|Hundreds of tiny antique pots shipped in from England…swoon|
|This antique greenhouse came from a high school in Seattle. I believe it’s nearly 100 years old and was carefully restored and rebuilt by Carl Jaegel.|
|With just a touch of heat the greenhouses were filled with an amazing selection of winter plants including oranges and lemons!|
|An outside view of the antique glasshouse.|
|The door handle to the gift shop|
|Eleagnus ‘Gilt Edge’|
|Bulk greens for wreath making|
|Jasper just couldn’t resist messing with the scale.|
|Even the plant flats are beautiful!|
|These Doves filled the air with beautiful music while we strolled through the glasshouse|
In high school I held a variety of jobs (housekeeper,nanny,busboy, produce sales person, hostess,burger flipper, photographers assistant, bookkeeper,painter and stable cleaner) often combining two or more at a time while attending school. Occasionally I would get a few too many things going and my Mom would step in force me to streamline. I’ve always stacked my plate pretty full!
It was during that time that I first gardened for money. A family that I nannied for was having out of town company and their yard was a mess. I spent a long, hot weekend pulling weeds, dividing perennials and mowing the grass. While exhausted I was in heaven!
Over the next few years I often supplemented my meager income with gardening projects. Being a hard worker, reasonably priced and enthusiastic I never had to advertise.
When Jasper was 3 months old I enrolled in the Master Gardeners training program here in the valley. The youngest attendee by 40 years! I devoured every speck of information presented. To be surrounded by so many plant obsessed people (mainly ladies over 65) I finally felt at home.
Upon graduating I immediately stumbled into the first of many amazing garden related opportunities. One of my Mom’s clients was hosting her daughters wedding in their garden just five short months away. The problem was the client had no garden to speak of! Having just moved into their giant spec house mansion, the yard consisted of freshly laid sod and huge clay filled flower beds covered in 18″ of beauty bark. It was my job to turn the enormous (sterile, soggy, topsoiless, alkaline, waterlogged) space into an English flower garden by summers end.
Inexperience can often be a gift! If I’d have know how hard the process would be I never would have taken it on. But luckily I was drunk with optimism!
Working alone with a single wheelbarrow, borrowed tools and half the library’s garden section I somehow managed to transform their suburban lot into a beautiful flower filled garden in time for the wedding.
During the design process I spent a considerable amount of time combing local nurseries. Notebook in hand I explored every corner and every plant ,reading tags, pestering employees and snapping pictures.Looking back I’m surprised I didn’t get kicked out!
I owe a huge amount of that initial success to Christiansons’ Nursery. With one of the most extensive Rose offerings (800+ varieties) in the state, incredibly knowledgeable employees and a generous sharing of information I doubt I would have had such a good outcome without them.
On top of having great plants and great people the owners John and Tony Christianson have created an absolutely magical world . Everywhere you turn there is beauty!
Last week the kids and I dashed over for a little Christmas shopping and inspiration. I never tire of that place!
Van Meeks on
Loved reading about these experiences along your journey! Wonder if you ever get to see that English garden you laid out at the beginning of your formal journey?