Staff

Ray Martin
...
has a degree in Anthropology and many
talents which come in handy for garden
building.  He lives with his grandfather, an old
style Maine farmer, with whom he shares a
great love of the land. He is interested in
sustainable agriculture and cuts hay with a
scythe.  Although Ray says he officially quit
vegetable gardening for himself in 2012, we
suspect that he is hiding seedlings in a
cupboard.  (photo by Liz Stanley in Japan)

Wang Chen Dorje
...is a Tibetan Buddhist who was granted political
asylum in the United States in 2004 and US
citizenship in 2012.  He walked across the
Himalayas to India at age 14 and lived in a
monastery there.  In his twenties he traveled to
countries all around the world with other monks
on goodwill missions, ending finally in Rockport,
Maine.  We benefit from Wang Chen's gardening
skill and his wonderful spiritual perspective.  He
easily plays tricks on people because of his
innocent appearance and feigned lack of
language skills.

Liz Stanley
...
worked as an art director, illustrator, painter and
designer for 20 years after graduating from the
Rhode Island School of Design.  She now divides
her time between gardening and her staff position
at University of Maine Cooperative Extension
where her motto is "no question is too weird for
the Cooperative Extension."  Liz is a Master
Gardener and an active volunteer in many
community organizations.  She lives in Warren,
outnumbered by men but not outclassed.

(Photo by Lee Sligh in Tibet)

Noah Gottlieb
Noah graduated from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, then
worked for three years at Asticou Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor
with head gardener Mary Roper.  Noah joined our company in 2004.  In
2006 he attended the Intensive Seminar on Japanese Gardens at the
Kyoto University of Art and Design and studied gardens throughout
Japan for a month. Noah brings a love and talent for sculpture to our
crew, and he built a notable Faux Bois (false wood made of concrete)
pergola for a client in 2012. French fluency allows Noah to render
perfect pronunciation of "Faux Bois" and other gardening terms.
(photo by Kelly O'Meara)

Lee Schneller Sligh
...earned degrees in Chinese Language
and Literature and Asian History, studied
in China and lived in Japan for four
years. She worked as a Japanese
technical translator for ten years before
founding  Lee Schneller Fine Gardens in
1995, naively believing that gardening
would be an idyllic profession. Although
not at all idyllic, she is grateful for the
company of her wonderful crew and for
the confidence of clients who have
allowed her and the crew to design and
build many exciting gardens. Lee wrote
a best-selling book on continuously
blooming garden design called
The
Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A
Blueprint for Continuous Color
.  Click
here for
resume.  

(photo by Deborah Smith)

Lauren Cormier
...
graduated from the Environmental
Program at the University of Vermont,
where she studied Community and
International Development.  Lauren spent
time travelling throughout Central America
where she worked on various grassroots
agricultural projects and learned some
Spanish.  She was immersed in plant
propagation at the Bullock Farm and
Nursery on Orcas Island in the San Juan
Islands of Washington State.  Since her
return to Maine (where she grew up) in
2007, she has worked at a medicinal herb
farm, started her own organic plant nursery
and orchard, and worked at Fedco Trees.

Stephanie Almasi
...has been working with plants since birth.  In 2003 she received a degree in horticulture
from Southern Maine Community College in South Portland and has worked as a
professional gardener ever since.  Stephanie worked closely with our company for
several years, taking expert care of the gardens we built, before officially joining the crew
in 2012.  Her knowledge of plants and plant care are unequaled in the midcoast area.  
Stephanie's dog, Conan, is a total sweetheart, and rarely strays far from her side.

Pete Flansburg
...
grew up in Arizona.  He lived in Korea for
five years, working as a dog trainer.
Subsequently, he gave up careers in
guitar-building and Telemark skiing (in Utah)
to care for his ailing father.  Since moving to
Maine and joining our crew, Pete has
continued to enjoy building guitars and other
woodworking, and he is a serious
competitive cribbage player.

(Photo by Liz Stanley in Tibet)

Elisabeth Benjamin
...drifted to shore in a sea-turtle shell in
2007.  She has no memory of her life before
she appeared.  Elisabeth has been working
with plants since her arrival.  She grows her
own food and likes to walk around and look
at things.  Elisabeth is able to live in a very
relaxed and carefree way because she uses
magic tools.  After twisting her arm, we were
able to learn that she holds an MFA in
creative writing.

David Jackson
...has done landscaping from a young age.  After college, David and his father started an
eel fishing business in the Dominican Republic.  David is an enthusiastic worker and
outdoorsman who brings energy and a wide range of skills to our company.
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Certified by Maine DEP in Erosion
Control Practices as required by
law for working in Shoreland Zone