Mary Welch-Keesey
Mary Welch-Keesey

Horticulturist Mary Welch-Keesey will conclude her two-part lecture Series, “Botany in the Garden” at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday (March 11).

Her aim, she says, is to help you “think like a plant” by giving you the information you need to enable your plants to grow and prosper, not just survive.

Welch-Keesey, a resident of the Academy Village, has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Rice University and a Master’s in Horticulture from Purdue.

After working as a biochemist in technical support and products development, she switched careers and became a horticulturist as a result, she says, of moving into a house with a birdbath during the fall migration. Feeding the birds led to gardening for birds, which led to studying native plants, which led to getting a degree in horticulture and a career with the Purdue Extension Service. She lectured extensively and trained master gardeners throughout Indiana, and has numerous publications, including an award-winning CD on plant propagation.

Mary found her new career in horticulture – applying science to help plants prosper – deeply satisfying. Her specialties are herbacious ornamentals, native plants, plant identification and propagation.

Since moving to Arizona full-time in 2011 she has become immersed in an entirely different type of native vegetation from what she knew in the Midwest. She is a volunteer at the herbarium collection of press-dried plants at the University of Arizona, which currently has over half a million specimens.

Written by Betty Feinberg, Academy Village Volunteer

How Science Can Help Your Garden Grow: March2015