Karen Bussolini

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» Native Plants (48)
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» Photography, Art (17)
» Trees, Shrubs (24)



PO Box 8 South Kent, Connecticut 06785

I aim to always be accessible and informative – and to share new ways to think rather than just a bunch of facts or list of plants. Images are beautiful, inspiring and plentiful, talks have environmental, aesthetic and hands-on practical advice.

w: Karen Bussolini Garden Arts website

e: karen@karenbussolini.com

Additional Information

The Homeowner's Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook



Karen Bussolini is an award-winning freelance garden photographer, writer and lecturer published in books and magazines throughout the world, a NOFA-Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and an eco-friendly garden coach. Her former newspaper column, “Good Gardening,” explored the connections between our gardens, our community and the environment. Elegant Silvers: Striking Plants for Every Garden (Timber Press 2005), which she photographed and co-authored, has kept her busy lecturing throughout the US. The Homeowner's Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook (Storey Publishing) features more than 600 of her photographs. Her sixth book,Naturescape Your Yard, written by Beth Young, was published in 2011.  




Karen Bussolini Bio


Karen Bussolini has been a gardener as long as she can remember. She trained as a painter and had a career as an architectural photographer before specializing in garden photography, writing, lecturing and eco-friendly garden coaching. She is a NOFA (North American Organic Farmers Assoc.) Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and an eco-friendly garden coach.


Her photographs have appeared in Garden Design, Horticulture, House Beautiful, House and Garden, This Old House, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, The American Gardener, Perennials, Wildflower, Organic Gardening, Country Living Gardener, McCall’s, Home, Metropolitan Home, Yankee, The New York Times and in many other magazines and books published throughout the world.


She was sole photographer for six books: The Homeowner’s Complete Tree and Shrub Manual (Storey Publishing 2007), Elegant Silvers: Striking Plants for Every Garden (Timber Press 2005), which she co-wrote with Jo Ann Gardner, The Unsung Season: Gardens and Gardeners in Winter (Houghton Mifflin, 1995), A Country Garden for Your Backyard (Rodale Press 1993), Backyard Design: Making the Most of the Space Around Your House (Bulfinch Press, 1991, 1998) and Naturescape Your Yard (Timber Press, 2011).


Karen Bussolini’s writing has been published in Garden Design, House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, This Old House, The American Gardener, Woman’s Day Specials, McCall’s, Wildflower, Threads, Connecticut Home and Garden, Green Scene, Reader’s Digest Books’ Home Improvements Manual and other publications. Her weekly columns in The Millbrook Independent and The Lakeville Journal explored the connections between gardens, the environment and the local community. She is known for her writing on gardening from personal experience.


She has presented slide lectures across the continent, to such groups as: National meetings: The Garden Writers Association, The Perennial Plant Association. Annual Meetings/Symposia: The Ecologial Landscape Alliance (ELA)The Master Gardeners of Connecticut, Oakland County Michigan Master Gardeners, Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association (Keynote), The Herb Society of America Connecticut and Long Island Units, The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Ohio State University’s P.L.A.N.T. Seminars, The Perennial Plant Association (PPA), The Kansas City Gardening Symposium, The Rochester Civic Garden Center Annual Spring Symposium, Green Bay Botanical Garden Fall Symposium, UConn Garden Conference, New Directions in the American Landscape. Lecture series: The New York Botanical Garden’s “American Gardening Lecture Series,” The Bonfils-Stanton endowed lecture series at Denver Botanic Gardens, Santa Fe Gardens’ “Garden Gurus” seminars, The Huntington Library Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, The Freylinghuysen Arboretum and The Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden lecture series, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Brookside Gardens, Green Spring Gardens and “Gardens of the Mississippi” aboard the riverboat The American Queen. Horticultural organizations: The Horticultural Society of New York, The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, The Virginia Horticultural Foundation,  The San Diego Horticultural Society, The Southern California Horticulture Society, The Vancouver Hardy Plant Group, The Northwest Horticultural Society, The Whatcom Horticultural Society, The Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group, The Connecticut Horticultural Society, The Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons and innumerable Garden Club of America and Federated Garden Clubs local meetings. Trade Shows: The Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association Annual (PLNA) Symposium, Ohio State University’s Nursery Short Course at the CENTS nursery trade show. Flower Shows: The Chicago Flower and Garden Show, the New England Spring Flower Show, The Connecticut Flower & Garden Show, The Rhode Island Flower Show, The Maymont Flower Show (Richmond, VA).


She has taught at The New York Botanical Garden, The Berkshire Botanical Garden, Denver Botanic Gardens, The Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins, CO and Tohoono Chul Park in Tucson, AZ and conducted Master Classes for Master Gardeners.


