The Dirt

And the winners of the November photo challenge are…

Congratulations to the following winners of the November Photo Challenge, Autumn Gardens:

Jennifer Jacksits, for her entry, Morning Dew.

Kari Lonning, for her entry, Anemone.

Phillip Oliver, for his entry, Garden Wall.

Susie Egan, for her entry, Fall at Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville, Washington.

We asked our winners to tell us about themselves, and here’s what they had to say:

Jennifer Jacksits
“I’ve always had a keen interest in gardening and after spending 30 years working in corporate America, I studied landscape design and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden.

Morning dew. Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Jacksits

Currently I am doing landscape design work for Pinecone Perennials, an independent garden center in New Bern, NC.

Zone 8 gardening has its challenges and rewards–hot, humid summers, followed by long autumns and mild winters.  Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), as captured in the photo, is the essence of my fall garden.  It pairs beautifully with Knock Out roses, which started blooming in April and are still in bloom mid-December. Another perennial which puts on a wonderful show in my fall garden is Cuphea micropetala–it holds its own during the summer and then provides at least two months of yellow and orange flowers beginning in September.

My garden is always in flux – trying something new or moving others to new locations.  My favorite gardens are ones that have strong underlying structure to carry them through fall and winter and a lushness that blurs and contrasts with that structure in spring and summer.”

Kari Lonning
“I’m a basketmaker by profession, gardener and photographer by passion. I’ve been gardening my shady property for 30 years. I love photographing colors, design, gardens, and my Old English Sheepdog, Emma.

For more information, go to and”

Emma. Photo/Illustration: Kari Lonning

Anemone. Photo/Illustration: Kari Lonning

Phillip Oliver:
“I’m a librarian and work at a local university and when I’m not working there, I’m pretty much living and breathing gardening.

I live in the northwest corner of Alabama and I became seriously interested in gardening about 17 years ago when my partner and I moved into our present home and we had a 3/4 acre blank slate to work with.

I’m a big fan of old roses, camellias and hydrangeas and over the years, I’ve become interested in a wide variety of plants.

I enjoy photographing the garden and I have a website and a blog (

Autumns here are usually very vibrant with color and the fall garden features lots of red maples, Japanese maples, oakleaf hydrangeas, and various native plants that provide vivid color.”

Garden wall. Photo/Illustration: Phillip Oliver

Susie Egan:
Susie Egan is the owner of Cottage Lake Gardens, a landscape design business as well as a private garden and plant nursery, located in Woodinville, Washington.

Fall at Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville, Washington. Photo/Illustration: Susie Egan

Susie is a King County Master gardener advocating “sustainable gardening” principles that utilizes the most environmental and pet-friendly gardening practices and products.   Her focus in recent years has been the study and propagation of woodland shade plants particularly the Trillium, an endangered wildflower.  In the past couple of years she has traveled across the country to attend symposiums, wildflower pilgrimages and meetings with Trillium experts.

Susie is a member of the Northwest Horticultural Society, the American Horticultural Society, the Arboretum Foundation, the Northwest Perennial Alliance, the Washington Native Plant Society, the Hardy Fern Foundation, and supports the Chase and Kruckeberg Botanic Gardens. She also started the Cottage Lake Garden Club and holds plant sales at her garden throughout the summer.

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  1. SteveA 12/14/2009

    Oh, good. The one I voted for won.

  2. KariLonning 12/15/2009

    I'm glad that you liked the photo. Thank-you!

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