Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Roses

Marc Cathey: The Zone Map Man (page 2 of 2)

by Charlie Nardozzi

Beyond Maps

Marc contributed to the new edition of the mammoth book, American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia Of Garden Plants, which has just been published (DK Publishing, 2004; $80). "There are 15,000 plants referenced in the book, with 500 new plants," says Marc. They are all coded with zone ratings. "For the first time we included tropical and semi-tropical plants and turf, complete with hardiness zones," he adds.

Most recently he has turned his attention to another passion: color. A lifelong watercolor artist, Marc is working on a groundbreaking "color book" that will help gardeners match the colors of flowers to colors of furniture, paint and fabrics. "We are standardizing 30 different colors and their companion colors," says Marc. "I want to create a common language of color for gardeners using the new advances in both art and science."

Marc sees other areas of horticulture that need addressing in the future. "We need to leave a clean environment for future generations, and I think horticulture can help," says Marc. He's particularly interested in using plants to clean up toxic waste sites and contaminated soils.

At 76 years old, Marc Cathey also is thinking of future generations of gardeners. He'd like to use art and science to get kids excited about gardening and would love to pen a children's book. Whether it's through maps, research or books, Marc Cathey has given home gardeners valuable tools for becoming more knowledgeable and more successful.

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