Susan’s second career as a writer began in 2000 when she became editor of the Takoma Horticultural Club newsletter. Finding that awfully limiting, she started her first garden blog in 2005 and a year later joined with two other gardenbloggers to create the award-wining team blog GardenRant, where she still blogs weekly with six other writers.
The success of GardenRant led to work writing for independent garden centers, including Behnkes and Homestead Gardens, a column in in the Takoma Voice paper, and articles in national magazines. Like most successful bloggers, she was approached about writing books but unlike many, was horrified at the thought. Her duties at GardenRant include editing the many guest authors who are published there.
In 2021 Susan won a blog-writing award from Garden Communicators International.
Garden writing also led to her work as a gardening coach, teaching people to garden one-on-one, on-site.
Upon moving to Greenbelt in 2012, Susan retired from garden writing and coaching for pay and started a blog about Greenbelt as a way to get to know and be known by her new town, and for the fun of writing about something besides gardening. In 2017 that blog was moved here to Greenbelt Online, the nonprofit community website that includes resources, videos, directories, and whatever comes next.
As editor of Greenbelt Online Susan writes, recruits other writers and edits their work as needed. She works with the site’s Editorial Board to explore more ways to serve Greenbelt residents and represent Greenbelt to outsiders as the lively place it is.
Since “retirement,” Susan has created two other nonprofits: the pro-science Good Gardening Videos that finds and promotes the best how-to-garden videos on YouTube; and DC Gardens, a campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
Susan was raised near Richmond, Virginia, attended Oberlin College in Ohio, and has lived in the D.C. area since 1971.
First Career Revealed
Not to be secretive about that what came before writing, Susan’s first career was creating verbatim transcripts for Congress, the courts, law firms and federal agencies. Then she quit and worked at Common Cause and other nonprofits before returning to court reporting for the money – several times. She never did put her B.A. in psychology to use.