Marti Neely, FAPLD

Marti Neely

Growing up in a military family, Marti was fortunate to travel to and live in some diverse locations, from North Dakota to Puerto Rico. In her earliest gardening memory, sunflowers were like Jacks’ beanstalks reaching into the clouds. Their huge heads revealed hundreds of tasty seeds to be devoured by flocks of birds. Her grandmother Elsa often sent photos of herself in front of the famous floral clocks that were prominent in the display gardens of the Pacific Northwest, where she lived. Photos of irises and peonies were some of her favorites to share, and those plants continue to bring a smile to Marti’s face each spring.

As a newlywed, Marti tried her own hand at gardening with varied success, and with continued practice and also through reading gardening books and periodicals, her skills improved. Her B.A. in fine art and a foray into designing the annual flower beds at her church led her to study horticulture and landscape design at her local community college. Marti is now a Fellow of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (FAPLD), has over 30 years of practice as a residential landscape designer with continuing education in professional courses through various organizations, and has traveled to gardens across the United States, England, and the Netherlands. She has had the opportunity to see the best of the best and experience the challenges, successes, and failures one finds in the world of gardening. Using this knowledge to create outdoor living spaces that enhance the quality of life of those who use them and sharing these skills with others is what Marti does best.

  • overgrown shrub before pruning
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    Rejuvenation Pruning Tips for Overgrown Shrubs

    The mild days of winter offer gardeners an opportunity to tend to tasks that are best done when the landscape is dormant. One of those tasks is the rejuvenation or…

  • Essential Tools for Pruning

    Essential Tools for Pruning

    These small pruners go easy on your hands There are many great bypass pruners on the market, but I had carpal tunnel surgery years ago, and my hands tire easily…

  • plants for winter interest
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    Trees and Shrubs with Winter Interest

    I see winter as beginning with the first falling leaf and ending with the first sign of new growth. That can be a very long stretch in the Northern Plains…

  • plants for overwintering wildlife
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    Plants With Fruit for Overwintering Wildlife

    Some may see little more than bare twigs and dry leaves as the remnants of a vibrant summer fade away. But for those creatures that spend their lives outdoors, dormant…

  • lawn substitute
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    Use These Ground Covers as Lawn Substitutes

    I think gardens look best when the ground is covered with either lush growth or an appropriate natural mulch to cover barren soil. Full coverage of the soil has the…

  • perennials for clay soil
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    Three Perennials That Can Grow in Clay Soil

    Soil composition plays a critical role in the success of any garden. Plants respond to a variety of factors, with soil structure being one of the most important. Few of…

  • Peter Cottontail sneezewort
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    Fall-Flowering Perennials for Pollinators in the Northern Plains

    I find late-season flowers to be some of the most delightful of the year. They represent one last encore to a year of gardening done well. The bees enjoy the…

  • pink bee balm
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    6 Native Bee Balms to Grow for Gorgeous Color in the Garden

    Bee balm (Monarda spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9) has long been a garden staple for its bold flower colors. The common name comes from the fact that the resin is…

  • plants for dry shade
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    Hardy Plants for Dry Shade in the Northern Plains

    No matter the size or location of your garden, you are likely to be planting in more than one type of environment. Under the canopy of trees, along foundations, under…

  • native viburnum
    Northern Plains Regional Reports

    The Best Native Viburnums for the Northern Plains

    The great plantsman Michael Dirr once said, "A garden without a viburnum is akin to life without music and art.” Viburnums (Viburnum spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9) are a large…