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Nancy J. Ondra

Nan lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and gardens on four acres, with intensively planted gardens, open shrubbery areas, and managed meadows. A lifelong mid-Atlantic gardener, she started her career working in nurseries and private gardens before getting into garden publishing at Rodale Press in 1990. She then became a freelance garden writer, editor, and photographer. Nan is the author or co-author of over 15 books, including Grasses, The Perennial Care Manual, and The Perennial Matchmaker. She also keeps a blog (albeit somewhat fitfully these days) at Hayefield: A Pennsylvania Plant Geek’s Garden.

Though Nan appreciates a wide variety of plants and gardening styles, she’s especially keen on herbaceous plants in general and herbs, unusual annuals, uncommon perennials, and natives in particular. She’s also passionate about growing pretty much anything from seed, as well as collecting and sharing seeds, and she holds a Seed Dealer’s License in Pennsylvania for her small business selling seeds on Etsy.

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Gardening Gift Ideas 2019 for Mid-Atlantic Gardeners

    It’s that time of year again—time to show our appreciation for friends and family and to celebrate the holiday spirit with special gifts. Stumped by the task of finding just…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Collecting Seeds From Your Garden

    Though we’re definitely heading toward winter here in the Mid-Atlantic, November can bring some marvelously mild weather too. If you’re looking for a good excuse to get back out to…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic: November Garden To-Do List

    By now, the growing season is over for most of us in the Mid-Atlantic. That doesn’t mean that the gardening season is over, though. Take advantage of any mild days…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Backyard Foraging for Edible Ornamentals

    Gardens are all about engaging the senses: colors and shapes to catch the eye, rustling leaves and birdsong to please the ear, all kinds of plant textures to touch, and…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Plant a Perennial Garlic Patch

    October means garlic-planting time here in the Mid-Atlantic. Normally, growing garlic is a long-term prospect, as you won’t get to harvest the pungent bulbs until the following summer. But there’s…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic: October Garden To-Do List

    October can be a fickle month here in the Mid-Atlantic states. If we’re lucky, we may get just a light frost or two early on, followed by a lovely spell…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    How to Spruce Up Containers for Fall

    If your container plantings are looking frazzled after this rough summer, you’re not alone. However, our Mid-Atlantic autumn season still has a fair way to go, so don’t give up…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Disease Alert: Sudden Oak Death on Rhododendrons

    Did you buy a rhododendron this year? If so, read on! Over the last few years, increasing numbers of dead ash trees (Fraxinus spp., Zones 3–9) have become a common…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic: September Garden To-Do List

    Summers can be rough in the Mid-Atlantic region—lots of heat, plenty of humidity, and for many of us, ridiculous amounts of rain followed by long dry spells. Fortunately, those extremes…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Late Summer Combinations

    Brutal heat, tropical humidity, torrential downpours, or extended dry spells—welcome to late summer in the Mid-Atlantic region! We have plenty of excuses for our gardens looking tired and tattered now,…