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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

    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,…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Native to Know: Rattlesnake Master

    Do you gravitate toward tough, fuss-free perennials so that you can enjoy your garden without a lot of work? Or do you prefer hunting for out-of-the-ordinary plants to give your…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic: August Garden To-Do List

    Don’t overheat. Late summer is sure to bring us plenty of heat and humidity, so try to get your gardening chores done early in the day or in the evening.…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic Natives on Trial at the Mt. Cuba Center

    It’s so easy to fall in love with plants you see in a magazine or on a website, but when you’re trying to find out if they’re likely to perform…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Are Low-Mow Grasses the Way to Go? | Mid-Atlantic Regional Report

    Here in the Mid-Atlantic, we’re in a transition zone where lawn grasses are concerned. Gardens in the northern parts of our region mostly have cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Mid-Atlantic: July Garden To-Do List | Regional Report

    Settled warm weather generally encourages fast growth and is great for lush gardens and containers and for generous vegetable harvests. Shear back catmints (Nepeta spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8), coreopsis…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Gardening for Caterpillars | Mid-Atlantic Regional Report

    For so many years, the focus of gardening has been on growing food and flowers. Now we’re thinking beyond what we want for ourselves to what our gardens can do…

  • Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

    Keep an Eye Out for Allium Leafminer | Mid-Atlantic Regional Report

    Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is getting a lot of attention as the latest big pest threat in the Mid-Atlantic, but it’s not the only new and serious problem to pop up…