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Derek Fell (1939–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

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(Derek John Fell)

Personal

Born 1939, in Morecambe, England; immigrated to United States, 1966; naturalized citizen, 1971; (second marriage) Victoria Rose. Ethnicity: "Englishman." Education: Attended British military school in Wilhemshaven, West Germany (now Germany). Politics: Republican. Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Gardening, swimming, adventure travel.

Addresses

Agent—Albert Zuckerman, Writers House, 21 W. 26th St., New York, NY 10010.

Career

Writer, photographer, and horticulturalist. Reporter for Newport Advertiser, Newport, England, and Shrewsbury Chronicle, c. 1957–59; O.D. Gallagher Ltd. (public relations agency), London, England, copywriter and account executive, 1958–64; W. Atlee Burpee Co., Philadelphia, PA, catalog manager and horticulturalist, 1964–72; All-America Selections, Gardenville, PA, executive secretary, 1972–74; freelance photographer and garden writer, 1974–. Host of television program Step-by-Step Gardening, QVC, 1994–2000, and CD-ROMs Complete Gardening, Microsoft, 1996, and The Garden Companion. Director of National Garden Bureau; horticultural consultant to the White House and various periodicals; lecturer. Exhibitions: Photographs exhibited at Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, 1970, 1994; Bucks County Garden Fair, Doylestown, PA, 1994; Lambertville House, Lambertville, NJ, 1997; Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, PA, 2001; and Haas-Muth Gallery, New Hope, PA, 2005.

Member

Garden Writers Association of America (fellow; past member of board of directors), Society of American Travel Writers.

Derek Fell

Honors Awards

Over twelve awards from Garden Writers Association of America, beginning 1982, including three for best book, six for best photography, and three for best magazine article; Lifestyle Landscape Design Contest First Prize for best interpretation of an impressionist garden, 1991; Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Landscape Design Contest awards for Best Flower Garden Design, Best Water Garden Design, and Best of Show for Garden Design, all 1994; Quill & Trowel Award for Best Photography, 2001, for Van Gogh's Gardens.

Writings

How to Plant a Vegetable Garden, Countryside Books (Milwaukee, WI), 1975.

New Ideas in Flower Gardening, Countryside Books (Milwaukee, WI), 1976.

How I Planned to Plant the White House Vegetable Garden, Exposition Banner, 1976.

House Plants and Crafts for Fun and Profit, Bookworm, 1978.

How to Photograph Flowers, Plants, and Landscapes, H.P. Books (Tucson, AZ), 1980.

(Editor) Alan Bloom, Perennials for Your Garden, Floraprint U.S.A., 1981.

The Vegetable Spaghetti Cookbook, Pine Row (Washington Crossing, PA), 1982.

Vegetables: How to Select, Grow, and Enjoy, H.P. Books (Tucson, AZ), 1982.

Annuals: How to Select, Grow, and Enjoy, H.P. Books (Tucson, AZ), 1983.

Trees and Shrubs, H.P. Books (Tucson, AZ), 1986.

Deerfield: An American Garden through Four Seasons, Pidcock Press, 1986.

(Co-author) Hillside Gardening: Evaluating the Site, Designing Views, Planting Slopes, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1986.

Garden Accents: The Complete Guide to Special Features for Creative Landscaping, Holt (New York, NY), 1987.

(Co-author) The Complete Book of Gardening: All You Need to Know about Lawns, Oracle Books, 1987.

The Inspired Garden: Imaginative Ideas and Features in Full Colour, Friedman (New York, NY), 1987.

Garden Accents, Holt (New York, NY), 1987.

The One-Minute Gardener, Running Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1988.

Great Gardens (calendar), Portal (Novato, CA), 1988.

(Co-author) Home Landscaping: Ideas, Styles, and Designs for Creative Outdoor Spaces, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1988.

(Photographer) The Three Year Garden Journal: With Regional Gardening Guides, Starwood, 1989.

A Kid's First Book of Gardening: Growing Plants Indoors and Out, Running Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1989.

(Editor and Photographer) The Complete Garden Planning Manual, HP Books (Tucson, AZ), 1989.

(Photographer) Essential Annuals: The 100 Best for Design and Cultivation, Crescent Books (Avenel, NJ), 1989.

Essential Bulbs: The 100 Best for Design and Cultivation, Crescent Books (Avenel, NJ), 1989.

Essential Perennials: The 100 Best for Design and Cultivation, Crescent Books (Avenel, NJ), 1989.

Essential Herbs: The 100 Best for Design and Cultivation, Crescent Books (Avenel, NJ), 1990.

Essential Roses: The 100 Best for Design and Cultivation, Crescent Books (Avenel, NJ), 1990.

The Easiest Flowers to Grow, Ortho Books, 1990.

Renoir's Garden, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 1991.

550 Home Landscaping Ideas, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1991.

The Encyclopedia of Flowers, Smithmark, 1992.

The Impressionist Garden, Frances Lincoln (London, England), 1994.

550 Perennial Garden Ideas, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.

The Pennsylvania Gardener, Camino Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1995.

(Photographer) Flowering Shrubs and Small Trees, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1995.

(Photographer) Ornamental Grass Gardening: Design Ideas, Functions, and Effects, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1995.

(Photographer) The Practical Gardener: An A-to-Z Guide to Techniques and Tips, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1995.

In the Garden with Derek, Camino Books (Philadelphia, PA), 1995.

(Photographer) Gardens of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1995.

(Co-author) All about Azaleas, Camellias, and Rhododendrons, Ortho Books, 1995.

Creative Landscaping: Ideas, Designs, and Blueprints, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1995.

