Laura Haarmeyer

Laura is a native of Scranton. A graduate of East Stroudsburg University, she was a Reading Specialist and Elementary Classroom teacher for 34 years in the Scranton School District. Laura has been a Penn State Master Gardener of Lackawanna County for 19 years, a Monroe County FL Master Gardener for 10 years, and a member of the Laurel Garden Club for nearly 30 years. In addition, Laura has held membership in the American Rhododendron Society, the Big Pine Key Botanical Society, and the Northeast PA Orchid Society for many years.
Laura trained as a flower show judge on the state-level and under several previous LGC head judges.
She has taught science-based gardening strategies to all age levels, supervised the community composting project at Grimal Grove on Big Pine Key, initiated the Master Gardener Notecard Project, and is helping to plan the state-wide Master Gardener Conference in Scranton for September 22.
Laura, along with her husband P. Kurt, a retired dentist and author, grows trees, native and flowering shrubs, and many plants that deer and wildlife feast upon at their East Mountain home.


If Laura was a flower she'd be: 

"Well I certainly needed to think about this! Some days I know I’m a prickly pear but most days I do believe that I am a Schomburgkia Orchid. Tropical, requiring temperatures above 65 degrees F, sun-loving, fragrant, wildly colorful and the host for ants and other insects….that’s my spirit flower.
My nose led me to my first Schomburgkia, 10 ft above ground, nestled in a young tree where it sat in full sun all day long. The slender red and beige striped 6 ft canes grew in all directions and were covered in flowers the size of my hand. The colors of sunset: each flower had a pale yellow center changing to alizarin then blending to purple. Some petals twisted and others were wavy. Each reminded me of a maple leaf at sunset.
Beauty, strength, sweetly fragrant, wild and independent...yes, that’s what I aspire to be." 

Paul Epsom 

Paul was born in London, England. His mother, Barbara, was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), and as a child, Paul learned all the basics from her in the large gardens of Edwardian Homes.

Paul attended University in Warwick and London, obtaining an honors degree in Psychology and a postgraduate degree in Education. He also holds the RHS Level 3 Certificate of Horticulture. He taught in public and private schools in England until moving to the US almost 20 years ago, after meeting his future wife, Kristine. He has been gardening professionally ever since; as part of the PBS Emmy Award winning program, The Victory Garden, appearing on the CBS nationally broadcast Early Show, and as a presenter on Pennsylvania local television, WNEP’s successful Home and Backyard TV program (producing over 500 episodes). Paul has won Garden Globe awards for his TV work; the award is given by the Garden Writers Association for work of an outstanding quality. Paul is currently the owner of Greystone Gardens, an 'English' gardening center in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.


If Paul was a flower he'd be:

"A foxi pavement rose. Loosely structured flower, hardy as hell, flowers all summer, very fragrant, spreads all over. Tolerates harsh conditions. Qualities I strive for!!"

Phyllis C. Reinhardt

Phyllis was born in Larsen, Wisconsin, She grew up on a dairy farm where the family maintained a
large garden with apple and plum trees. Her father was an organic farmer who instilled in Phyllis the need
to protect the soil from chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
She is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and retired from the U.S. Army Reserves after 23 years service.
She also was a civilian employee for the Army Reserves working as the Family Program Director at
several Army Reserve Major Commands her last 10 years of service. Gardening was her stress relief
during deployments of reservists.
One of her first volunteer ventures in retirement was as a Penn State at Lackawanna County Master
Gardener. She's spent 15 years as a Master Gardener, and recently has taught the Master Gardener Pollination Course to Master Gardener trainees.

If Phyllis was a flower she'd be:

I would be a flower that feeds our pollinators like the bumble bees on ninebark bush blooms in the Spring, or blooms that turn into berries which feed the birds in the Autumn.  No, I think I'd like to be a milkweed flower that cradles the Monarch butterfly caterpillar, or the flat surface zinnia that is an excellent landing pad for the hungry butterfly.  Hmm, maybe I'd really like to be a blackberry lily, blooming in summer and providing luscious black seeds on stalks well into winter.  Oh I can't pick just one, I want to be a pollinator flower for all seasons.

Carol Wenzel

Carol received BS/MA from Marywood University and was an elementary teacher in the Scranton School District for 37 years. She has been a member of the Master Gardeners of Lackawanna County for the past 14 years. In addition to gardening, her other interests include reading, sewing, playing Mah Jong, and she is kept busy by her rescue dog Ski.


If Carol was a flower she'd be:

I guess I would be the lily-of-the valley, a hardy perennial that appears in May, my birth month. The tiny bells give off a sweet fragrance and are often used to symbolize good luck and happiness. I always look forward to seeing the blooms in early May.

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