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Lee Buttala

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Lee Buttala is a writer and organizational consultant. He is the former Executive Director of Seed Savers Exchange, an organization dedicated to the preservation of America’s garden and farming heritage, an Emmy Award-winning television producer of Martha Stewart Living and the creator, producer and director of Cultivating Life, a PBS series on outdoor living and gardening. He has written for The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, New York, and Metropolitan Home. As an editor, he has worked for Saveur, Garden Design and Interview, and for the book publisher Alfred A. Knopf. He also served as the preservation program manager for the Garden Conservancy and has studied garden design at Kyoto University of Art and Design, the English Gardening School at London’s Chelsea Physic Garden and the New York Botanical Garden. He is the author and editor of the books Cultivating Life: A Guide to Outdoor Living and The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving. You can also follow him on Instagram (https://www.igcol.com/user/leebuttala)

Articles by Lee Buttala

The Self-Taught Gardener: Spring fever!

Thursday, 26 Mar 2020 - At a recent flower show, our Self-Taught Gardener couldn't believe how obsessed people got over slight differences among varieties of snowdrops, until he got sucked in, too.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Signs of Life

Thursday, 20 Feb 2020 - In the face of warming winters, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala finds hope in the common witch hazel, which can adapt to any weather.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Portrait of an Artist

Wednesday, 22 Jan 2020 - Our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala shows us how masterful pruning of trees can turn into an art form, and right now in the dead of winter is the time to start honing your skill.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Into the wild

Wednesday, 25 Dec 2019 - An upcoming lecture at the Berkshire Botanical Garden will show why our Self-Taught Gardener, Lee Buttala, so loves the spirit of the wild garden.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Giving thanks

Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 - As we celebrate the season's bounty at our Thanksgiving table, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala is thinking about the alternative feast going on outdoors.

The Self-Taught Gardener: The third movement

Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019 - Our self-taught gardener Lee Buttala feels that the landscape has a sense of movement like a musical composition, and the music of fall is perhaps the most dramatic of all.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Windfalls

Wednesday, 9 Oct 2019 - Just as squirrels put away nuts for the winter, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala puts away apple butter to sustain him and remind him of home.

The Self-Taught Gardener: After the fall

Thursday, 26 Sep 2019 - As squirrels gather acorns for winter sustenance, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala, takes in the beauty of fall as the emotional equivalent.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Friends for life

Thursday, 12 Sep 2019 - Unlike the showy annuals and perennials of the warm months, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala realizes that trees are more than fairweather friends...they are there for the long haul.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Time travel

Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 - For our Self-Taught Gardener, plants are mnenomic devices, connecting him to past places and people and helping him take them into the future.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Hydrotherapy

Thursday, 15 Aug 2019 - Our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala discovers that sometimes the oddest of circumstances can remind us how a landscape can provide solace.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Rooftop dancing

Thursday, 8 Aug 2019 - At a roof party in downtown Chicago, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala discovers that, just like in the garden, there is room for us all to inhabit the same world and to dance to our own music.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Plaza Suite

Thursday, 16 May 2019 - Our Self-Taught Gardener takes away very different impressions from visits to two new plazas in New York City: one inspires hope while the other seems like a missed opportunity.

The Self-Taught Gardener: Winter Tour

Thursday, 7 Mar 2019 - A trip to Chrystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, reminds our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala about the importance of good architecture, structure, and landscape design, especially in the dead of winter.

Self-Taught Gardener: The Great Migration

Thursday, 14 Feb 2019 - While snow birds may head south for some color, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala shows us why we should love the muted colors of the winter.

Self-Taught Gardener: Reliable ground cover

Thursday, 20 Dec 2018 - In these times of fluctuating weather, if we humans are confused, imagine how the plants in your garden are reacting. Lee Buttala, our Self-Taught Gardiner, tells you how to protect them.