Claudio Vazquez

Co-founder, Izel Native Plants

Claudio Vazquez

Co-founder, Izel Native Plants

Biography

After years living in apartments in downtown Washington, DC, Claudio bought a house with a sizable yard within the city limits. This was the long-waited opportunity to renew his childhood interest in gardening. His first experiences toiling the soil were in Europe, but now he wanted to break away from that tradition and focus on the local indigenous flora.

At a time when online information and e-commerce was blossoming, few resources were available on the topic of native plants. On a whim, with co-founder Amanda McClean, they decided to create the type of online resource that they, as novice gardeners interested in native plants, wished they had access to. Overnight, they put their photography careers on hold and dedicated themselves full-time to the creation of Izel Native Plants. By 2010 izelplants.com was the first online database of horticulturally available plants native to the greater Mid-Atlantic. It pioneered search features that gardeners now take for granted, such as the ability to filter based on plant characteristics and growing requirements, and included detailed species descriptions, maps of native range, and more.

All sessions by Claudio Vazquez