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Ann Clary met her GardenZeus.com co-founder Darren Butler at one of his intermediate gardening classes and she became inspired to grow new and different plants in a sustainable, bio intensive manner. After finding herself constantly creating monthly to-do lists for California gardening from four or five different resources, she thought there had to be a better way. This became the original impetus for Ann and Darren’s partnership, the process that evolved into GardenZeus.com.
Ann is a professional lawyer and administrator, and an avid amateur gardener. She lives in Pasadena, California and she enjoys cooking for her husband and two grown children. She especially likes to cook what she grows in her vegetable garden. Ann is a big fan of Alice Waters, Julia Child, Thomas Keller and Nora Ephron. She says, “I know Nora was not really a professional cook, but she liked to cook and had lots of funny things to say.” Ann is also a competitive tennis player and an avid Stanford Cardinal football fan.
Darren's beginnings as a gardener and arborist were in a remnant of native woods in upstate New York behind his childhood home, where he climbed trees not long after learning to walk, and planted his first seeds (snap peas). In the mid-1990s, after gardening in New York as a child, and working professionally with plants and in landscapes in Utah and Northern California, he began the process of learning to grow vegetables in the alkaline clay soil and dry Mediterranean climate of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.
Darren has worked since 2005 as independent Consulting Arborist, Ecological Landscape Designer, Greywater & Irrigation Designer and Consultant, Landscape & Garden Consultant, Permaculturist, Speaker, and Teacher, for a variety of clients including nonprofit organizations, botanical gardens, and celebrities; and has worked as a testifying arborist expert witness. He has volunteered thousands of hours teaching gardening; serving at-risk children and youth; and supporting others in discovering meaningful experience with plants, trees, soil, and gardens.
Darren has appeared in many media as an expert including international television for a large audience, NPR radio, and local television. He has taught for the LA County Master Gardener Training Program since 2006. From 2007 to 2009 he served on statewide Advisory and Steering Committees for all University of California Master Gardener programs. Since 2005 Darren has offered numerous workshops, courses, presentations, and retreats to thousands of students and attendees on gardening and other topics. Darren’s many keynote, plenary, featured, and main-stage presentations include 2011 Southern California Permaculture Convergence, 2010 Huntington Botanic Garden Symposium on Urban Agriculture, and 2009 City of Riverside’s Earth Day Festival put on by Habitat for Humanity. He has presented at dozens of major conferences, symposia, and events, including the 2008 and 2011 California Statewide Master Gardener Conferences, and the 2010 American Horticultural Society’s Youth and Children Gardening Symposium.
Yvonne Savio is one of the best known gardening experts and personalities in Southern California. For 21 years, from 1994 to 2015, she was the much-beloved head of the Master Gardener Program for the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Los Angeles County — www.celosangeles.ucanr.edu.
Yvonne grew up on a 3/4-acre hillside lot in Pasadena in Southern California, with year-round fruits and vegetables and flowers homegrown with lots of manure and compost and “making do” before it was called recycling or repurposing. For 15 years, she worked in the Botany and Vegetable Crops Cooperative Extension Departments at the University of California, Davis, where she conferred with Statewide Vegetable Specialists regarding growing and postharvest handling. Since 1984, she has contributed weekly gardening columns, features, and photographs to California and national newspapers, magazines, journals, and newsletters. In 2015, Yvonne retired from the University and initiated her website – www.GardeningInLA.net – where she blogs once a week from her home garden, specializing in drought-tolerant and recycling techniques for growing vegetables, fruits, perennials, roses, and succulents.
Christy Wilhelmi is author of Gardening for Geeks (Adams Media, 2013) and founder of Gardenerd www.gardenerd.com, the ultimate resource for garden nerds, where she publishes information-packed monthly newsletters, weekly blog posts, and podcasts. She also specializes in small-space, organic vegetable garden design and consulting. She holds regular organic gardening classes in California, and has co-taught organic gardening at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA.
Between 70-80 percent of her family’s produce comes from her garden of less than 200 square feet. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, some chickens and two gardens.
Kellee Matsushita is an instructor at the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Kellee has worked as a garden educator and coordinator at several community garden projects, including the Network for a Healthy California demonstration garden in Van Nuys and the El Cariso Mountain Garden in Sylmar, CA; and has worked as a farmer and educator at Pie Ranch in Pescadero, CA. She is especially interested in seed conservation and preservation, and the links between genetic biodiversity, cultural diversity and collective liberation. She dreams of having an educational seed farm that serves as a hub where farmers can select, save and share seeds and stories.
Katarina Eriksson is a rose expert and landscape designer who worked for 10 years as First Head Gardener of Roses in the Shakespeare and Herb Gardens at The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. She has also worked for Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Grow Native Nursery in West Los Angeles, other retail nurseries, and Form LA Landscape. She continues to pursue her passion for fragrant roses and sustainable gardening practices by offering professional services through her small business, Kat’s Landscape Design and Horticultural Garden Care. Katarina can be reached at email@example.com
Marie Massa is a horticulturist, landscape designer, and environmental scientist. She has worked for the Theodore Payne Foundation coordinating habitat restoration and installing native landscaping, for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County where she maintained California natives, and doing environment-related field research and administrative work for a variety of nonprofit institutions. Marie currently designs and maintains California-native wildscapes in Los Angeles through her company Pure California. Marie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
GardenZeus.com is owned by GardenZeus LLC, a California Limited Liability Company. Ann Clary and Darren Butler are co-owners of GardenZeus LLC. The principal business office of GardenZeus LLC is located in the State of California.