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)
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Articles by Lee Buttala
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.
Wednesday, 4 Mar 2020 - How does an impatient gardener evolve into a patient observer of the world around him. Lee Buttala, our Self-Taught Gardener, explains.
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.
Thursday, 6 Feb 2020 - Fred took me from my buttoned-down days in my Connecticut garden to my life as a single man in the Berkshires and gave me a new way of thinking about gardening.
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.
Wednesday, 8 Jan 2020 - Gardeners make new year's resolutions, too, and those of our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala may surprise you.
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.
Thursday, 12 Dec 2019 - Are you worried that the political environment may ruin your chances for stress-free holiday celebrations? Our Self-Taught Gardener brings us a lesson in cooperation from the holly plant.
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.
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.
Wednesday, 23 Oct 2019 - So you think all oaks are alike? Not so, and our self-taught gardener Lee Buttala explains why.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, 25 Jul 2019 - Advice from Lee Buttala, our Self-Taught Gardener, to all his misguided fellow gardeners: Learn to live in the moment!
Thursday, 4 Jul 2019 - As we face the demise of two of Edith Wharton's prized trees at The Mount, our Self-Taught Gardener provides solace.
Thursday, 27 Jun 2019 - Our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala reflects on the virtues of native trees and shrubs in our gardens.
Thursday, 13 Jun 2019 - Don't take trees for granted, says our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala. More important, know what they do and where they should go.
Thursday, 30 May 2019 - Nature and the man-made world. Can they coexist? Our Self-Taught Gardener thinks yes, with a little effort.
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.
Thursday, 2 May 2019 - A visit to his former home in Richmond, Virginia, teaches our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala the art of moving forward.
Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 - The power of water for both good and bad shows our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala that we all can share a collective future if we focus on what brings us together.
Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 - In this year's "super bloom" in the California desert, our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala sees a metaphor for the boom and bust of the California dream.
Thursday, 21 Mar 2019 - Seeking shade from the Los Angeles sun, our Self-Taught Gardener finds a refreshing oasis tucked into the heat-reflecting folds of Gehry's Disney Center.
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.
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.
Wednesday, 30 Jan 2019 - Minus 27 degree temperatures in Minneapolis lead our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala to surprising new sources of gardening inspiration.
Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019 - As we move through life, what things do we carry with us to make us feel whole? Our Self-Taught Gardener Lee Buttala shares his own choices.
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.