Kelly D. Norris, Planting Designer
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: I often describe myself as a professional plant geek but I’m mostly a restless creative with a mission to plant beautiful, ecological places. I want to help people cultivate a new relationship with the landscapes we live and work in.
Q: How did you get started in your career?
A: I’ve been gardening since I was a kid. At 15, I talked my parents into buying a nursery and relocating it to our farm in southwest Iowa. I’ve been cultivating a career in horticulture since, including an eight-year stint as director of horticulture and education at Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.
Q: What do you love about your career?
A: I lead a life among plants. I love finding the connections between plants, people and place in my work. My approach is less about designing and constructing a landscape but rather revealing the landscape that’s possible when those three elements come together. Plants aren’t furniture. They are alive and dynamic in time and space.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter your field?
A: Stay curious and practice systems thinking. The more you can cultivate an integrated approach to seeing and understanding, the more you might start to recognize the inherent complexity of most challenges and their (sometimes) elegant solutions.
Des Moines, IA 50313 | (712) 621-5399 | www.kellydnorris.com