Barbara W. Ellis is a freelance writer, editor, and lifelong gardener. She is the author of many gardening books, including The Veggie Gardener’s Answer Book, Deckscaping, Shady Retreats, and Covering Ground. She holds a B.S. in horticulture from the Ohio State University, Columbus, and a B.A. from Kenyon College. She has worked as managing editor at Rodale Press and as publications director for the American Horticultural Society and is affiliated with the Hardy Plant Society Mid-Atlantic Group, the Garden Writers Association, and the Perennial Plant Association. She lives and gardens in Maryland, where she and her husband live in a renovated “green” home with an assortment of rescued dogs, cats, and parrots. Her garden, which is managed organically and designed to be wildlife-friendly, features a wide range of ornamentals, herbs, and edibles for both sun and shade.