Frank Hyman can frequently be heard saying, "The only thing I like better than gardening is talking about gardening." Consequently, he speaks at about a dozen events a year for conferences, clubs and public gardens around the country. He also works on a more intimate level as a garden coach for new and experienced gardeners. He also believes that 50 percent of a gardener's time in the garden should be spent relaxing.
As the owner of Cottage Garden Landscaping, Frank Hyman has created gardens for clients in Durham, N.C. for 20 years. He earned a BS in horticulture and design at the highly ranked North Carolina State University under the late and legendary Dr. J. C. Raulston. Frank is also a stonemason, carpenter, metalworker and sculptor. He uses his skills to create award-winning, innovative, sustainable and beautiful gardens that don't need babying.
In addition to hundreds of gardens created for homeowners, he has also installed gardens for city parks, group homes, elementary schools (edible gardens and playgrounds), a senior center, farmers market, restaurants, offices, and has co-founded three community gardens. He's created gardens that are colorful, edible, fragrant, drought-hardy, deer-resistant, low-maintenance, organic and just plain pretty.
Drawing on his education and experience, his stories and photos have appeared in several newspapers — Independent Weekly, News & Observer, Durham Herald-Sun, New York Times, and many magazines, including Horticulture, Carolina Gardener, Backyard Poultry, Hobby Farm Home, American Gardener and Fine Gardening. And he's a regular contributor and Green Thumb columnist for Urban Farm magazine. (Some articles can be found on his blog at www.liberatedgardener.net.)
In addition, Frank has picked oranges in Spain, strawberries in France, worked as a hand on a cattle farm and on tomato farms as an integrated pest management scout. In his 20s, Frank was an organic farmer, and in his 30s, he was an elected member of the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District Board and the Durham City Council.
He and his wife, Chris Crochetière, grow a lot of their own food on a 1/4-acre lot, such as annual and perennial vegetables, herbs, fruits (including potted dwarf citrus), tend their chickens and small backyard perennial nursery. They were leaders in a successful effort to legalize backyard hens in Durham. They have also WWOOF'd together through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, Crop Mobbed together with the original Crop Mobbers and planted the world's first "lawnlet" (Chris is the one who coined the new term).
Frank and Chris garden together at her father's house in Maine (zone 5a) every August and the rest of the year in downtown Durham (zone 7b), at their home, Bayleaf Cottage.
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