The Perennial Diva

Stephanie Cohen has written a book on design that was published in the spring of 2005 called The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer published by Storey Press. It was their best seller for 2005. This book was chosen by The Garden Writer’s of America as the winner in the best overall book.(2005) Stephanie finished a new book for 2007 called "Fallscaping". The Diva has received the honor award from The Perennial Plant Association at their meeting in 2005 in Canada. Stephanie is the first woman to receive this award - the only other woman won as a husband and wife. Currently she is starting book three for Timber Press and helping to consult on the restoration of the Muhlenberg House Gardens located in Trappe, Pa. The Diva was written about in "Greenhouse Grower" (2008) as one of the people in a "Who's Who" in the perennial industry.

Stephanie was recently awarded the Garden Communicator of year from PPA. She has also received three awards from the Perennial Plant Association for design, as well as receiving their Service and Academic Award. She has received awards from Temple University, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and The American Nursery and Landscape Association for Garden Communicator of the Year 2000. In 2005 The Diva became A fellow of Temple University Alumni Association, the highest award given to an alumna. She has lectured coast to coast, including Alaska. Stephanie has been on QVC TV as the “Perennial Diva.” She was featured on CN8 TV once a month on a gardening segment.

Stephanie has taught herbaceous plants and perennial design at Temple University for over 20 years. She was the founder and director of the Landscape Arboretum at Temple University, Ambler. She is a contributing editor for “Fine Gardening”, The HGTV Newsletter, is on the advisory board for “Green Profit”, “Green Scene” a publication for PHS, and a regional writer for the Blooms of Bressingham Plant Program. Currently she has finished her new book "The NonStop Garden" which will be released in May 2010.


Short Stories
and Long Talks

Stephanie got hooked on flowers while working in her parents Victory Garden where they grew boring things like tomatoes and corn and she grew flowers. So at the tender age of 6, she already had one foot on the path to becoming the Perennial Diva she is today.

Why did she go to horticulture school?

During the houseplant craze of the late 60’s, she had over 200 houseplants in the house but, being without a greenhouse, every surface was taken. Her children never had the luxury of opening a window. One day, her husband bought a giant box TV which also made a new place to put plants. Unfortuneatly she burned out the TV twice when she watered her plants. Her husband, usually a layed-back kinda guy, was pretty unhappy with this so he told her that if she loved plants so much, why didn’t she go study them. He declared a moratorium on houseplants which she abides to by this day. However, little did he know that he had created his own Frankenstein monster. School encouraged her to turn her obsession loose on the vast outdoors where there was a bigger canvas to play on. Thousands of perennials, trees, shrubs and whatever stays alive were installed. As soon as she graduated she began her quest—to get as many perennials as possible in the shortest amount of time.

The name game

She made a splash on the lecture circuit. But, she got tired of people offering her boxes so she could reach the podium so…she made light of this by calling herself the “Vertically Challenged Gardener.” A good friend, thinking along these lines, coined another one “The Dr. Root of Perennails.” Hmmm, she liked having multiple names. At a Perennial Plant Association meeting, as a joke, instead of her name, they put the Perennial Diva on her nametag. She loved it and still uses it today. Although not a diva like Madonna or Martha, she is rather opinionated and diet soda is always part of her contract.

The lead in

So, if you want to learn and be entertained all at the same time, email me and lets talk turkey (or even better, ICE CREAM).

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