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    Herbs and Flower Essences

Healing from Nature for Human Nature








Katherine Cook main page

Katharine Cook, Flower Essence Practitioner

Resume 05.15.10


Flower Essence Practitioner, Biodynamic Garden Designer                                       2004-2010

       Flower essence practice, with use of herbal and essential oils for self and home-care, internationally-recognized Flower Essence Services products. Biodynamic garden designer, specializing in native plants, watershed restoration.  Writer, Pacific Horticulture magazine, West Marin Citizen. 

       Designed redwood understory riparian restoration for Old Mill Park, Mill Valley for MCSTOPP, county stormwater agency, taught ecology garden design, College of Marin.  Designed living roof, and understory landscaping, heritage coast live oak, for author Amy Tan, Sausalito.  Garden featured on “Secret Gardens of Sausalito” June tour, 2005.  Native plant restoration design, Green Gulch Farm, private clients throughout East Marin.


Garden designer, Flower Essence Practitioner                                          2001 - 2003

       Designed residential gardens in Marin, San Francisco.  Use flower essences, herbal and essential oils for self and home care  Teach restorative design, Community Education, College of Marin; tours, classes and slide show Fairfax Public Library, on appreciating and working successfully with Marin native flora.      


Garden Designer                                                                                  1997 -  2000

     Created gardens of natural beauty and lasting value, with focus on site evaluation,  soil prep and restoration, planting design, water conservation. Emphasis on resource building and local ecology.  Liaison with exceptional arborists, skilled craftspeople in aesthetic pruning, and irrigation system design.  


Flower Essence Practitioner, Herbs & Essential Oils                                    1988 - 1996 

          Clinical practice for FES certification with self and Green Gulch Farm residents, private practice with clients in flower essence therapy and shiatsu massage following certification, 1990.  Produced flower essence at Green Gulch Farm. Offered talks, classes for Flower Essence Services through local vendors.   


Instructor in Pre-Columbian Native Pottery, San Francisco Zen Center               1992-96

          Taught Native American burnished blackware, created, exhibited same for use as donor gifts, altars and flower arrangements.  Daily meditation schedule, worked front office.     


R & D. Pottery from Local Clay, Green Gulch Farm,                                        1983 - 89 

          Research and development, cottage industry in Zen ceramics from local clay, Green Gulch Farm.  Dug, tested, prepared, built with,  glazed, held classes in same.   Produced ware for altar flower arrangements, community use and donor gift.   


 Head Gardener, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center,                                            1980-81

         Sowed, planted, harvested vegetable and flowers for kitchen and guest cabins, Zen Mountain Center, Los Padres National Forest, with crew of two.  Tended landscaping, founded extensive flower gardens.


Head Gardener, Flowers, Green Gulch Farm                                                 1972 - 78

        Studied French Intensive Biodynamic Gardening with Alan Chadwick and his

followers, led flower production  from seed to harvest, marketed same. Managed  crew

of 3 to 4.  Daily meditation and communal farm work.


Beginner Zen student, Sokoji Temple, San Francisco,                                   1966 - 71

       Observed Japanese Zen garden-making, learned traditional robe-sewing from temple founder, Shunryu Suzuki roshi at Tassajara & Sokioji Temples, San Francisco. Worked as secretary in development, designed and produced traditional Japanese sitting robes for students with sewing crew. 



EDUCATION, ZEN STUDIES                                                                    1998 – 2007

      Study of Buddhist literature, zazem and mindfulness practices, Beginner’s Mind Temple, San Francisco;  and Dharma Eye Zen Center, San Rafael, Mountain Source Sangha, San Rafael.  Renewed bodhisattva vows with Myogen Zen Steve Stucky, current abbot of S.F. Zen Center, 2007.


Indigenous Arts, Fort Mason Art Center, City College of S.F.,                          1988 - 96                                                                       Classes in pre-Columbian and Japanese folk pottery, adapting forms to needs of Zen Center.  Created vases for altar flowers and incense burners. Studied Buddhist sutras, poetry and song-writing with Vietnamese poet and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh  in two residential retreats at Plum Village, France, continuing study with teacher Lyn Fine  in Thay’s tradition, as well as further retreats at             monastery.    


Flower Essence Therapy Practitioner Training,                                              1988 - 92

Flower Essence Society, Nevada City, CA. Practitioner Certification, 1990, advanced practitioner workshop and presentation, FES, 1992.    


Radiant Recovery, Nutrition Program                                                           1990-96

Studied and practiced Radiant Recovery, nutrition program with Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., San Francisco.


Fine Arts, San Francisco Art Institute, 1962 - 64

Major, painting; minor, ceramics.  Prize, best student drawing.


1959  B.A. cum laude, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio

                   Major, Philosophy; minor, English literature.





“Pottery as InterBeing,”  San Francisco Zen Center’s Windbell,  Fall, 1992.


“True Love, the Greatest Relief” Mindfulness Bell, the Journal of the Art of Mindful Living,”  Winter, 1994.


“Turning the Season with the Wild Cherry Plum,” Flower Essence Society website, 08/2000.


“Landscaping with Anderson Valley Natives,” Anderson Valley Advertiser, Philo, CA, November, 2002.


“Restoring the Heart, Restoring the Coastal Interface, Beachcomber” Spring, 2003


Poetry and Paintings exhibited with Maxine Hong Kingston’s Veterans’ Writing Group, writing for healing, in Forestville, CA and Berkeley Art Center, June, 2002.


“Slow It, Spread It, Sink It --  The Alchemy of Watershed Restoration

Pacific Horticulture magazine,” with Brock Dolman.  January 2006.


“The Foundations of Lee’s Garden --  Topography, Fractals and Planting Design,  Pacific Horticulture,” January, February, 2007.


Book Reviews, Pacific Horticulture, “Tending the Wild, Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources,” M. Kat Anderson.  Rain Gardens, by Dunnett and Clayden.


Guest Columns, ongoing, West Marin Citizen”, “Deep Economy” by Bill McKibben; “Getting the Water Back to the Way it Was.” Numerous other Citizen articles, including review of David Whyte’s Three Marriages available upon request.   



Mesa Refuge, Writer’s Retreat Grant, July 2006.  Blue Mountain Center, Writer’s Retreat Grant, July, 2007.



Katharine Cook

P.O. Box 724, Pt. Reyes Station, CA 94956