by Jesse Eastman
I don’t run a garden center because of my love for plants. There it is. I am neither an obsessive gardener
nor a plant-a-holic.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy plants. I have a pretty solid vegetable garden. I have so many houseplants that my fiancé has begun to enforce a “one in, one out” policy. I am borderline fanatical about apple trees. I remember my visits to most new places by the plants in the landscapes. But I don’t go home and read botanical encyclopedias. I don’t pass up the chance to drink beer with friends instead of staying home to propagate tomato seedlings. When I move to a new home, I don’t dig out the garden soil I’ve worked so hard to cultivate and take it with me.
So how did I end up taking over a family business that specializes in spreading plant-based love
throughout Northern Colorado and Wyoming? Short answer: the people. I get no greater joy than
helping people who are passionate about plants fulfill their botanical fantasies. I have always considered
myself to be a problem solver. I was raised by two wonderful people: My father, a garden center owner,
and my mother, a mediator and educator. Whether by default or by design, their guidance left me
with a unique skill-set, one of listening to people’s needs, and then filling those needs with leafy green
What I am trying to get at here is that there are many different reasons to enjoy plants. I choose to
use them as a problem solving tool. We have customers who garden for the exercise. Others seek to
create an oasis where they can escape after a long day. Some gardeners do it for the intellectual pursuit,
taking careful notes on each plant they grow, where they plant it, and how it performs under various
conditions. Even those who put plants in the ground just to keep their Home Owner’s Association at bay are
doing it for the right reason – it fulfills a desire. Some desire wisdom. Some desire beauty. Some are
compelled by unknown forces to surround themselves with every single variety of irises known to man.
Some desire to not be harassed by their HOA.
The one common thread between all these people is that they have chosen plants as a vehicle for their
desires. Who can blame them? Plants are so many things: mysteries; beauty; structure; medicine; food;
escape; the list goes on. At the end of the day, we are all plant lovers. After all, if not for plants, it seems
unlikely that humans could ever survive, much less thrive. From where I sit, it seems I must be a plant
lover surrounded by plant lovers, each and every one of us loving plants, whether we know it or not!
Originally published on September 5th, 2012.