22 19:00 CET<br />

fun-filled and informative hours as FAWCO<br />

p about their passion for growing and nurturing<br />

ns with FAWCO members where you can ask<br />

’s Royale and end with…cake!<br />

n<br />

osting<br />

To Join in the Fun:<br />

It’s FREE!<br />


OR go to https://hopin.com/events/inspiringwomen-live-garden-party-june-<strong>2022</strong><br />


advertisers index<br />

We appreciate your support of our advertisers!<br />

Lauren Mescon, Rodan + Fields p.60 Lauren, member of AWC<br />

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Yummylicious Serums Paris p.33 Yummylicious Serums are an eco-friendly, pure, all organic and all<br />

natural line of healthy serums for your skin and hair designed by AWG Paris member Kristina<br />

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London & Capital p.38 Whether you are a US citizen living abroad, or a foreign entity with US reporting,<br />

their dedicated teams take care of your wealth, giving you time to concentrate on the things that matter<br />

to you. London & Capital has been supporting FAWCO since 2016.<br />

Janet Darrow Real Estate p.54 Around the corner or a world away, contact<br />

Janet Darrow, FAUSA member, to find the best properties. FAWCO referrals to<br />

Janet help the Target Program!<br />

The Pajama Company p.12 The Pajama Company, founded by Ellie Badanes,<br />

member of FAUSA and AW Surrey, sells pajamas that are cozy, cheerful and<br />

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London Realty Intl. p.20 London Realty Intl. is owned by AWC London member<br />

Lonnée Hamilton, a worldwide property consultant. Her firm works with the<br />

best agents across the globe to fulfill your property needs.<br />

The Short List p.29 The Short List assists students with the college admissions<br />

and application processes. Ask your club to schedule a webinar to acquaint<br />

members on how to get started.<br />

Throughout the years FAWCO has relied on advertisers and sponsors to augment its<br />

income. This revenue has allowed FAWCO to improve services and give it the flexibility to try the<br />

latest innovations to enhance the FAWCO experience. FAWCO’s advertising partners believe in<br />

our mission and support our goals. Some directly support our activities and projects.<br />

We encourage club leadership throughout the FAWCO network to share our publications with<br />

their membership. Please support them! Our advertising partners have<br />

valuable products and services and we want your members to take<br />

advantage of what they offer. For more information on these advertisers<br />

or if you have any questions about FAWCO’s advertising program, please<br />

contact Elsie Bose: advertising@fawco.org.<br />

Why not advertise in <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>? FAWCO club members - do you<br />

want to take your business worldwide? Contact Elsie Bose at<br />

advertising@fawco.org to get started. We offer great rates and comprehensive packages for<br />

almost any budget.<br />

8<br />

The next issue of <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> magazine <strong>Women</strong> and<br />

Youth: <strong>Inspiring</strong> Future Generations will be published on<br />

September 15, <strong>2022</strong>.


