Lee Schneller Sligh

Professional Experience

    Owner, Lee Schneller Fine Gardens.  1995 – present.  Fine gardening
    business specializing in designing and building Japanese-inspired,
    naturalistic and continuously blooming perennial gardens.
    Designed and built over 250 gardens.

    Japanese Translator.  Free-lance.  1989 – 1995 (full time); 1982 – 1989 (part time).

    Translator, Editor and Technical Writer.  Free-lance.  Tokyo, Japan.  1983 – 1984.

    English Teacher (ESL).  Sendai & Tokyo, Japan.  1980 – 1983.


    Kyoto University of Art and Design, “The Japanese Garden – Intensive Seminar,” Kyoto, Japan, 2003.

    University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Master Gardener course, 1997.

    Asahi Culture Center (Tokyo, Japan), Intensive courses in Japanese language, 1983.

    Nankai University (Tianjin, China) Intensive program in Chinese language, 1980.

    Michigan State University, B.A., Chinese Language and Literature, 1980 (with honor).

    Michigan State University, B.A., Asian History, 1980 (with honor).

    Honors and Scholarships (at MSU):  Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Alpha Theta, Shao-chang Lee Scholarship.

    Rotary International Exchange Student, Fukuchiyama, Japan, 1974.

Over 100 Talks and Workshops Given, 2002-2012

  • Designing Continuously Blooming Perennial Gardens

    Historic Gardens of Japan

    Japanese Gardens, Ancient and Modern

    Gardens of Shoguns and Samurai

    Japanese Gardens: The Meaning of Water

    Japanese-Inspired Gardens in the United States

    Introduction to Written Chinese and the Tao Te Ching

    Creating Japanese-Inspired Gardens in Maine

    Spirituality and Religion in Japanese Gardens

    Choosing Plants and Materials for Japanese-Inspired Gardens in Maine

    Japanese Gardens:  Aesthetics and Design Features

    Zen Gardens of Japan

      The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden: A Blueprint for Continuous Color. North Adams,
            Massachusetts: Storey Publishing, 2009.

      "Aquilegia vulgaris 'Nora Barlow': 'Nora Barlow' Columbine is Never Gaudy." Fine
            Gardening, no. 125 (February 2009): 24.
      “Use a Simple Grid to Plan for Continuous Blooms.” Fine Gardening, no. 95
            (February 2004): 18.
      Tool and product reviews, Fine Gardening, 2004 - 2008
      “Creating Japanese-Inspired Gardens in Maine.”  Spring Home and Garden
            (Courier Publications), April 28, 2005, pp. 3 and 31.
      “All About Bulbs.”  Fall Home and Garden (Courier Pub.), Sept. 22, 2005, p. 8.

Live Radio Interviews
    Sirius 112, Martha Stewart Living Radio, Morning Live Show (25 min. 3/5/10)
    WOBM 92.7, Ocean County [New Jersey] Breakfast Show (15 min. 3/2/09)
    News 95.7, Weekend Gardener with Niki Jabbour [Halifax, Nova Scotia] (45 min. 6/21/09)
    KSFO 560, In the Garden with host Bob Tanem [San Francisco] (30 min., 10/18/09)
    WRFR 93.3 Rockland [Maine], Open Book with host Jonathan Kosnow (60 min., 2/3/10)

Courses/Talks/Symposia Attended
  • New England Grows Trade Show, Boston, February 2013.
  • "Sixth International Symposium of Japanese Gardens," San Diego, 2010.
  • "Garden Writers Association Annual Symposium," Portland, Oregon, 2008.
  • "Tuckerman's Ravine," a tour of alpine plants at Mount Washington's famed glacial cirque, led by New
    Hampshire State Botanist Chris Mattrick and sponsored by New England Wildflower Society, August 2007.
  • “In Search of Fairy Isle Fantasies: The Gardens of the Meiji Period,” Talk by Marc Peter Keane, Isabella
    Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, February 2006.
  • “The Path Beyond the Transient World: Japanese Tea Gardens Ancient and Modern,” Talk by Marc Peter
    Keane, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, February 2006.
  • “Digital Garden Photography Seminar,” Workshop with Ian Adams, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University,
    October 2005.
  • Cultivating the Written Word: Garden Writing from Production to Publication," four-day workshop with C.
    Colston Burrell and Lucy Hardiman, New England Wildflower Society, November 9 - 12, 2004.
  • “Fourth International Symposium of Japanese Gardens,” International Association of Japanese Gardens,
    Seattle, Washington, August 28 – 31, 2004.
  • “Elegant, Exceptional and Ecological Gardens for the Northeast,” Symposium, New England Wildflower
    Society, April 2004.
  • “Maintaining Mature Trees: Success Stories from Mount Auburn Cemetery,” Talk by David Barnett, New
    England Grows Show, Boston, February 2004.
  • “The Use of Mycorrhizal Fungi in the Landscape,” Talk by Michael Amaranthus and Kevin Burrows, New
    England Grows Show, Boston, February 2004.
  • “A New Continental Style for American Gardens,” Talk by Lauren Springer, New England Grows Show,
    Boston, February 2004.
  • “The Bare Root Transplanting Method: Lessons from the Streets of Ithaca, NY,” Talk by Nina Bassuk and
    Andrew Hillman, New England Grows Show, Boston, Feb. 2004.
  • “Environmentalism and Design,” Symposium, Harvard University, March 2003.
  • “The Art of the Japanese Garden,” Symposium, Arnold Arboretum, May 2002.
  • “The Gray Area: Restoration and Landscape Gardening,” Workshop with Larry Weiner, New England
    Wildflower Society, February 2001.
    Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University                        
    Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
    Garden Writers Association                                
    Georges River Land Trust                                
    International Association of Japanese Gardens
    Japan America Society of Maine
    Maine Audubon Society
    Merryspring Nature Park
    New England Wildflower Society
    North American Japanese Garden Association

Volunteer Work      (Garden-related)
  • Asticou Azalea Garden (Japanese-inspired garden in Northeast Harbor, Maine)
  • JGarden.org (researching and writing Japanese garden descriptions; photographs)
  • Farnsworth Art Museum (Rockland, Maine; also as paid gardener)
  • Humane Society of Knox County (Rockland, Maine)

First trip to Japan, 1974, with host sister
Noriko Nakagawa