Meet the gardeners who make the grounds at Fearrington so beautiful every season! The Village Center is divided into a quadrant system, each section overseen by a different gardener. A grounds crew keeps lawns looking lush and handles heavy pruning.
Many escaped colder climates to pursue their passion year round but with an average tenure at Fearrington of about 15 years, it’s one of the most experienced gardening teams around. View their blog!
Julian Bland, Gardener
Julian grew up outside Chicago to parents who were both avid gardeners. She graduated from the University of Iowa, followed by graduate study in Japanese Art History at Princeton. After graduate school, Julian lived on Long Island, where she studied horticulture and garden design at Farmingdale University. She’s been a professional gardener for 15 years at Fearrington and her areas of responsibility include the gardens surrounding Fearrington House Restaurant and the Herb Garden. She loves to read, cook, visit farmers markets, and work year-round in her garden.
Jorge Castro, Grounds Superintendent
Born in Costa Rica to a family of coffee growers, Jorge attended the University of Costa Rica before moving to New Jersey in 1992 where he worked for an indoor plant nursery. In 1995, attracted by the prospect of outdoor year-round gardening, he and his family moved to Pittsboro, and soon thereafter he started working at Fearrington. Today, Jorge manages the grounds crew, handling pruning, mowing, irrigation and so on for over 40 acres. In his spare time, he volunteers for the local youth soccer league and at home, he cultivates espaliered fruit trees.
Deb Henderson, Gardener
Spending time on her great-greatparents’ farm in Oklahoma sparked a lifelong interest in gardening for Deb. She worked in the corporate world in St. Louis for years before switching careers to gardening, working at several of Missouri’s largest wholesale nurseries. Deb moved here in 2003, and in 2005 she started working at Fearrington. She takes care of the eastern gardens in the Village Center, which include those surrounding the Park Building (Inn rooms and the Spa), Roost and The Goat. Deb also experiments with ornamental plants on her high shade yard.
Donna Mears, Gardener
After growing up in eastern North Carolina, Donna pursued a major in late medieval history at UNC. After graduation, she worked as a preschool teacher and chef. A lifelong gardener, she joined Fearrington in 1991 and earned a Certified Plant Professional certificate in 2012. She maintains the gardens around The Granary and McIntyre’s Books, the central lawn gardens and the cutting gardens for our florists. She especially enjoys tiny flowering plants, plants that smell good, and is an avid English soccer fan (“Go Toffees!”).
Wendy Moses, Gardener
Wendy’s roots are in the Midwest, but North Carolina is home. After earning a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from NCSU, Wendy worked as a landscape architect, in a sculpture foundry and as a garden/floral designer prior to joining Fearrington in 2005. Habits besides gardening: reading, drawing and exploring cultivated and natural areas in the US and UK. The beds around the Inn Building, including reception, courtyard, Jenny’s Garden and the Willow Oaks, are Wendy’s domain.
Ryan Cadwalader, Arborist & Gardener
Ryan’s love of nature was seeded in Northeast Ohio, and a career spent in the food and beverage industry did nothing to dampen his passion for plants. After changing careers, he has worked in landscape management and greenhouse production. He has an AAS in Landscape Gardening, is an ISA Certified Arborist, and a NC Certified Plant Professional. Ryan devotes time to conserving the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem, is a volunteer wildland firefighter and is currently pursuing an Invasive Species Management Certification. Among his responsibilities here, he takes care of the trees in the Village Center and Camden Park.