Fellows Spotlight: The Garden Conservancy

Originally appeared in May of 2013

Fellows Spotlight: Kim Visokey

We are pleased to introduce you to Kim Visokey through our Fellows Spotlight. A relatively new member of the Society of Fellows, Kim has been involved with the Garden Conservancy through the Open Days Program, having served as a garden host for two years (her garden was just open on June 23 in Chicago). She will be working with Barbara Kehoe, the Chicago Open Days regional representative, to plan the 2014 Open Days season for her area.

Kim’s journey into gardening started fifteen years ago when she moved into Winnetka on Chicago’s North Shore. She knew the landscape was an important extension of her family’s home and she wanted to create an inviting, fun atmosphere. She has now transformed a typical suburban backyard into a horticultural destination.

Describing herself as a “garden explorer,” Kim brought her landscape to life by traveling to as many places as possible and gathering ideas. “It was important for me to see what the average homeowner could do,” says Kim. “I learned to garden by visiting Open Days gardens and spending time at the Chicago Botanic Garden.” Kim particularly remembers seeing Posy Krehbiel’s garden for the first time during an Open Days visit—she was truly inspired.

Kim refers to her gardening approach as “organized chaos with pared-down order and unexpected flourishes.” She merges bits and pieces from different garden styles—often combining modern and traditional.

“Gardening is a healthy, artistic endeavor, which is not always being communicated in a pop culture way,” says Kim. With GardenFreak, Kim’s online garden venture, she is hoping to inspire the next generation by exploring interesting garden stories, as told by the gardeners. Through GardenFreak, Kim wants to start conversations, share ideas, and ultimately create a community of new gardeners.

Society of Fellows member Kim Visokey opened her garden through Open Days on June 23. Photo by Betsy Carothers Photography.

As described on her website, “Kim Visokey is a new breed of gardener—a cultivar so sassy, curious, and unafraid that her friends, family, and local garden community request tours, enlist her advice, and endearingly refer to her as The GARDENFREAK!” Read more about Kim and the GardenFreak at gardenfreak.com. If you are interested in submitting your garden story, you can do so through the GardenFreak website or contact Kim at kim@gardenfreak.com.

If you have ideas or know a Fellow who you think should be featured in our next Fellows Spotlight, contact Tamara Tripp at ttripp@gardenconservancy.org.