interview with Karen
garden plan

about Karen

Karen Strohbeen, Host and Executive Producer
Bill Luchsinger, Executive Producer, Director, Editor

Karen has been a lifelong artist and has worked as a painter, printmaker, sculptor, ceramist and television producer. Bill Luchsinger is a printmaker, concentrating mostly on digital printmaking, sculptor, filmmaker and television producer.

In 1975, Bill and Karen reacquainted themselves with each other when they both took part in an artist's workshop at their alma mater, Drake University. They eventually married in 1977.

Since then they have continued to make their art individually, and together they work in their gardens and produce gardening videos. Their artwork is in private and corporate collections around the world. In 1996 they received the Garden Club of America's Eloise Payne Luquer Medal for special achievement in the field of botany. This year, Bill (along with noted English horticulturist Penelope Hobhouse) was made a Member at Large by the Garden Club of America.

samples of Karen's and Bill's work
Karen and Bill began to work on a series of videos focusing on the subject of hardy flowering plants with their partner in the venture, Blue Bird Nursery of Clarkson, Nebraska. HARDY FLOWERING PLANTS, a four-volume set, was released in 1990 for use by universities, trade schools and nurseries in the training of students and personnel. The programs were widely distributed and are still in extensive use throughout the U.S.

The couple has lived on an 80-acre farm in southwest Iowa for 18 years. Karen and Bill make art in both their studio and gardens. About ten years ago they asked themselves, "If something in the garden is beautiful, does it matter if no one sees it?" The answer, they decided, was, "Yes, it does matter." So began their efforts to capture and share the beauty of their gardens on video, resulting in the series The Perennial Gardener with Karen Strohbeen.

IPTV, Co-Producer of this series, is one of the top public broadcasting networks in the United States. IPTV has won more than 100 broadcast and journalism awards in its twenty-seven-year history. Its multimillion-dollar headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, is considered a state-of-the-art broadcast and production facility.

Duane Huey, Co-executive Producer, brings over 20 years of experience to the project. Now a Senior Producer at Iowa Public Television, his production career began in the '70s with his work as cinematographer, writer and producer on "The Iowa Heritage," a series on Iowa's history that is still used in Iowa's schools today. Included among his credits: producer/writer on IPTV's celebrated "Land Between Two Rivers" series; producer/director of "Split Infinity," a television drama that won a Gold Award at the Houston Film Festival; executive producer of specials such as "Racism in Iowa," "Changing the Odds," and the nationally distributed documentary "Where There Is No Word for Farmer"; and for the past five years he's served as executive producer of "Iowa Press," a weekly public affairs program. Duane currently specializes in partnership productions with a variety of independent producers and grant projects. He served as IPTV's liaison and Senior Producer on the IPTV broadcast version of Karen's and Bill's hugely successful "Hardy Flowering Plants" series and currently shares executive producer credit with Karen Strohbeen and Bill Luchsinger on "The Perennial Gardener with Karen Strohbeen."