Horticulture Background of Megan Riley, M R Gardens
Megan Riley is the owner of a sustainable plant nursery and two-acre educational farm in the Oakley community of Asheville, N.C. In addition to offering edible/native landscape design and garden coaching services, she grows native perennials, other beneficial flowers, medicinal herbs and vegetable starts for sale.
|Photo of Megan by Lisa Kruss|
Megan designed a unique 800-square-foot passive solar greenhouse, which produces plants with no supplemental heat or powered exhaust ventilation. She strives to grow plants with nearly all renewable resources while reusing any non-renewables.
|Culver's Root, Photo by Lisa Kruss|
Megan's training in experiential education through her graduate program enhances her customer's coaching experience. Megan remembers what it was like to be a beginning gardener 20 years ago so she doesn't overload her clients with too much information or tasks at once.
Megan continually adds to her education to broaden her services and regularly attends conferences that are ahead of their time, such as the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference. In 2012, Megan completed a Horticulture Certificate at Haywood Community College, and her curriculum included landscape design. She also completed courses at the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism 2014-2016. As she gains a greater understanding of the Southern Appalachian ecology, she mimics these natural communities in her landscape designs. She also develops an intuitive feel of plant essences so she can pick out the best plants for each of her clients, as they each have unique needs.
Megan also learns from the diverse, unique growers in Western North Carolina, especially through her communications work with WNC Agricultural Options. Meanwhile, her upbringing in a conventional farming community helps her to understand different perspectives and appreciate the struggles of all types of growers.