One Woman That I Admire

I’ve admired the work of Dr. Bonnie Lee Appleton for many years.  I first ran across her work when I was working closely with Fine Gardening magazine/Taunton Publishing, and the editors sent me some of her work to use as a model.  She wrote a number of books and magazine articles including Trees, Shrubs and Vines, Landscape Rejuvenation and Book of Lists.  She wrote with a style that exuded both content rich text and ease of readability. Unfortunately for all who knew her and even those, like I, only knew her work, Bonnie Lee passed away in July of 2012.

landscape rejuvenation

A faculty member of Virginia Tech University, Bonnie Lee was stationed at the Hampton Roads Research Station, but reached students and property owners all across the country.  According to a release by the university’s communications office, “In 2006, Appleton was recognized by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence for her dedication to teaching and the positive impact her love of horticulture made on students. Appleton strove each day to offer her students a personalized educational experience. Her extraordinary success as a teacher can be attributed to her vision, ingenuity, and ability to connect with a variety of audiences”.

According to her colleagues, Appleton traveled extensively, enjoyed teaching, and never hesitated to share information in whatever format was appropriate: workshops, classes, presentations, scientific journals, trade and popular press articles, interviews, expert testimony, extension publications, and books.

“She had a passion for horticulture, especially arboriculture, and shared that enthusiasm with all who knew her,” said Pete Schultz, director, Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Appleton received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University.

John Fech
Horticulture Extension Educator at Nebraska Extension
John Fech is a horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture. The author of 2 books and over 200 popular and trade journal articles, he focuses his time on teaching effective landscape maintenance techniques, water conservation, diagnosing turf and ornamental problems and encouraging effective bilingual communication in the green industry. He works extensively with the media to extend the message of landscape sustainability, making over 100 television and radio appearances each year.
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