Great Plant Picks Staff

Richie Steffen, Curator

A well-known personality on the Pacific Northwest horticulture scene, Richie joined the Miller Garden in 2000, bringing with him a variety of horticultural expertise. After moving from Maryland to Seattle in 1989, he worked at Sky Nursery in Shoreline, as propagator/nursery manager for the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and as a part-time instructor for the horticulture program at Edmonds Community College. He currently serves as a board member of the Northwest Horticultural Society and the Hardy Fern Foundation (past president).

At the Miller Garden, Richie oversees the plant record database, general horticulture and manages the garden’s special collections, including rare plants, ferns, hepaticas, woodland plants, rare bulbs, and alpine plants. Richie keeps ahead of horticulture trends throughout the country by traveling, plant collecting, visiting gardens and networking with other horticulture professionals. He regularly lectures and writes and is always ready to share his enthusiasm for plants and the people who grow them. Richie is a superb photographer and is building an archival image collection at the Miller Garden. His photos can be seen in many regional publications, on this website and on the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden website.

Rick Peterson, Great Plant Picks Manager

Rick joined the staff of the E.C. Miller Botanical Garden as the Great Plant Picks Manager in October 2009 after working at the Rhododendron Species Foundation in Federal Way, Washington for 24 years as garden manager, including ten years as co-executive director.

He served on the Great Plant Picks Selection Committee for seven years and feels fortunate to become an even more integral part of the GPP Program and to be working more closely with everyone involved in GPP. He brings his horticulture background and administrative skills acquired at the RSF to the program.