Our Instructors
Our Instructors

Our Instructors

TonyAventTony Avent is the founder and proprietor of the famed “Plant Delights Nursery” and founder of Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is perhaps best known for his expertise in the area of rare, unusual, and native perennial plants, about which he writes and lectures widely. An avid plant explorer, he has made expeditions around the globe. He is also the author of “So You Want to Start a Nursery” (Timber Press 2003).

LizaBakewellKerryMichaelsLiza Bakewell, Ph.D., is a writer, anthropologist and executive director of Maine Women Write. From 1992 to 2013 she was on the faculty at Brown University. Kerry Michaels is a photographer, writer, and multimedia producer. Most recently, she photographed the book, Growing the Northeast Garden (2015).

IreneBradyBarberIrene Brady Barber is horticulturist and landscape designer at Irene Brady Barber Greenscape Designs. She’s also coordinator of the Therapeutic Horticulture Program at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. An experienced educator, Irene has degrees in horticulture and communications along with a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy. Irene brings her enthusiasm for connecting people with plants to her work at the Gardens.

LizBieberLiz Bieber picked up a camera in the Rocky Mountains in 1999, and hasn’t put her camera down since. She received her MFA in Film and Media from Hunter College in New York in 2008. Currently, she enjoys teaching photography workshops at Maine College of Art, and specializes in event and wedding photography.

BethBissonBeth Bisson is Maine Sea Grant’s Assistant Director for Outreach and Education. Beth Co-leads the program’s extension ad communications teas and leads the program’s education initiatives. She develops and implements participatory research, citizen science, and learning opportunities for educators, students and the public.

AndrewBrandAndy Brand is the nursery manager at Broken Arrow Nursery, where he and his colleagues specialize in growing rare and unusual plants. Andy is an avid naturalist and has focused on the interaction of insects and native plants of New England. He is a cofounder and past President of the Connecticut Butterfly Association and is also past President of the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association. He speaks to groups throughout the Northeast on a range of topics including native plants, new and unusual ornamentals, butterfly gardening, and butterflies of Connecticut and their life histories.

SyrethaBrooksSyretha Brooks is a horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. A graduate of Smith College, and formerly a horticulturist at New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens, she is thrilled to be back in her home state of Maine and working at the gardens here, where she uses her fine art background and horticulture chops to design and maintain our gardens, including the Great Lawn beds and the Perennial and Rose Garden.

LynetteBretonLynette Breton, who has designed in wood for over 35 years, started making the Heirloom Flower Press as a tool to inspire creativity in others. With a belief that nature is the ultimate designer, she began collecting and pressing with a focus on patterns, unseen details and the stand alone beauty that exists in the plant world and is accentuated through flower pressing. She has presented flower pressing as an art form to garden clubs and plant enthusiasts throughout the state.

DonCameronDon Cameron is a botanist and ecologist who has worked for over 20 years documenting rare plants and rare plant communities in the northeastern U.S. He has spent the last 15 years working for the Maine Natural Areas Program where his responsibilities have included managing Maine’s official list of Threatened and Endangered plants, monitoring federally listed plant species, conducting field inventories for rare plants and exemplary natural habitats, addressing issues related to invasive species, and contributing to conservation planning initiatives.

BillCullinaBill Cullina, Executive Director at CMBG previously served as Director of Horticulture for the Gardens and before that was Nursery Director for the New England Wild Flower Society. He is a well-known author and recognized authority on North American native plants. He lectures on a variety of subjects to garden and professional groups and writes for popular and technical journals. His books include Wildflowers; Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines; Understanding Orchids; Native Ferns, Mosses, and Grasses; and most recently, Understanding Perennials.

MelissaCullinaMelissa Cullina is Director of Education & Staff Botanist for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Formerly Botanist with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Cullina specializes in aquatic and coastal botany, field identification and rare species conservation.

LisaCowanLisa Cowan, principal of Studio Verde in Cumberland, Maine and Austin, Texas, is a nationally recognized landscape architect with expertise in ecology-based planning, landscape design and land management.

TedEllimanTed Elliman has been engaged in botanical work in New England and other northeastern states for more than thirty years. Most recently, he was a botanist and plant ecologist on the staff of New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, Massachusetts, where he conducted botanical inventories, natural community surveys, and invasive species control programs.

