Proctor’s earliest memories are of gardens, and
he’s one of the fortunate few who has been able to integrate his work with a lifelong passion: plants. That passion
was realized at a very young age, as Proctor recalls crawling across the lawn, drawn to his mother’s enchanting flower
garden. The self-effacing artistic director says he probably ate the petunias.
Proctor was born in Nebraska,
the son of an English teacher and a mother who let him explore. His family moved to Colorado
when Rob was 6 years old, and then lived in a variety of Colorado towns, including stops
in Calhan, Loveland and Greeley.
Proctor’s easy-going, welcoming personality during
the course of our interview led to philosophical and practical insights for Colorado
gardeners. He ponders his words before speaking, but then they flow with zeal, sowing Proctor’s “plant gospel.”
Here is what he said.
Since 1983 I have worked as a landscape historian
and preservationist, helping historic-house museums and home-owners research and restore their grounds. I have taught graduate
courses in landscape history at Eastern Michigan University and have written
extensively for the Old-House Journal. In 1993 I launched the country's only mail-order business devoted to heirloom
flower bulbs. Since then, our living antiques have been featured by Martha Stewart, Horticulture, Country Living,
and The New York Times, and they grow today at Mount Vernon, the Smithsonian, the Denver Botanic Garden, and the Hearst
I have lectured for many horticultural organizations
including the Arnold Arboretum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, Williamsburg's Garden Symposium, national conferences
of the Garden Club of America and Master Gardeners, and for many local garden clubs. I have also presented to many preservation
organizations including Monticello, Old Sturbridge Village,
the Association for Preservation Technology, and the National Park Service