APS Candidate Bios

For President (2 years): Elizabeth Lawson

Elizabeth received her BA in English Literature from Bryn Mawr College, an MA in Botany from the University of Texas at Austin, a PhD in Plant Biology from Cornell University, and an MFA in Nonfiction from Southern New Hampshire University. She has worked at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and completed a decade of work each for the Botanical Society of America and the Ecological Society of America, and completed her career with another decade of work in the Writing Department at Ithaca College, where she taught Professional Writing, Academic Writing, Writing in the Workplace, Personal Essay, Science Writing, Technical Writing, and Writing as a Naturalist. She now writes as a naturalist at www.elizabethwinpennylawson.com, and has spent the last three years working on a book about primroses for Reaktion Press’ Botanical Series. She first met primroses while working in the Decorative Department at Kew, where she potted up several hundred Primula obconica and came down with a horrible case of hives that could have ended her career as a plant lover, but did not.


For Vice-President (2 years): Mark Dyen

I have been a gardener for several decades, an interest inherited from my mother who nurtured the addictive nature of
growing or buying interesting plants that make beautiful flowers (if you let them). I’ve been a member of the New
England Chapter of APS for many years now, first joining in an attempt to figure out how to get my Thompson and
Morgan seeds to germinate (Solution: Get seeds from the seed exchange), and have gradually expanded my interest to
include more varieties, and to judging the show entries. While I am still a mixed success at propagation, I am a
champion proselytizer for the genus, and do my best as a board member to move the agenda along and reach key
decisions. I would be happy and honored to continue in that role.

For Secretary (2 years): Dean Wiegert

I joined the American Primrose Society in 2013. I live in southeastern Wisconsin, am an estate gardener by profession and a primula hobbyist at home. Cowslips were a childhood love of mine and later I discovered auriculas and the manysplendored polyanthus. I am convinced that the genus has something for every northern gardener and plant enthusiast.
I attended my first National Show in 2017, I have contributed to the quarterly, Primroses, and I have begun to help with the indexing project for that quarterly. I want to help further the society’s purpose of increasing “the general knowledge of and interest in the collecting, growing, breeding, showing and using in the landscape and garden the genus Primula in all its forms.”

For Director (3 years): Janice Anthony

My mother was a devoted horticulturalist, and brought her children up to care deeply about all plants. After almost 50 years living in the cold and rocky Northeast I have continued to be fascinated by gardening and propagating. Among the perennials, primulas have been my particular favorites. I have been a member of the APS for 35 years, contributing to the seed exchange, growing primroses from seed, and opening my garden to inspire visitors to learn about this wonderful genus.
I am also a painter, working from the Maine landscape, and have learned about outreach, marketing, and social media through my career. I would like to see more new and younger people discover the world of primula, and become members of the APS.

For Director (3 years): Julia Haldorson

I have been the Membership Secretary for the American Primrose Society for many years now and a member of the American Primrose Society for many more years. It is my job to keep the membership list organized, accurate and up to date. But I do enjoy gardening and am in the process of making a new garden on Whidbey Island in Washington State.
Developing a garden there where primroses will thrive will be a challenge and I will look to APS for cultural insight and inspiration!

For Director (3 years): Patricia Hartman

My joy in gardening was instilled in me as a child. I live in Juneau, Alaska. When I first moved here in 2008, Juneau broke records that year for the number of days of continuous rain, so I believed my green thumb was going to suffer and die. I became a Master Gardener, read books, and spoke to other gardeners. While serving a 4-year stint as President of the SEAK Master Gardener, I was introduced to P. juliae at a plant sale. It was the perfect little primula for my G Scale Garden Railway. Over the last few years, many primulas have come to live on my RR but many more have expanded into my flower beds and rock gardens. I have enjoyed starting Primula from seeds and watching them grow from year to year, until they bloom. I joined the APS 3 years ago to learn more about Primula and attended last year’s Show in Juneau. This year I’m hoping to collect seed and contribute to the plant sale, write a few articles and continue to share my love of primulas. I bring to the APS many years of experience in serving on boards and committees.