GaryFishGary Fish is a manager for the Maine Board of Pesticides Control and a coordinator of the Maine YardScaping Partnership. He has a B.S. in Forest and Wildlife Management from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources and has been a licensed professional forester since 1985. An aspiring landscape and nature photographer, he attributes his love of plants to his mother and her beautiful rose and rock gardens.

LindaHeppesFunkLinda Heppes Funk is an artist with over 38 years of experience teaching design and illustration. Working only from live plant material, she specializes in pencil, drybrush watercolor, gouache and metalpointe drawing. Her work is exhibited widely and appears in many publications and collections. She is a founding member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and served as their Director for six years.

DanHinkleyDaniel J. Hinkley is a plantsman, author, horticulturist and nurseryman. Devoted to introducing rare and unusual plants to gardeners of North America, Hinkley has traveled into the wilds of China, South and Central America, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tasmania and Canada numerous times a year for the past 22 years. Dan and his partner Robert Jones established the world-famous Heronswood Nursery, now “Heronswood Garden,” in Kingston, Washington, where Dan currently serves as Director. His horticultural awards are numerous, and include the Scott Gold Medal for his lifetime achievement horticulture, the Marcel Le Piniac Award from the American Rock Garden Society, the Medal of Honor from the Garden Club of America, The Garden Communicator of the Year award from the American Nurserymen and Landscape Association, the White Gold Medal from the Greater Cleveland Horticultural Society, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award from the American Horticultural Society, and Medals of Honor from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Royal Horticulture Society of Great Britain. Dan currently resides in Indianola, Washington where he is in the process of realizing his latest endeavor, the Gardens of Windcliff. He is in the process of writing his third book for Timber Press in the Explorer’s Garden series, a second book on the Winter Garden this time for Timber Press, and a book for Farrar Strauss and Giroux on the Making of Heronswood.

ThurstonHowesThurston Howes received his Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University and since then has made teaching his lifelong passion. He has taught at Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech as well as SMCC, USM and Maine College of Art. His work has won many awards including a Polaroid grant and has been featured in exhibitions around the world.

ErikaHuberErika Huber is the Youth and Family Program Coordinator for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. She holds degrees in Forestry and Horticulture and has nine years of experience working with children in environmental and gardening education.

KarenJonesKaren Jones is the Camp Coordinator for the Gardens. Karen brings with her over ten years of teaching experience working with children of all ages. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Math/Science with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Leadership and Policy in Early Childhood Education, both from Wheelock College. She currently teaches Kindergarten at Hall-Dale Elementary.

Katie Lee earned a certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden, where she has taught for the past 22 years. An award winning botanical and wildlife artist, she has illustrated several books, and her work is featured in Museum collections and exhibitions around the world.

TovahMartinTovah Martin is the author of many gardening books – most recently The Indestructible Houseplant (2015, Timber Press) which follows the success of The Unexpected Houseplant (2012, Timber Press) and The New Terrarium (2009, Clarkson Potter) as well as the popular Tasha Tudor’s Garden (1994, Houghton Mifflin). A freelance writer, her articles have appeared in publications throughout the country including Garden Design, Martha Stewart Living, O the Oprah magazine, Horticulture magazine, Yankee, and others. She is an honorary member of the Garden Club of America and the recipient of their medal for outstanding literary achievement.

ClareWalkerLeslieClare Walker Leslie is an artist and naturalist and has taught nature journaling in 28 states and at such places as Williams College and Harvard’s Landscape and Design Program. She has 12 books published, the most recent being The Curious Nature Guide . Dividing her time between MA and VT, she believes that the process of seeing is what counts, not “how good is my drawing.”

ColinLewisColin Lewis began growing bonsai in 1976 on a window ledge of a London apartment, while working as a graphic designer. Largely self-taught, he has won awards throughout Europe, in the US and Japan. Lewis began teaching the art of bonsai in the early nineties and has lectured, held workshops and demonstrated in seventeen countries. He has written a number of best-selling books on bonsai and, on relocating to America, served as bonsai consultant to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. He now lives in southern Maine where he has a small nursery and runs the Ho Yoku School of Bonsai.

MattMattusMatt Mattus is a life-long plant person and general plant enthusiast, as well as an artist and professional designer of brands, products, graphics and gardens. He shares his passion for plants through teaching and lecturing, participation in numerous plant societies, and most famously through his popular and visually stunning gardening blog “Growing with Plants.”