A World Filled<br />

with Lilies<br />

Amanda Kreuder-Carrington, a<br />

member of AIWCD (American<br />

International Woman’s Club<br />

Düsseldorf,) has always loved<br />

gardens and especially lilies.<br />

Amanda Kreuder-Carrington<br />

I grew up in a private estate in Hertfordshire,<br />

England, called Loudwater. It’s not so nice now<br />

with the M25 motorway – hence the move! The<br />

M25 circumnavigated its way around the Green<br />

Belt of London. My father was a surveyor/estate<br />

agent/property developer, and my mother was a<br />

travel buff/relocation agent. My brother was a<br />

financial analyst and later a captain in Macau.<br />

Leaving home<br />

Initially, I joined Harrods for a buying/<br />

management course, as I honestly had zero idea<br />

what I should do or fancied doing later on. It was<br />

the most incredible experience, working in<br />

various departments. I loved Men’s Accessories,<br />

Young Crowd (trendy 14–18 year olds), the hat<br />

department with Philip Treacy – just wow, and for<br />

the nicest ladies ever, the Plus Size department<br />

and above all the styling department, where I<br />

encountered a few famous faces. Once a week, I<br />

did my BTEC course on Leicester Square at the<br />

College for International Distributive Trades.<br />

Cupid strikes!<br />

I met my husband in 1992 just past midnight at<br />

Pizza Pomodoro on Beauchamp Place in<br />

Knightsbridge. I remember being super cross as it<br />

was supposed to be a “girls’ night” and as usual<br />

my friend was looking for a wingman! My “future”<br />

hubby arrived and sat himself between me and<br />

his boss and, being German, was very persistent...<br />

I was not used to that.<br />

So “it” happened quite quickly, with him leaving<br />

his futures company and wanting to relocate back<br />

to Germany with me in tow, me obviously with<br />

rubbish German skills at the time. Weirdly, I<br />

missed the sizeable earthquake Düsseldorf<br />

experienced during the three weeks we were<br />

apart. That was 1992 and since then, we have<br />

built a house and had two gorgeous kids: Henry,<br />

22, is taking a small break from studying<br />

architecture, and Lilly, 19, decided after seeing<br />

Henry come home after four months in Africa that<br />

traveling and studying were not for her. Instead,<br />

she moved to Barcelona in January and is buying<br />

a small flat in very green Sant Antoni, not far from<br />

the beach.<br />

We are still here in the house we built in<br />

Schwalmtal in 1996 with our fab southeast-facing<br />

back garden. Schwalmtal, which is on the Dutch<br />

border, is 25 minutes from central Düsseldorf<br />

in Germany.<br />

Me as a little girl<br />

My love of gardening<br />

As I child, I loved borrowing neighbors’ dogs and<br />

taking them on epic walks or cycling through<br />

different areas. You need a reason to stop in front<br />


of people’s houses and be a little nosy, and with a<br />

dog or bike, nobody thinks twice about it. My<br />

favorite colors are green and blue – so if you think<br />

about that for a second, those are the colors that<br />

connect nature (earth) to air (the sky). It doesn’t<br />

matter where you are, the love for that comes<br />

from taking time to see something that costs<br />

absolutely nothing, but gives your soul and heart<br />

energy and fulfillment.<br />

First gardening memories<br />

I totally have an affinity for gardening and think it<br />

must stem from my memories as a baby. I know<br />

people say your first memories are from the age<br />

of four onwards, but mine truly start from our<br />

Tudor-style cottage with seven ponds, especially<br />

the one closest to the house with the hugest<br />

weeping willow over it. I remember being placed in<br />

my Silver Cross carriage with a net over it and<br />

listening and watching the weeping willow move<br />

and sway and the sounds of the birds. Later on in<br />

church school, I remember being so excited to<br />

bring huge white pampas grass to decorate at<br />

harvest festival (the collection of food cans for the<br />

home for the elderly held way less interest to me<br />

as a child). They were the “main” feature, and I felt<br />

so incredibly proud that my father allowed them<br />

to be cut for that purpose to take pride of place<br />

around the altar at the church.<br />

Funny fact about me!<br />

I am, or used to be, ambidextrous. I was a little on<br />

the naughty side as a child, so I used to charge<br />

money for writing other people’s lines in school: “I<br />

must not do … anymore.” What nobody realized is<br />

that I could write from left and right, so 100 lines<br />

was quick and easy. It took a while but one of the<br />

teachers finally caught on and started assigning<br />

Filming for the TV show<br />

super long sentences, so much harder and thus<br />

not a quick job anymore!<br />

My garden on TV<br />

One of the best experiences with my garden (apart<br />

from my professional gardeners that come once a<br />

year and ask me: “What is that? What plant is that?<br />

Where can we get that?” This makes zero sense as<br />

I know the Latin names, but can’t work in this<br />

profession without a qualification) has to be when<br />

the German television station WDR came to do a<br />

feature on my garden - particularly its grass and<br />

how I get it like that. What a fun day that was! If<br />

you click to watch the video below, you can see it’s<br />

just five or six minutes long, but the actual filming<br />

took over six hours.<br />


Dutch gardens<br />

I am always a little excited when driving across to<br />

Venlo (10 minutes away) or Roermond (18<br />

minutes) on the Dutch border, as I love to spy on<br />

all those gorgeous gardens. (Being the driver is a<br />

little annoying as you miss so much.) The Dutch<br />

are so truly gifted in their landscaping ideas and<br />

concepts. When we built our house, all my<br />

German neighbors laughed and said those trees/<br />

plants from Holland won’t last, the rabbits and<br />

hares will get them. But of course, they didn't!<br />

Admittedly, our grass gets loads of comments, so I<br />

am always very excited to get back to the UK, not<br />

only to see family and friends, but also because<br />

we need our 4 in 1! This is an amazing product<br />

that you use after aerating and scarifying the<br />

lawn. It kills the moss and weeds, fertilizes and<br />

adds seeds for re-growth. Initially, the whole<br />

street believed I flew in English grass as I worked<br />

for an airline – I personally love a good prank.<br />

The future of gardening<br />

I totally think the pandemic has changed things. I<br />

am an avid listener to podcasts by people from all<br />

over the world, and the one thing they have all<br />

said is that as city dwellers they have needed<br />

space outside and a connection with nature. The<br />

amount of UK and US-based friends/podcasters<br />

who now are renting an allotment or have built<br />

themselves raised beds for vegetables and flowers<br />

is fantastic – I could not be happier! Plus, there are<br />

those sudden indoor gardeners who have got<br />

themselves a greenhouse worth of plants and<br />

fresh flowers to bring the outside in. Like<br />

a pheromone for pets, flowers and plants can<br />

have that same well-being effect, so what’s not to<br />

love? However, hay fever and allergies also seem<br />

to have increased tenfold – but the visuals and the<br />

scents are so worth it in my opinion.<br />

My top gardening tip<br />

My one little tip, which is totally ecofriendly, is how<br />

to deal with those annoying night snails! Either<br />

surround your plants with washed-out eggshells<br />

or buy a trap and – I kid you not – just put cheap<br />

beer in it and your leaves and flowers won’t get<br />

munched on. My father-in-law (like me) loved his<br />

garden and vegetables, and his tip was to always<br />

plant a row of carrots next to a row of onions, as it<br />

stops the pests. For many of you out there who<br />

love a glass of wine – go visit a vineyard! All the<br />

best lay out two rows of vines ending in a rose<br />

bush to stop the pests from attacking the grapes.<br />

Protecting plants from frost<br />

Nature is incredible, and we have to take the good<br />

with the bad. Yes, it is annoying when all the buds<br />

are out, and there is a sudden frost causing those<br />

gorgeous buds to drop off. Obviously, you can’t do<br />

anything about the climate, but for those who<br />

have pots decorating terraces or balconies, the<br />

answer is super simple. Get an empty pot, take a<br />

length of big bubble wrap and snip it like you were<br />

lining the bottom of a cake tin. Line the inside of<br />

the pot with it, add gravel or flint to the bottom,<br />

then the earth and then your plant. Make sure the<br />

stem or roots aren’t impacted (don’t want to use<br />

the word “strangled”, but you know what I mean.)<br />

This way your plants won’t get over-dry or frozen,<br />

your terracotta pots won’t pop and you don’t need<br />

a greenhouse. Works every time, even for subtropical<br />

plants down to minus 10 degrees Celsius.<br />


My favorite flower<br />

My all-time favorite is lily of the valley. My greataunt<br />

looked after me a lot, and she had a sizeable<br />

patch of them; my best friend’s surname was<br />

Lilley and we call her Lil; and my daughter is Lilly<br />

as well – both my grandmother and my mother<br />

have Lillian in their names. Even my<br />

close German/Polish girlfriend is a Lilly.<br />

My favorite season<br />

I love late spring/early summer when the colors<br />

start to pop in my garden. I really dislike being<br />

away at Easter, as that’s when the star and<br />

tulip magnolias come out, the azaleas and<br />

the rhododendrons make their way through, and<br />

my amazing wisterias bloom on our “magic<br />

garden” arch. The colors are incredible, and I have<br />

hosted two events during this season to capture<br />

the colors of everything with the scents and the<br />

feeling of being somewhere else.<br />



Brown Thumb Redemption:<br />

The Splendor of Keukenhof<br />

By Mary Adams, member of AWC The Hague<br />

In my garden<br />

I am<br />

digging, DIGging, DIGGING<br />

stomping through the beds in my boots<br />

the seed packets are opened, sprinkled,<br />

and sowed<br />

hopeful green growth and then<br />

yellow spots, aphids, and dry dirt<br />

The plants turn as brown as my thumb<br />

Alas, my Mortuis Plantis!<br />

At Keukenhof gardens<br />

I am<br />

walking, WALKing, FLOATING<br />

set adrift on a river of flowers<br />

the bulbs are sprouted paintings in<br />

streaming colors<br />

waves of shades, tints, and tones<br />

luscious multicolored perennial<br />

herbaceous splendiferous<br />

bulbiferous geophytes<br />

O grandiose TULIPmania!<br />

Inside the Pavilions<br />

I am<br />

Staggering, REELing, DANCING<br />

at this cultivated annual reunion<br />

where flora and creativity intersect in visual<br />

delight<br />

families and genus frolic together<br />

it is a feast for the senses<br />

Amaryllidaceae and Brodiaea<br />

Amid the fragrance of Asparagaceae<br />

O ecstasy of Orchidelirium!<br />

At home<br />

I examine my brown thumb.<br />

I spot a tiny green vein of hope.<br />

I start<br />

Digging, DIGging, DIGGING.<br />


Keukenhof Gardens<br />



My Garden: Heidelberg, Germany<br />

Rebekka Klingshirn, of Heidelberg IWC, shows us around her garden<br />

Where do you live/where is your<br />

garden? I live in Eppelheim, outside of<br />

Heidelberg. We live in my grandparents’<br />

house, with a huge garden. The garden<br />

was beautiful, but over the years, nothing<br />

would grow underneath the tall conifers.<br />

We decided to take down the trees –<br />

leaving only a magnolia, a lilac bush and<br />

lots of lawn.<br />

How long have you been gardening, and<br />

what made you start? I have been<br />

gardening for almost five years now<br />

because I wanted flowers for vases, but<br />

realized that I preferred them in the<br />

garden. The pandemic really kicked things<br />

off for me, as gardening was something,<br />

amidst all the chaos, that gave me peace of<br />

mind and exercise.<br />

What is the size and style/type of<br />

your garden? In the beginning, we<br />

were happy to just have a lawn and not<br />

much garden work to do. Nothing has<br />

to be perfect in my garden, as I really<br />

don’t know what I am doing half of the<br />

time; everything is trial-and-error. It is<br />

definitely evolving year after year.<br />


What do you grow in your garden? I<br />

have lavender, sage, thyme, crocus,<br />

raspberries, blueberries, black and red<br />

currants on one side of the garden – in<br />

addition to my raised flower beds full of<br />

eggplants, tomatoes, basil, strawberries<br />

and cucumbers and on the other side, I<br />

have flowers like peonies, grape<br />

hyacinths, primroses, lilies and irises.<br />

What is different about your garden<br />

from where you previously lived? At my<br />

parents’ (and my childhood) home, I did not<br />

care about anything to do with the garden<br />

at all, but loved picking cherries from their<br />

tree. Now that I have my own garden, I<br />

appreciate the time outside, looking after<br />

my tomatoes and just being in my<br />

hammock to enjoy everything.<br />

What do you love most<br />

about your garden? I<br />

absolutely love my wonderful<br />

magnolia. Every spring, I am<br />

impatiently awaiting the (wild)<br />

horned violets (Viola cornuta -<br />

tufted pansy?) and just cannot<br />

