The Team

 

Satinflower Nurseries was initiated by Kristen and James Miskelly in 2013 and you can read more in the About Us.  The nursery now employs about a dozen staff members (some are seen above), as well as ontractors and volunteers. 

 

Kristen Miskelly, MSc Biology, RPBio

Kristen is co-owner of Satinflower Nurseries and is passionate about conservation, ecosystem restoration,  native plants, and native plant propagation. She is a trained biologist with specialty in the botany and ecology of southeastern Vancouver Island, doing both her her undergraduate work and graduate work through the University of Victoria. Kristen loves her work and embraces collaboration with others to bring her nursery and restoration dreams to life! Among other projects, she helps coordinate the Haliburton Biodiversity Project and is on the Steering Committee for the Cascadia Prairie Oak Partnership. She teaches a variety of workshops and courses and is a sessional lecturer at the University of Victoria teaching ‘Ecosystem Design through Propagation of Native Plants’ and 'Urban Restoration and Sustainable Agricultural Systems.'

James Miskelly, MSc Biology

James Miskelly is a biologist with expertise in Garry oak ecosystems, plants, insects, and restoration. James completed a Master of Science in Biology from the University of Victoria in 2004 focusing on butterflies and their habitat needs.  James has worked in various capacities specializing on rare plants and animals. He is a research associate at the Royal BC Museum in entomology with a particular interest in Canadian Orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers, and katydids). Currently, James works full time with Natural Resources Canada, helping to conserve and restore habitats and rare species on federal DND lands. James helps continually with consulting aspects of the nursery and managing the native seed fields as well as developing specialized seed mixes for customers.  

 

Josh Aitken

Hailing from rural Australia, Josh joined the Satinflower Nurseries team in 2018 as the on-site manager of the native seed field at Fairfield Farm. Growing up working on farms, Josh brings much experience, expertise, ingenuity, and energy to growing native plants for seed. Josh spent several years with Cowichan Search and Rescue and is currently a member of Mill Bay Fire Department. When not working in the field, he can be found running the trails of Vancouver Island in preparation for his next ultra. 

 

 

Siena Cecil

Siena started part time work at Satinflower Nurseries in 2021 and works primarily in propagation. She is passionate about nature and grew up in the interior of BC where she developed a taste for wild strawberries, mushrooms, soap berries and saskatoons. She is passionate about the beauty of our local fungi, flora and fauna. In her spare time she enjoys experimenting and cooking with edible native flora with her partner. Check out her recipes on our blog called Nature Nibbles. Siena finished the Horticulture Technicians Certificate through Camosun in 2021

Julia Daly, BSc Geography, Diploma in Applied Coastal Ecology

With Satinflower Nurseries since 2018, Julia has experience in plant identification, species at risk management, ecological restoration, and native plant gardening. She has always been passionate about plants, wildlife, and geography and now shares these interests with her two young children. Julia completed BSc in geography from the University of Victoria in 2012 and a diploma in applied coastal ecology from Northwest Community College in 2008. Julia is one of the friendly faces you will see at the nursery, always offering much-needed advice and guidance. Be sure to check out our weekly blog with Julia!

 

Paige Erickson-McGee, BSc Geography, Diploma Enviro Tech

Since 2019, Paige has brought her passion for conservation and enthusiasm for learning about native plants to the nursery. She supports biological consulting work, outreach, content development, and media relations. Paige grew up on Shawnigan Lake exploring nature with her dogs. In 2015 she completed her BSc in Geography at the University of Victoria, as well as the Environmental Technologist diploma at Camosun College. When not at the nursery, Paige works as the Stewardship Coordinator for Habitat Acquisition Trust, co-leads the Pollinator Stewardship for the Haliburton Farm Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project, and is co-chair of the Native Plant Study Group. 

 

Tommy Grant, Organic Master Gardener

Tommy joined the nursery in fall of 2020 and takes on a diverse set of roles from plant propagation to IT and bookkeeping. After a jet-setting career as a CPA auditor, it was time for a big change. His goal was to find meaningful work that will make a positive difference in the world. After rediscovering his love of plants and nature, Tommy became a certified Organic Master Gardener through Gaia College. He knew that plants had captured his heart for good. Tommy brings boundless enthusiasm, a willingness to help, and a smile to the nursery every day. In his free time Tommy enjoys kickboxing, growing vegetables, caring for his many tropical indoor plants, and baking chocolatey treats.

