Sue Dickson, Designer, Horticulturist, Owner
I have been steeped in the regional horticultural community since completing my Garden Design and Horticulture degree from Edmonds Community College in 2002. Through that training and as owner of the Artful Garden since 2004, I have had the good fortune to be mentored by others, learning from designers, plant collectors, arborists and garden writers. In turn, I pride myself in mentoring others by developing a talented team and sharing my approach and expertise in the maintenance division of my company.
As the Seattle area grows, spending time in the natural world becomes more and more of a primary need for all of us. My goal as a landscape designer is to bring that natural beauty home to my clients, whether it is through naturalistic, formal or native plantings, set within clean lines, using the quality materials and local craftsmanship.
Cassandra Lieffers, Project Manager, Horticulturist
I am originally from Michigan where I grew up loving the outdoors and began to develop an interest in growing my own food. I earned my degree in Sustainable Foods and BioEnergy from Montana State University in 2016, where I continued to develop and hone those skills in its beautiful countryside. I moved to Washington in the Spring of 2018 where I could work outside in the field year-round. I am proud to work for a local company that is dedicated to the skilled art of gardening and doing it in the most natural way possible.
Stephanie Healow, Maintenance Manager, Horticulturist
I adapted my appreciation for symbiotic systems in social services to the horticultural field in 2016 as a residential landscaper. I gained knowledge-based pruning practices through Plant Amnesty courses at the University of Washington Horticultural Center, fellow gardeners’ practices and the Seattle local legend, Cass Turnball’s “Guide to Pruning.” In 2019, I attended an Introduction to Permaculture course at Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead on Orcas Island and further pursued the values of permacultural design and practice in Central America. I returned to Seattle excited to apply my insights into interconnected growing styles and permaculture values at the Artful Garden.
Kaite Ross, Assistant Designer, Horticulturist
From the moment I pulled up my first carrot (far too early) as a four year old, I have been a student of the garden. With the Pacific Northwest forests in my bones and a passion for edible, decorative, and native landscapes of all sorts, I work to bring my delight in, and understanding of, the plants in my reach to those around me. From building healthy and robust ecosystems through the art of permaculture and regenerative gardening, to creating interplay of form, texture, and color, there is always something new to learn, practice, and share. It is a daily joy to care for the land, make it’s wonders accessible to as many people as possible, and work with a team of dedicated horticulturists who share the same passion and enthusiasm.
Joan Laage, Horticulturist
My decision to become a gardener came while I was moving dirt around, trying to sculpt our backyard after a house remodel. I realized that I really enjoyed the physical labor and have a great need to spend copious hours outside. Working with Artful Garden off and on for many years continues to satisfy these needs. I am pleased that the crew I work with is willing to share their knowledge and that we can easily exchange ideas and give suggestions to each other. What I most appreciate about the company’s leadership is how supportive and exacting it is. I respect Sue’s knowledge and artistry and find the gardens we work in full of an amazing array of plants and tasks to accomplish. When Sue said that we employees are stewards of the gardens, I realized that this accurately describes our relationship with the gardens and their owners.
Christine Fields, Horticulturist
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest has provided me with diverse opportunities to work and play outside. One of my first jobs was as a Park Aide on Whidbey Island restoring and improving public access to the state park’s native landscapes. This experience sparked what has now become a passion for landscape work! From there it became clear that expanding my knowledge in how to best tend to spaces for others to enjoy was what I wanted to pursue in a career. Gardening challenges me to apply a specific lens and perspective, often seeing beyond what is currently happening in order to make decisions for the next season, it’s exciting! The leadership, expertise and care for the work we do, demonstrated by Sue and our whole crew only motivates me to keep learning. Plus, spending time in the beautiful gardens we maintain never makes for a bad day!
Ari Cambell, Office Administrator
I grew up in the low desert in southern California, with an orange grove planted in the riverbed near my house. From the first time I found my way down there as a kid to go on orange picking adventures, I have been fascinated by food plants. Since moving to the Pacific Northwest my academic and professional training have focused on administration and technology. My abiding interests include writing, computer systems and repairs, and streamlining processes to make them as efficient and effective as possible. Being part of a team of interesting and skillful horticulturists is a chance to use these passions and skills to contribute to the amazing plant culture I fell in love with here, while indulging my endless curiosity about the remarkable variety of native and ornamental plants.
Rosie, Best Friend!