get enough of the peonies. I<br />

love being able to just “forage”<br />

and am very proud of the<br />

variety of tomatoes I grow<br />

from seeds.<br />



Gardening Is All<br />

About Trade-Offs<br />

Margaret Hunter, of AWC<br />

Denmark, had a passion for seed<br />

catalogues as a young girl. Today<br />

that passion leads her to focus on<br />

growing fruit and vegetables.<br />

Originally I am from Atlanta, Georgia. I remember<br />

climbing magnolia trees (they have lots of<br />

branches and are easy to climb). In <strong>May</strong>, their<br />

dinner-plate-size, creamy white flowers smell<br />

gorgeous. Another memory: a neighbor had a<br />

swimming pool which she let our family use.<br />

Sometimes our mother would take us there after<br />

dinner and skinny-dip, which seemed very daring<br />

at the time, even for a 10-year-old. The pool had a<br />

fence around it, where our neighbor had planted<br />

moon flowers. They are in the same family as<br />

morning glories, but at dusk, you can watch their<br />

flowers unfold. It’s quite dramatic.<br />

For the last 30 years I have lived in Copenhagen,<br />

but during the COVID-19 pandemic we moved to<br />

my husband’s childhood home in the country, and<br />

we are enjoying spending more time there now<br />

during our retirement.<br />

So now, more than 50 years after those nights in<br />

Georgia, I find myself living near the Danish<br />

Margaret Hunter<br />

coastline, where I regularly go skinny-dipping<br />

without my mother, and it does not seem daring<br />

anymore at all. And this year, a friend gave me<br />

some moon flower seeds! I am so excited.<br />

Leaving home<br />

My first stop was to go to Davidson College in<br />

North Carolina. It had been a men’s college; I was<br />

part of the second graduating class of<br />

women. Again, it seemed very daring at the<br />

time. But now when I look back, Davidson was<br />

relatively close to home (about a five-hour drive),<br />

it was/is a small liberal arts college with a good<br />

reputation, not exactly bohemian. It didn’t require<br />

much in the 1970s South to feel rebellious.<br />

Into the world of work<br />

After college, I worked for two years at a small<br />

weekly newspaper located just across the street<br />

from the college. Many adventures there. It was<br />

VERY local. One time we published a two-page<br />

spread of photos – only photos, no identifying<br />

captions – of places around our small town that<br />

we thought should be cleaned up a bit. This tiny<br />

bit of journalism made locals so angry that we lost<br />

a lot of advertising.<br />

I started working at the newspaper in 1979, the<br />

time of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant<br />

accident, which according to Wikipedia is “the<br />

most significant accident in US commercial<br />

nuclear power plant history.” At the same time,<br />

Duke Power was building McGuire Nuclear<br />

Station, located about four minutes upwind of our<br />

town and with the same design as Three Mile<br />

Island. Half the people in our town worked for<br />

Duke Power, and the other half were academics<br />

working for Davidson College. Needless to say,<br />

nuclear power was an extremely divisive issue.<br />

Bunias orientalis, a drought-tolerant vegetable from the<br />

Caucasus<br />

Moving around the US<br />

From there I moved back to Atlanta to work at an<br />


seeds and tried lots of things. But getting an<br />

education, establishing a career, marriage and<br />

having kids – none of this left much time for<br />

gardening, though I always had a lot of potted<br />

plants indoors. Then, late in life, I returned to<br />

some of my first loves, which included gardening –<br />

now with a focus on vegetables and fruit. When<br />

my mother-in-law died in 2013, we bought my<br />

husband’s childhood home with a big garden, and<br />

things took off. After my father died in 2014 and<br />

my mother in 2015, I found gardening was<br />

extraordinarily healing.<br />

Ready for a spot of gardening<br />

advertising agency as a typographer. After two<br />

more years there, I attended the University of<br />

Missouri Journalism School. From there I moved to<br />

New York City, where I met my future Danish<br />

husband, Bjarne.<br />

Moving to Denmark<br />

About the only reason for an American to move to<br />

Denmark is if they marry a Dane. That’s what<br />

happened to me. When I told my dad that I<br />

wanted to marry a Dane and move to Denmark,<br />

first he had to look it up on a map to see where it<br />

was. The next day he went down to his local bank<br />

and asked about the tax laws in the country. After<br />

looking up Denmark’s tax policies, the bank man<br />

looked at my dad and asked if it really HAD to be<br />

Denmark that I moved to.<br />

Learning to garden<br />

I am completely self-taught. Of course, I am a<br />

member of several gardening associations in<br />

Denmark, read magazines, and importantly, my<br />

friends include other gardening nerds. I am<br />

learning all the time. Just last week, I walked past<br />

the garden of a neighbor and discovered her up a<br />

ladder in an apple tree. I asked her what she was<br />

doing, and it turned out she was “planting”<br />

mistletoe. You glue their sticky small white berries<br />

onto the branches of an apple, beech or poplar<br />

tree, and in two years you get a Christmas<br />

mistletoe. This was certainly not anything I have<br />

tried before. Before I could protest, she pressed a<br />

dozen of the berries into my hand. I have yet to<br />

plant them.<br />

My gardening successes<br />

I have tried a lot of permaculture perennial<br />

vegetables, berry bushes and fruit trees. My<br />

husband grows vegetables the traditional way –<br />

tilling the ground every spring, planting the iconic<br />

annual vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beets,<br />

My life has been a bit like Forrest Gump’s. My<br />

career shouldn’t have survived an international<br />

jump, but it did. I am fairly certain my parents<br />

looked at my fiancé and said to themselves that<br />

this marriage was not going to work. But it did.<br />

When I look back, if I had been my parents, I<br />

would have been quite worried about my<br />

daughter entering an international marriage, and<br />

mine were. But 34 years and three kids later, I am<br />

still married to the same man. (And he likes to<br />

garden, too.)<br />

A love of gardening<br />

My dad was a lifelong enthusiastic gardener, so<br />

maybe it’s something I inherited. As a teenager, I<br />

loved reading seed catalogues, mostly flowers.<br />

Park Seed catalogue was my favorite – all the<br />

photos and small descriptions. I bought lots of<br />

My husband of 35 years, Bjarne, weeding out the thistles<br />


trade-offs and finding a balance between wild<br />

areas and high-efficiency farms. Let’s hope our<br />

politics improve.<br />

Me with my daughter Peyton and husband Bjarne<br />

celery root, leeks, onions, pumpkins, etc. I grow<br />

things that nobody has ever heard of (except<br />

other permaculture people), such as brunius<br />

orientalis, called “takkeklap” in Danish. I love<br />

perennial kale! We find the two ways work very<br />

well together – the perennials supply a lot of food<br />

already in April and continue through the<br />

summer, whereas the traditional annuals really<br />

only start up in July and later.<br />

With gardening, you experiment and see what<br />

works. One spring I planted sweet potatoes, which<br />

grow like weeds in Atlanta, Georgia, where I grew<br />

up. I waited eagerly, but nothing ever came up. In<br />

the fall, I dug them up to see what had happened,<br />

and the answer was nothing. Turns out the soil<br />

temperature in Denmark is just too cold. Perfect<br />

for storing sweet potatoes, but not growing them.<br />

So we had some perfectly stored sweet potatoes,<br />

and we ate them. End of story.<br />

Importance of biodiversity<br />

People don’t understand biodiversity and the<br />

value of things like stinging nettles (which support<br />

something like 130 different insects, and make an<br />

excellent pasta dish and soup, by the way). There<br />

are too few truly wild areas. I am guilty of this<br />

myself. Mother Nature is powerful, sometimes<br />

violent and truly uncontrollable, and I think most<br />

experienced gardeners are a wee bit scared of<br />

her. Also, letting Mother Nature do her thing<br />

reduces our role to pretty much nothing – which<br />

hammers our natural egocentricity. So it may feel<br />

UNnatural to us to live with nature.<br />

On the other hand, people blame the farmers for<br />

mono-cropping and using pesticides, dominating<br />

nature, but we couldn’t feed ourselves without<br />

high-efficiency farms, and I am certainly not prostarvation<br />

for anyone. From what I have read, the<br />

answer may be to allocate more land to wild<br />

areas, but at the same time make farms even<br />

more efficient and intensive.<br />

Unfortunately, our political decision-making<br />

processes are usually not good at evaluating<br />

Pandemic changes<br />

I do think the pandemic has changed things.<br />

People have been forced to taste a bit of<br />

quiet. Some (like me) found they liked it more<br />

than expected. The pandemic has forced<br />

employers to accept virtual work to a greater<br />

degree. Combined with a rising interest in organic<br />

food and exploding real estate prices in the cities,<br />

this will encourage people to live farther out,<br />

because a long commute three times a week may<br />

be acceptable where the same commute five days<br />

a week would be too much. All this is good news<br />

for the future of gardening.<br />

I have never been a survivalist, hoarding two years<br />

of canned goods. But having a robust garden gives<br />

me a sense of security, both for myself and my<br />

children. Perhaps this has to do with the<br />

pandemic, which could – correction here – which<br />

absolutely will happen again, nobody knows<br />

when. Perhaps it has to do with the knowledge<br />

that the Russian airforce could fly over Denmark’s<br />

airspace with four minutes’ warning or less.<br />

<strong>May</strong>be it has to do with my sense that in order to<br />

create enough green energy, we will probably<br />

need to return to nuclear power – which, while<br />

now much safer designs exist, from what I read,<br />

will always be a tempting terrorist target. <strong>May</strong>be I<br />

am so worried about climate change, and don’t<br />

know what to do about it – other than growing a<br />

garden and using public transportation more.<br />

(While writing this, I am sitting on a regional train<br />

heading to south Denmark, having left the car in<br />

Copenhagen.) <strong>May</strong>be I am just getting old. In any<br />

case, we are living in a time of great change, and<br />

gardening gives me a sense of security and<br />

literally keeps me grounded. No matter what<br />

happens, life will win out. The world recovered<br />

even from the great extinctions of the past.<br />

No gardening without compost<br />

Learning new skills<br />

This past year, I learned how to use an old-<br />


fashioned scythe. It’s a skill. I had to attend two<br />

workshops to learn. Now I need to go practice. It’s<br />

important to me so I don’t have to start a noisy<br />

lawn mower that chokes up every time I want to<br />

cut some tall grass. Using a scythe is quiet,<br />

meditative, rhythmic – swish, swish, swish. It’s also<br />

slow – I am not selling my lawnmower yet.<br />

Gardening trade-offs<br />

Gardening is all about trade-offs. I do<br />

permaculture; we are zealots about adding<br />

organic material back into the soil, including lots<br />

of mulch. But guess what – slugs love the organic<br />

material just like the plants do. To get rid of the<br />

slugs, I don’t want to use poison, I don’t have a<br />

good pond to keep ducks (they eat slugs), I don’t<br />

have any hedgehogs in my backyard yet (they also<br />

eat slugs), and I don’t want to use my evenings<br />

patrolling my garden and chopping slugs. So I live<br />

with the slugs.<br />

The best movie on gardening that I’ve seen is The<br />

Biggest Little Farm. It shows how finding balance<br />

takes time and experience, practice and patience.<br />

My favorite season<br />

Spring! Hope and light return. The bushes and<br />

trees that have appeared dead suddenly spring<br />

forth with life. It’s exciting. I try very hard to enjoy<br />

autumn to the same degree, try to enjoy the<br />

coming darkness and cold as the world prepares<br />

itself for a time of quiet winter. But I don’t<br />

succeed. Spring wins every time!<br />

In my permaculture garden, island of Moen, Denmark<br />

My latest garden purchase<br />

I just bought a bird house for owls. This is a big<br />

thing, roughly the size of a standard moving box.<br />

Even a small owl will eat two-three mice a day,<br />

which will protect my fruit bushes much more<br />

effectively than my cat ever could.<br />

If I were a flower…<br />

I hope I would perhaps be a dandelion. They have<br />

looooong roots that go straight down into the dirt.<br />

Drought does not stop them. It’s difficult to pull<br />

them up. They sprout beautiful flowers, which are<br />

edible, and which turn into a million seeds born by<br />

the wind. Dandelions are tough. I admire plants<br />

and people who are survivors.<br />

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<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Pollinators<br />

