Savvy Gardening features the voices of three gardening experts. Read about each contributor below, as well as our goal for sharing our gardening expertise.
Jessica Walliser is a horticulturist, author, and radio host. When she isn’t writing about plants, bugs, and science for Savvy Gardening™, she’s composing articles for Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening, and Hobby Farms magazines. Jessica also writes two weekly columns for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review where she has the pleasure of covering a wide range of gardening topics. On the weekends, she hangs out with her husband and son, and speaks to garden groups. For 15 years, Jessica co-hosted The Organic Gardeners, an award-winning program on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jessica has a degree in horticulture from the Pennsylvania State University and is the former owner of a 25-acre organic market farm. She’s also the author of six gardening books, including the Amazon best-seller Good Bug Bad Bug, Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden (winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2014 Book Award), Container Gardening Complete, and Gardener’s Guide to Compact Plants.
Niki Jabbour is the award-winning author of three books – The Year Round Vegetable Gardener (2012 American Horticultural Society Book Award), Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden, and Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun (Winner of the 2019 American Horticultural Society Book Award, Winner of the Gold Book Award from GardenComm, and winner of the 2019 Silver Award from Taste Canada). She also writes for magazines like Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and Birds & Blooms. Niki is an in-demand speaker, offering seminars and keynotes at events, shows, societies, and greenhouses across North America such as the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, The Dow Gardens, The Philadelphia Flower Show, The Boston Flower Show, and Canada Blooms. For the past 12 years Niki has hosted and executive produced her popular radio show, The Weekend Gardener which airs on News 95.7 FM in Halifax as well as online. For her broadcasting work, Niki won the 2015 Gold Award from GardenComm as ‘Best On-Air Talent’. Niki is very active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can find her gardening videos on Youtube. When she’s not writing, speaking, or broadcasting about food gardening she’s in her twenty raised bed vegetable garden in Halifax, Nova Scotia which is filled with an eclectic mixture of popular vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans, as well as unique heirloom varieties, and crops from around the world like cucamelons, snake gourds, and za’atar.
Tara Nolan is a gardening writer, speaker, and author from Dundas, Ontario. Her first book, the best-selling Raised Bed Revolution: Build It! Fill It! Plant It! Garden Anywhere (Cool Springs Press), was published in 2016. Her brand new book, Gardening Your Front Yard: Projects and Ideas for Big & Small Spaces (Cool Springs Press) was published in March 2020. Tara loves planting a mix of food and flowers in her multiple raised beds and perennial gardens. In 2016, Tara appeared on WNED Buffalo’s Garden Wisdom program as an edibles expert. For six years, Tara was the award-winning web editor of Canadian Gardening magazine’s website. Her lecture experience includes talks at Canada Blooms, Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, Royal Botanical Garden, Toronto Botanical Garden, and Lee Valley Tools, as well as garden clubs and horticultural societies. Tara has also written about gardening for the Toronto Star, CBC Life, Garden Making, The Globe and Mail, Reader’s Digest, Canadian Living, and Style at Home, among others. She is currently on the editorial board of Ontario Gardener magazine. When she’s not in the garden, this card-carrying member of GardenComm, formerly the Garden Writer’s Association, is on her mountain bike or traveling somewhere to check out public and private gardens, always intent on discovering the next big gardening craze. Tara also considers herself to be pretty crafty (meaning creative, not sly), and while you probably aren’t going to learn about her talent with a needle and thread here, you will learn about the amazing (and crafty!) garden creations growing right outside her back door.
Savvy Gardening™ is a place where fresh gardening voices come together to revel in the charms and fascinations of the horticultural world. It’s a place where art and science play nicely together, where you’ll find curious musings on everything from voodoo lilies and cucamelons, to the merits of wheel bugs and Vietnamese coriander. We are three garden writers, from two different countries and three different hardiness zones, each with a unique knowledge base, a passionate voice and a weighted opinion. Savvy Gardening™ exists to offer fanatical (and newbie) gardeners of all abilities and persuasions innovative solutions, novel ideas, enlightening research and a solid dose of sensible advice. We believe that gardens not only offer beauty and food and respite, but they’re also life laboratories. They are places where we can experiment, discover, dissect and reconnect with nature in all its forms. We believe that arming gardeners with confidence and information is what Savvy Gardening is all about.