Member Spotlight: Back to Her Roots

“New York’s a concrete jungle so I bought fresh flowers every week and started flower arranging,” says new MSHS member Amber Senn. No matter where she has lived, she’s found a way to express her passion for gardening.

Amber grew up in Minnesota, gardening alongside her mother. “I complained about the work most of my childhood,” she says, “but now I really appreciate every opportunity to get my hands in the dirt.”

happy gardeners at home show

Amber Senn was with her mother when she joined MSHS.

After finishing her education, Amber moved first to Florida, then California and finally landed in New York, working as a sales trader and investor relationship manager on Wall Street. A self-described recovering Wall-Streeter, she found her way back to nature on a long trip to Argentina in 2007. “I really settled in deeply and realized that I missed being in nature. My plan was to get back to the garden as soon as possible,” she says.

The opportunity finally presented itself in 2012, when a friend started an organic farm in the Bahamas. “There was a big movement toward growing locally and my friend had bought some property. I ended up moving there, joining the team and grew thousands of tomatoes,” Amber says.

Wanting a GArden

But she missed her family and wanted her own garden, so she returned to Minnesota in 2014.  Two years ago, she bought a house in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis. The property, which was previously owned by a chef, includes a pollinator garden in the front yard and rich soil for growing. Last year, she grew vegetables, including more than 5,000 hot peppers—a favorite of her brother who was living with her at the time. “It was my first summer really being back in the garden,” she says. “It’s so intense with the short season so I was looking for resources for this climate.”

Amber says her mom, Nancy, is her “go-to gardener,” often passing on tips to her daughter, including an MSHS Facebook post about a coleus border. She started researching and Northern Gardener kept popping up, so she joined. “I love, love the magazine, but I also wanted to be part of a community and this it,” she says.

Amber’s next move? “My goal is to stay in Minnesota and be a resource for gardeners starting out,” she says. “And, oh! Grow sustainable, beautiful gardens like my mom with a cutting garden for flower arranging.”


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