Katherine Nelson: Master gardener creates spaces to enjoy and share

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on October 13, 2011

Master gardener Katherine Nelson

Growing up in Atherton, Katherine Nelson gardened. “My parents were great gardeners, so I come by it rightly,” she says, sitting under “the best Redwood tree on the block” in the front yard of her Menlo Park home.

Katherine has created a woodland meadow that fans out from the base of the Redwood. “This is my second serious garden,” she explains. “The first was at my home in the Oakland hills that burned down in the 1999 fire storm. With the help of a landscaper and a designer, I installed this garden three years ago. There’s a saying: ‘The first year is sleep. The second year is creep. The third year is leap.'”

front yard of a Menlo Park home

Now that she’s no longer working as an advance practice nurse, Katherine can devote more time to being outdoors. Besides becoming certified as a master gardener, she’s also an avid cyclist. “Being outside is just so satisfying, being out in the garden particularly so. Things grow and change every day. Plus, you can move things around, experiment.”

Katherine has plenty of places to sit in her front and back yards. She enjoys sharing the outdoor space with her dog and her neighbors, as well as just spending time there alone. “I invite people over for drinks, for lunch. I bring out a book and read. It’s pretty darn pleasant, don’t you think?”

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