Frances Tenenbaum, the editor of the Taylor's Guides and other Houghton Mifflin gardening books, inherited the gene for gardening from her mother, whose bible was Norman Taylor's original Encyclopedia of Gardening.
Those genes remained dormant during her years as a newspaper reporter and didn't surface until she owned her own home and the land around it.
In that respect, she is like many of our readers and can well understand their interests and their questions.
But now she has other mentors: the experts who write the gardening books she edits.
Frances has received numerous awards, including a communications medal from the American Horticultural Society and a gold medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. She is a member of the hall of fame of the Garden Writers of America, and is a fellow of that organization. Two of her books, Tasha Tudor's Garden and Washington's Gardens at Mount Vernon, have received its highest awards.
In addition to editing the Taylor's Guide series, she is the hands-on editor of several guides, including Shade Gardening and the Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. She is also the author, for Timber Press, of Gardening at the Shore, based on her experiences gardening at her summer home on Martha's Vineyard.
Among the other gardening books she edits at Houghton Mifflin are three by William Cullina, the nursery manager and propagator at the New England Wildflower Society: Wildflowers; Native Trees and Shrubs; Understanding Orchids, and the forthcoming Ferns and Ornamental Grasses.
She has a daughter, Jane, who is a book designer, and a son, David, who writes a Science Behind the News Web site. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a talkative Burmese cat.
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