Say Hello to Cathy Decker
Cathy is a long-time member of The Gardeners and was president in 2005. When she was new in the club, she remembered the welcoming nature of the membership; The Gardeners philosophy; how involved they were in the community; and that each member could be involved in The Gardeners based on the level of time that each could give—no pressure. Cathy shared that since she joined the club in 1992, she continues to learn from not only our members but also from our thoughtful programs and speakers.
As you will read from her responses below, horticulture and conservation are very important to Cathy. She belongs to the National Wildlife Federation and her property is certified as a backyard wildlife habitat. Among the tests to meet this certification , the property must provide food for wildlife, water, shelter, a place for wildlife to raise their young, cover and help wildlife thrive with a healthy habitat. Also, since Cathy has never used herbicides or pesticides (before it was in fashion) meeting that criterion was not a problem. For Cathy, being outside with nature is calming and peaceful
Today, her biggest passion as a gardener is not only preserving the land and wildlife in her own backyard, but modeling this passion to the public and to her family–especially her grandchildren. She will talk about worm composting to anyone who will make eye contact.
Cathy was born and raised in the Philadelphia area; she attended Villanova where she met her husband. Cathy’s husband Rich is a partner in an insurance brokerage firm in Paoli. They recently downsized from a home in Gulph Mills to a smaller footprint in Devon and are in the process of making a new Decker habitat. Cathy and Rich have 3 children, 5 grandchildren a granddog and grand rabbit.
What is your earliest garden memory?
My grandfather was born in Sicily and arrived in this country at 17. Growing up it was wonderful watching my grandfather in his garden. His little yard was full of fruit trees, a veggie garden, grape vines, raspberries, blueberries, flowers, chickens running around–not a blade of grass anywhere. He utilized every part of his yard. He even made his own wine! When I traveled to Sicily and other parts of Italy and France, I saw his type of gardening everywhere!
What are your two favorite flowers or plants?
Herbs are my favorite plants
What is your favorite part of gardening?
Being one with Nature
What is your least favorite part of gardening?
Hazy, hot and humid days working in the gardens.
What are your other non-gardening interests?
Golf, tennis, pickle ball, family, grandchildren, reading, walking, cooking, traveling, dancing…I like life
What three things can you not live without?
Family, Nature, just being
If you could be a flower, which one would you choose?
I would be Rosemary
Who has been an influential person in your life?
My husband Rich
Cathy, I know the rest of the club will join me in saying how fortunate we are to have you and with your enthusiasm involved in our conservation and preservation projects.