Liz Janson, of FAUSA, on the importance of bees to us all.<br />

Did you know that the honey bees (Apis mellifera)<br />

responsible for pollinating are ALL females?! The<br />

female members of a honey bee colony are the<br />

worker bees, and they collect the pollen for the<br />

protein needs of developing brood (larvae) and<br />

for carbohydrates (nectar, which is turned into<br />

honey by dehydration). Worker bees inside the<br />

colony dehydrate the nectar into honey and cap it<br />

with a thin layer of wax to preserve it for when<br />

they need it during periods of dearth.<br />

At least 75% of all flowering plants need some<br />

kind of help with pollinating the estimated one<br />

third of the food we eat. Bees alone are<br />

responsible for billions of dollars of US<br />

agricultural productivity, and they are the most<br />

efficient and effective of the insect pollinators.<br />

Honey bees are not native to North America! They<br />

were introduced from Europe in the 17th century<br />

to pollinate the fruit trees and fruits that early<br />

settlers brought with them. Honey bee colonies<br />

spread west with the expansion of the settlers.<br />

There are over 3600 species of bees in North<br />

America and 20,000 species worldwide. Native<br />

bees often specialize in pollinating one plant, but<br />

honey bees are generalists and forage on many<br />

different plants. Honey bees must collect nectar<br />

from over two million flowers to produce 16<br />

ounces of honey!<br />

How pollination works<br />

When a pollinator reaches into a flower with its<br />

mouth, beak or tongue for nectar, it picks up<br />

pollen on its hair or feathers. Then it flies off to<br />

the next plant, unknowingly carrying and sharing<br />

pollen for reproduction. Three of the most<br />

important pollinators are bees, birds and bats.<br />

Not all plants require the help of a pollinator<br />

(birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles,<br />

Green sweat bee, Augochlora pupa<br />

wasps, small mammals and bees); some use the<br />

air or water or self-pollination.<br />

Impacts of climate change<br />

Data and anecdotal observations show that<br />

our climate is changing, regardless of where in<br />

the world we live. Not only are we experiencing<br />

warmer overall temperatures, but the increasingly<br />

extreme fluctuations from cold to hot and back<br />

again are having an impact on our pollinators<br />

through shifting bloom periods, declines<br />

in the availability of nutritious forage and<br />

migration patterns.<br />

How you can help<br />

Plant natives! Trees, flowers and bushes that<br />

are native to your location attract local<br />

pollinators, as well as the generalist honey<br />

bees. Natives’ water, sunlight and soil<br />

requirements are already suited to your<br />

environment … it makes it easier to be a<br />

successful gardener when you plant natives!<br />

<br />

<br />

Eliminate pesticides and herbicides that are<br />

harmful to pollinators. Blossoms treated<br />

with chemicals are often poisonous to<br />

pollinators; some neonicotinoids and other<br />

pesticides are systemic and leach into all<br />

parts of the plants, the earth around them<br />

and the water table. Use mulch instead to<br />

inhibit unwanted growth.<br />

Learn to love weeds! Weeds are only plants<br />

that may not be growing where we want<br />

them to. The “No Mow <strong>May</strong>” initiative started<br />

in the UK is gradually spreading across<br />

North America. This initiative asks people to<br />


leave their lawnmowers in garages and<br />

sheds during the month of <strong>May</strong> and to<br />

return green spaces to wild flowers and<br />

grasses, which in turn provide nectar and<br />

pollen for our pollinators. For more<br />

information, see the “No Mow <strong>May</strong>” in the UK<br />

and in North America and a recent article in<br />

the New York Times.<br />

Get active and advocate for pollinators’<br />

health. There are many worldwide and local<br />

organizations that support pollinators’ health<br />

and habitat. Individuals can make a<br />

difference! In my home town of Boulder, CO,<br />

a group of local beekeepers, residents,<br />

University of Colorado, the City of Boulder<br />

and gardeners have joined forces to create a<br />

pollinator corridor through the middle of the<br />

city, Corredor de las Plantas.<br />

Create habitat areas for a variety of<br />

pollinators. Convert a corner of your yard or<br />

a large pot to a habitat area, planting or<br />

seeding plants that bloom starting in early<br />

spring to autumn. Consult local websites or<br />

experts (including FAWCO and FAUSA Master<br />

Gardeners!) to learn what forage will grow<br />

best in your area and climate.<br />

<br />

Sun shining through pollen<br />

Many local universities and garden societies<br />

are a wealth of information and resources<br />

for your particular microclimate.<br />

Liz Janson has been keeping bees since 2019, two years<br />

after returning to the US from Munich. She has four<br />

hives on her roof, where she can (and does!) observe<br />

their comings and goings frequently. Active in the<br />

Boulder, CO beekeeping community and Colorado<br />

Master Beekeeping program, Liz enjoys learning about<br />

how to keep bees in managed hives. Through<br />

beekeeping, she became interested in pollinators and<br />

how important they are to our food supply and the<br />

beauty of the world around us. In her spare time, Liz is<br />

president of FAUSA and grandmother to three (almost<br />

four!) young grandchildren.<br />

Summer bees<br />

<br />

Support local farmers (and beekeepers!)<br />

by buying food and honey grown in your<br />

area. This includes meat, as well as fruits<br />

and vegetables!<br />

Other resources<br />

In Europe, the EU’s Pollinators Initiative<br />

was launched in 2018. Its policy page<br />

contains many resources about how you<br />

can get involved.<br />

<br />

22<br />

Pollinator Partnership is a terrific resource<br />

for more information. While North Americacentric,<br />

it contains excellent information to<br />

learn more.<br />

Liz with granddaughter Zelda in their bee suits


My Garden: Vienna, Austria<br />

Ida Vickers, of AWA Vienna, shows us around her garden.<br />

Where do you live/where is your<br />

garden? I live in an allotment garden<br />

community (Kleingartenverein) in the 12 th<br />

district of Vienna.<br />

How long have you been gardening, and<br />

what made you start? We bought the<br />

house at the end of 2019, and I<br />

immediately started planning what to<br />

grow. I have always wanted to grow some<br />

of my own food – inspired by my late<br />

grandfather. I garden in his honor.<br />

What is the size and style/type of<br />

your garden? About 200 m² in total,<br />

but I mainly use the garden at the back<br />

of the house (60 m²?) for my things.<br />

The front is a bit more “presentable”<br />

with a lawn maintained by my English<br />

husband, some fruit trees, and<br />

ornamentals such as roses, spring<br />

bulbs and lavender.<br />


What do you grow in your garden?<br />

Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, but<br />

mainly shade-tolerant crops such as<br />

beetroot, lettuce, spinach, because the<br />

back of the house doesn’t get a lot of<br />

sun. There are some fruit trees in the<br />

front as well.<br />

What is different about your garden<br />

from where you previously lived? This is<br />

my first garden.<br />

What do you love most about your<br />

garden? It has saved my sanity during<br />

the pandemic, has given me<br />

community – I run a Facebook group of<br />

over 600 expat gardeners – and it has<br />

fed me and the bees many a meal.<br />



Gardening in<br />

Colombia Brings<br />

Peace to the<br />

Mind<br />

After a challenging start, Sandra<br />

Montgomery, of AWC Bogotá, has<br />

found that growing things brings<br />

her peace.<br />

Sandra Montgomery<br />

I am from Bogotá, Colombia. As the second of<br />

four daughters, most of the time I lived in a small<br />

town where my mother had grown up. Think hot<br />

weather, light clothes. I was a happy girl, a free<br />

spirit who loved to play on the streets with my<br />

friends until late. I did not like school at all; I used<br />

to ride bikes, play basketball, hide, swim in the<br />

river and enjoy family gatherings.<br />

Leaving home<br />

My early years were hard. I became a single<br />

mother at 15 years old. My first jobs were<br />

cleaning floors and selling underwear at a chain<br />

store. During this time I went through a period of<br />

true darkness and was using psychoactive<br />

substances and alcohol. Then, in 1993, I faced<br />

death as a result of a car accident that disfigured<br />

my face and my soul. Due to the trauma, I<br />

suffered from panic attacks, depression, anxiety<br />

and being overweight for many years.<br />

But today I live in Tenjo, Colombia, and enjoy a<br />

harmonious, light and airy figure, without the<br />

need for surgery. Presence, self-observation, selflove<br />

and care, acceptance of emotions and fasting<br />

are my best allies today.<br />

Moving forward<br />

I worked for fifteen years in well-known<br />

corporations, specializing in human resources<br />

management and administration. In 2006, I<br />

decided to resign to pursue my dream to study<br />

psychology. So in 2007, I began professional<br />

studies in psychology, integrative Gestalt therapy,<br />

integral yoga and TRE® stress and trauma<br />

releasing exercises, disciplines that today are part<br />

of my everyday life; I specialize in mindful eating.<br />

After completing my studies, I founded the<br />

Serenity Gymnasium of Consciousness, a space<br />

for resting and healing, workshops and retreats. I<br />

am the director of the Serenity Foundation, a nonprofit<br />

entity for the well-being of young<br />

adolescents in pregnancy and vulnerable<br />

situations as part of this.<br />

Life today<br />

Now I work as a human development consultant<br />

for corporate groups and individuals. I live with<br />

my life partner Thomas, taking care of the farm<br />

and business, but most of all enjoying life. I try to<br />

leave ego behind, while living a simple and quiet<br />

life, serving, living each day as it is, in acceptance<br />

and gratitude.<br />

Serenity<br />

A love for gardening<br />

Gardening brings peace to my mind. No thoughts,<br />

no worries, no desires, just enjoying the present<br />

moment. My mother used to talk to the plants; all<br />

of them were beautiful. I think I got my interest in<br />

plants and flowers from her.<br />


asparagus, squash, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce,<br />

kale and herbs is a blessing for me. The colors,<br />

flavors, textures are different. To know that we are<br />

nurturing our bodies with clean and fresh<br />

products, directly from Mother Nature, I think is<br />

totally magical.<br />

Important learning<br />

A couple of years ago we had an extreme cold<br />

season. That is not very common in Colombia.<br />

Most of our trees, flowers and garden died. I did<br />

learn many things though: for example, some<br />

The Montgomery Family<br />

Learning by doing<br />

I’ve had no training or formal education in<br />

gardening. But I have been living in the country for<br />

the last 16 years, cultivating and gardening. With<br />

practice I have been learning and getting more<br />

expertise. I am especially fascinated by succulents.<br />

Last year we hosted a workshop to learn how to<br />

prepare organic compost (Bokashi) and pesticide<br />

(Super Magro).<br />

During the pandemic, I learned to drive a tractor,<br />

prepare the land, sow and cultivate, receiving the<br />

wisdom of Mother Earth. Quite a specialization!<br />

My successes<br />

Harvesting our own potatoes, fruits, onions,<br />

Food grown by me<br />

plants looked dead, but what happens is that they<br />

start releasing some vitamins to the roots to<br />

protect themselves during the cold season, and<br />

when it is over, they grow back stronger and more<br />

beautiful. It was so beautiful because at that<br />

moment I realized that plants are also resilient,<br />

like us. Like a song says, what does not kill you<br />

makes you stronger. Yes, that is true!<br />

Pandemic changes<br />

The pandemic taught us the importance of<br />

appreciating life, not to take it for granted, to live<br />

with less, to take care of ourselves in all our<br />

dimensions. It taught us to appreciate nature,<br />

green and clean air more, taking care of our<br />

natural resources and being more compassionate.<br />

I think more people will look to live outside of the<br />

big cities, have simpler lives, and cultivate their<br />

own food.<br />

The pandemic was a great opportunity, for some<br />

to stop living for appearances and be more<br />

authentic and honest. It was an opportunity to<br />

look inside oneself and maybe stop some of the<br />

habitual behaviors.<br />

Planting out<br />

Things I want to learn<br />

I want to learn more about how to treat fungus<br />

and lack of vitamins in some plants, trees and soil.<br />

I want to learn how to recover the soil with organic<br />


Tending the corn<br />


territory is a blessing for the variety and<br />

abundance we can enjoy every day of the year.<br />

My secret garden<br />

My secret garden is at the back of our land. It is a<br />

magical corner full of succulents, I have a wind<br />

chime, a couple of colorful ceramics, and a<br />

hanging wooden hummingbird. I want to add<br />

some pots with water for hummingbirds. That<br />

spot brings lots of peace to my soul.<br />

If I were a tree…<br />

This is a funny question for my inner child. I think I<br />

would love to be a mango tree. Big, strong, with<br />

sweet fruits to sweeten peoples lives, with big<br />

branches to provide freshness and shade during<br />

hot days.<br />

My secret garden<br />

and natural products to avoid the use of<br />

chemicals. It is like us: we do not need chemicals<br />

to be healthy; with good, natural nutrients we can<br />

live a bright, vital life.<br />

Living in Colombia<br />

One of the things I love the most about Colombia<br />

is that we can plant, cultivate and harvest the<br />

whole year round. That for me is fascinating. This<br />

Harvesting cabbages<br />




A Club Inspires:<br />

Barcelona <strong>Women</strong>’s Network<br />

Karen Holladay, Club President of BWN, introduces her club to<br />

us. BWN is one of seven clubs in FAWCO’s Region 3.<br />

When and why was your club started, and by<br />

whom? BWN was officially founded back in 1998,<br />

by Nancy Nemer, a wonderfully dynamic woman<br />

who felt a need to start an international women’s<br />

club to organize fun events for its members,<br />

explore Barcelona and find ways to help the needy<br />

of Barcelona through fundraising.<br />

From coffee get-togethers, walks and a Gala<br />

Dinner with a raffle and silent auction, the club’s<br />

activities have expanded over the years to<br />

encompass both imported and local traditions<br />

such as annual “Calcotadas” (a very local long<br />

lunch involving a kind of onion!), concerts by a<br />

member who is a well-known singer, holiday<br />

Bazaars and our Heart Pillow Project (a FAWCO<br />

activity done by many clubs in Europe, started by a<br />

member of the AWC Denmark to support women<br />

having breast cancer treatment).<br />

BWN Board Members<br />

BWN Members marching<br />


three book clubs (one in Spanish), yoga classes,<br />

lunches, dinners, evening drinks, as well as a wide<br />

range of fundraising events with different themes<br />

involving fashion recycling, music, art, a recent<br />

treasure hunt and really anything else any<br />

member proposes…<br />

Do you raise money for any particular cause?<br />

We have always been a social club with a social<br />

purpose and we care very much about fundraising<br />

for local organizations that mainly support women<br />

and children. As a club for women by women, one<br />

of our great founding pillars is supporting not only<br />

the women in our own community but the women<br />

in the community around us.<br />

BWN Treasure Hunt<br />

How many members do you have, and what<br />

are their nationalities? Pre-COVID-19, we have<br />

had up to 200 members, with many different<br />

profiles: expats who have lived in Barcelona for 40<br />

years, some who are here for just a few years, and<br />

local women who enjoy the very international<br />

community that we have.<br />

The reasons they are here vary hugely: from<br />

coming because their partner has a job here, they<br />

have a job here themselves, or they have just<br />

fallen in love with our wonderful city. We help<br />

them all to make their way here.<br />

Sadly COVID-19 had a big impact on our<br />

organization, which went down to as low as 41<br />

members. Many members returned to their<br />

country of origin, and those living here did not all<br />

renew their membership as there could be no inperson<br />

activities.<br />

We are gradually rebuilding our community, with<br />

former members rejoining and new members<br />

coming on board, and are currently nearly 100.<br />

How does the club run? We have an elected<br />

board consisting of: President, two Vice-<br />

Presidents, Treasurer and Secretary. Positions are<br />

open to all every year, as each position has a<br />

maximum length of time they can serve, i.e., as<br />

President you can serve for two years and other<br />

positions three years.<br />

We do this by organizing fun events with an<br />

entrance fee which goes to our charities. For<br />

example, our most recent event in February,<br />

Fashion Cares, raised just over €3000 in one<br />

afternoon. Our current cause is Lligam Dona, an<br />

association here in Barcelona which has a refuge<br />

for women who have suffered domestic violence.<br />

What was your own favorite activity last year?<br />