(Co-author) The Garden Planning Kit: An Interactive Guide to Designing, Planning, and Planting the Garden of Your Dreams, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Roses: Growing and Design Tips for 200 Favorite Flowers, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1996.

Bulbs: Growing and Design Tips for 200 Favorite Flowers, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1996.

Perennials: Growing and Design Tips for 200 Favorite Flowers, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1996.

Annuals: Growing and Design Tips for 200 Favorite Flowers, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1996.

(Co-author) Glorious Flowers: Arranging for Every Occasion, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1996.

Derek Fell's Perennial Gardening, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1996.

Derek Fell's Vegetable Gardening, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1996.

Derek Fell's Herb Gardening, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1997.

Secrets of Monet's Garden: Bringing the Beauty of Monet's Style to Your Own Garden, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1997.

Derek Fell's Bulb Gardening, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1997.

Derek Fell's Shade Gardening, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1998.

(Co-author) Impressionist Bouquets: 24 Exquisite Arrangements Inspired by the Impressionist Masters, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1998.

Impressionist Roses: Bringing The Romance of the Impressionist Style to Your Garden, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 1999.

Flower and Garden Photography, Silver Pixel Press, 2000.

Water Gardening for Beginners, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 2000.

Herb Gardening for Beginners, Friedman/Fairfax (New York, NY), 2000.

Van Gogh's Gardens, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

Campbell Island: Land of the Blue Sunflower, David Bateman (Auckland, New Zealand), 2003.

(And photographer) Great Gardens of New Zealand, David Bateman (Auckland, New Zealand), 2003.

Cézanne's Garden, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Van Gogh's Women: His Love Affair and His Journey into Madness, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2004.

The Encyclopedia of Garden Design and Structure, Bateman (Auckland, New Zealand), 2006.

Contributor to Encyclopaedia Britannica. Contributor of articles and photographs to magazines and newspapers, including Architectural Digest, Woman's Day, Connoisseur, and New York Times Magazine. Past editor of Garden Writers Bulletin. Photographs reproduced in numerous calendars published by Portal, Cambridge-Pacific, and Starwood, beginning 1988.

"LET'S INVESTIGATE" SERIES

Cacti, Creative Education (Mankato, MN), 1999.

Herbs, Creative Education (Mankato, MN), 1999.

Orchids, Creative Education (Mankato, MN), 1999.

Wildflowers, Creative Education (Mankato, MN), 1999.

Work in Progress

A romantic mystery novel set in the 1820s; a second book about Monet's garden, titled The Magic of Monetapos;s Garden; The Encyclopedia of Hardy Plants; and The Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants for Temperate Climates.

Sidelights

Derek Fell is a writer and photographer who specializes in writing about gardening topics and travel. In addition to his many books, which include Van Gogh's Gardens, Essential Perennials, and Impressionist Bouquets, Fell has amassed a stock photo library containing over 150,000 images. Appearing on greeting cards, calendars, and posters, Fell's photographs have also served as illustrations for his books and works by other garden writers. While most of Fell's books are geared for adults ranging from budding to well-established gardeners, his A Kid's First Book of Gardening: Growing Plants Indoors and Out is geared for beginning green thumbs and includes gardening projects and interesting plant-related facts. Fell's "Let's Investigate" series, published by educational publisher Creative Education, is also designed for younger readers; the books present information specific to herbs and cacti, as well as to plants ranging from the most common wild flower to the most exotic orchid.

Fell has credited several individuals with inspiring him in a career that has spanned many decades. As he once told SATA, "The writer who most influenced my work, was E. O'Dowd Gallagher, a British war correspondent whose best work appeared in the Daily Express. After retiring from newspapers, Gallagher started the public relations agency where I worked as a copywriter and account executive.

"At this time, I also became influenced by the work of Harry Smith, a British plant photographer. I emulated his style of horticultural photography and, as a result, I have become the world's most widely published plant photographer and owner of the Derek Fell Horticultural Color Picture Library.

"The third most important influence was meeting and working with David Burpee, president of W. Atlee Burpee Co., mail order seedsman. Before his death in 1980 I worked six years with him, learning how to communicate gardening."

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Born and raised in England, Fell now lives on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he has established areas for horticultural trials and an outdoor photography studio. In addition to writing and photography, he has served as a horticultural consultant to the White House, and was host of the QVC television program Step-by-Step Gardening.

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Wuthnow, Robert, Creative Spirituality, University of California Press (Los Angeles, CA), 2001.

PERIODICALS

American Artist, July, 2004, review of Cézanne's Garden, p. 74.

Architectural Digest, December, 1980.

Art Matters, June, 1995.

Beautiful Gardens, November-December, 1994.

Booklist, August, 2000, p. 2094; January 1, 2004, Alice Joyce, review of Cézanne's Garden, p. 893; January 1, 2005, Donna Seaman, review of Van Gogh's Women: His Love Affair and Journey into Madness, p. 798.

Christian Science Monitor, December 17, 1982.

Garden Design, winter, 1986; winter, 1994.

Green Scene, November-December, 1987.

Hemispheres, June, 1995.

Mother Earth News, November, 1976.

New Hope Gazette, June 10, 1982.

New York Times, May 10, 1976.

Publishers Weekly, November 15, 2004, review of Van Gogh's Women, p. 49.

School Library Journal, September, 2004, John Kiefman, review of Cézanne's Garden, p. 236.

ONLINE

Derek Fell Home Page, http://www.derekfell.net (January 15, 2006).

OTHER

Gardening Diary (television series), Home & Garden Network, 2001.

Nature's Best Photography (television series), Outdoor Life Network, 1999.

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