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I am a speaker, writer, proud Southerner, and hype woman of Black garden history, and featured in a New York Times article, “Black Gardeners Find Refuge in the Soil”: https://http://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/26/special-series/black-gardeners-pandemic.html
If you are looking for a horticulturist who takes their self too seriously and has perfect pronunciation of every Botanical Latin term (I’m looking at you Lamprocapnos spectabilis)…chile please, I am not the one.
However, if you are looking for a horticulturist that encourages conversation and has a fresh and unapologetic perspective on the world of gardening, you have come to the right place!
- The Work Is in Our Hands – Learn about the fascinating history and legacy of Black garden clubs in the United States, including the Ideal Garden Club founded by civic leader and political activist Millie Paxton in Virginia.
- Great American Garden Road Trip – Join Abra on a virtual road trip from state to state as she covers the historic and influential figures in Black garden history. You’ll travel through South Carolina, Montana, Texas, Florida, California, Connecticut, Iowa and more, and learn as you go.
- The Invincible Garden Ladies – Successful Black female entrepreneurs of horticulture in the early 20th century forged a path to economic and social freedom, providing inspiration for Black women today. Learn about these inspiring women, including Bessie Weaver, Blanche King Hurston, Annie Mae Vann Reid, and Minnie Gentles Turner.
- Garden Glory – What academics refer to as “vernacular landscapes,” Abra calls “folk gardens.” Learn about what folk gardens are, their history in the United States, and what they look like today.
- Power to the Trees – American aboriculture includes a number of influential Black tree professionals — learn about this history as well as fascinating tree folklore in Black America.
- Planting Your Path – Learn about Abra Lee’s journey as a Black woman in the United States horticulture industry along with her intriguing research into the contributions of Black America to Ornamental Horticulture in this country. Many of the most successful people have similar stories to Abra’s — they were legacy children to horticulture, having been born to parents who were professionals in horticulture and agriculture.
- Invisible Layers – Black horticulture has a long and dramatic history in the United States, beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade up through the end of the turbulent 1960’s. Learn how, hidden in plain sight, Black people have made significant contributions to ornamental horticulture.
“Abra Lee delivered an amazing presentation at our GardenComm Career Next event. She spoke from the heart sharing her life journey. She shared not only the victories but also the challenges and how those have not only built her character but her career. Abra was insightful, inspiring and I would highly recommend her.”
Aimee Coker, PR/Marketing
Southern Living Plant Collection
Sunset Western Garden Collection
Hire me to partner with your brand for television, speaking, writing, keynote, or whatever cool project we can create together. I am uniquely qualified to educate and inspire your audience.
How so? Glad you asked–here are just a few of my receipts:
- Auburn University College of Agriculture, Auburn, Alabama – B.S. Horticulture
- Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania – Leadership in Public Horticulture Fellowship
- City of Atlanta Department of Park – Municipal Arborist
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – Landscape Manager
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport – Grounds Superintendent
- Conquer The Soil, LLC – Horticulturist Extraordinaire
- University of Georgia – Extension Agent
- Northside Woman magazine – Contributing Writer
Media/Speaking Engagement Highlights
- Speaker Venues: Penn State University, The Garden Conservancy, Smithsonian Institute, Slow Flowers Summit, Missouri Botanical Garden, Garden Museum London, Perennial Plant Conference, United States Botanical Garden, Oregon State University
- Guest Lecturer: University of Maryland, University of Delaware, North Carolina A & T University
- Media Profiles: Atlanta Magazine, CNN ‘Landscaper for a Day’
- Writing: Essay contributions to New York Times, Wildflower magazine
- Keynotes: UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardeners
Women in horticulture
Black horticulture history