  Abby Hyde, BSc Geography, Environmental Studies

Abby started at Satinflower Nurseries in 2021 and is already leading the plant orders team. She is a plant enthusiast and is eager to help find each plant a loving home no matter how big or small the project is. She discovered her passion for observing endemic species and restoring degraded ecosystems through her years of hiking and scuba diving while growing up in Bali, Indonesia. She made the long move from Indonesia to Victoria in 2016 to pursue a BSc in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. During her four-year program, her love for tropical and aquatic plants translated to a newfound love of the native plants of British Columbia. In Abby’s free time she loves to observe Garry Oak ecosystems that have been restored around her neighborhood in Victoria, as it gives her hope for the future, and being involved with an organization that facilitates that movement is a dream come true. 

 

Dominique James, SENĆOŦEN Immersion 

ÍY SȻÁĆEL HÁLE   ÍY ȻENS TÁĆEL SIÁM HÁLE    ĆOȻES SEN SE ṮEṮUṮE OL NE SENĆOŦEN SḰÁL AȽE     SNEMIŦIYE ŦE NE SNÁ ĆSE LÁ,E SEN EṮ W̱SÁNEĆ    NE SW̱,ÁLI ĆSE LÁ,E ȽTE ET W̱SÁNEĆ    NE TÁN HÍLWET Karen Sampson ĆSE LÁE W̱JOȽEȽP    NE MÁN Darren James ĆSE LÁE BOḰEĆEN    NE ṈENE SX̱ELIȾIYE OPEN IȻS ȽIW̱ SĆELÁṈEN ĆSE LÁE W̱SÁNEĆ ȻENTOL    NE ŚIEȽ SX̱EDŦELISIYE ĆSE LÁE BOḰEĆEN    ĆÁĆI SEN ȻENTOL NE XEUES SĆÁ E TIÁ SĆELÁṈEN  ȻENTOL NE XEUES ŚW̱ELO₭E I SĆÁLEĆE TELÁ,E ET W̱SÁNEĆ SPÁḴEN ÍY SDÁLṈEW̱ HÁUTW̱ I BOḰEĆEN.

 My name is Dominique James and I am a member of the W̱SÁNEĆ nation, currently residing on the W̱JOȽEȽP nation with my mom side of family who is Karen Sampson and I am also tied into BOḰEĆEN Nation with my Dad side of family who is Darren James. I grew up with this feeling of “living in two worlds” with how my child upbringing has taken me. This motivates me and I am eager to gain knowledge of our traditional W̱SÁNEĆ lifestyle, laws, language and now land knowledge within our homelands. I first started working at the LÁU,WEL,ṈEW̱ Tribal School in the SENĆOŦEN immersion program, then received education through UVic for Language Revitalization. The program provided opportunities to learn more about the homelands of W̱SÁNEĆ, make connections to the land and communities of the gulf islands, and connect with Parks Canada. I have learned so much working with the leaders at PEPÁḴENÁUTW̱ - Judith Arney, PEPÁKIYE Ashlee Cooper, Tiffany Joseph, Sarah Jim and Earl Claxton Jr. In 2020 I worked on the ṮEṮÁĆES Climate Action Project and for Pauquachin First Nation with the ŚW̱,ȻENENITEL project. My goal is to continue self-discovery while keeping our old ways strong, vibrant and resilient. My whole-hearted purpose is to continue moving forward with this powerful knowledge of working to revitalize traditional indigenous teachings through native plants and breathe the good life back into these practices on W̱SÁNEĆ Homelands.

 

Rachel Jamin, Certified Horticulture Technician 

Rachel is a horticulturist with a passion for growing and tending plants. Building on a strong background in organic farming and seed-saving, Rachel completed her formal training through the Horticulture Technician program at Camosun College in April 2021. Her specialty is propagating, nurturing, and maintaining plants, and she is excited to bring that experience to the nursery. Rachel also brings a strong customer service background, upbeat attitude, and desire to promote accessibility and share knowledge of biodiversity and native plants. When she's not at the nursery, you’ll find Rachel tending her veggie garden, taking photos, or hiking trails with her dog.

 

Sasha Kubicek

Sasha is an amateur botanist with a special interest in orchids. In addition to growing orchids, he has been exploring Vancouver Island for native orchid species (especially rare color forms), speaking at orchid societies and garden groups and protecting orchid habitats. Through his orchid habitat work he has developed a deep passion and knowledge for our remaining wild places on Vancouver Island and the rare plants within them. 

