As manager of the Better Homes and Gardens Test Gardens, Sandra Gerdes shapes the landscape of a Des Moines city block into a knockout display garden, a testing ground for plants, and an outdoor photography studio for Meredith Corporation's publications and Web sites. Sandra is constantly seeking unique plants that provide excitement and good performance for those who visit the garden, whether in person or through the pages of a magazine. Sandra's interest in plants began on her family farm in Iowa and led to a degree in agriculture from Iowa State University.