Liz Stanley (above)
Liz worked as an art director, illustrator, painter and designer for
20 years after graduating from the Rhode Island School of
Design.  She now divides her time between gardening and her
staff position at University of Maine Cooperative Extension where
her motto is "no question is too weird for the Cooperative
Extension."  Liz is a Master Gardener and an active volunteer in
many community organizations.  She has worked at LSFG longer
than anyone else (except Lee) and has been to Japan three
times on all-crew trips.  She lives in Warren, outnumbered by
men but not outclassed.

(Photo by Lee Sligh in Tibet)

Noah Gottlieb (right)
Noah graduated from the
College of the Atlantic in Bar
Harbor, then worked for three
years at Asticou Azalea
Garden in Northeast Harbor
with head gardener Mary
Roper.  Noah joined our
company in 2004.  In 2006 he
attended the Intensive
Seminar on Japanese
Gardens at the Kyoto
University of Art and Design
and studied gardens
throughout Japan for a
month.  In addition, he has
attended the all-crew tours in
2013, 2015 and 2016.   Noah
brings a love and talent for
sculpture to our crew, and he
built a notable Faux Bois
(false wood made of
concrete) pergola for a client
in 2012. French fluency
allows Noah to render perfect
pronunciation of "Faux Bois"
and other gardening terms.
(photo by Lee Sligh)

Lee Schneller Sligh

...earned degrees in Chinese Language and Literature and
Asian History, studied in China and lived in Japan for four
years. She worked as a Japanese technical translator for ten
years before founding  Lee Schneller Fine Gardens in 1995,
naively believing that gardening would be an idyllic
profession. Although not at all idyllic, she is grateful for the
company of her wonderful crew and for the confidence of
clients who have allowed her and the crew to design and
build many exciting gardens. She attended the Kyoto
University of Art and Design Intensive Seminar on Japanese
Gardens in 2003.  Lee also wrote a best-selling book on
continuously blooming garden design called
Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blueprint for Continuous
.  Click here for resume.  

(photo by Tom Prescott)

Elisabeth Benjamin (below)
Elisabeth has traveled to Japan twice with Lee to study gardens and learn about Japanese culture.  She's
proficient in pruning and stonework and specializes in growing the kitchen gardens for LSFG cleints.  Her
favorite things are words and plants.

Lee Schneller Fine Gardens is certified
by Maine DEP in Erosion Control
Practices as required by law for working
in the Shoreland Zone

James Appleby (left)
James is our multi-talented
Maintenance Manager.  He
received degrees in
Philosophy and Anthropology
from Colorado State
University and attended the
Plants and Soils course at
Southern Maine Community
College.  His gardening
experience includes over 15
years as Nursery Manager,
Lead Horticulturist and Crew
Foreman at several top Maine
gardening businesses, and
work as an independent fine
gardener.  He commutes
without complaint for well over
an hour each way from his
home in Lisbon Falls where
he lives with his wife and two
teenaged sons.  James
attended the all-crew trip to
Japan in 2016 and hopes to
attend the Kyoto University of
Art and Design Intensive
Seminar in 2018.

Michele Beckstrom (left)
Michele worked in the Interior
Design profession before settling
down to raising her children and
cultivating flower and vegetable
gardens. Gardening is a passion
her grandfather instilled in her at
an early age...enjoying many of his
cherry pies and prize tomatoes!  
Her education included a summer
abroad in Denmark studying
Scandinavian Architecture and
Landscape. She lived in Sweden
for several years, where she
observed some overlaps with
Japanese aesthetics. Michele has
always been intrigued by the
challenge of integrating
architecture and living spaces with
the landscape and nature they are
connected to. Michele attended the
all-crew trip to Japan in 2016.

(Photo by Liz Stanley)

Leslie Ferguson (right)
Leslie grew up summering on her family's farm in New York but
didn't start honing her gardening skills until moving to Maine in the
1970s. After working in nurseries and on a fabulous fine gardening
crew for 20 years, she joined LSFG to explore Japanese gardening
and design principles. When not working for LSFG, she works with
kids in an alternative program growing kelp and instilling the
concepts of mindfulness and stewardship as she continues her
own search for simplicity, inner peace and wisdom.

(Photo by Lee Sligh)

Becky Hinsey (left)
Becky comes to Maine, and to LSFG, from
the state of Illinois, where gardening
consisted of even parallel rows of zinnias,
marigolds and begonias.  Becky is now in
garden heaven, where there are never any
rows, but bursts of color within organic
designs.  At LSFG, Becky specializes in
garden maintenance and pond care.