The Melissa Garden is located at Barbara’s home ranch. Barbara works as a psychotherapist, and is a process painter. Some of her art has been used in the design of this site and additional paintings will soon be available to view online. She found beekeeping through her many years of personal work in the spiritual school, The Diamond Approach. The school is a continuation of the ancient, mystical school of the Sarmouni (the Bees), based for hundreds of years in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. The motto of the Sarmouni is, “Work produces a sweet essence.”
Jacques is Barbara’s partner in life and many interesting endeavors. He is involved with the overall ecological management of the ranch The Melissa Garden is nested in. He also is an active member of the Ridhwan School/The Diamond Approach.
Kate is an internationally distinguished garden designer who has been awarded two gold medals at London’s Chelsea Flower Show. She worked for 18 years at Fetzer’s organic gardens in Hopland, CA which was used as a test plot for pollinators by Dr. Gordon Frankie at U. C. Berkeley. She now specializes in creating beautiful habitat and pollinator gardens.
Juan is the gardener at The Melissa Garden, where he says his favorite thing is the peacefulness of the landscape. He grew up on a ranch in Juanajuato, Mexico, northwest of Mexico City, where he was the shepherd of the family’s goats. He milked the goats as a child and early teenager, while his grandmother made cheese. His bucolic roots prepared him well for The Melissa Garden’s holistic and sustainable endeavors.
Greg is Barbara's son and is currently TMG's webmaster. Greg is a management consultant in San Francisco but enjoys escaping up north on occasion to the idyllic environs of Sonoma County.