Jane was born in New England. She started drawing before she could walk and spent her favorite childhood times in nature and in the garden. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. A post graduate degree in art and design followed from the Academia di Perugia in Italy.
Making a living as an artist and a lyricist in Italy, Jane was “discovered” by Red Bus Music Publishers and brought to London, England where she wrote songs — winning the Grand Prize for the Best Song at the Yamaha International Song Festival (now the European International Song Festival) with co-writer, Peter Yellowstone.
She continued to show and sell her paintings, but entered the commercial world of plants managing a plant shop and starting her own organic gardens. She has studied horticulture and worked in the green industry for over 30 years, propagating, hybridizing, running nurseries, designing gardens, building landscapes and managing plant stores in London, Boston, Los Angeles and a number of other cities.
In the 1980’s Jane spent some time developing, writing and illustrating entertaining seminar presentations for training programs. These programs were focused on basic human psychology and communications skills, teaching supervisors and managers in the industrial and health care sectors how to achieve the best performance from their co-workers.
In 1998, Jane put together all the pieces. Having learned a lot about construction, she passed her California Landscape Contractor’s exam and became a licensed contractor. Combining this with her extensive horticultural knowledge and her art and design skills, she opened Gates & Croft Horticultural Design. Her experience with with communications skills allowed her to develop a questionnaire to help her understand what clients want from their gardens even if they weren’t sure themselves. And her love of nature put her on the cutting edge of environmental issues long before the term ‘Eco-friendly’ became popular.
Jane has produced hundreds of landscape designs, each one a unique work of art specially adapted to the client’s tastes and needs. She also does on site consultations and coaching through Gates & Croft Horticultural Design. You can find her online listed under The Garden Coach Directory and check out her art blog, The Art of Jane Schwartz Gates to see or buy some of her paintings, prints or wearable art.
Jane has spent the past decade publishing landscape design and gardening articles for newspapers like the Los Angeles Daily News, local magazines like The Agua Dulce/Acton Country Journal and Santa Clarita Living, and nationally — writing thousands of articles on the Internet for various sites, Demand Media, the Examiner, and InfoBarrel. She has been the Southern California blog writer for The Home Depot and is currently the eHow Landscaping Expert blog writer.
She also continues to paint, draw, illustrate and cartoon. She is one of the featured artists published in the 2009 book: 100 Artists of the West Coast II . You’ll see her paintings on the 2013 Ferry Morse Lilly Miller line of seed packets sold in many garden centers. Her original paintings are handled by the Orlando Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Jane is represented by Garland Art Representatives.
Jane’s first gardening book (published by Schiffer Books), All the Garden’s a Stage: Choosing the Best Performing Plants for a Sustainable Garden is available for purchase on this site, in major book stores and on Amazon.com. It is a whimsical book that covers how to make your garden successful from the choice of plants through landscape design and is written for an entertaining read.
Jane Schwartz Gates is a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (ALPD) as well as the Garden Writers Association.