Gwendolyn van Paasschen, Correspondent

After a career as a Senate staffer on Capitol Hill, Gwendolyn van Paasschen left politics in 1990 to study garden design. She began her education at the George Washington University School of Professional Studies, working as a volunteer at Tudor Place in Georgetown, designing a roof garden in downtown Washington DC, and working on other small projects. She completed her certificate in garden design at the New York Botanical Garden in 1997 just as she began work on her primary project, a 600-acre private estate in Dutchess County, NY where she worked for 12 years alongside internationally renowned garden designer John Brooks and water gardener Anthony Archer-Wills. She also designed a private 5th Avenue Manhattan property, a children’s garden in Darien CT, and a private park in Greenwich, CT. Over and above her design work, she wrote articles for the “Green Team” in Darien, ran a garden club, and did pro bono garden design work.

Her commitment to the non-profit world led her to become involved in the Connecticut-based non-profit group Kids Empowered by Your Support (KEYS), of which she is past president. KEYS provides free music lessons to underserved children in Bridgeport, CT. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Trust for the British Library and on the Education and Strategic planning committees at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockport, Maine. Gwendolyn is delighted to find herself a zone 7 garden designer - and gardener - once again.