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 and is currently an estate gardener maintaining a Piet Oudolf garden. 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.


  • tussie-mussie
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Create Winter Tussie-Mussies With Cuttings From Your Garden

    Tussie-mussies are small flower bundles that were worn, carried as fashion accessories, and given as gifts during the Victorian era. They were popularized by Queen Victoria, who often carried around…

  • ornamental grass in fall
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Fabulous Fall Grasses for the Mid-Atlantic

    It is that time of year again when the days become shorter and the temperatures drop. Autumn brings some of the most brilliant garden displays of the year, and there…

  • American beautyberry
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Shrubs with Spectacular Fall Fruit for the Mid-Atlantic

    As the hot, Mid-Atlantic summer winds down, gardeners look forward to the mild weather of fall for a well-needed break. This is a good time to reevaluate the garden with…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic November Garden To-Do List

    In November, the Mid-Atlantic is deeper into fall and nature is winding down. However, there are still things to do in the garden. From planting those bulbs you still have…

  • Iris leaf spot targets iris foliage after particularly moist summers.
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Look Out for Iris Leaf Spot in the Mid-Atlantic

    As the Mid-Atlantic enters fall after a hot and humid summer, gardeners face many challenges. Among these are controlling pests and battling disease. Pest and disease infestations tend to be…

  • Hemlock woolly adelgid
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Pest Control for the Mid-Atlantic: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    One of the prevalent garden pests in the Mid-Atlantic is hemlock woolly adelgid (or HWA, as it is often abbreviated). Native to Asia, hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) can be…

  • 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…

  • ARS SE45 Floral Shears

    Harvest Cut Flowers With These Floral Shears

    Anyone with a cutting garden needs a good pair of pruners. These 7-inch floral shears are perfect for when you need something a little smaller and less bulky than Felco…

  • pink smooth hydrangea
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Smooth and Oakleaf Hydrangeas for the Mid-Atlantic

    Summer in the Mid-Atlantic can be hot and somewhat devoid of flowers after spring blooms fade. However, hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9) are just showing their bold flowers…

  • colorful pollinator garden
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Supporting Native Bees in the Mid-Atlantic

    Recently I spoke with Kim Eierman of EcoBeneficial, an ecological consulting company based in Bronxville, New York, who is the author of The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on…