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Monica Moran Brandies is the author of countless newspaper and magazine articles and about a dozen books. The newest one is Citrus: How to Grow and Use Citrus Fruits, Flowers, and Foliage. Its focus is on special herbal uses along with which citrus types to grow where. Published fall, 2010. Other books include Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens and Florida Gardening: the Newcomer's Survival Manual, which is in its second edition. She collaborated with Betty Mackey for the third edition of A Cutting Garden for Florida. She wrote a warmly humorous memoir, Bless You for the Gifts, which takes the reader along her path from school to nine babies to living and gardening in Florida. Other books by Monica with other publishers are Xeriscaping for Florida Homes (Great Outdoors Publishing), Sprouts and Saplings (memoir and advice, Strawberry Hill Press), The Florida Gardener's Book of Lists (Taylor Publishing), All About Trees and All About Groundcovers (Ortho Books), and Step-by-Step Landscaping (Better Homes & Gardens). She has written Shade Gardening for Florida published by Great Outdoors. Monica grew up in Xenia, Ohio, near Dayton, and lived on a farm for most of her childhood. She attended a small Catholic school before studying at the Pennsylvania School of Horticulture, now part of Temple University. For more information and many entertaining articles, go to her website,

Duane Campbell started grubbing in the dirt in the early 70's, beating the gardening craze that swept the nation then by about two weeks. This slight edge made him the local expert, and neighbors started asking his advice. For the past three decades he has been giving it in a column, Green Space, which appears weekly in northeast newspaper, and a monthly column for a regional newspaper supplement. He also writes occasionally for magazines. He's the author of the book, Best of Green Space: 30 Years of Composted Columns (click the book title to see an excerpt). Along the way he became a Master Gardener in two states, then a teacher of Master Gardeners. He has taught gardening courses at a community college, made numerous radio and television appearances, including his own radio show, judged gardens for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, spoken to more groups than he can remember, and won several national awards. He is a back yard gardener, a dirty hands generalist with some small knowledge in most areas and a bit more in ornamentals, container growing, and indoor plants, all learned the hard way and shared with naughty humor.

Betty Earl is an author, writer, lecturer, and photographer based in Northern Illinois. Her new book is Fairy Gardens: A Guide to Growing an Enchanted Miniature World. It was released in mid-April, 2012 here on B. B. Mackey Books and is also featured on Her articles have appeared in American Nurseryman, Midwest Living Magazine, Small Gardens, Backyard Solutions, Old Farmers Almanac, Nature’s Garden, Chicagoland Gardening Magazine, and elsewhere. She writes regularly for the Kankakee Daily Journal, and the Diggin’ It blog on The Christian Science Monitor. The regional representative for the Garden Conservancy, she gardens on some of the worst clay/road fill “soil” in the state. // Facebook page link?////

Joyce Fingerut is coauthor of the American Horticultural Society award-winning book, Creating and Planting Garden Troughs. Joyce Fingerut is past President of the North American Rock Garden Society, and has been involved in its International Speakers Tour Project. A Philadelphia native, Joyce Fingerut's horticultural career follows her fcareer in psychology research and data analysis. She is also a graduate of the horticultural program at the Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania, and has taken additional coursework at Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture and at Longwood Gardens. She edited The Trough Handbook for the North American Rock Garden Society. She has designed and built award-winning exhibits for the Philadelphia Flower Show, with emphasis on rock garden plants and alpine troughs. She gives lectures and workshops in various aspects of trough making and horticulture for organizations and arboreta throughout eastern North America. She authored portions of the book, Rock Garden Design and Construction published by Timber Press in 2003. It, too, won an award from the American Horticultural Society.

Pat Kite, who has a way of clarifying complex subjects beautifully, has written nonfiction books for children and adults. Several of her books have been winners of awards from the Garden Writers Association of America. Her newest book is Gardener's Favorites: 600 Essential Plants for Your Garden, written with coauthor Teri Dunn. Pat wrote A Cutting Garden for California with Betty Mackey, and is the California half of the team. Pat lives and gardens in Newark, California, where she is also interested in planning and zoning and the teaching of writing. She is best known for her expertise in organic gardening and pest control. She is the author of Controlling Lawn and Garden Insects, from Ortho Books and many other titles.

Betty Mackey gardens in the shade in Pennsylvania, but became interested in regional gardening after living in several states including Florida. Her best-known book is The Gardener's Home Companion published by Macmillan and then in various reprints. Her illustrated book, Gardening Made Easy, came out in 2003 from Publications International and has reappeared as Consumer Reports info on the web. She co-wrote Cutting Gardens from Simon & Schuster and has been garden columnist for The Hunt Magazine since 1994. She is also a digital painter, active on several art sites. Betty gives lectures on topics such as container gardening, making troughs, papercrete, cutting gardens, natural gardening, and more. Her next papercrete trough workshop will be held at Longwood Gardens on April 25, 2014. She is a publisher and editor, the founder and owner of B. B. Mackey Books. The books are listed for sale here. The two rock garden books  she edited and published won major awards.