Fashion Cares (all about sustainable fashion), just<br />

last month, and Footprints (a fundraising event<br />

based around everything to do with the feet!), in<br />

January, were both great fun because people<br />

came and had fun, listened to some great<br />

musicians and connected with others in and<br />

outside the club in a wonderful atmosphere – all<br />

while raising money!<br />

One of our long-standing members has also just<br />

recently organized our first Treasure Hunt, which<br />

was an outstanding success and raised €220 for<br />

our charity.<br />

What else would you like us to know about<br />

your club? The most important thing about our<br />

club is that we are a community that is deeply<br />

rooted in where we live, with so many members<br />

having made Barcelona their permanent home.<br />

Life-long friendships form in our club and the<br />

support we can give to women in, as well as<br />

outside, the club is hugely strengthened by this.<br />

We have different members organizing different<br />

events and activities, as we really encourage our<br />

members to participate in the club by proposing<br />

their own ideas that may be of interest to others.<br />

Our FAWCO Committee organizes Sharing Culture<br />

gatherings for our diverse membership.<br />

What kind of events do you have in your club?<br />

We have many different events every month<br />

organized by different members: cultural outings,<br />

museum/art gallery visits with guides, concert,<br />

ballet and film viewings, art classes in the parks,<br />

Fashion Cares event<br />


Tell us a little about your city and country in<br />

general Barcelona once lived with its back to the<br />

sea, but the 1992 Olympic Games changed<br />

everything. Where there were once abandoned<br />

and empty warehouses, as well as an unsafe<br />

restaurant and beach area, the Olympics<br />

transformed Barcelona into the world-famous,<br />

cosmopolitan city we know today, where the port<br />

and beach area is inviting, safe and a destination<br />

for dining, sailing and family outings. 20% of the<br />

current population is actually foreign.<br />

Barceloneta Beach<br />

For many women coming to Barcelona for the first<br />

time, the club has been a lifeline, because if you<br />

arrive in this city without a job or children of<br />

school age it can be very difficult to meet people,<br />

particularly if you are also coping with learning<br />

Spanish and/or Catalan.<br />

While there are many other very good women’s<br />

groups in Barcelona, many focus on women in the<br />

workplace. At BWN we are proud to say we really<br />

are for ALL women, working or not, retired or just<br />

setting out in life, as we believe that all our<br />

experiences can enrich and help others when we<br />

work and play together.<br />

I fell in love with Barcelona when it was much less<br />

known and have seen the many changes it has<br />

gone through since – mostly good, in terms of<br />

restoring the neglected beautiful buildings and<br />

bringing new life to forgotten neighborhoods.<br />

Tourism has been a driving factor in this<br />

transformation thanks to the Olympics, although<br />

not all locals are happy with the resulting rise in<br />

rents and general cost of living. For me, it is still<br />

the most beautiful city in the world to live in.<br />

What are a few undiscovered gems in your<br />

city? There are almost too many to mention, as<br />

behind almost every main tourist attraction lies a<br />

wealth of lesser-known palaces, secret gardens,<br />

unexpected statues and pretty fountains. In our<br />

recent treasure hunt even members who had<br />

lived here for many years were surprised by some<br />

of the things we found on our route!<br />

I personally still find secret corners in Montjuic or<br />

Collserola, two of the city’s nature areas very<br />

accessible to the city center.<br />

La Sagrada Familia from above<br />


Any unusual/interesting traits of the locals?<br />

Again, too many to count! One of my favorites is<br />

the tradition of the Castellers, which involves a<br />

group of people, children included, climbing on top<br />

of each other to make human castles.<br />

One of the strangest is the Cagatio, a wood log that<br />

poops candy at Christmas after being fed scraps of<br />

food for several weeks leading up to Christmas.<br />

Then, children beat it with a stick and beg it to<br />

poop out a Spanish nougat called turrón.<br />

And definitely the most romantic is the Sant Jordi<br />

holiday in honor of Catalunya's Patron Saint (St.<br />

George), celebrated throughout Barcelona with<br />

decorated stands selling books and roses which<br />

people gift each other. Children also dance the<br />

typical dance of Catalunya, the Sardana, at schools<br />

on this special day, often called the Catalan<br />

Valentine’s Day.<br />



My Garden: Molineuf, France<br />

Kit Desjacques, of AAWE Paris, shows us around her garden.<br />

Where do you live/where is your<br />

garden? We live in an apartment outside<br />

Paris but we spend half our time at the<br />

family country house in Molineuf, France<br />

(Loire Valley), where I am the head (and<br />

only) gardener! I inherited the garden<br />

from my mother-in-law, who started the<br />

garden in 1984 and gave it to me before<br />

she died.<br />

How long have you been gardening, and<br />

what made you start? I’ve been gardening<br />

for most of my 68 years. I think my dad<br />

may have shown me how to plant seeds,<br />

but my mom and two of my siblings are all<br />

serious gardeners. It’s in the genes!<br />

What is the size and style/type of<br />

your garden? 1750 square meters. It is<br />

a large garden with a south-facing<br />

slope in front and a shaded area<br />

behind the house. There are flower<br />

beds carved out of the grass, and trees<br />

(fruit trees and conifers) that create<br />

garden rooms. I like to think of it as an<br />

English cottage garden.<br />


What do you grow in your garden?<br />

Mostly flowers, herbs, and fruit. I’m<br />

branching out into vegetables now that<br />

we’re retired and spending more time in<br />

the countryside, but my success has<br />

been limited.<br />

What is different about your garden<br />

from where you previously lived? I<br />

grew up in New Mexico, where<br />

gardening is an extreme sport. Now I live<br />

in a place where cyclamen, primroses<br />

and orchids grow wild in the grass. I<br />

rarely buy plants now. I grow most of my<br />

stock and AAWE has a plant exchange<br />

every spring where we get together for a<br />

potluck lunch and trade plants!<br />

What do you love most about your<br />

garden? I love flowers, but plants with<br />

variegated leaves are even better<br />

because they provide color and interest<br />

even in winter when nothing is<br />

blooming. Heucheras and variegated<br />

sedums are my current favorite plants.<br />

The garden is in a constant state of<br />

change. It has evolved over the twenty<br />

years I’ve been working in it. At first, I<br />

wanted to have one of every plant, but<br />

over the years, it has become more of a<br />

garden than a plant collection. Also, I<br />

am moving toward plants that need<br />

less water to survive.<br />



A Bird, Bee and<br />

Amphibian<br />

Friendly Area<br />

Sharon Smillie, of AWC<br />

Amsterdam, believes that it’s<br />

important to have green space to<br />

attract wildlife to gardens.<br />

I grew up on my parents’ hobby farm outside of<br />

Cleveland, Ohio, where I was active in 4-H (a USbased<br />

network of youth organizations), horses,<br />

and spending time outdoors. I helped my parents<br />

in the vegetable garden and was fascinated by the<br />

birds, amphibians and other creatures that visited<br />

our flower garden. I wanted to become a zoologist<br />

or marine biologist but the math got the better of<br />

me, so it was not to be.<br />

Leaving home<br />

Following the death of my mother when I was 20, I<br />

left our farm to go to university, where I received<br />

a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration<br />

and minored in Russian Language. Then in 1992 I<br />

Sharon Smillie<br />

went to teach English to Russian children in<br />

Moscow, progressed my Russian language studies<br />

and traveled.<br />

Moving to Amsterdam<br />

I moved to Amsterdam as a newlywed nearly 22<br />

years ago and my children have grown up here.<br />

Previously I lived two years in London working for<br />

WorldCom MCI and married my husband Martin<br />

there. His job in Tech and Telecommunications<br />

brought us to the Netherlands.<br />

Our two daughters were born in Amsterdam, and<br />

we’ve raised them bilingually, attending Dutch<br />

schools and speaking English with us at home. We<br />

read a lot of English books to them at bedtime as<br />

well as watched English TV programs. They speak<br />

a third language as well and are open to people<br />

from foreign cultures.<br />

What I love about gardening<br />

Being outdoors and getting my hands in the soil,<br />

sowing and reaping the benefit of fresh<br />

blueberries, blackberries, green beans and<br />

tomatoes. I get excited when I see flower bulbs<br />

and perennials starting to pop out of the ground,<br />

wondering what they will look like. I often forget<br />

what I’ve planted and am delighted when I am<br />

surprised by them.<br />

My garden in 2004<br />

36<br />

Starting out in gardening<br />

From a young age I was fascinated by the birds,<br />

amphibians and other creatures that visited our<br />

25-acre farm. I didn’t get involved in gardening<br />

until my kids attended junior high school and I<br />

had more time. I got inspired by the idea of<br />

bringing nature to the city in every way: whether<br />

it’s rooftop gardens, flower gardens that support<br />

birds, bees, butterflies and amphibians, or simple<br />

vegetable gardens. This interest is what led me to<br />

get advice from Vogelsbescherming, a bird

conservation organization that gave me advice on<br />

how to convert my garden into a bird, bee and<br />

amphibian friendly area. So far, I’ve counted about<br />

15 different sorts of birds that have visited and<br />

toads and frogs that return each year.<br />

How I learned to garden<br />

I am self-taught, having read articles, asking<br />

experts’ and friends’ advice, and of course trial<br />

and error, all of which taught me about soil,<br />

exposure, water needs etc.<br />

Changes I would like to see<br />

Introducing amphibians—frogs, toads,<br />

salamanders—and attracting birds, bees and<br />

butterflies into my garden and neighborhood<br />

courtyard. I am glad that our City Council is<br />

encouraging homeowners to remove some of<br />

their tiles to create more green space. It helps with<br />

water runoff and of course to attract nature. I<br />

think the continued efforts of conservation groups<br />

working with the city council help, as well as<br />

getting residents onboard to realize the benefits.<br />

You can make the most of the space, allowing<br />

some for nature and some for our own use. We<br />

have a tiled pathway and terrace area but also<br />

green areas.<br />

Garden differences between the Netherlands<br />

and the US<br />

Here in Amsterdam, some residents tile their<br />

entire garden so that it’s easier to maintain,<br />

although the “Green Thumbs” do their utmost to<br />

My garden<br />

create green spaces throughout the city and in<br />

their own gardens, which does attract birds<br />

and insects. Back in the USA, nature is usually on<br />

our doorstep!<br />

Since the pandemic started I am seeing a trend in<br />

Amsterdam to create more green spaces, even<br />

areas built onto the canals for plants and flowers.<br />

It’s definitely become more green since I moved<br />

here in 2000.<br />

The best and worst piece of gardening advice<br />

you’ve ever received<br />

Best: Go with what works in your garden. In the<br />

beginning I wanted all kinds of flowers and plants,<br />

but at the end of the day only certain ones flourish<br />

in my garden, so this couldn’t be more true and<br />

important for me.<br />

Worst: I was attending a nature workshop and<br />

asked if anyone had frogs and toads laying eggs<br />

because I wanted to introduce them to my garden<br />

and courtyard. A few of the ladies looked at me in<br />

horror and said, “Ewww.” The organizer thought<br />

that if you want nature, go out of the city, but I<br />

couldn’t disagree more.<br />

My favorite season in the garden<br />

I love the summer, when my garden is in full<br />

bloom, and where I sit out in the sunshine,<br />

enjoying a glass of wine or cup of tea, and watch<br />

the North African swallows fly overhead. I’m<br />

curious what happens in my fishpond, and worry<br />

that my goldfish will eat too many tadpoles! In the<br />

evening, at dusk, I sit out and take in the quiet,<br />

listening to birds saying goodnight and watching<br />

bats flying overhead, scooping up insects.<br />

My Garden in 2021<br />




“Some People Travel, I Move!”<br />

Anna Gruner-Hegge, of AWC Bogotá, finds Colombia a photographically<br />

inspiring place to live.<br />

I arrived in Colombia in September 2021, my 15 th<br />

transplantation to date. Once, I followed my<br />

Swedish expat parents, who traveled the world.<br />

For a time, I followed my husband and his<br />

entrepreneurial schemes. Today, I follow my<br />

heart: Chicago, Santa Barbara, Perstorp, Amherst,<br />

New York City, Miami, Chennai, Floreal, Oslo,<br />

Rivière Noire, Sitges, Helsingborg, Mahaai,<br />

Wassenaar and now, finally, incredibly, Bogotá.<br />

This beautiful country is the most topographically<br />

disparate and photographically inspiring place I<br />

have found in a lifetime of moving. I reflected – a<br />

few months ago, I lived in a small coastal town on<br />

the North Sea just one meter above the sea. Now,<br />

unbelievably, I am here, my life jumbled, packed<br />

in boxes and reassembled in this sprawling urban<br />

capital, situated high on a plateau in the Andes<br />

Mountains, some 2,640 meters above sea level. It<br />

is a breathtaking transformation in more ways<br />

than one.<br />

As a photographer, I work in thematic series and<br />

groupings. It helps to synthesize the work,<br />

fostering a discourse between images. While living<br />

in the Netherlands, I had been working on a<br />

landscape series for a couple of years, so I am<br />

well versed in the ephemeral and discursive<br />

qualities that nature offers up on a whim. The<br />

images are graphic, disorienting and even<br />

frightening at times. I played with both open and<br />

impenetrable spaces. Above all, these landscapes<br />

were flat and the flora similar and uniform.<br />

Forest, Bogotá.<br />

Some people travel, I move. That distinction<br />

makes all the difference: new countries, new<br />

languages, new climate, new food, new clothes<br />

and new friends. Whole lives born, constructed<br />

and filed away with yet another airplane ticket. I<br />

am a wanderer, if not always by design, then<br />

certainly with curiosity and soles on the ground<br />

discovering the world about me. Perhaps I am an<br />

explorer, seeking out special places and<br />

unforgettable people with my lens.<br />

I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Art History at<br />

Columbia University in New York City. I later<br />

continued my studies and received a Master of<br />

Arts in Art and Design History. In time, I found<br />

photography, or it found me. I embarked on a<br />

program at the International Center of<br />

Photography, where I learned to work with film<br />

and print my own images in the darkroom.<br />

Photography has taken me on an amazing<br />

journey and keeps me sane as life shuttles me<br />

around the globe.<br />

Imagine my astonishment coming to Colombia.<br />

Mother Nature had me from the start. These<br />

landscapes are sublime. I feel dwarfed by their<br />

size and stature. It is like being propelled into a<br />

19th-century Constable or Friedrich landscape<br />

painting of epic proportion. I was mesmerized<br />

from the very start.<br />

The lower ridge of the eucalyptus mountain looking down<br />

towards Zipaquirá.<br />


Bogotá is a sprawling metropolis as fierce and<br />

urban as any in the world, and yet it has verdant<br />

pockets of parks and gardens, purpose-built for<br />

public use – an uncommon characteristic among<br />

Latin American cities. I am very fortunate to live in<br />

the center of town on the side of a mountain<br />

which affords me an inspiring view of the urban<br />

landscape below. The mountain is a centering<br />

place where I go to be alone and photograph.<br />

There is a steep forest on its slopes with<br />

meandering foot trails. I feel as if I’ve entered an<br />

arboretum that stretches along immeasurably.<br />

This mountain forest is both magical and<br />

foreboding. I feel small and powerless, and yet<br />

somehow kept safe, within its grounds.<br />

One of my favorite places to photograph is on a<br />

farm north of Bogotá above the town of Zipaquirá.<br />

The farm sits below a mountain adjacent to the<br />

famous salt mine and cathedral. The mountain<br />

was once a holy place for the indigenous Chibcha<br />

tribe where they performed their most sacred<br />

rituals. This consecrated mountain is now covered<br />

with a forest of fragrant eucalyptus trees<br />

stretching into the clouds as high as the eye<br />

can see.<br />

Below the mountain and under its protection is a<br />

quaint and beautiful farm whose gardens are filled<br />

with fragrant flowers, fruit trees and vegetable<br />

gardens. The farm produces organic honey which<br />

Victoria Regia Lily Pond with Kapok Tree, Nilo.<br />

takes its rich fragrance from the eucalyptus forest<br />

and the wild flowers which surround them.<br />

Another farm I had the good fortune to visit is<br />

located in Nilo, a 2.5 hour drive southwest of<br />

Bogotá. Seated at just 336 meters above sea<br />

