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.
Jessica 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 Nolan is a garden and lifestyle writer from Dundas, Ontario. Her first book, Raised Bed Revolution (Cool Springs Press), was published in 2016 and is already a best-seller! 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. For six years, Tara served as Canadian Gardening magazine’s online editor and penned various articles for the publication. Her lecture experience includes talks at Canada Blooms, Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, the Toronto Botanical Garden and Lee Valley Tools. Tara has also written about gardening for the Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Canadian Living, and Style at Home, among others. When she’s not in the garden, this card-carrying member of 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.