Memorial Hall Library

Jane Taylor: Gardening by the Book--Plants Kids Love

The Andover Seed Library Lecture Series presents esteemed garden professional and educator, Jane Taylor. Discover how books can come alive using the garden as a story enhancer and create excitement to get outside!  You'll receive suggestions of what to grow along with the books, some theme garden ideas and descriptions of plants kids love. . .especially the plants kids love to eat.  You will receive a list of references and seed sources.

Jane L. Taylor, founding curator of the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden, was Director of Annual Gift Programs for the Michigan 4-H Foundation and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. She retired as the curator in 1997. The one-acre 4-H Children’s Garden is part of the 17-acre Horticulture Gardens on the MSU campus in East Lansing. The 4-H Children's Garden features displays of more than 60 themed gardens designed to teach children about our marvelous plant world and to stimulate their imagination and curiosity. The Garden has been called “...the most creative acre in America” and is considered the national model for the design of gardens for children at public garden sites. Dedicated in 1993, the Gardens are visited annually by more than 100,000 young and young-at-heart folks. Jane was also responsible for the ongoing fund-raising and garnered over $3 million in gifts to construct, support and endow the Garden.

Jane is the recipient of several awards, including the 1995 Silver Seal Award from the National Council of State Garden Clubs and the 1996 Special Recognition Award from the National Association of Woman's National Farm & Garden. In 1995, the 4-H Children's Garden design team won the Honor Award as Design of the Year from the Michigan Chapter-American Society of Landscape Architects and in 1999 the ASLA Medallion Award. In 2000, she was the first recipient of the ‘Jane L. Taylor Great American Gardeners Award’, a namesake award from the American Horticultural Society. She and her husband Lee, received the Nancy Putnam Howard Award for Excellence in Horticulture from the Herb Society of America in 2000. She received the Otto Richter Memorial Award from the International Herb Association in 2015.  In 2017 Marietta College awarded her Distinguished Alumna.

The 4-H Children's Garden was featured on the NBC-TV Today Show and ABC-TV Good Morning America. She has served on the design team for master planning children’s gardens across the U.S. and Canada including the Kids’ Garden at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, the San Diego Botanic Garden and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Jane is a graduate of Marietta College, with a B.A. in Biology and the University of Illinois with an M.S. in Botany. She is author and coauthor of many journal and magazine articles and several MSU Extension publications. She is a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops, and horticultural organizations throughout the U.S. She has been a keynote speaker at the Williamsburg Garden Symposium, The International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World's Epcot, many national children and youth garden symposia, and has lectured and consulted extensively across the U.S., Canada, England and Norway. She serves on the awards committee for the “Growing Good Kids–Excellence in Literature Awards” for the American Horticultural Society and the International Jr. Master Gardener Program. She is married to Dr. J. Lee Taylor, MSU Professor Emeritus of Horticulture, and they have two children. In 2007, they retired to Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Sponsored by the Friends of MHL.