level, the eco-system supports an entirely<br />

different language of flora and fauna. The<br />

proprietor at Nilo is a gifted horticulturalist and<br />

gardener. She manages to cultivate an enormous<br />

assortment of flora, including many varieties of<br />

bamboo and trees such as the imposing Kapok<br />

Tree (Ceiba Pentandra).<br />

The farm also benefits from its many ponds and<br />

aquatic plants, including the Victoria Regia, a<br />

renowned water lily from the Amazon. This giant<br />

lily with its ribbed undersurface and veined leaves<br />

inspired Joseph Paxton’s design for the Crystal<br />

Palace at the World Exhibition in London in 1851.<br />

The lily was difficult to cultivate in the English<br />

climate and when Joseph Paxton finally succeeded<br />

in making one bloom, he was knighted by Queen<br />

Victoria, who gave her name to the famous lily.<br />

These uniquely Colombian landscapes are a<br />

dialectic in shock and awe. I am humbled by their<br />

mystery, their majesty and their sublime power. In<br />

this land of no seasons, there is always a whisper,<br />

a hint which reminds me of their still delicate and<br />

ephemeral qualities.<br />

Visual narratives give me great pleasure to create;<br />

they help me make sense of the world around me<br />

as I continue to explore this<br />

extraordinary country. I<br />

think this is probably the<br />

beginning of a beautiful<br />

friendship between us.<br />

A Yarumo or Trumpet Tree (Cecropia Peltata) in a flower<br />

garden, enveloped by mist from the sacred eucalyptus<br />

mountain, Zipaquirá.<br />

Anna Ljung Grüner-Hegge is a<br />

photographer and art<br />

historian living and working in<br />

Bogotá, Colombia. She invites<br />

you to follow her journey on<br />

Instagram @annagrunerhegge<br />

and to visit her website<br />

www.annagrunerhegge.com<br />



My Garden: Stettlen, Switzerland<br />

Judy Steinemann, of AWC Bern, shows us around her garden.<br />

Where do you live/where is your<br />

garden? I live in Stettlen, a small town<br />

about 15 minutes outside of the capital<br />

of Bern.<br />

Judy with some of the rest of the multicultural team<br />

(Stefan, Nataliya and Donna)<br />

How long have you been gardening, and<br />

what made you start? I grew up on a farm<br />

in Kansas, so gardening was a part of my<br />

life from the beginning. My mother was a<br />

tomato fanatic, an illness that hit me also<br />

later in life, but I especially enjoyed<br />

planting and growing watermelons and<br />

pumpkins with my Dad.<br />

What is the size and style/type of<br />

your garden? I have a garden on an<br />

incline around our house, but the<br />

garden that is especially near to<br />

my heart is a children’s garden in our<br />

town. Friends and I started it about six<br />

years ago and my husband and I give<br />

classes there. Stettlengärtli is a halfcircle<br />

located behind the local indoor<br />

swimming pool and among apartment<br />

buildings. The garden is used by school<br />

classes and a course for children from<br />

six to eleven years of age. Each child in<br />

the course has a garden bed that they<br />

plant in March and take care of till the<br />

final harvest in September. We meet<br />

for 1 ½ hours per week during that<br />

time. Other events are open to the<br />

public. https://www.bioterra.ch/<br />

angebote-engagement/gartenkind<br />


What do you grow in your garden?<br />

The children grow vegetables, flowers<br />

and herbs. They love harvesting the<br />

potatoes. Although the zucchini are<br />

prolific, they are not so keen on eating<br />

them. I make a zucchini chocolate cake<br />

for them each year and tell them what is<br />

in it after they try it. They are usually<br />

pleasantly surprised.<br />

What is different about your garden<br />

from where you previously lived? We get<br />

much more rainfall here than in Kansas and<br />

the kinds of insects in the garden are a bit<br />

different than the ones I knew before.<br />

What do you love most about your<br />

garden? We get to share it with the<br />

children and the others in our town.<br />



Filling Old Doc<br />

Bradley’s Garden<br />

with Herbs<br />

Francine Mihalasky, of AWA<br />

Vienna, has always worked with<br />

her hands. Gardening, and<br />

especially herbs, have become a<br />

passion.<br />

Francine Mihalasky<br />

I grew up in a small northern Ontario town in<br />

Canada. I had a wonderful childhood. Although<br />

we did have a garden for a few years, I hated<br />

working in it. I abandoned it to spend a great<br />

portion of our summer camping. My most<br />

cherished memories are of my sister and me<br />

running around in the woods, having campfires,<br />

boating, and swimming.<br />

geologists create presentation materials. We<br />

finally settled in Green Bluff, WA about twelve<br />

years ago, where we still own a home.<br />

Leaving home<br />

Encouraged by my love for the outdoors, I left for<br />

college to study Geology. This is where I met my<br />

husband. After finishing our degrees, we moved<br />

to the States. We have been fortunate to live in<br />

several different states around the US over the<br />

last 20 years, including Nevada, New Jersey and<br />

Washington State. I never became an actual<br />

geologist. I spent most of my time helping other<br />

Moving to Vienna<br />

A few years ago, my husband accepted a position<br />

at the IAEA in Vienna. We moved to Vienna, where<br />

we will stay for five years.<br />

Our beautiful magnolia<br />

Early gardening<br />

I was a horrible gardener. I have what is called a<br />

black thumb and there are quite a few jokes at my<br />

expense making the rounds on the Bluff. My<br />

mother-in-law, on the other hand, was a master<br />

gardener. She grew the most extraordinary<br />

tomatoes. She brought the seeds from Poland<br />

when she moved to the States in the 1940s. I was<br />

never able to grow them in the dry Spokane<br />

climate, but many others in New Jersey have<br />

taken up the mantle. I, and maybe, if you are<br />

lucky, you might be able to find a “Lemko” tomato<br />

there if you look hard enough.<br />


the pleasure of acquiring local fleeces that I’ve<br />

cleaned, carded, and spun. I even sheared a goat<br />

one time.<br />

My biggest success<br />

My biggest success will always be my herb garden<br />

at our Green Bluff house. I started with the<br />

obligatory flat leaf parsley and chives and my<br />

garden grew from there. Every year I add<br />

something new. I have sage, thyme, oregano,<br />

tarragon, mint, etc. Some of it grows like weeds. I<br />

was constantly pulling oregano plants everywhere.<br />

I still have a difficult time growing other plants like<br />

basil. I’ve also added some raspberries and<br />

currants and I’m hopeful our renters will be<br />

planting a couple of fruit trees this year.<br />

Spinning<br />

She encouraged me to start small, and she<br />

insisted that everyone should at least have some<br />

flat leaf parsley and chives in a pot somewhere. A<br />

few snips of each makes every dish better. So,<br />

that’s what I did. I started with a couple of small<br />

containers. By the time I left New Jersey to head to<br />

Washington, I had a rather large collection of<br />

pots. We had all sorts of herbs, green beans and<br />

cherry tomatoes and I even had two fig trees.<br />

Then we moved to Green Bluff, Washington. I<br />

finally had a yard large enough to have an actual<br />

garden. Other than my mother-in-law, the people<br />

in my community were a big source of inspiration,<br />

support and information. They are an amazing<br />

group of people with years of accumulated<br />

agricultural knowledge.<br />

Working with my hands<br />

I may not have been a great gardener, but I have<br />

always been good at working with my hands. I love<br />

anything that has to do with textiles. I knit, spin,<br />

weave, sew, dye, etc. I also like getting my hands<br />

dirty. (I constantly forget to wear gloves when<br />

dying wool). I found a way to weave gardening into<br />

my passion for textiles. I foraged my property and<br />

local woodlands for plants to dye wool, and just<br />

before I left, I planted some madder, a red dye<br />

plant. The roots should be ready to cultivate when<br />

I get home. I do not have any animals, but I’ve had<br />

My herb garden<br />

The Grange<br />

Green Bluff<br />

Green Bluff is a wonderful community. The Green<br />

Bluff Direct Marketing Association was founded in<br />

1902 to protect local farmers from outside<br />

competition. It has grown to promote Green Bluff,<br />

as a viable and sustainable farming, education and<br />

agri-tourism area, just north of Spokane,<br />

Washington. The association helps member farms<br />

thrive by increasing their farms’ exposure and<br />

educating our community on the wonderful<br />

experiences that you can have on Green Bluff.<br />

(Green Bluff Growers Website). There are small<br />

Mom & Pop farms where you can pick all sorts of<br />

fruits and vegetables for canning, cooking and<br />

baking. Or you can opt for a larger farming<br />

experience like hay rides, pumpkin cannon,<br />

cutting your own Christmas tree, farm to table<br />

dining or having an outdoor wedding. You can also<br />

just stop by Green Bluff to enjoy a local beer, wine,<br />

mead or cider.<br />

Green Bluff also has a grange, Green Bluff Grange<br />

#300, that holds events for our community. A few<br />

years ago, the community pulled together with<br />

the help of a local news crew to renovate the<br />


grange hall. They hold monthly events like<br />

monthly breakfasts, BBQs, seed packet exchanges,<br />

blue grass concerts, quilt parties and chicken poop<br />

bingo. They also host the Horticulture Club, where<br />

farmers come to learn more about farming issues,<br />

and numerous community issues talks and events.<br />

Under the Grange umbrella, there is also the Jr<br />

Grange which organizes the yearly Green Bluff<br />

Clean-Up, haunted house, and also talks about<br />

seed planting.<br />

For a couple of years, I helped the Bluff Growers<br />

update their website. I am still a Grange member,<br />

and I design the quarterly local community<br />

newsletter, the Green Bluff Gazette. As part of the<br />

Grange, a friend and I started the Green Bluff Spin<br />

-Ins. Its goal is not only to encourage textile art in<br />

the community, but also to bring artists and<br />

farmers together.<br />

came to the Bluff seeking a chance to get outside<br />

for an outdoor experience. They spent more time<br />

picking fruit with their families. They picked fruits<br />

that quickly became pies, jams, and other<br />

delicious items.<br />

The garden in spring<br />

When we first moved to Green Bluff, everyone<br />

asked us where we lived and we would always<br />

answer, “Old Doc Bradley’s House.” Green Bluff is<br />

steeped in history and most parcels of land are<br />

recognized by their past owners.<br />

My favorite season<br />

As much as I love the bounty of summer, the color<br />

of autumn, and the calmness of winter, spring is<br />

my favorite season. I am ecstatic every time the<br />

crocuses pop out of the earth and by the scent of<br />

the damp earth, the smell of the hyacinths, the<br />

green leaves and grass, and white blossoms<br />

against the very blue sky. Spring is the promise of<br />

something new. One of my favorite quotes is from<br />

Anne of Green Gables: “Isn't it nice to think that<br />

tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”<br />

― L.M. Montgomery. That is what spring is like.<br />

Our gardens all start fresh with so much potential.<br />

Differences between Vienna and Green Bluff<br />

Although Vienna is a large city and Green Bluff is<br />

a rural town, the outdoors is an important part of<br />

life in both places. In Vienna, I do not have a<br />

balcony to enjoy outdoor containers (I have a<br />

couple of plants in the apartment), but I can also<br />

head to any park to enjoy the sun, the trees and<br />

gardens. I can take public transportation to hike<br />

the Vienna Woods. I just recently finished hiking<br />

all 12 City Trails (Stadtwanderwege), and my next<br />

goal is to hike the 120km trail that circles the city<br />

of Vienna (Rundumadum).<br />

Post-pandemic gardening<br />

I hope that people have taken advantage of the<br />

extra time spent at home to tend to a garden<br />

(whether it’s a large outdoor garden or a small<br />

plant in a container). The pandemic has actually<br />

helped our farmers in Green Bluff. Many people<br />

Autumn colors<br />



Guayule: I’ll bet you can’t even<br />

pronounce it!<br />

Maggie Palu, of AW Aquitaine, has been cultivating guayule plants for<br />

many years. Here she tells us all about it.<br />

You may be old enough to remember the ballad<br />

of the boll weevil. “The boll weevil is a little black<br />

bug, come from Mexico, some folks say. Come all<br />

the way to Texas, just looking for a place to<br />

stay.” But I wonder whether you’ve heard about<br />

guayule (pronounced waa YOU lay).<br />

Guayule is a little latex-producing plant. It comes<br />

from Mexico, some folks say. It went all the way to<br />

Texas, and has kept right on going. It is currently<br />

growing not only in Mexico and Texas, but also in<br />

Arizona, France, Spain, Australia, Kenya, and<br />

South Africa. At one point, there were guayule<br />

fields in Morocco and Cameroon as well. When we<br />

lived near Montpellier, we had some growing in<br />

pots outside our front door. Now it grows in the<br />

field behind our house here in the southwest of<br />

France. When it’s in flower, it smells delicious, and<br />

we even have some guayule honey from Arizona.<br />

We haven’t yet produced any of our own but it’s<br />

on our to-do list.<br />

Guayule uses<br />

Even John Steinbeck knew about guayule. It’s<br />

mentioned in chapter 9 of The Grapes of Wrath. “…<br />

remember in the war we planted mustard?<br />

Remember a fella wanted us to put in that rubber<br />

bush they call guayule? Get rich, he said.” That<br />

was a reference to the first World War, but the US<br />

and Canadian governments were both doing<br />

research on guayule during World War II, and<br />

Japanese-American internees at the Manzanar<br />

Camp in California planted guayule and studied it<br />

in their laboratories. In fact, guayule is much<br />

older. In pre-Columbian times, native populations<br />

A flower head, Lansargues, France, <strong>May</strong> 2016<br />

Guayule in our back garden, August 2021<br />

in Mexico used it to make rubber balls for games;<br />

they chewed the branches to release the rubber<br />

from cells under the bark. Guayule also has a high<br />

resin content, which means that it burns with a<br />

very hot flame. This came in handy for both<br />

Mexican adobe smelters and Spanish smelters in<br />

the colonies in the Americas, where they were<br />

extracting silver. In the early 1900’s, the US<br />

imported guayule as a source of natural rubber.<br />

So it’s really no surprise that countries and<br />

companies such as Bridgestone, Goodyear, Pirelli,<br />

Nokian Tire and others are now starting to look<br />

into guayule again.<br />

Drought tolerance<br />

Guayule is drought tolerant and can survive under<br />

harsh conditions. It produces a natural rubber<br />

which can be used in the manufacture of tires,<br />

gloves, condoms and other natural rubber<br />

products. From 2013 to 2015, Patagonia produced<br />

wetsuits made from guayule rubber! Guayule<br />

rubber is different from the hevea rubber<br />

produced in the tropics because it does not<br />

contain the latex allergen that causes reactions<br />

and health problems in some people. The plant<br />

itself is small and multi-branched, with small<br />

grayish leaves; it has a striking physical<br />

resemblance to lavender plants, when not in<br />

flower. The tiny and fragrant yellow flowers at the<br />

branch tips are pollinated by insects and wind.<br />

Each flower head contains five seeds. The seeds<br />

drop as the flower matures, unless they are<br />

harvested to produce seedlings for further<br />

plantations. Guayule is not an invasive plant; left<br />


slightly modified because guayule is a perennial<br />

crop and potatoes are cultivated annual<br />

crops. This means that they might compete with<br />

each other for nutrients and water. Also, guayule<br />

sheds seeds to the ground below and between<br />

rows. The fallen guayule seeds might germinate<br />

and produce other guayule plants next to or in<br />

the same place as the potatoes. It was therefore<br />

decided to keep the plots separate and plant<br />

potatoes in a different field from the guayule.<br />

Guayule in the front garden<br />

to their own, the seeds can fall to the ground,<br />

where they are susceptible to competition from all<br />

kinds of weeds.<br />

International projects<br />

Guayule has been domesticated and is now grown<br />

not just by tire companies but also by small<br />

farmers in the southwestern US and in the south<br />

of France, with projects elsewhere in France on<br />

the agenda. A project in the Eastern Cape in South<br />

Africa received a FAWCO Development Grant in<br />

2016 for women to plant guayule in a very poor<br />

region. Currently the farm is a seed bank for<br />

extending the surface area planted in guayule,<br />

and a local factory is helping to harvest the plants,<br />

mash them to extract the latex and use this latex<br />

to produce condoms to aid in the ongoing fight<br />

against HIV. What is left after the extraction<br />

process is called bagasse and it can be<br />

compressed to make bio-fuel pellets which can be<br />

used by the women to heat their homes and also<br />

for cooking.<br />

Another Development Grant was awarded in 2021<br />

to plant a food crop – potatoes – between the<br />

rows of guayule. Because of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic, the men who left the area to go to the<br />

