I.Cl.S. - Council Members

Linda Beutler, Past President, USA©Linda Beutler
Linda Beutler
Past President
Lyndy Broder, Council Member, USA
Lyndy Broder
Council Member
Duncan Donald, Council Member, Great Britain
Duncan Donald
Council Member
Great Britain
Helga Marie Huber, Council Member, Germany
Helga Marie Huber
Council Member

Ingrid Kastell
Council Member
Peter Keeping, Council Member, Canada
Peter Keeping
Council Member (Co-opted)
Laura Watson, Council Member, USA
Laura Watson
Newsletter Editor
Council Member

Council Members full addresses are sent to Members every year.

Linda Beutler, Past President, USA

Linda Beutler, Past President, USA©Linda BeutlerLinda Beutler is a fearless gardener who grows a great number of plants on a simple, flat 50 x 100 foot city lot in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. She was a professional florist for 18 years, and her first love in her own garden was growing flowers and foliage for cutting. That focus started changing 14 years ago, when Linda purchased her first clematis as a misnamed plant. Her personal collection now numbers over 275 separate species and cultivars, grown in many ways. In addition to clematis she collects hardy geraniums, old garden roses (over 90), alliums, hydrangeas, hardy fuchsias and she's never met a corydalis or thalictrum she didn't like.

Linda is a member of numerous gardening organizations (as most gardeners are) including the Ranunculaceae Society, American Hemerocallis Society, North American Lily Society, Pacific Northwest Peony Society, and Oregon State University Master Gardeners. She served eight years on the Board of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO), and was the Director in charge of the famous HPSO plant sale for eight years, from 1993 through 2001. Linda is a founding member of both the Pacific Northwest Clematis Society (1999), and the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection (2003). She volunteers at the collection weekly. She is newly appointed to the governing council of the International Clematis Society.

In addition to her floral career, Linda Beutler is the instructor of cut flower growing ("The Flower Arranger's Garden I & II"), as well as the herbaceous perennials class for the horticulture department at Clackamas Community College. She lectures nationally on several gardening topics, and is a garden writer for both local and national publications, including dig, Fine Gardening, Pacific Horticulture, and Birdwatcher's Digest. With Maurice Horn (co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery), Linda co-authored the chapter on growing clematis in North America for Dr. Mary Toomey's book The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Clematis (Timber Press, 2001). Linda has now written her own book, Gardening with Clematis, which debuted for Timber Press in September 2004. It is the first major book about clematis written by a North American for North American gardeners since 1935. Boy, have things changed!

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Lyndy Broder, Council Member, USA

Lyndy Broder, Council Member, USA"As a young bride in the early 70's, I moved into my new home south of Atlanta, Georgia. The empty trellis was soon planted with clematis 'Belle of Woking'. Although my love of clematis was born, it had to remain dormant for twenty-five years. I was busy raising four children and attending to a career in the mental health field. My early retirement in 1996 gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion of gardening. By then we had moved to a new home on my husband's family dairy farm in Stockbridge, Georgia. I now had a three-acre garden in the middle of a cow pasture, devoid of all plant material except for a solitary persimmon tree.

My first task was to become a master gardener and then I began joining plant societies. Of course, the International Clematis Society was one of my first to join. I then began collecting clematis, which necessitated the planting of many shrubs and trees as supports. Although I now have several hundred clematis, my favorite clematis are the North American natives. I have painstakingly collected a dozen different species mostly from the Southeast. Clematis crispa is native to my county and is prolific throughout my garden. My garden has been featured on the Home and Garden Television network show 'A Gardener's Diary' as a garden of a clematis lover.

I have developed many wonderful friendships through attending the annual conferences of the International Clematis Society. These friendships have been the most valuable benefit of the I.Cl.S."

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Duncan Donald, Council Member, Great Britain

Duncan Donald, Council Member (Co-opted), Great Britain"It was inevitable that I would become a gardener. My paternal grandfather, the son of an estate head gardener, was a market gardener in north-east Scotland. My maternal grandfather, the son of a head gardener, helped my grandmother run the nursery business in Surrey, England that she had inherited from her father. He had trained at the Jackmans' nursery at Woking and was himself the son of a gardener-cum-nurseryman connected with the plant collector, Robert Fortune.

I took a biology degree at Birmingham University, specializing in botany and in particular, taxonomy. Wanting practical experience and knowledge, I first trained at Slocock's Nursery, then the RHS Garden, Wisley before becoming Conservation Propagator at Cambridge University Botanic Garden working with rare native plants. I returned to Wisley four years later to become the first employee of the then newly formed British garden-plant conservation charity, the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens (NCCPG). There I worked closely, amongst others, with Raymond Evison, one of the Council's founding members and who spearheaded its publicity effort, not least its early Chelsea Show displays (which included lots of clematis!). Raymond was then based at Treasures of Tenbury, so visiting him also gave me a chance to see the marvellous clematis collection at Burford House.