Rex Murfitt is coauthor of Creating and Planting Garden Troughs. His most recent book is Creating and Planting Alpine Gardens from B. B. Mackey Books. In 2009 it was published for Amazon's Kindle electronic book reader. In 2006 it received a Silver Trowel award from the Garden Writers?Association of America. Rex was the recipient of the Carleton Worth award for writing from the North American Rock Garden Society. He is at work on a new illustrated trough book. Born in England, Rex trained as a nurseryman, later specializing in alpine plants at the famous W. E. Th. Ingwersen, Birch Farm Hardy Plant Nursery at Gravetye, Sussex. There, he trained under Walter Ingwersen VMH and his son Will Ingwersen VMH, who taught him the art of propagation and cultivation of alpine plants. He traveled widely with Will Ingwersen, building rock gardens for clients. From these great gardeners he learned the romance and lore of alpine plants. Later he worked in large English gardens including J. Spedan Lewis's gardens at Longstock Park in Hampshire, caring for the greenhouses and orchid collection, as well as a growing alpine collection. Eventually he became Head Gardener to Mrs. Constance Spry at Winkfield Place, near Windsor, where plants were grown for her world-famous flower arrangements. He helped develop her white garden, based on the one at Sissinghurst Castle. Under the guidance of Graham Stuart Thomas, he undertook the care of a large collection of old fashioned roses. He later moved to New York, and with Frank and Anne Cabot, started Stonecrop Nurseries Inc., at Cold Spring On Hudson, an alpine nursery based on English traditional methods. Stonecrop displayed rock gardens at Flower Shows in New York City and Philadelphia. Rex Murfitt now grows alpines for pleasure at home in Victoria, B.C., Canada. His particular interests include collecting saxifrages, and he has a growing love for North American alpines. When not in the garden, he devotes time to photographing alpine plants and recording the efforts of the distinguished alpine gardeners he was fortunate enough to have known. He frequently lectures and writes articles on alpine gardening.

Nellie Neal is known as The Garden Mama at her lectures and on radio, where she fields queries about everything. This led to her book, Questions and Answers for Deep South Gardeners, in a second edition now. She wrote Organic Gardening Down South to explain the benefits and mysteries of healthy organic gardening with special insight on best organic practices in the hot and steamy southeastern tier states. She is a lifelong gardener, consultant, garden writer, wife, mother and now grandmother. She learned to love okra at her grandfather's knee, grew her first begonia in third grade, and grew 99 kinds of tomatoes in the front yard one summer while studying horticulture at Louisiana State University. Her expertise in general horticultural subjects extends across the Southeast in USDA Zones 8, 9, 10 and the coastal areas of California, and is the result of more than twenty-five years of experience in both the businesses and pleasures of the field. Nellie knows what works and is not afraid to say so. She knows because she grows some of everything from houseplants, perennials, annuals, and roses to trees, shrubs, and vegetables all year long. Her favorite flower is whatever is in bloom today and the quest to fill the year with color, texture, and food drives her garden style. She has gardened with Master Gardeners, Girl Scouts and third graders, adults who consult with her and enroll in her classes, youth diversion program offenders, people with disabilities, garden club ladies, professional practitioners, a host of neighbors and plant society members, and has learned valuable lessons from them all. Nellie was co-publisher of the Loose Dirt newsletter and co-wrote several books before writing Questions and Answers for Deep South Gardeners. She continues to write for general magazines and plus regional magazines, Louisiana Gardener and Mississippi Gardener. Her website address is

Alex Pankhurst is a writer, photographer and lecturer. She has a cottage garden in England's picturesque Dedham Vale (Constable Country), and every year breaks her resolve not to buy more plants. Author of many garden articles and the books Who Does Your Garden Grow (biography) and Scoffing the Primroses (a witty novel with a horticultural theme), she has kindly allowed B. B. Mackey Books to bring out her now-classic book Who Does Your Garden Grow in paperback. It received critical and popular acclaim in England and the USA when it first was printed in hardcover in England and has been well received in its new form. In 2012 Alex published a novel about today's art world, Art and the Human Fruit Machine, which is available on paper and as a Kindle eBook.

Thomas Powell is the author of Aphid in My Eye: Adventures in the Orchid Trade. For forty years, he edited and published The Avant Gardener, an award winning monthly newsletter, now edited by Derek Fell. Thomas Powell is well known for his succinct, informative, and witty writing and speaking style. Tom and his late wife Betty authored many gardening articles and books and were officers of orchid societies. They were executive and publications directors of the Horticultural Society of New York. They originated the magazine, Orchidata, published for many years by the Greater New York Orchid Society.

--page updated 3/27/2014.

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