You are currently viewing VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Ellen Cowley, M.D.


Ellen is a knowledgeable, generous, and wonderful volunteer gardener who finds time away from her own gorgeous woodland garden to volunteer in ours! We are thankful for her continuous support and for sharing plants and delicious homemade baked goods.

Ellen grew up next to Seneca Park, wandering the woods and wading in the creeks, and loving every minute and every expedition. Her favorite plants have always been ferns. Her mother once looked at her fern garden and the lack of color blossoms and said “is that all they do?” Ellen adores Virginia bluebells because of the changing colors of the flowers – from pink to blue – as well as their ephemeral nature. Ellen’s gardening advice is: “Have patience with learning your particular soil and site limitations. Look at what is growing. Seek out gardens and garden tours to gather ideas. Gardeners are generous people with plants and advice. Learn about the Cooperative Extension Service and their educational materials. Even if all you have is a windowsill, watching things grow gives a sense of joy and wonder.”

Ellen said her garden and other gardens are waiting to be shared. They offer peacefulness and wonder, and relieve stress. She’s learned resilience from her garden. When a tree falls and changes a shade garden into a sunny patch, her garden grows and adapts, becoming a new and verdant place to visit.

Thank you, Ellen!

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