Media appearances include PBS television programs “Cultivating Life,” KLRU’s “Central Texas Gardener” and “Oklahoma Gardening” and live radio shows in California, Colorado, Mississippi, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Connecticut.


She won Garden Writers Association awards for photography in 2001, 2004 and 2007.


When photographing, she sees the world through the eyes of a gardener and painter. Although she travels far and wide, her roots are sunk deeply into the soil of a deer-infested mountainside in South Kent, Connecticut.










For upcoming appearances, detailed descriptions of talks, a full bio and more, please visit www.karenbussolini.com


... Planting the Year-Round Pollinator Garden (Plant to support bees and other pollinators throughout the year)


... Herb Liberation! (Use culinary herbs throughout the landscape)


Bringing it All Home: Garden Photography, Garden Making and The Art of Seeing (Learn to take better garden photographs while improving garden-making skills and insight)


Designing with Elegant Silvers (Using low-maintenance, deer and drought-resistant silver plants) Can be adapted to region, professional or home gardeners, with special emphasis on herbs, working with color, or other audience interests. Karen Bussolini is photographer and co-author of the Timber Press book, Elegant Silvers: Striking Plants for Every Garden.


Ecological Thinking for Non-Scientists (Garden sustainably informed by recent ecological research )


The Edible/Ornamental Garden (Create home landscapes humming with life and good things to eat)


40 (+) Great Plants for New England Gardens (Choose low-care problem-solving plants that look good for the long-term)


Great Trees and Shrubs for Sustainable Landscapes (Fill your yard with problem-solving, wildlife-supporting beautiful woody plants)

Karen Bussolini is photographer of The Homeowner's Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook (Storey Publishing); book signing and sales welcome


Gardening with Kids: Opening Eyes and Doors (Encourage exploration and delight, connect with the natural world)


Jazzing Up the Garden with Color, Contrast and Movement (Learn exciting intuitive ways to design dynamic plant combinations)


Survival in the Darwinian Garden: Planting the Fittest (Put low-fuss plants where they want to be and enjoy low-care garden success)


Landscaping with Native Plants (Make beautiful gardens and landscapes while supporting wildlife and healing compromised ecosystems)


A Technophobe’s Guide to Garden Photography (Take better garden photos whether you use a cellphone or a sophisticated SLR; basic tips for developing skills) Additional workshop and/or critique available


Naturescape Your Yard  (Create sustainable, beautiful, wildlife and kid-friendly yards by gardening with nature) Karen Bussolini contributed the photographs and the stories behind them to the book The Naturescaping Workbook: A Step-By-Step Guide for Bringing Nature to Your Backyard (Timber Press). Books will be made available for signing and sale.



The Unsung Season: Gardens in Winter (Plant beauty close to home for enjoyment from fall until spring, find subtle beauty in the winter landscape). Karen Bussolini photographed The Unsung Season: Gardens and Gardeners in Winter (Houghton Mifflin).


Where Bulbs Shine ... On and On (Integrate bulbs that last - and increase - into the designed landscape)


PO Box 8
South Kent, CT

Photo Gallery


Click here for Slideshow. You can also click on any of the photos to start slideshow.

Audience Reviews

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Pollinator and Native Plant Speaker

Jeremy Pelletier from Connecticut - 02/14/2020 09:18:13

Karen led a half day workshop for the Northeast Organic Farming Association's Organic Land Care Program on “Native Plants and Pollinator Habitats in Farms and Gardens" about how pollination works, who the pollinators are, how to recognize, protect, create, plant and maintain good pollinator habitat in our yards and communities. The overwhelming feedback from the attendees was that she was an egaging speaker who was knowledgable about native plants and pollinators and that this talk was well worth trip out to Northwest, CT (where we hosted the workshop).

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Seeing your garden with new eyes

Nan Sinton from MA - 01/19/2020 14:28:48

Karen presented "Bringing it all Home" to the Garden Club of Buzzards Bay on Jan 16 20. Her lively talk, illustrated with her famed photography, was a hit and just what these enthusiastic gardeners wanted to start the new decade. Thanks for helping us to see our own and other people's gardens with a new perspective. I highly recommend this talk to other clubs.

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Review of "Bringing It All Home"

Carol House from Lyme, CT - 12/03/2019 16:55:33

Karen Bussolini presented "Bringing it All Home: Garden Photography, Garden Making & The Art of Seeing" to a joint meeting of the Lyme CT Garden Club and the Duck River Garden Club. It was a cold, wet November day, but Karen's lovely photographs and lively discussion brought warmth and excitement to our membership. I would definitely recommend her to other clubs and organizations.