The first time I met Melinda Myers was at Hawks Nursery in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, in 1999. She was signing copies of her book, The Garden Book for Wisconsin. Little did I realize the impact her “borrowed views” would have on the trajectory of my writing-life.
Melinda eventually became my instructor, guidance counselor and mentor, and, now, my peer in the garden communications world in which we both work.
In May 2015, I drove my rented car down a dusty road to Melinda’s new country home to get reacquainted with my dear colleague. It was a world away from the urban landscape I had known her place to be for many years: her city home on the south-side of Milwaukee.
Back then, borrowed views like Melinda’s neighbor with her Rosa ‘William Baffin’ (a very hardy climbing rose with semi-double blooms) and Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ were enjoyed.
Now, Melinda’s gardens are in Wisconsin’s countryside, west and a little south of the big city, and introduced me to the borrowed views she exchanged for the urban world. The landscape required a golf cart to navigate our time, as well as the gopher holes.
Stay gardening moments all gardeners learn from.
Using Borrowed Views for Your Own Garden Life
Gardeners make use of borrowed views to enhance their perspectives, whether it is for their own gardens or in life-experiences.
You might grow bored with a small city lot until you realize you benefit from the tall tree your neighbor has, which casts a canopy over your backyard at the height of summer heat.
Borrowed views also come in the form of garden experiences and preferences. The learning never ends no matter where you are on the spectrum of garden-life, and is a kind of metaphor for life. Like our gardens, we never stop growing.
Wisconsin Horticulturist Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a horticulturist and certified arborist. I recall first seeing her on local public television in Milwaukee. Boy, that is going back some! She is credited with starting the Master Gardener Program for the University of Wisconsin-Extension in Milwaukee County. Myers’ years of dedication to the program is expressed in the many gardeners she has remained close to over the years.
For more than 20 years, she hosted The Plant Doctor radio program in Wisconsin; her fans might call the show’s title her moniker. Myers also hosted seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS.
Myers has a B.S. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University and an M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She was a tenured horticulture instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mequon. Her many awards include the Garden Communicator of the Year Award from the American Nursery & Landscape Association and the B.Y. Morrison Communication Award from the American Horticultural Society.
Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms and Wisconsin Gardening magazines. Her books include Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening, Minnesota & Wisconsin Getting Started Garden Guide, and Midwest Gardener’s Handbook.
She launched her own business in 2006 and continues to be a source of motivation to stay gardening.