A native of Salt Lake City, Kolls developed her appreciation for gardening as a young girl when she went to visit her grandparents in Sunnyside, Utah over the summers and helped them tend to their lush backyard garden. It was this early experience with Mother Nature that spawned Kolls’ interest in the great outdoors and led to her “get your hands dirty” approach to gardening.
Her fascination with nature led her to pursue a degree in atmospheric science from the University of Kansas. Upon graduation, Kolls launched her career as a meteorologist in SLC, Utah at KTVX-TV and later KUTV. It was in Utah that Rebecca’s passion for the outdoors blossomed. She became certified as a Master Gardener through the University of Utah. Using meteorology as an opportunity to educate a wider audience, her nightly forecasts began to include helpful gardening tips. In 1992 her expertise and screen presence landed her a job at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, as Chief Meteorologist. Amongst satellite dishes and skyscrapers in downtown Minneapolis, Rebecca cultivated a 4,000 square foot garden on the roof of WCCO-TV, which became locally famous as the “roof-top garden.”
Popular with viewers in Minneapolis and a stand-out among other meteorologists because of her on-air gardening tips, Kolls attracted the attention of Hearst Broadcasting, which was searching for a host of a new nationally syndicated TV series on gardening to premiere in fall 1996. Impressed with her television savvy, weather-forecasting background and down-to-earth nature, Hearst executives selected Kolls to host the new show, named after her, which continues to attract more viewers and garner higher ratings each consecutive season.
The success of the series is largely due to the likeability of its host, and Rebecca’s Garden has spawned several spin-off entities from Hearst including the hardcover book Rebecca’s Garden: Four Seasons to Grow On and the rebeccasgarden.com website for gardening buffs who can plan their gardens according to geographical location, trade tips with other gardeners and engage in chat sessions with Kolls, herself.