Rochelle’s gardening interests
began in the 1960s, and she was one
of the first 10 women who started
the Wild Ones some 25 years ago.
In 1979, Rochelle and her husband Paul built
their home in Glendale, Wl, and she began massing
plants for texture and color. She avoided the
sterile lawns of her more traditional neighbors,
and became a “Landscape
Revolutionary and Community Missionary.” By
now, seven of her neighbors have
converted to natural landscaping,
and Andy Wasowski honors Rochelle by including
her in his book, The Landscaping Revolution.
Rochelle belongs to the Milwaukee North (WI)
Chapter of Wild Ones.
In the 1990s, Rochelle integrated her interest
in art, education, curriculum development, and
cultural anthropology with community involvement,
political action (pertaining to land use, pesticide
abuse, lawn ordinances), writing, and teaching
at all age levels and became a free lance environmental
educator. Much of her design work has been done
in the field, as a gardener and photographer
documenting land use. For all gardeners, colors,
textures, and forms are transitory and dynamic
happenings. Additionally, for Rochelle, gardening
is a process and a mission in ecological restoration.
The lasting aspects of her work occur in the
minds of others when their attitudes are modified
as they walk the paths of her garden or view
her slide images.
As an artist/environmentalist, she stresses
the return to the joys of gardening as a spiritual
activity. Rochelle takes a painterly approach
to gardening. Her art form is based on a philosophy
that stresses environmental sensitivity, stewardship,
and oneness with the earth.
Rochelle believes those who are caretakers of
even the smallest area of land have an obligation
to make aesthetic choices based on ecologically
sound principles. She teaches that a person’s
interactions with the earth should not be damaging,
but that the opportunity to make a difference
should be actively seized. She presents teacher
inservice programs and initiates and assists
with school gardens as well as working with church
groups, Rotary Clubs, and city administrators.
In 2000, the mayor of Glendale appointed Rochelle
to convene a committee to review the city’s
outdated weed ordinance and recommend changes.
And in a single year about 1,000 people visited
her yard for three different fund-raisers.
Pat is a co-founder of the Greater DuPage (IL)
Chapter and serves on the Wild Ones Board of
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