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Madeline de Vries Hooper & Jeff Hughes      

Creators, Executive Producers & Co-Hosts of GardenFit Productions, LLC

GardenFit is the hit national public television series featuring creators, executive producers, and co-hosts Madeline de Vries Hooper and Jeff Hughes. A first-of-its-kind series, GardenFit is a fusion of destination, gardening, and self-care, teaching viewers how to take care of themselves while taking care of their garden.

After the overwhelming success of GardenFit, Hooper & Hughes developed the Get GardenFit Workshop program to personally meet and work with as many garden and wellness groups across America who can benefit from their ever-popular garden and fitness tips as seen on the show that result in lifetime healthy habits. Hooper & Hughes’ irresistible blend of a high-energy, practical, and fun program leaves workshop attendees feeling “garden fit,” with a new sense of wellness that lasts far beyond the garden.

After a trailblazing public relations career that included creating and building the leading marketing-PR firm DeVries Global, and then a career as a ballroom dance competitor and teacher, Hooper immersed herself in the world of gardening. She was invited to become a trustee of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and then of the Berkshire Botanical Garden, where she has been Vice Chair for the past 10 years. She has visited many of the finest gardens in the United States and Europe and developed relationships with leading horticulturalists, garden designers, and plantspeople. However, her passion for gardening left her with many aches and pains. A friend recommended she see personal trainer Jeff Hughes, who taught her very quickly how correcting her body movements would relieve her pain and enable her to garden more enjoyably and productively. These newfound habits were the inspiration for the GardenFit television show and workshop program. Hooper and her husband live in Columbia County, New York, where for the past 20 years they have devoted themselves to maintaining Rockland Farm, a 10-acre garden they created from scratch.

Hughes is an award-winning fitness trainer with more than three decades of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and began working as a fitness trainer at the Turnberry Spa in Miami. He went on to own and operate fitness businesses in Los Angeles and New York City, creating programs for a wide variety of clients from celebrities and CEOs to golfers, farmers, moms and dads. In 2004, Hughes opened his TrainerFit Studio in Columbia County, NY and coined the phrase “train the mind, the body will follow,” which incorporates a cognitive slant to conventional fitness training practices. Hughes won 1st place in the master’s category at the 2015 OCB Big East Natural Physique Championships in New York and is a retired class A Interior, volunteer firefighter. Hughes has also pursued his passion for entertainment. Along with being an accomplished singer/songwriter, he is an experienced actor and his credits include “Days of Our Lives” and other roles on soaps and nighttime television, as well as playing Oliver North in Spike Lee’s film “She Hate Me.” Hughes currently lives in South Florida with his wife and daughter. He loves to travel, incorporating his passions for hiking, scuba diving, snowboarding, surfing, sailing, ancient history, and meditation into his destinations.

Speech Topics

Health and Wellness

Home and Garden




Retirement and Aging


Garden Healthy with GardenFit
Gardening can be a prime source of aches and pains, from a bad back to tendonitis – now “GardenFit,” the new public television series, combines inspiring visits to extraordinary gardens with professional advice on how to keep your gardening healthy.
Getting GardenFit for Lifelong Gardening
In the interest of maintaining my own lifelong love of gardening until the very very last moment possible, and all of you gardeners out there doing the same, I am so pleased to be in conversation today with not only an expert gardener but also a fitness expert the two have come together to create a fascinating and innovative new approach to engaging gardeners around the concept of lifelong garden-based fitness: GardenFit, founded by Madeline Hooper and Jeff Hughes, a 13-part PBS series covering 14 gardeners living in all parts of the US.
Staying fit while gardening, with help from a new public tv series
What's your most important gardening tool? A new public television series reminds us that it’s not a trowel or pruner or spade, but our body, which can also be stressed by gardening if we don’t know how to look after it. “Taking care of your body while taking care of your garden, that’s our mission,” the creators of the GardenFit program say.
GardenFit: Helping gardeners take care of their bodies while taking care of their gardens
We all know that gardening can be great exercise. But, all that physical activity can sometimes lead to aches and pains. Join expert gardener Madeline Hooper and professional fitness trainer Jeff Hughes as they visit some of the most beautiful private gardens and farms in the U.S. While there, they gather gardening inspiration and tips from the garden hosts, while trainer Jeff Hughes teaches techniques to counteract the physical toll that gardening can have on the body. Learn how to not only care for your garden, but also your body, in this new series on PBS.
Gardening for Life with GardenFit
Garden experts Madeline de Vries Hooper and fitness trainer Jeff Hughes are on a mission to help others take care of their most important garden tool—their bodies.
Growing pains?: How to stop yourself getting injured while gardening – from essential exercises to the perfect posture
One of the reasons gardening is such good exercise is that the sheer joy of it disguises how hard you’re working, so you end up exerting yourself more than you would at the gym. Scientific studies demonstrate this – not that I need proof. When I manage to steal a moment to prune a tangle of triffids, I have trouble stopping. Before I know it, I’ve been waving a chainsaw aloft on a pole for four hours.

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