towns to work and send money home to their<br />

families have lost their jobs, so nutrition has taken<br />

priority over condoms. The original plan has been<br />

Guayule in France<br />

Here in the southwest of France, in the Aquitaine,<br />

we have guayule growing in pots and in the<br />

ground in front of our house as well as in a field at<br />

the back. My husband is one of the world experts<br />

in guayule and I am one of his staunchest<br />

supporters. He likes to call himself the Don<br />

Quixote of guayule, but for us, guayule is not an<br />

impossible dream. We hope it will come into its<br />

Maggie with her husband Serge, a.k.a the Don Quixote of<br />

guayule!<br />

own in our lifetime. As water becomes less and<br />

less available for agriculture, new strategies and<br />

plants are needed to sustain rural economies.<br />

Guayule is a high-value crop that is drought and<br />

heat tolerant, can grow on marginal lands (and<br />

can even leech some nasty chemicals from the<br />

soil, e.g. following an oil spill), and can (and we<br />

hope, will) provide economic benefits for those<br />

who give it a chance. It is a crop for our future.<br />

Maggie Palu is the President of AW Aquitaine in<br />

France and Clubs in Motion Leader for FAWCO.<br />

We asked her to introduce her gardening self: “I<br />

help my husband grow grapes, which I stomp to<br />

produce a natural red wine (and I donate a bottle<br />

to FAWCO silent auctions whenever I can). I plant<br />

‘truffle traps’ in order to produce truffles, which I<br />

use to prepare such delicacies as truffled<br />

brandade Nîmoise (a variety without potatoes),<br />

truffled butternut risotto (with butternut from<br />

our garden), truffled scallops, truffled cream of<br />

pumpkin soup, truffled raclette, and more than<br />

will fit in my 100-word limit. I also observe the<br />

annual World Naked Gardening Day.”<br />

Fencing paid for with a Development Grant in 2021<br />



My Garden: Cologne, Germany<br />

Lesley Taubert, of AIWC Cologne, shows us around her garden.<br />

Where do you live/where is your<br />

garden? I live in a suburb of Cologne,<br />

Germany and my garden is a few<br />

hundred meters away from my<br />

apartment. It includes a small ‘”house”<br />

with gas cooking facilities and running<br />

water but no electricity.<br />

How long have you been gardening, and<br />

what made you start? I started gardening<br />

about forty years ago and am now on my<br />

third garden. I have always found great<br />

pleasure in nature and flowers, especially<br />

visiting parks and gardens.<br />

What is the size and style/type of<br />

your garden? My garden is 350 m² and<br />

is one of 100 allotments on the site. As<br />

about half the German population live<br />

in apartments, these allotments were<br />

introduced at the beginning of the 20th<br />

century so that the owners could grow<br />

their own produce; the main focus<br />

today is having a peaceful spot to<br />

spend leisure time.<br />


What do you grow in your garden?<br />

I have apple, cherry and plum trees along<br />

with strawberries, raspberries,<br />

blueberries, red and black currants,<br />

rhubarb and a herb garden. Over the<br />

years, I have tried growing just about<br />

every vegetable possible, but I always<br />

have potatoes and onions.<br />

What is different about your garden<br />

from where you previously lived? This<br />

garden is different from the previous ones<br />

because at the beginning it was completely<br />

wild and overgrown with ivy, weeds and<br />

brambles. Clearing it was hard work, but it<br />

was very exciting. Flower beds and paths<br />

were slowly discovered underneath.<br />

What do you love most about your<br />

garden? One big favorite is the old<br />

magnolia tree with its dark pink buds.<br />

But best of all is the pond with the<br />

water lilies and all the wildlife, including<br />

frogs, newts and dragonflies.<br />



“The Sheer Array<br />

of Plant Life and<br />

Rare Species Is<br />

Astonishing.”<br />

Kathy Limbaugh, the FAUSA<br />

Treasurer, started her gardening<br />

voyage at Longwood Gardens and<br />

Winterthur. Today she tends her<br />

own garden while trying to fight off<br />

the deer who just eat everything.<br />

I was born in Rio (blame it on Rio!) de Janeiro,<br />

Brazil because my mother was a physical<br />

anthropologist studying the people of the Amazon<br />

(think Jane Goodall, but with human tribes). We<br />

moved from there to Germany and then to the<br />

UK, so I was always working to connect with my<br />

local “tribe”. I figured everyone was a global<br />

nomad, so it was a real shock when I moved to<br />

the US as a teenager and discovered that some<br />

people never wander.<br />

I graduated from college with degrees in<br />

BioMedical Engineering, Chemistry and<br />

Mathematics and like many people who are<br />

curious and always in learning mode, I just didn’t<br />

know what to do. So… I became a technology<br />

Kathy Limbaugh<br />

consultant and traveled – I worked within<br />

government and then the oil and gas industry. A<br />

few weeks before moving to Houston, Texas, I<br />

met my current best friend and husband. At that<br />

time I was commuting to London every week, but<br />

he lured me with an offer to move to New<br />

Zealand with his company and off we went. Two<br />

children and four countries later, we moved back<br />

to the US to take care of my aging parents. We<br />

currently have a junior in High School and she<br />

knows that once she is off to college, we may go<br />

back to exploring the world. She is right! I live in<br />

Chadds Ford, PA, USA.<br />

Getting involved in gardening<br />

I was inspired by the natural world, because of all<br />

the rich travel experiences that I’ve had. It started<br />

very young with the lushness of the Amazon, but<br />

also the formal gardens of Britain when I was in<br />

grade school. My mother and father were keen<br />

gardeners, and they always liked to have<br />

something that was unusual in our house like a<br />

rubber plant or rare orchids.<br />

Learning the skills at Longwood<br />

When we moved to the US in 2017, we moved<br />

right next door to Longwood Gardens and<br />

Winterthur – two of the premiere gardens of the<br />

world. I started working for Longwood helping<br />

visitors and giving tours. Longwood has an<br />

amazing training program and I learned so<br />

much. The sheer array of plant life and rare<br />

species is astonishing.<br />

With my family<br />

One of the most exciting experiences while at<br />

Longwood was when we had the Master of<br />

Sogetsu (a form of Ikebana) and her team come<br />

from Japan to do a huge installation in 2019. The<br />

world of Ikebana is both very formal and creative.<br />


Things I would change about gardening today<br />

I think that my children’s generation doesn’t have<br />

as much appreciation for the outdoors and for the<br />

stunning beauty around them - if they would just<br />

look up from their phones!<br />

An area that makes me sad is the overuse of weed<br />

controllers – for about six years we were away<br />

from our house and had a gardener “weed and<br />

mulch” our garden during the spring and<br />

summer. They applied so much poison to the<br />

ground that even after five years of being back in<br />

the house, the shrubs and trees are still in<br />

recovery. What is true for us as humans (the<br />

overuse of opioids and antibiotics) is also true for<br />

our natural world.<br />

Things I would like to learn<br />

A skill I would like to learn better is creating a<br />

natural bed of perennials that looks good through<br />

the year – I suppose that is part of landscape<br />

design. I am still experimenting with a couple of<br />

hillside spots in my garden that I am not happy<br />

with. Plus I have a million deer in my backyard<br />

and just as I am getting anything to grow, they<br />

come along in the middle of the night and chomp<br />

all the leaves and buds.<br />

Relaxing in nature<br />

oldest and most diverse vascular plants on<br />

earth. I also have a soft spot for ferns because my<br />

youngest was born in New Zealand and that is<br />

their country symbol.<br />

Something people don’t know about me!<br />

Not many people know that I am a certified<br />

advanced diver – under water is a happy place for<br />

me. I am also an amateur potter and would love<br />

to have more time to work on that.<br />

Gardening disaster?<br />

My parents had a beautiful property right on the<br />

water and they planted some bamboo to act as a<br />

natural barrier for the prevailing wind – what a<br />

terrible decision. That bamboo ran rampant and<br />

effectively stilled the wind from that<br />

direction. During the summer, the house was<br />

stifling hot.<br />

My favorite season<br />

Every season in the garden is amazing – but I love<br />

that point just after winter when the snowdrops<br />

are pushing up from the ground like a magic trick.<br />

And the trees have little leaf and flower buds,<br />

ready to burst forward.<br />

My favorite plant<br />

If I was a plant, I might be a fern. They come up<br />

from the ground all furled in a small ball and then<br />

start to reveal themselves and there are so many<br />

interesting aspects about them – they are the<br />

In the garden<br />



<strong>Inspiring</strong> Reads:<br />

Jeanne: Seeds of<br />

Infinity<br />

Mary Bruton Sandifer, a member of AW<br />

Aquitaine, is the author of Grapes and<br />

Old Stones, the chronicle of her French-<br />

American family’s adventures and<br />

adversities developing their 5th<br />

generation winemaking property in the<br />

Bordeaux area of France. She was born<br />

in Washington DC, where she earned<br />

her university degree from The Catholic<br />

University of America in<br />

Literature. After a peripatetic life in<br />

New York, London and Paris she now<br />

lives on a hilltop above the Dordogne<br />

River, where she works with her<br />

husband and children making wine.<br />

What was your inspiration for the book? There<br />

were a few dovetailing events that thrust me into<br />

this novel: First, after decades of caring for the<br />

ancestral family home, the only place where our<br />

children had roots because we had moved so<br />

often - it was sold. We were heartbroken.<br />

Especially my eldest daughter, who was very close<br />

to her grandmother.<br />

At the same time the subject of seed sovereignty<br />

came to my attention. Communicating publicly<br />

about officially “unrecognized” ancestral plant<br />

remedies came under legislation (for example, the<br />

concoction made from stinging nettles in your<br />

back yard to treat your plants). People have been<br />

making such remedies for hundreds of years, and<br />

sharing them, but quietly, and suddenly those<br />

who put such remedies in books or on line had<br />

become outlaws. I was shocked. After bitter<br />

fighting, the laws have eased, but it taught me<br />

that where high profits are at stake, nothing is<br />

actually off limits.<br />

These diverse events led me to imagine the<br />

consequences that a brave botanist defying such<br />

laws would face, including the impact on their<br />

family, especially a daughter on the cusp of<br />

adulthood. I thought a lot about the Coming of<br />

Age phenomenon. How we react to crisis is an<br />

indicator of our character. But crisis can also etch<br />

and forge character by pushing us to take a stand,<br />

take risks, make sacrifices for what we truly<br />

believe in. Sometimes such a crucible forces<br />

people to make difficult inner changes, which in<br />

turn steer them to react nobly rather than<br />

fearfully to a great challenge. And then sometimes<br />

these previously ordinary people become heroes,<br />

almost against their will. That is the case with<br />

Jeanne as she “comes of age.”<br />

How long did it take you to write the book?<br />

Because our wine business is demanding, I can<br />

only write in the winter months when the tasks<br />

ease up. In 2015 I declared a sort of “quarantine”<br />

so I could isolate for five hours every morning to<br />

concentrate. When you’re writing a story, the first<br />

part is - imagining! Sitting with a notebook and<br />

cup of tea, visualizing and hearing the progression<br />

of your characters’ lives… Even the most innocent<br />

interruption can steal a chapter if you haven’t<br />

jotted it down.<br />

That spring I gathered my family (ages 22 to 60) to<br />

tell them the story. I needed to know from diverse<br />

age groups and predilections if it was worth<br />

pursuing. They asked hard questions and were<br />

very enthusiastic, so I decided to plunge. It then<br />

took two winters to write a first draft I felt I could<br />

show to professionals. They pointed out things<br />

like “this character’s motivation for that reaction<br />

is missing” or “the pacing in these chapters needs<br />

adjustment.” They also said they loved it and one<br />

said she was so absorbed she missed her stop on<br />

the train. They said, “Go!”<br />

I am a perfectionist, so it took two more winters to<br />

finish. A bit of valuable advice I once<br />

received: “Before you commit to a large writing<br />

project, be sure you really care about the<br />

subject. It usually takes longer than you estimate,<br />

so you need to be glad to stick with it.” In fact, I<br />

loved my winter mornings with Jeanne so much, I<br />

was quite sad when they ended. I miss her<br />

company, her friends, her world.<br />


What kind of research do you do, and how long<br />

do you spend researching before beginning a<br />

book? There is a writing adage, “write about what<br />

you know.” Most of the topics in Jeanne and the<br />

locale are part of my life. In that sense I’ve been<br />

researching for decades.<br />

For example, the magic of a forest. Forests and<br />

their effects on our psyche have been part of my<br />

life since childhood. When I was sad or felt the<br />

victim of an injustice, I always went to the forest<br />

for solace. There is something eternal about the<br />

myriad, intertwined lives there, from the aboveground<br />

parts of trees and plants and the insect<br />

and animal life they harbor, to the root systems<br />

and the mycorrhizal relationships underground<br />

that connect everything to everything. Scientists<br />

are now exploring how plants and trees have<br />

consciousness, something mystics have talked<br />

about for centuries. But they vibrate at a<br />

frequency different from ours, so it’s difficult to<br />

tune in. Be that as it may, most of us “feel better”<br />

after a walk in the forest. When I’m with trees I<br />

always feel a sense of eternity; that I and my<br />

problems are tiny but I am also part of something<br />

very big and grand.<br />

One of the “characters” in the story is the family<br />

château with its generations of lives, spirits in the<br />

stones, art work, attachment, love… This was<br />

something we lived. Same for the farm and the<br />

vineyard. My research was daily life over decades<br />

of caring for an ancestral home, then adapting to<br />

a farm life, making wine.<br />

But the book also pushed me to research areas<br />

that fascinated me - a healing herbal garden, for<br />

example. I was inspired by the gardens of the<br />

Middle Ages in monasteries and planted one here<br />

in the hope of nourishing pollinators and making<br />

a few curative remedies, if only of stinging nettles<br />

and horsetail or garlic etc. for treating our fruit<br />

trees. For more technical areas such as the<br />

backgrounds of the botanists and healers, I did<br />

informal study with a biologist and with a<br />

specialist in essential oils. I now dream of having<br />

my own alembic someday.<br />

What is the most important thing you want<br />

readers to take from your book? That the<br />

natural world is our mother, our progenitor, the<br />

source of our life, of our physical nourishment<br />

and our psychic sustenance. It seems suicidal not<br />

to take care of what sustains us. My story is a call<br />

to wake up!<br />

And for those many who are already awake, it is a<br />

gift to remind them that whenever we allow our<br />

minds to think higher thoughts and overcome our<br />

anger and fear, we get closer to the frequency of<br />

the old trees in the forest, those sentient beings<br />

who hold eternity in their roots and boughs. And<br />

when we feel that frequency, it is a subtle but<br />

powerful charm that unlocks the door little by<br />

little to bright, mysterious worlds.<br />

When did you start writing? Very young, I made<br />

up stories to myself and my sister when we were<br />

upset and couldn’t fall asleep. The stories took us<br />

to happier places where our lives were fun and<br />

full of love and ease. Also, play acting was a big<br />

part of our childhood. Neighborhood kids<br />

gathered in the back yard and I told them the<br />

story we were going to act out, assigned roles and<br />

then we all improvised. When I think about that<br />

now, we had no experience of “acting.” Children<br />

are naturals at entering roles and riffing off their<br />

playmates. We got completely lost in our story for<br />

hours. Gosh, I wish I could go back now and<br />

observe us.<br />

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?<br />

Perhaps Et La Lumière Fut (And There Was Light) by<br />

Jacques Lusseyran. A young boy in France with a<br />

happy childhood is blinded in an accident. At the<br />

age of 18 he joins the Resistance in Paris (1941)<br />

and becomes a leader of the youth corps.<br />

Eventually he’s imprisoned in a war camp and<br />

survives. It’s a fascinating inside look at idealistic<br />

youth resistance fighters who felt a freedom to<br />

risk their lives (without spouse and children) that<br />

their elders did not have, full of inspiring<br />

anecdotes of courage, strength, faith and hope.<br />

If you could tell your younger writing-self<br />

anything, what would it be?<br />

“Don’t put down the pen.” There is a fine line<br />

between self-delusion and following your<br />

dreams. Until you’re experienced enough to be<br />

objective, don’t let anyone discourage you from<br />

trying. Like any craft, it takes hours of practice to<br />

find out if you have talent and hours to become<br />

skillful. One inkling of talent is the willingness to<br />

put in those hours, to show up, try, fail, learn, do<br />

better, accept constructive criticism, try again. It’s<br />

ok to not be the first to get to the finish<br />

line. Sometimes the tortoise does ok.<br />

I am probably a tortoise but there is enormous<br />

pleasure and gratification to be still moving<br />

toward my goal.<br />


Short Summary of the book A distant province in<br />

France. A miracle hidden in an ancient forest. A<br />

young woman desperately seeking her ancestor’s<br />

magical remedies, as an evil syndicate is hell bent on<br />

destroying them.<br />

Hours after Jeanne is sworn into nobility, her<br />

family suddenly loses everything - château, power,<br />

friends. Banned and impoverished, they move to<br />

a decrepit farmhouse near a mysterious forest,<br />

while Jeanne mourns her childhood dreams and<br />

all that meant home.<br />

Until the forest reveals secrets. When elemental<br />

spirits propel Jeanne into her grandmother’s<br />

resplendent realm of botany and secret medicinal<br />

remedies, she is called to fulfill her ancestor’s<br />

promise: protect the miracle hidden in the forest.<br />

But she is no match for the vile, parasitic<br />

netherworld of the enemy. Only the spirits can<br />

gird Jeanne with essential weapons: a glimpse into<br />

the Divine and a warrior’s mastery of herself.<br />

Books presented in the <strong>Inspiring</strong> Reads feature are available for purchase via the FAWCO<br />

