Mary Ann Newcomer

A native Idahoan, Mary Ann is all about gardens in the Intermountain West. She grows them, scouts them, and writes about them. Her gardening articles have been in Rocky Mountain Gardening, Country Gardens, MaryJane’s Farm, Fine Gardening, Leaf Magazine, the American Gardener, as well as many newspapers in the Intermountain West. She’s also written the books Vegetable Gardening in the Mountain States (2014), and the Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Handbook (2013). She’s traveled far and wide to design public, private, commercial, and show gardens. In the Mountain West, where it’s often high and dry, she loves to encourage gardeners to get down and dirty.

When she is not tending to her garden, she’s doing garden design work at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise, and keeping Fine Gardening readers up to date on gardening in the Wild West. She also writes the quarterly Gardeners Bookshelf column for Country Gardens magazine. You can keep up with her on her website, Gardens of the Wild Wild West.

  • Table Mountain ice plant
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    Shopping-List Plants for the Mountain West

    If you’ve run into a garden rut, we’ve got you covered. It’s time to start planning for your first trip to the local nursery or garden center. What plants will…

  • Oceanspray
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    Shade-Loving Shrubs for the Mountain West

    Finding interesting plants for shade can be a struggle, but when you add in the desire for that plant to be a woody shrub, the list narrows even more. But…

  • Bitter cherry
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    Plants for Birds in the Mountain West

    As William Cullina mentions in his article on plants for birds, the sad reality is songbirds are disappearing: “Habitat loss, pesticides, and the accompanying decline of insect populations have contributed…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Regional Picks: Tough Plants—Mountain West

    See regional picks for tough pretty plants, and read the article by Julie Lane Gray for even more ideas. It’s important to define first what I mean by a “tough”…

  • crafting holiday arrangements
    Mountain West Regional Reports

    Crafting an Original Seasonal Arrangement

    You may not even realize it, but my guess is that very close at hand you can find all you need to make gorgeous, last-minute seasonal arrangements. Get your gloves…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Put Fruit Trees on Your Holiday Wish Lists

    Well, that was a wild and wooly autumn! Throughout the Rockies, autumn gave us unusually early and record-breaking cold temps, a blizzard, and some of the best fall colors I’ve…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Gardening Gift Ideas for Mountain West Gardeners

    When you are tucking in the garden for the year and daydreaming of next year’s bounty, consider the tools, the plants, and the fellow gardeners that make you happy. Take…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    It’s the Season for Taking Stock: What Plants Worked This Year and What Didn’t

    For a couple of years now, I’ve been evaluating my garden plantings to determine who gets to stay and who goes. Water is pricey, plants can be pricey, and my…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Perennials for Fall Color and Interest

    I love autumn. It’s my favorite time of year. It's time for wool socks, sweaters, the low, warm light of the autumnal equinox, the smell of spices in the kitchen,…

  • Mountain West Regional Reports

    Mix It Up: Bulbs and Perennials

    You’ve got a bit of time left to plant some bulbs. There are some imaginative ways to plant spring-blooming bulbs without driving yourself nuts and without the help of a…