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About Us

Kathy Tracey

Katherine Tracey,  Horticultural Designer

For over 25 years, Katherine Tracey has been experimenting with the unexpected on the grounds of Avant Gardens, and her innovative designs have earned many notable honors, including the Julie L Morris Award for Horticultural Excellence from the Blithewold Arboretum and Mansions, and the Silver Medal for Horticultural Excellence from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

Formally trained as a painter and textile designer, Katherine's appreciation for color and pattern has also informed her passion for horticulture. Driven by a life motto to grow everything at least once, she has cultivated a design aesthetic that incorporates the best uncommon plants for New England landscapes.

Katherine is also a writer and a lecturer. She is a contributor to Fine Gardening Magazine, and she writes the content for Garden Foreplay, the Avant Gardens blog. A featured national lecturer in Horticulture Magazine's Plant Design Symposium, Katherine has also spoken at the New York Botanical Garden, the Hardy Plant Society of Pennsylvania, The North American Rock Garden Society, and the Boston and Rhode Island Flower Shows.

  • A Few Of Katherine's Favorite Plants
  • Stewartia pseudocamellia 'v. koreana'
  • Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Gracilis''
  • Helleborus hybrida 'Grape Galaxy'

Chris Tracey

Chris Tracey,  Landscape and Dry Stone Wall Craftsman

Chris Tracey believes that when you get stone, plantings, people and land together, something magical happens - a dynamic quality of form and function that is also the reigning trademark of landscape designs and installations at Avant Gardens.

As a master dry stone artisan, Chris has practiced his craft of historic dry wall replication and repair for decades, using the traditional techniques documented in New England and the British Isles. He has led dry stone workshops on several historical properties sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations, including locations in Dartmouth, MA and Westport, MA, and his work as a craftsman and an instructor is widely praised and respected.

At Avant Gardens, Chris works with Katherine to implement each landscape design with an eye toward multidimensional experience - he wants clients to enjoy outdoor spaces that inspire year round human interaction. To keep inspired himself, Chris enjoys visiting
public and private gardens across the country, where he is always energized by the variety of riches found in plant and stone.

  • A Few Of Chris's Favorite Plants
  • Acanthus spinosus
  • Spirea thunbergii 'Ogon'
  • Vitex agnus-castus 'Abbeville Blue'