FOUNDERS AWARD 2013: LESLIE DEAN
A California native, Leslie completed her degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of California, Davis.
She worked for two well known landscape design firms, Don Boos and Associates, and Nancy Hardesty and Associates, and designed “big box” and commercial projects, office buildings, public works projects, and high end residential projects. But she found greater satisfaction in the expansion of her own interests in garden ecology, use of diverse plant materials and working with homeowners to create original gardens that work with the environment.
Leslie moved on to open her own firm, Dean Design Landscape Architecture. In addition to clients’ gardens she has worked hard (with occasional help from family and spouse) to create a personal garden that has evolved toward growing fruits and vegetables, ornamentals and collecting admirable fence art. Her garden is especially welcoming to animals, including her current dog adoptee, Cooper. Leslie is a steward for the native flora and fauna which flourish in her garden. This stewardship has resulted in frequent visits from possums, raccoons, skunks, lizards, birds, bees, a thriving goldfish in the pond and a variety of yard animals.
In 1994 the WHS newsletter welcomed Leslie as a new member. She quickly became dedicated to supporting WHS activities, designing and constructing WHS Vignettes at the San Francisco Garden Show, joining the board and accepting leadership roles as President of WHS in 2002 through 2004 She continues to be active on the Speakers Committee.
In 2007 Leslie was appointed as the WHS representative to Pacific Horticulture and then became Vice President of the Pacific Horticulture board. In this role Leslie was instrumental in the redesign of the Pacific Horticulture Magazine. In addition she coordinated Pacific Horticulture’s sponsorship of the seminar series at the San Francisco Garden Show. She was involved in the selection of the new current Pacific Horticulture magazine editor.
When not in the garden, Leslie enjoys hiking, dog training, volleyball (where she met her husband, John), ballroom dancing, garden touring and Halloween.
What she likes about WHS is the people, the speakers, learning about new plants and the extensive knowledge of the many members, our “stars of horticulture”, that attend the meetings. ........(John says that he really likes the potlucks!)
We all are grateful for her many years of service and the leadership she provides to our society.