Ellen Schlesinger (revisited)
October 2000: Trained as a painter in her native New York and in Paris, Ellen Schlesinger became a writer in 1970, the moment she hit the West Coast. "I wrote a piece about coming to California — the culture shock," she says. "It was published as an op-ed in the New York Times." Schlesinger wrote art criticism for Bay Area publications until 1994, when she and her journalist husband retired to Eugene's Whiteaker neighborhood. "I love Eugene — it's the perfect place to be a gardener," she says. Besides her own gardening, Schlesinger writes for Fine Gardening and other green-thumb journals. She came up with the idea for a neighborhood plant sale in 1998 — sale proceeds brought public Tai Chi lessons to Scobert Park the following summer.