Melissa Garden is a freelance illustrator based in Oakland, California, who specializes in floral illustrations and botanical patterns.

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My interest in floral and plant illustration began with my degree in Natural Science Illustration where I studied the conventions in a field emphasized on accuracy. Over the years my practice  has led me to appreciate the poetry found in florals and to try to depict the spirit of the plant as well as the specifics. Successful illustrations must give you a desire to touch, smell and taste the plants, not just provide the features. 


  • Eating Well Magazine
  • IDEO
  • Baltimore Banner


Which is your favorite flower?
The flowers I end up drawing the most are Native Wildflowers. No matter where in the world my clients are, the native plants seem to stir up a true sense of home and place for them and tell stories that they know I can render like no one's business. I love the challenge of getting to know a place through it's delicate, endemic blossoms.  

What grows in your garden?
Because I am in California there is no end to the things I can grow year round in my garden! Tropical fruits galore, veggies for my kids to munch, herbs, flowers for cutting and most importantly- lots of food for the native pollinators so that I have a constant stream of visitors. The hummingbirds, monarchs and native bees all use my yard as a friendly way station and I get the benefit of witnessing their life cycle, nesting and more. 

What do flowers symbolize to you?
Flowers symbolize the ephemeral nature of life and our opportunity to seize what we can from the daylight hours we are given. Planting anything is an act of optimism, self sufficiency and beauty in its highest form. When you are given the last name "Garden" you had better live up to it, so I do!  

Like what you see by MELISSA GARDEN?