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Michele Christiano

michele christiano

Michele fell in love with gardening while working in the annuals department at a nursery in southeastern Pennsylvania while pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology. She continued her career by completing a Certificate of Merit in Ornamental Plants at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She has worked in public gardens for most of her career, including Winterthur Museum, Gardens, and Library in Winterthur, Delaware, and Longwood Gardens, where she is currently employed. She loves to spend as much time outdoors as possible with her husband and two children.

1. What do you like most about gardening in your region?

I love gardening in all four seasons of the Mid-Atlantic region. The garden looks so different throughout the year. Using the four seasons to design and garden in the Mid-Atlantic allows so much diversity in choosing a plant palette.

2. What’s the biggest challenge to gardening in your region?

By far the biggest problem is our beautiful white-tailed friend, the deer. Unfortunately, overpopulation and decreased habitat make for a very challenging time for gardeners in the Mid-Atlantic region.

3. What plant are you jazzed about in your garden right now?

I am so excited to grow ‘Amazing Grey’ poppy (Papaver rhoeas ‘Amazing Grey’, annual) this year! I plan on trying this annual in my garden in the upcoming season.

4. What was the last plant you killed?

I just killed my poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima, Zones 9–11). It’s a post-Christmas tradition for me to neglect them.


  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Designing With Fall Natives in the Mid-Atlantic

    As temperatures drop, plants in the Mid-Atlantic are displaying some striking characteristics. From fall foliage to richly colored fruit, the features of native plants during this time of year are…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic October Garden To-Do List

    Summer has loosened its grip here in the Mid-Atlantic. As we breathe a sigh of relief from this long hot season, we can now step back and enjoy the garden…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic September Garden To-Do List

    It may still be hot and dry here in the Mid-Atlantic, but we are getting a little glimpse of hope when there is a cooler day now and then. Those…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Tough Summer Stars for the Mid-Atlantic

    Drought conditions, high temperatures, and humidity make August in the Mid-Atlantic a tough time to be a gardener. The garden is looking a little crispy no matter how much you…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Water-Wise Tips for the Heat of Summer

    Midsummer can be brutally hot and dry in the Mid-Atlantic region. Frequent heat waves and dry spells result in the biggest chore of the summer—watering. However, a few changes can…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic August Garden To-Do List

    August can be one of the toughest months for gardeners. It’s hot and often very dry. So while you are watering, weeding, and trying to stay cool, here are a…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Native Flowers for a Mid-Atlantic Cutting Garden

    Who says only annuals can make up a cut flower garden? By now gardeners know that native perennials are sustainable pollinator attractors and are necessary to support wildlife. In addition…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic July Garden To-Do List

    July has arrived and the garden is buzzing. The trees and shrubs are planted. The annuals and perennials are staked and blooming. The vegetable garden is lush and ready to…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic June Garden To-Do List

    Add and subtract from your garden. June is a great time to assess what you have in the garden. By now the garden has filled in, and you can add…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Native Ferns for Moist Shade in the Mid-Atlantic Garden

    I recently spoke with Laura Cruz, a horticulturist at Stoneleigh garden in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Laura is passionate about gardening with native plants and uses natives almost exclusively. With a strong…

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