Jane Schwartz Gates is the owner and the creative energy behind Gates & Croft Horticlutural Design. Here is her history in brief:
Jane Schwartz Gates in her garden
Jane was born in New England. She started drawing before she could walk and spent her favorite childhood times in nature and in the garden. She received her Bachelor's degree from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. A post graduate degree in art and design followed from the Academia di Perugia in Italy. Making a living as an artist and a lyricist in Italy, Jane was "discovered" by Red Bus Music Publishers and brought to London, England where she wrote and performed her songs -- winning the Grand Prize for the Best Song at the Yamaha International Song Festival (now the European International Song Festival) with co-writer, Peter Yellowstone. She also spent a number of years working in theater, primarily learning set design and construction. Jane continued to show and sell her paintings, but entered the commercial world of plants managing a plant shop and starting her own organic gardens. She has studied horticulture and worked in the green industry for over 30 years, propagating, hybridizing, running nurseries, designing gardens, building landscapes and managing plant stores in London, Boston, Los Angeles and a number of other cities.
In the 1980's Jane spent some time developing, writing and illustrating entertaining seminar presentations for training programs. These programs were focused on basic human psychology and communications skills, teaching supervisors and managers in the industrial and health care sectors how to achieve the best performance from their co-workers.
In 1998, Jane put together all the pieces. With her knowledge of construction, she passed her California Landscape Contractor's exam and became a licensed contractor. Combining this with her extensive horticultural knowledge and her art and design skills, she opened Gates & Croft Horticultural Design. Her experience with communications skills allowed her to develop a questionaire to help her understand what clients want from their gardens even if they weren't sure themselves. And her love of nature put her on the cutting edge of environmental issues long before the term 'eco-friendly' became popular. Jane has produced hundreds of landscape designs, each one a unique work of art specially adapted to the client's tastes, needs and budget. She also does on-site consultations and coaching through her company Gates & Croft Horticultural Design.
In 2012 Jane published her first garden book "All the Garden's a Stage: Choosing the Best Performing Plants for a Sustainable Garden", released by Schiffer Books. She is also independently writing Kindle garden books, the first of which is available now on Amazon.com: "Design a Theme Garden: Turn Your Backyard into a Vacationland".
You can find her online listed under The Garden Coach Directory and check out her gardening blog, 'GardenGates' for lots of gardening and landscaping articles and for her handy California wildflower identification page. On her art site, 'Jane Schwartz Gates, artist' you can see her paintings, illustrations, cartoons, pet portraits and even buy her limited edition prints and wearable art.
Jane has spent the past decade publishing landscape design and gardening articles for newspapers like the Los Angeles Daily News, local magazines like The Agua Dulce/Acton Country Journal and the Santa Clarita Valley Living Magazine, and nationally on the Internet for the Examiner, eHow, Scene in SCVand InfoBarrel. She also continues to paint, draw, illustrate and cartoon. She is one of the featured artists in the 2009 coffee table art book: '100 Artists of the West Coast II', available in all major book stores and on the Internet. Her original paintings are handled by the Orlando Gallery and she is represented by the Garland Art Reps in Los Angeles, CA. Jane is a member of the APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) and the GWA (Garden Writers Association).