|Real Name||Jerusha Carter|
|Wild Card Traits||Plant growth acceleration|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the United States, deceased|
|Event Participant||American Hero|
|Affiliations||Team Hearts, the Committee|
|First Appearance||Inside Straight|
|Final Appearance||Suicide Kings|
Gardener is a fictional character in the Wild Cards series of books.
Gardener was one of the contestants on the first season of the reality television show American Hero. She remained behind in the United States when a number of other contestants abandoned the show to intervene in the joker genocide gripping Egypt, but after their success and the formation of the Committee, Gardener took up the offer to join their ranks.
She spent much of her time as an aid worker repairing levees in New Orleans after two hurricanes caused significant breaches and flooding. It was a lonely job planting foliage to strengthen the rebuilt levees, and she soon gave in to Rustbelt's requests to accompany him on a personal mission to find a missing boy he had sponsored in the Congo.
Soon after they arrived in Africa the pair discovered that the boy's town of Kalemie had been flattened, and that the children had been taken away by Leopard Men of the People's Paradise of Africa to Nyunzu and somehow "changed." A long slog through the jungle brought them to Nyunzu and the discovery that the boy and other children had been purposefully infected with the wild card virus to create a force of aces loyal to the PPA.
Having developed a romantic interest in each other through the course of their journey, they had a bittersweet parting, with Gardener leading a ragtag group of children to safety in Tanzania, while Rustbelt continued on to destroy the PPA's wild card project. Gardener lost several of the children to depredations of the PPA forces along the way, and was infected herself by a lethal bite from the Hunger.
After reaching safety and being transported to New York, and gradually succumbing to the bite, Gardener resolved to return to Africa to see Rustbelt again before she died. She became part of a team of Committee aces quickly assembled to fight back against the PPA. She kept her promise to meet with Rustbelt again, but was killed by the Wrecker while trying to stop the Radical.
Wild Card Traits
Gardener can mentally influence plants to grow from seeds at an incredibly fast rate and can manipulate the resulting plant's growth. She can cause a massive tree to sprout up in a way that can support, or harm, nearby structures. She can also cause vines to creep and ensnare things in seconds. Once she releases mental control of the new plant it will continue to exist for its natural lifespan and may grow naturally outside of her control. She cannot reassert control over a plant once she has released it
To make use of her power, Gardener carries a belt packed with an extensive collection of seeds with her at all times.
Gardner is more comfortable in open country than she is in cities.
- Is able to speak French.
- She is a vegetarian.