Sandra J. Gerdes Sandra J. Gerdes is the manager of the Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden, located in Des Moines, Iowa. She helps grow and care for over 2,500 shrubs, trees, perennials, vines, and annuals in 22 distinct areas. About Better Homes & Gardens Better Homes & Gardens, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is the only iconic home brand with a 100+ year history of providing trustworthy and achievable ideas for all doers and home-enthusiasts. We are the go-to resource for fresh takes on home, food, and gardening—inspiring people to bring their dreams to life at home on special occasions and every day. BHG reaches 45 million readers each month. Learn more about us and our editorial process.