About Us

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.

Our writers

Jessica Walliser headshotJessica Walliser is a horticulturist, author, and devoted bug lover. She’s most interested in supporting pollinators and saving threatened ladybug species, as well as promoting ways to control garden pests without resorting to chemical warfare. When she isn’t writing about bugs and science for Savvy Gardening™, she’s composing articles for Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening, Hobby Farms, and Urban Farm 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 young son, speaks to garden groups, and co-hosts 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 five gardening books, including Good Bug Bad Bug (St. Lynn’s Press, 2011), Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control  (Timber Press, 2014) and Container Gardening Complete (Cool Springs Press, 2017).

Niki Jabbour is an award-winning author and edibles expert from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who believes that a long Canadian winter shouldn’t mean an end to the homegrown harvest. While as a child Niki limited her vegetable intake to yellow beans and potatoes, she now grows (and eats!) dozens of different vegetable varieties in her 2,000-square-foot garden, including experimental crops like quinoa, peanuts, artichokes and figs. Niki’s unconventional – yet wildly successful – growing techniques are proof that elbow-deep snow is NOT, in fact, a valid excuse for a puny parsnip harvest. Her first book, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, was honored with the 2012 American Horticultural Society’s Book Award, and her latest titles, Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden (Storey Press, 2014) and Veggie Garden Remix: 224 New Plants to Shake Up Your Garden and Add Variety, Flavor, and Fun (Storey Press 2018) open your eyes to an infinite number of tasty possibilities. Niki’s work is also found in Fine Gardening, Garden Making, The Heirloom Gardener, and Birds & Blooms magazines, and her column on vegetable growing techniques appears in each issue of Horticulture magazine. Oh, and one last thing about Niki: her radio program, The Weekend Gardener, which launched in 2007 is heard throughout Eastern Canada on News 95.7 FM. In 2015, Niki won the ‘Best On-Air Talent’ award from the Garden Writers Association for her radio work.

Tara NolanTara Nolan is a garden and lifestyle writer from Dundas, Ontario. Her first book, the best-selling Raised Bed Revolution (Cool Springs Press), was published in 2016. Fascinated by ornamental plants, Tara loves to experiment by partnering spirited colors and textures, and using new-to-her cultivars and combinations in both container gardens and flower borders. And, of course, she fancies herself a bit of a raised bed expert. 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 GardenToronto Botanical Garden, and Lee Valley Tools. Tara has also written about gardening for the Toronto Star, CBC Life, Garden Making, The Globe and MailReader’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 travelling 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.

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11 Responses to About Us

  1. Way to go, Savvygirls! Mega-congrats and it’s nice to see an international initiative. Keep up the great commentary, advice, and photos. Love the bug section…!

  2. Carole Coates says:

    Great to learn more about the personalities behind the great gardening blogs.

  3. Thanks os much for your recent CBC artcle on Container Plantings. I really appreciated the links for seed companies offering cultivars esp. adapted to container growing. It came just in time for my blog https://grandmasprairiegarden.wordpress.com/ posting on containers. Another cultivar you might check out is the Swift tomato (Named for the Swift Current SK Research Station where it was developed) Excellent for containers, small spaces and cold climates.

  4. Susan says:

    Hi. I happened upon the middle of an interesting video about beneficial insects, and clicked to restart it, but lost it entirely.
    How do I search your videos?
    Thank you,
    Susan

    • Hi Susan. We also post all of our videos to our YouTube Channel so you can always watch them there. Go to YouTube.com and search for Savvy Gardening. Our channel will pop up (with the SG logo in a circle) and then you can scroll through all the videos we have there — with lots more to come!

  5. Musette says:

    you gals are AWESOME!!! I love watching your videos and learning new gardening tips (even though I’m old enough to be your mom! 😉 – it’s so refreshing to read and watch gardening ideas for colder climates!

  6. Ian Edward Williams says:

    Jessica, I just listened to a podcast where you spoke of not doing fall cleanup. Very very interesting points I have not considered. I wanted to ask about cleaning up leaves in fall
    ?… That’s all good eh? Leaving Perennials makes sense. Sadly I have been reeking havoc for the last 9 years and never even knew! In regards to fall cleaning at least. Otherwise
    I like to believe I’m in the Gaia Harmony.

  7. Jeremy Starke says:

    Love your site and the wide range of expertise that all of your contributors have. Gearing up for the spring garden seasons. Thanks for all your knowledge bombs you gals provide!

    Jeremy

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