Carolyn Singer created Foothill Cottage Gardens (www.fcgardens.com ) in 1980. This perennial nursery had display gardens open to the public until 2005, when Carolyn began writing garden books. Her Grass Valley CA garden is still open to the deer. She continues to do garden design & consulting in Northern California (and occasionally Oregon and Washington). She has taught gardening classes for 25 years.
She is a member of Garden Writers of America, and the Perennial Plant Association.
Carolyn is a lifetime UC Master Gardener.
Education and Teaching in Nevada & Placer Counties CA:
Instructor, Foothill Cottage Gardens. Classes in perennial gardening; rock gardening; ornamental grasses; plant propagation; organic soil preparation; organic vegetable growing; herb gardening; fruit trees, berries and grapes; garden design, 1980-2004.
Special programs for local garden clubs (Grass Valley, Nevada City, Colfax, Chicago Park, Auburn, Georgetown, Lincoln, Sacramento, UC Davis Arboretum), 1982-2004.
Instructor, California School of Landscape Design (Auburn), 1993.
Instructor, California Garden Clubs, Inc. "Landscape Design School Series" (Loomis, CA), 1991.
Instructor, Sierra College, Auburn, CA: "Home Orchard and Vineyard Management," 1984-86.
Instructor, Nevada County Extended Learning Program, grades 1-4: Garden classes, 1982.
Instructor, Alta Sierra Educational Services: Garden classes, 1981.
Published Writing and Garden Designs:
Designer for Creative Homeowners Press, Home Landscaping, California Region, by Roger Homes and Lance Walheim, 2001.
Writer: Fine Gardening, Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Gate, Sierra Heritage, Nevada County Chamber of Commerce newsletter, Penn Valley Villager newspaper, Wildwood Independent, and Country Journal (list of articles available upon request).
Writer for Sunrise Marketing (national publisher of garden newsletters for the nursery industry).
Monthly garden columnist for Nevada County Chamber of Commerce.
Weekly garden columnist for Penn Valley CA Villager newspaper.
Garden columnist for Wildwood Independent and Country Journal newspapers.
Consulting Services for National Publications:
Consultant to Time-Life Books “The Time Life Complete Gardener: Perennials.”
Consultant to Sunset Magazine.
Consultant to Rodale Press (Organic Gardening).
Consultant to Fine Gardening.
Consultant to Western Garden Book.
Other Community Activities:
Nevada County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Agricultural Marketing
Agriculture Committee, Nevada County General Plan update, 1990-93
Board President, Gold in Ag (marketing program), Nevada County, 1994-95.
Radio programs: KNCO, KVMR, KAHI, KHYL to promote agricultural marketing and organic gardening, 1980-1999.
Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, Member, 2002 to present.
Member, 49er Fruit Trail (Placer and Nevada Counties), 1980-86.
Nevada County Fair Organic Agriculture Committee, 1982.
Nevada County (California) Agricultural Advisory Commission. Appointed
Reviewed agricultural element for Nevada County General Plan.
Natural Heritage for the Year 2020 (NH2020) Agriculture Committee, 2001-2003
Consensus-based committee of farmers and government representatives. Developed agricultural element for general plan. Edited final document for presentation to Board of Supervisors.
Nevada County Resource Conservation District Board. Elected Member, 1985-1989
Developed and implemented local conservation policies. Created video for cover cropping in local vineyard.
Manager, Nevada County Farm Bureau, 1982-1987. Liaison with small farms, growers' market, and fruit trail; with farm advisor and agricultural commissioner; and with Small Farm Center in Davis CA. Increased visibility of Farm Bureau within county. Co-produced pruning seminar with farm advisor and local orchardist. Attended Eco Farm Conference. Attended all statewide CFBF farm conferences. Worked with Board of Directors. Managed finances, publicity, and special events.
Nevada County Planning Commissioner. Appointed 1983-1984. Made land use decisions; attended statewide planning conference for planning directors and selected planning commissioners at Lake Arrowhead CA.
Manager, Nevada County Certified Growers' Market 1980-1983. Worked with local farmers, farm advisor, agricultural commissioner and local citizens to develop a farmers' market; managed market for 3 seasons; organized special event/seminars; extensive promotional activity with local radio stations. Started community garden outreach program. Developed and maintained product availability recording for consumers. Instructor, with orchardist Ernst Bierwagen and University of California Farm Advisor Garth Veerkamp, teaching orchard management.
Education: UC Berkeley, B.A., 1965. Major: Sociology/Social Psychology.
Recognition of Foothill Cottage Gardens Nursery & Display Gardens:
Cited in The Lavender Garden, by Robert Kourick, 1998.
Cited in Where on Earth!: A Guide to Specialty Nurseries, 1993 and 1997.
Cited in Taylor's Guide to Specialty Nurseries, 1993 (national guide).
Cited in the Perennial Plant Association United States & Canada Garden Guide, 1998 (national guide to perennial gardens open to the public).
“Tangible memories: Californians and Their Gardens,” , pp. 259-261, by Judith M. Taylor, 2003.
Sweepstakes Award, Agriculture Organic Vegetable Division, Nevada County Fair.
Sweepstakes Award, Floriculture Cut Flower Division, Nevada County Fair.
Sunset and Country Home: Country Gardens magazines.
Sacramento Bee, The Union, Auburn Journal newspapers (list of articles available upon request)
Hennessy Grade School Life Lab Program, Grass Valley CA: Advisor.
Empire Mine State Park, and St. Joseph's Cultural Center: Garden consultant.
Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, Grass Valley, CA: Garden designer.
Alzheimer's Center, Grass Valley, CA: Garden consultant.
Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital: Garden consultant.
Chicago Park, CA Fire Department: Garden consultant.
Deer Creek Trail, Nevada City, CA: Designer for Rotary Project garden.