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.


  • Yellow trout-lily
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Native Spring Ephemerals for the Mid-Atlantic

    As the ground thaws in the Mid-Atlantic, a group of native flowering plants has a short but sweet time to shine. Spring ephemerals welcome the warmer weather and longer days…

  • Nana Korean boxwood
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Success With Boxwoods in the Mid-Atlantic

    Many gardeners here in the Mid-Atlantic are straying farther and farther away from boxwoods (Buxus spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9). Quite frankly, boxwoods have gotten a bad rap. The biggest…

  • wisteria vines in winter
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    What Do Chanticleer Gardeners Do in Winter?

    For most gardeners in the Mid-Atlantic region, winter is a time to reset, unwind, and reflect on the past season. Most of us stick to winter pruning, poring over plant…

  • structural plants in winter
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Structural Plants for Enduring Winter Interest in the Mid-Atlantic

    Mid-Atlantic gardeners don’t need to have empty gardens in winter. With some thoughtful designing and the right plants, you can obtain a garden full of structure and winter interest that…

  • Piet Oudolf gardens
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Designing Like Piet Oudolf in the Mid-Atlantic

    In recent years, many gardeners have been striving to create a naturalistic style by mimicking designers such as Claudia West, Cassian Schmidt, and, of course, Piet Oudolf. Fortunately, we Mid-Atlantic…

  • Passion Party andromeda
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Out of the Ordinary Picks for Mid-Atlantic Winter Containers

    There are some terrific options for container gardening all year long, especially during winter. The following plants are not your typical evergreens. These selections have interesting colors and textures during…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Grow Your Own Holiday Décor in the Mid-Atlantic

    The holiday season is approaching, and now is the time to start decorating. Red and green are the typical colors we gravitate toward, but nontraditional colors mixed in with some…

  • winterberry
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic December Garden To-Do List

    As we Mid-Atlantic gardeners continue to clean up leaves, plant the rest of our spring bulbs before the ground freezes, and employ strategies to deter deer, we can tackle a…

  • 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…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Putting the Garden to Bed—or Not—in the Mid-Atlantic

    Autumn has arrived in the Mid-Atlantic and with it, beautiful garden colors. As leaves fall and plants start to go to sleep, what do we do? Traditional gardening dictates getting…