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.

  • Bessey MultiSnip cutters

    Time-Saving Garden Gadgets

    Plant dozens of annuals in a snap with this drill and auger combo Tested by Marti Neely When planting en masse, I need more power than my favorite trowel or…

  • sloped garden densely planted
    Midwest Regional Reports

    Design Ideas for Managing Rainwater in Your Garden

    Whenever I am working to resolve water problems in a landscape, I must acknowledge that water will always win. The best we can do is creatively direct it toward the…

  • evergreen plants in containers on either side of front steps of home
    Midwest Regional Reports

    The Best Dwarf Evergreens for Winter Containers

    No garden is complete without at least a few containers for seasonal color. I always specify locations for planters when I create a new landscape design, with the intention of…

  • cascading plants
    Midwest Regional Reports

    Cascading Woody Plants for the Midwest

    Softening tall or craggy surfaces are situations that seldom come up in my design practice, as I work in environments that are typically rather flat. There are times, however, when…

  • Zimmerman pine moth
    Midwest Regional Reports

    Pest Alert: Watch Out for Zimmerman Pine Moth

    First found in the United States in 1879, Zimmerman pine moth (Dioryctria zimmermani) is a small gray insect with zigzag lines of red and gray and a wingspan of 1…

  • serrated garden trowel

    3 Dependable Garden Trowels That Get the Job Done

    This three-pointed trowel doubles as a garden fork Tested by Marti Neely, FAPLD A tough trowel is a valued friend for every gardener. I was delighted to discover the DeWit…

  • healthy and productive vegetable garden
    Midwest Regional Reports

    Tips to Keep a Vegetable Garden Healthy and Productive in the Midwest

    My first memories of a vegetable garden are of large sunflowers (Helianthus annuus and cvs., annual) growing in our backyard when I was about five years old and my mom…

  • Tough Garden Hoses That Will Last

    Tough Garden Hoses That Will Last

    For a traditional hose, try this flexible workhorse Tested by Susan Calhoun If you are a gardener, you have a hose. If you’ve been gardening for a while, you might…

  • creeping plants for sun
    Midwest Regional Reports

    Creeping Plants for Sunny Spots in the Northern Plains

    Spreading ground covers are invaluable in certain garden situations. Over the years they creep along the ground to fill in large spaces easily, saving you a lot of time and…

  • native sedges
    Midwest Regional Reports

    3 Hardy Native Sedges You Should Grow

    Being an undercover plant addict is my worst-kept secret. Sedges (Carex spp. and cvs., Zones 3–10) are my current fixation. I think spending so many years hooked on hostas (Hosta…