Julie knew she would study plants from an early age and received a B.S. in horticulture from the University of Madison, WI, and an M.S. in horticulture at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. She was hired as a Research Gardener at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA and worked for nine years to determine growing requirements for plants from all over the world under glass for eventual production and public display in the Gardens 375 acres under glass conservatories. She also helped to train and supervise the Gardens Professional Gardener students (a two-year program), interns, and International students who rotated through all the various areas of study. From there she found her way west as the Greenhouse Manager for the Bellagio Casino and began traveling the west to source their conservatory plant shows. But native plants and gardens, including milkweeds for Monarch butterflies; and cactus, bonsai, and the overall art of growing plants inspired her to form Signature Botanica LLC along with her husband Steve, and grow native plants for restoration in the southwest for various agencies and communities for 14 years. She continues this work currently as an AmeriCorps member growing for the Gila Watershed Partnership in Safford, AZ.