website in the Books by Members or Books by Clubs sections. Enjoy!<br />



My Garden: Eppelheim, Germany<br />

Lori Dugan, of Munich IWC, shows us around her garden.<br />

Where do you live/where is your<br />

garden? I live in a village south of Munich.<br />

We have a small backyard with dicey sun<br />

so my vegetable garden is mobile in fabric<br />

pots which are 17 years old. Still waiting<br />

to plant this year.<br />

How long have you been gardening, and<br />

what made you start? I gardened years<br />

ago in Florida. It was hard. We moved to a<br />

house here. I love tomatoes, tomatillos,<br />

summer squash and kale so I thought I’d<br />

try it out. I wanted to make salsa and grow<br />

big juicy tomatoes like when I was a kid.<br />

Before the storm<br />

What do you grow in your garden?<br />

I started out with tomatoes, tomatillos,<br />

summer squash, kale, arugula, beets,<br />

carrots. What survived the horrible<br />

storms and bad weather, let’s just say<br />

the harvest was sad! After the first hail<br />

storm I cried buckets. An extremely<br />

challenging season.<br />

After the storm<br />


What is different about your garden<br />

from where you previously lived? My<br />

garden in Florida was hard because of the<br />

heat and bugs eating everything. It was a<br />

raised bed too. Here the snails ate<br />

everything two years ago. The season is<br />

short here, the weather unpredictable. Last<br />

year a five-minute hail storm about wiped<br />

everything out.<br />

Snails are a huge problem here. So I used<br />

fabric pots and put copper tape around<br />

them, which worked. I moved them daily<br />

from our front driveway to the backyard in<br />

the afternoon. Yes they were very heavy!<br />

What do you love most about your<br />

garden? I LOVE the energy my plants<br />

give off and the unconditional love I<br />

feel for them and from them. I love to<br />

talk to them and hug them. It was hard<br />

to see them crushed but to see them<br />

rally back was rewarding! I love their<br />

smell too!<br />



From Florist to<br />

Flower Rescuer<br />

Kati <strong>May</strong>field, member of AWC<br />

Finland, now runs a non-profit<br />

that focuses on floral waste.<br />

Kati <strong>May</strong>field<br />

I grew up in a suburb of Denver, CO, in a very<br />

outdoorsy and travel-loving family. My sister and I<br />

were lucky to have parents who took us skiing on<br />

the weekends (starting at age two - imagine the<br />

tantrums they had to tolerate!), and made sure<br />

that we traveled to an interesting and out-of-thebox<br />

place every summer. They knew that they<br />

were raising us with a lot of privilege and wanted<br />

us to see what it meant to live outside that<br />

bubble. They were also hippies (recovering) and<br />

biology nerds (lifelong and proudly so) and so<br />

gave us a lot of time in nature, teaching us to<br />

marvel at natural phenomena great and small.<br />

Leaving home<br />

When I first left home I attended university in<br />

nearby Boulder, Colorado. I studied abroad in<br />

Argentina during my sophomore year, and then<br />

got the craving to live in Latin America. After<br />

Camping as kids<br />

graduation, I spent about eight months doing so,<br />

first back to Argentina, and then to Honduras and<br />

Chile to do a fellowship with Kiva.org (the<br />

microlending platform) with two of their field<br />

partners. After that I moved back to the US, to<br />

Oregon, where I spent two years in AmeriCorps<br />

(kind of like the Peace Corps, but serving<br />

domestically), to work with a grassroots NGO<br />

called Adelante Mujeres.<br />

During those years I learned about community<br />

organizing, microenterprise and volunteer<br />

coordination; I also learned that I LOVED living in<br />

Oregon because roses bloom year-round and you<br />

can also ski year-round! After my AmeriCorps<br />

term, I went to work managing volunteers and<br />

creating youth programs for a mountaineering<br />

education organization called Mazamas, a job I<br />

worked in and loved for four years until I got a<br />

craving to go back to school and my boyfriend<br />

and I decided to move to Finland.<br />

Moving to Helsinki<br />

We were curious about Finland because my<br />

boyfriend, Aleksi, has a lot of family in Finland,<br />

and because Finnish universities were still<br />

offering tuition-free spaces to foreign students. So<br />

I applied to a master's program at Aalto University<br />

in Helsinki. We thought we would just stay for two<br />

years while I studied, but here we are still, more<br />

than five years later. I studied entrepreneurship<br />

and wrote my master's thesis on the global supply<br />

chain for cut flowers, reviving an interest which<br />

began when I worked for a flower shop in<br />

Colorado. During that job I had decided that I<br />

wasn't cut out to be a real florist (it's damn hard<br />

work!) and my connection to flowers had lapsed,<br />

but as I studied the supply chain I realized that<br />

there were many ways to be involved in the floral<br />

industry, not just as a florist. I also became aware<br />


of the myriad ethical and environmental problems<br />

in the industry and decided to focus my attention<br />

there. I started working for a flower wholesaler in<br />

Helsinki and saw some of the industry's<br />

sustainability challenges first-hand. I became very<br />

focused on the issue of floral waste, as one of my<br />

jobs at the wholesaler was to throw away the bulk<br />

flower packages they couldn't sell (because of age<br />

or damage). This was the origin of FloweRescue,<br />

the organization I now run.<br />

FloweRescue is a volunteer-run nonprofit with the<br />

mission to address and spark dialogue about<br />

waste and other sustainability issues in the floral<br />

industry, and to connect people through the<br />

beauty and joy of flowers. We collect waste/<br />

surplus flowers from wholesalers, retailers and<br />

events. Then we sort the flowers and redistribute<br />

them either as bouquets which we donate to elder<br />

care homes and charities, or as materials for<br />

design/art projects.<br />

My love of gardening<br />

Many of life's adages come from the garden …<br />

good things take time; incredible bounty can come<br />

from humble beginnings; and sometimes you<br />

need to get dirty to create something good. As I<br />

navigate the beauty and quandaries of adulthood I<br />

find a lot of wisdom in growing things. And one of<br />

our wonderful FloweRescue volunteers pointed<br />

out that our work also mirrors a garden,<br />

cultivating community and planting the seeds of<br />

the future we want to see for the floral industry.<br />

Though part of me cringes at how clichéd this<br />

sounds, it's also apropos - in creating a<br />

community, we till soil together, we plant seeds,<br />

we hope they will grow and nourish them with our<br />

shared intentions. Then we celebrate and give<br />

thanks when our efforts bear fruit.<br />

First steps into gardening<br />

My earliest garden memory is stealing cherry<br />

tomatoes off the vine while I was supposed to be<br />

watering them. Early on I only saw my family’s<br />

garden as a chore, or the source for a<br />

surreptitious snack before dinner. I became<br />

interested in gardening when we lived in Oregon,<br />

where I met and worked with many farmers and<br />

farm-working families and began to understand<br />

the complex web of our agrifood system. Aleksi<br />

With FloweRescue volunteers<br />

With family in 2021<br />

built a small raised bed in the yard of our rented<br />

house; we planted tomatoes, basil and greens and<br />

had spectacular results. I ate garden-grown<br />

spinach and basil in my omelets every morning<br />

during the summers we lived in that house. Now<br />

that we live in a city apartment in Helsinki, I dearly<br />

miss those fresh vegetables and my early<br />

mornings watering the garden. Though we don't<br />

have a garden of our own here, I am amazed by<br />

how much you can actually grow in Finland in the<br />

summer. Aleksi's mom has a cottage in a<br />

community garden here, and I marvel each season<br />

at how much that small garden produces. I guess<br />

there's something to be said for 19-hour days at<br />

the height of the growing season!<br />

Learning the trade!<br />

My very limited garden knowledge is all from selfstudy<br />

and emulating Aleksi - who, unlike me,<br />

actually paid attention to what his mom was doing<br />

in the garden when he was a kid. My floral design<br />

training is thanks to a lot of trial-and-error, and an<br />

incredible mentor named Kristina. I first sought<br />

out cut flowers in 2007 after someone very<br />

important to me had passed away and I was<br />

struggling with my first real experience of grief.<br />

Three weeks after their death, a friend sent a<br />

bouquet of flowers and when that bouquet<br />

appeared on my doorstep I felt a jolt of joy. That<br />

incredible emotion, which had always come<br />

naturally to me before, had disappeared for the<br />

previous few weeks. In feeling it again, I became<br />

obsessed. I thought, "I want to feel this, and I want<br />

to share this feeling." So I approached every<br />

flower shop in my college town and begged them<br />


Sorting out rescue flowers<br />


for a job, promising to clean their toilets, sweep<br />

their floors, drive their deliveries … anything to be<br />

near the flowers. Eventually I met a woman<br />

named Kristina who, upon hearing my sob story,<br />

took me in her arms and promised to teach me as<br />

much as she could.<br />

Challenges in the cut flower industry<br />

I am sad because today there is no such thing as a<br />

sustainable commercially grown flower. And I<br />

would argue that, because many of the flowers we<br />

plant in our gardens are non-native, highly<br />

modified varieties, there aren't many truly<br />

sustainable garden flowers either. Most of the<br />

flowers grown today deplete the environment that<br />

grows them, rather than rejuvenating it. Most of<br />

the flowers grown today compete with wild<br />

ecosystems and food crops for scarce space,<br />

nutrients and water resources. Most of the flowers<br />

grown today require intensive 'cides to ensure<br />

that they grow pest-free and suitable for longdistance<br />

shipping. Many of the flowers grown<br />

today demand long hours in harsh conditions for<br />

the people who tend them, without suitable<br />

compensation. Many of the flowers grown today<br />

travel immense distances from farm to shop to<br />

table. And up to 40% of what's produced by the<br />

commercial flower industry will go to waste before<br />

reaching the hands of consumers. Most of the<br />

flowers which do make it to us are wrapped and<br />

adorned with a lot of single-use plastics. Many of<br />

us demand flowers out-of-season for our region.<br />

And then, once they show the smallest sign of age,<br />

we dump them. Need I go on?<br />

With Aleksi in the woods in Finland<br />

Pandemic changes<br />

If prices (both rental and purchase) for houses<br />

with small plots of land are any indication, the<br />

pandemic has increased the popularity of outdoor<br />

space and, I would reason, gardens here in<br />

Finland. Finns have a strong tradition of keeping a<br />

"mökki" or countryside cottage to which they<br />

retreat in the summer, and I read that mökki sales<br />

skyrocketed during the pandemic as people<br />

sought refuge away from their tiny box<br />

apartments. But it seems that people are<br />

increasingly interested in taking up gardening<br />

even near the urban centers now.<br />



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Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global women’s NGO (non-governmental organization), an<br />

international network of independent volunteer clubs and associations comprising 58<br />

member clubs in 31 countries on six continents. FAWCO serves as a resource and a voice for<br />

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• to build strong support networks for its American and international membership;<br />

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education, the environment, health and human rights.<br />


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Copyright <strong>2022</strong> FAWCO<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>© <strong>Magazine</strong> is owned and published electronically by FAWCO.<br />

All rights reserved. All bylined articles are copyright of their respective authors as indicated herein and are<br />

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without written consent of the publisher.<br />



The <strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong> Team<br />

Liz Elsie Karen Berit Michele Haley<br />

For more information about this magazine, please contact a member of the <strong>Inspiring</strong><br />

<strong>Women</strong> team:<br />

Editor in Chief, Liz MacNiven, inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />

Advertising and Sponsorship Manager, Elsie Bose, advertising@fawco.org<br />

Distribution Manager, Karen Boeker, iwdistribution@fawco.org<br />

Social Media Manager, Berit Torkildsen, iwsocialmedia@fawco.org<br />

Features Coordinator, Michele Hendrikse Du Bois, inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

Profiles Coordinator, Haley Green, inspiringwomenprofiles@fawco.org<br />

Acknowledgements:<br />

Thanks to our profilees: Amanda, Francine, Ida, Judy, Kathy, Kati, Kit, Lesley, Lori, Margaret,<br />

Rebekka, Sandra and Sharon, with thanks also for the use of their photos and those of their<br />

friends and families. Additional thanks to Anna, Karen, Liz, Maggie, Mary A and Mary BS for<br />

their work on the articles.<br />

The cover photo is of Amanda Kreuder-Carrington and was taken by her daughter Lilly in a<br />

tulip field in Holland. Amanda was born in London but has been living in Düsseldorf,<br />

Germany since 1992. She met her German husband in London when he was working there.<br />

Amanda is an avid gardener but was trained as a buyer and works as a personal stylist.<br />

Special thanks to the proofreading team of Laurie Brooks (AWC Amsterdam/ AWC The Hague<br />

and FAUSA) Sallie Chaballier (AAWE Paris), Janet Davis (AIWC Cologne), Kit Desjacques (AAWE<br />

Paris), Mary Dobrian (AIWC Cologne), Carol-Lyn McKelvey (AIWC Cologne/FAUSA), Janis Kaas<br />

(AAWE Paris and FAUSA) ( Lauren Mescon (AWC Amsterdam), Mary Stewart Burgher (AWC<br />

Denmark), and Jenny Taylor (AIWC Cologne and Düsseldorf).<br />

Please note: images used in this publication are either sourced from the authors themselves or<br />

through canva.com.<br />

We would like you to post the link for this issue of<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> <strong>Women</strong>, <strong>Women</strong> and Gardening, in your club<br />

publications until <strong>Women</strong> and Youth: <strong>Inspiring</strong> Future<br />

Generations is published on September 15, <strong>2022</strong>.<br />


Coming in September <strong>2022</strong><br />

“<strong>Women</strong> and Youth:<br />

<strong>Inspiring</strong> the Future<br />

Generation”<br />

However we leave this world, it will be the responsibility of our<br />

children and grandchildren to pick up the reins and set it on the right<br />

course. We will highlight women who are working specifically with<br />

youth to prepare them for the future. Do you know a member who is<br />

working with young people in the community, in schools, on a global<br />

issue project, in arts or sports? How are these members making a difference? We want to share<br />

features about interesting youth programs or projects in your community. And we would like to<br />

share photos that tell these stories.<br />

To nominate candidates for profiles, please send the candidate’s<br />

name, candidate’s email address and a brief description (50-100<br />

words) of why you think they are inspiring and fit the theme for the<br />

issue. Send the information to inspiringwomenprofiles@fawco.org<br />

To submit a feature: To complement the profiles, we are looking<br />

for women to write feature articles around the theme of women<br />

inspiring youth and youth themselves. This is a broad theme; let us<br />

know what you would like to write about. Our features are 700-800<br />

words plus photos. Contact Michele at inspiringwomenfeatures@fawco.org<br />

Photographs are integral to our magazine. We end each issue with a page of a photograph that<br />

offers a unique perspective on its theme. The photo can be provocative, amusing, entertaining and/or<br />

artistic. The photo should lend itself to a portrait orientation and be able to fit an A4 page. To submit a<br />

photo that you think says “That’s Inspired!” for this issue please contact<br />

inspiringwomen.editor@fawco.org<br />


PHOTOS IS MAY 31 ST .<br />


Making rescue<br />

bouquets to donate!<br />

Kati <strong>May</strong>field,<br />

founder of<br />

FloweRescue, spent<br />

time during the<br />

pandemic making<br />

bouquets for those<br />

in need.<br />


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