HeatherMcCargoHeather McCargo, the founder and director of the Wild Seed Project, is an educator with 30 years of expertise in plant propagation, landscape design and conservation. She was the head plant propagator at the New England Wildflower Society’s Garden in the Woods in the 90’s, worked at several landscape architecture/planning firms specializing in ecological design, has been a contributor to several research projects with USAID, National Gardening Association, and with MOFGA. She has lectured nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines such as Horticulture, Taunton Press and American Nurseryman.

VanessaNesvigVanessa Nesvig, Interpretation and Exhibits Coordinator at the Gardens is a both an artist and garden writer. Having taught pastel and oil painting for over ten years, Vanessa brings a love of being outdoors and experience helping people translate the visual outdoor world. Coming to the Gardens from the Portland Museum of Art, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Boston University and is a professional painter who has exhibited widely throughout New England. When not at work she can be found in her gardens and studio at home.

Photo By Eric JenksKerry Ann Mendez is an award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer who has been featured in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens. Kerry Ann was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for her horticultural accomplishments. She has published three popular gardening books, including her most recent, The Right-Size Flower Garden.

HillaryParkerHillary Parker is a naturalist and international award winning botanical watercolor artist with paintings exhibited and sold worldwide. As a former resident of Camden, she now works from her home studio in Coral Gables, Florida. She has enjoyed a dual career of teaching and painting for over 20 years.

KimberlyPostKimberly Post artist and photographer, lives outside of Portland, Maine. Her art embraces the natural world and she likes to closely observe flora and fauna in all stages of living and dying. She’s been a part of the mobile photo/iphoneography community since its inception and is the first to attest that iOS devices have completely changed the way she approaches her art. Kimberly is represented by Vox Photographs.

DanRobartsDan Robarts is a horticulturalist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, responsible for managing the Giles Rhododendron Garden and the garden spaces surrounding the Borsage Family Education Center. Dan is also responsible for propagation, plant breeding, and horticultural research. Dan holds a B.S. in Biology from Bates College, and a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Evolutionary Genetics from The Ohio State University.

GailSpaienGail Spaien is Professor of Painting and Chair of the MFA program at the Maine College of Art. She has shown her work at the Decordova Museum of Contemporary Art in Massachusetts, The Crocker Museum of Art in California and the Colby College Museum of Art to name a few. Her work has been collected by Fidelity Investments, University of Southern Maine and the Portland Museum of Art, and has been reviewed by the Boston Globe, Art New England and New American Painting.

Dr. Lois Berg Stack is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Ornamental Horticulture Specialist. She conducts applied research and organizes workshops and conferences for nursery, greenhouse, garden center and landscape professionals in Maine and New England. Some of her current projects focus on plants that support native bees and honeybees, and production of chokeberry as a nutraceutical crop. She also works extensively with home gardeners on landscape topics such as management of invasive species and selection and management of Maine landscape plants.

EsperanzaStancioffEsperanza Stancioff, of the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension, specializes in climate change education and adaptation planning. Esperanza has designed and implemented educational programs in coastal ecosystem health, specifically in marine environmental monitoring and watershed assessment and management.

NancyStedmanNancy Stedman is one of Maine’s foremost flower growers. She owns Little River Flower Farm, where she grows more than 8,000 annual and perennial cut flowers every year. She is a sought-after floral designer for weddings (seventy of them in 2015!) and events. Her work has been featured in several publications, most recently Real Maine Weddings magazine.

DianeWaldenDiane Walden is a horticulturist at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Her beautiful garlands have graced many ribbon-cutting celebrations, including those for the Haney Hillside Garden, Bosarge Family Education Center, and new Fairy House Village. She creates many of the arrangements and container plantings that visitors so admire.

LarryWeanerLarry Weaner has been creating award-winning native landscapes since 1977, and has a national reputation for combining expertise in horticulture, ecological restoration, and design. Larry is an active guest lecturer and instructor for horticultural and environmental organizations throughout the U.S. and in 1990 he developed New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL), an educational programming series with a national following. He recently coauthored Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change (Timber Press, 2016).

CarolWoodinCarol Woodin specializes in rare plants, and he work has been exhibited around the world. Recipient of the 1998 ASBA Diane Bouchier Artist Award, a Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal, and the Orchid Digest Medal of Honor, she served on the Board of the American Society of Botanical Artists, and is now its Director of Exhibitions.