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Mary McLellan

Image of Mary McLellanMary McLellan is a nationally recognized innovator and leader in the field of horticulture. Mary is the Co-Executive Director of the Gardening Institute. Mary oversees the development and creation of the Gardening Institute's online courses.

Presently Mary is the..

  • Associate Professor, MSU Department of Horticulture
  • Curator of the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden
  • Director of the Horticulture Demonstration Garden
  • Chairperson of the National Children and Youth Garden Advisory Panel for the National Horticulture Garden

Mary began her gardening very late in her life at the age of 40, when she received her Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from MSU in 1991. Mary always encourages people of all ages to pursue their love of plants.

As a teacher and guest lecturer throughout Michigan, Mary’s infectious enthusiasm inspires her audiences to indulge themselves in the intoxicating wonders of gardening.

Mary McLellan's contribution in Gardening

  • She developed and created the Gardening Institute’s first online course, The Art and Science of Container Gardening.
  • She continues to lead the Gardening Institute’s curriculum development.
  • speaker and instructor providing demonstrations and workshops on a variety of gardening topics.
  • In 2002 Mary embraced online learning as a way to help train and educate current and future gardeners.
  • She added to her current duties as Michigan’s state coordinator and took on a leadership role with the Horticulture Gardening Institute.
  • In her role as state coordinator, Mary facilitates the education and training of over 4000 Michigan Master Gardeners and coordinates the activities of 68 county level master gardener coordinators.
  • In 2004, Mary was featured on the PBS program Smart Gardening TV, in two separate episodes featuring container gardening and the Horticulture Gardening Institute.
  • More recently, she and the Gardening Institute were showcased on Great Lakes Gardener, a show reaching gardeners from Minnesota to New York, distributed by Milwaukee Public Television.

Her current Projects

  • Science Education Projects that will get teachers and kids interested in, and excited about, science.
  • Integrating Technology Projects that demonstrate the elegant integration of technology into science explorations, field trips, and teaching.
  • Annual Trials Evaluating the performance of annuals, vegetables, and perennials for their performance under mid-Michigan growing conditions.

Mary continues to lead groups of Master Gardeners to visit gardens all over the world including London, Italy and, the more close to home, Mackinaw Island. In addition, she is actively planning the next group of online programs for the Horticulture Gardening Institute.

Every May, Mary hosts a tour through the spring gardens of England, concluding a visit to the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show. In 2002, she hosted an additional tour to Amsterdam for Floriade, a world horticultural exhibition which takes place only once every 10 years, where she visited gardens in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, including Giverny and the Palace of Versailles.

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