I then spent six years as Curator of Chelsea Physic Garden, eleven years as Head of Gardens for the National Trust for Scotland, and four years as Property Manager at Inverewe Garden.

I was the International Clematis Registrar but I am now retired."

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Helga Marie Huber, Council Member, Germany

Helga Marie Huber, Council Member, Germany"Born in 1952, I graduated in biology and biochemistry, specialising in immunology and for many years worked in basic immunological research. Fifteen years ago, almost by chance, I changed to working for the German Federal Drug Administration, where my main task was the licensing of biomedicinal products. It still remains fascinating.

Gardening was always going to be a part of my life as my parents had a large vegetable and flower garden for as long as I can remember. In the late 1980s, after having visited numerous gardens and garden festivals especially in the U.K. and the Netherlands for many years, I laid out our small garden around the house. At this time, my husband and I had to travel quite a lot within Germany to find all the wonderful plants I wanted to have in my garden. We drove 550 km one-way for my first 5 clematis - among them C. viticella 'Betty Corning', which is still one of my favourites.

As for most gardeners, I became a member of different (national) garden societies and in 2007 of the I.Cl.S. - where I especially love to meet people from all over the world who are interested and highly knowledgeable about clematis and its cultivars. Of course, since then the number of clematis in my garden has increased enormously and still does - either planted in my house garden, or in pots, or in my new large vegetable garden at the edge of the little town where we live, near Frankfurt am Main."

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Ingrid Kastell, Council Member, Sweden

"I live in Västerås, Sweden, a city west of Stockholm, and I work as an engineer with district heating and cooling.

One of my biggest interest is - and has always been - flowers, plants and gardening. As a little girl, my window-sill was completely full of indoor plants but nowadays the plants I am interested in have grown up, just like me. Now I am more interested in bigger plants such as trees, bushes, conifers, perennials and, of course, clematis. They all have in common that they fit in my passion for being outside working in the garden.

Our garden is situated in a slope and has too many big trees. The soil is full of stones - both small and very big ones - and the garden is also very dry so it's a hard work to dig, but fortunately my husband is very helpful.

I hope I can use my Council membership to try to raise awareness and increase the interest among the Swedish members to enjoy the activities in the I.Cl.S.

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Peter Keeping, Council Member (Co-opted), Canada

Peter Keeping, Council Member, CanadaPeter was born in Rochester, Kent, England, moved to Fulham in 1937 where he lived through the war. He worked for Wills and Seagar in Knightsbridge - Florists to Her Majesty. He emigrated to Canada in 1957 with his family. He started a horse ranch and farmed 1500 acres until 1971 when the farm was sold. Peter moved to Grand Valley in Ontario and then to Scarborough in 1980.

He started gardening with Clematis in 1986 when most of the children had left home. It was a large garden. He moved to a 1/2 acre property in Bowmanville, Ontario in November 2000, where he and his partner Sheila, had to start the garden from scratch.

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Laura Watson, Newsletter Editor, Council Member, USA

Laura Watson, Newsletter Editor, Council Member, USA"Gardens have always played an important role in my life. My very earliest memory, at age two, is sitting in a neighbor's strawberry patch, enjoying the warmth of the sun on my skin, the earthy smell of the damp ground, and the glorious taste of strawberries in my mouth! I've been gardening ever since.

My love for clematis was born when I gardened in Boston in the 1990s. My garden got so full of plants that I could no longer visit nurseries — horrors! Fortunately, I stumbled upon Barry Fretwell's book Clematis as Companion Plants and realized I was not making adequate use of vertical space. I was off to the nurseries again until 50 clematis grew everywhere in my garden.

In 2004, I left Boston for the gardening mecca of Seattle and started planting clematis right away. In 2009, I discovered the International Clematis Society (I.Cl.S.) and joined, only to learn that the 2010 International Clematis Conference would be held the following summer in Portland, Oregon — a mere three hours' drive away! I signed up immediately, then spent several months worrying that I would not fit in with all the movers and shakers of the clematis world. Fortunately, I was warmly welcomed by everyone, but most especially by Jan and Marie-Louise van Kuijk from The Netherlands and Gisela and Walter Stäbler from Germany. Attending the annual conferences, being a member of IClS and other clematis societies, and the friendships I have gained continually expand my clematis knowledge.

Workwise, I'm retired now for the second time after working over forty years doing administrative and editorial work for Boston University, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a Seattle yoga center, and PlantAmnesty, a horticultural nonprofit organization also in Seattle.

My clematis articles have been published in the Journal of the International Clematis Society and the PlantAmnesty Newsletter. You can visit my clematis blog at

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@ K.Woolfenden

All information contained at this site is personal to Ken Woolfenden and
does not represent the official view of the International Clematis Society.