An accountant by trade, Sasha co-manages Sea Bluff Farm with his wife Robin where he oversees the seed saving part of the farm. The 10-acre certified organic vegetable farm grows over 40 different kinds of vegetables. Sasha worked with HAT and Satinflower Nurseries to establish 600 foot of native pollinator hedgerow and is actively rehabilitating the farms Garry Oak grove. In his free time Sasha is an avid boulderer and explorer of wild places. 

 

 Michelle Schlafen-Brown, Certified Horticulture Technician 

Michelle is a Certified Horticulture Technician who is passionate about bringing native plants into the broader horticulture scene, as well as bringing lots of love and care to each and every plant we grow. New to the nursery in 2021, Michelle hopes to work with clients to create true west coast gardens. With a focus on garden design and installation, Michelle seeks to demonstrate that a native plant garden can be just as beautiful and exciting as conventional, while being both more resilient and more beneficial to the ecosystem at large. Outside of the horticulture world, Michelle enjoys spending her time gaining inspiration from nature, practicing yoga, and playing her acoustic guitar. Michelle is more than happy to chat plants & landscaping, so come and say hello!

 

Andrea Simmonds, BA Liberal Arts

Andrea has been part of the nursery team since 2017 and is an integral part of the nursery’s day to day. She has exceptional people skills and brings her attentive and thoughtful approach to every nursery project. She has wide-ranging interests from art, travel, culture to biology, farming, and plants and holds her BA in Liberal Arts with Honours in Visual Art.  Andrea brings so much to our nursery team with her caring and hard-working nature and her artful eye and love for garden design. When not at the nursery she will be found painting nature scenes.

 

 

Daniela Toriola-Lafuente, PhD Ecology

Daniela moved to Victoria in 2012 and has worked with Satinflower Nurseries since 2014. She obtained her BSc in natural sciences at the University of Lausanne and her PhD in tropical forest ecology at University of Paris VIShe balances work life with volunteering at the Royal BC Museum herbariumbeing a mother to two children, and enhancing her two-acre property in Metchosin with native plants. She loves propagating native plants and experiences great pleasure knowing these plants will thereafter thrive elsewherereassuring her that her work has a real and positive ecological impact. Daniela takes a lead role in propagating native plants at the nursery and coordinating seed orders and packing.

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Partners

Steve Strybosch, Landscape Horticulture

Steve works regularly with Satinflower Nurseries on installing native plant gardens and meadow restoration. He is passionate about landscaping and has a lifetime of Horticultural – Landscape experience, born and raised around his family’s landscape nursery business. Steve received a degree as a Landscape Horticulturist at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced learning in Ontario (1987). He is an experienced hard surface and soft landscaper, placing an emphasis on the preservation of the natural landscape, protection of native species, and water conservation. He has worked collaboratively with a variety of experts, including completing a 5-year project with renowned Landscape architects Anne James and Richard Haag from Seattle Washington and Dr. Olaf Ribeiro, plant pathologist from Bainbridge Island, Washington. Currently, he studies under Dr. Bryce Kendrick as an amateur mycologist and serves as a director at large for the South Vancouver Island Mycology Society. 

Beangka Elliott

Beangka Elliott is the daughter of master carver Charles Elliott from Tsartlip First Nation and Myrna Crossley from Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. She has grown up in the Tsartlip community and has been immersed in WSÁNEĆ family, culture and traditions. She is passionate about community work; social action initiatives; indigenous food systems; land stewardship and advocacy for shifting culture through consent-based practices and collective decision making. She grounds her work in her cultural values, social inclusion principles and decolonial learning. 

She has a diverse education and career background and dedicates her time to sharing traditional knowledges of Indigenous foods and medicines through workshop-based learning. She shares her passion for social justice and environmentalism by developing workshops and public lectures that inspire both Indigenous People and Canadian settlers to develop curiosity and understandings of the ongoing impacts of colonization. She strives for a shared vision of health and wellness for communities, and through collaboration, supporting the interests and goals of communities. Beangka worked at Satinflower Nurseries in 2018 (then Saanich Native Plants) in propagation and moved to partnering on workshops. Beangka currently leads a suite of regular workshops at the nursery with a focus on Consent-based practices and Indigenous foods and food systems.