Born in San Rafael, California and having lived in Mexico for several years, Downie moved to Vancouver in 1973. He has worked as assistant curator at VanDusen Botanical Garden where he developed computer-based plant records software. Downie now supervises the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park. The Woodland Garden: Planting in Harmony with Nature (Raincoast Books, 1999) is a guide to creating a natural woodland garden.

[BCBW 2003]