Jeanine – has had a long love affair with plants – indoor and outdoor. In Illinois, she completed both the Master Gardener and Advanced Master Gardener programs with the University of Illinois, served as president of a local garden club and on the Illinois state board of The Garden Clubs of Illinois. When we moved here in 2005, she decided to continue expanding her knowledge and familiarize herself with the climatic differences, so she also completed the Master Gardener course in Polk Country. She has continued to further educate herself about plants through seminars, literature and books. Most recently, she has been certified by the State of North Carolina as a Certified Plant Professional. (That certification is earned only after exhaustive study and extensive testing.) She also lectures on Hummingbirds and a few other subjects such as ground covers. Many have found her to be a fountain of expert information and advice when discussing landscaping ideas as well as plant selection and care. She personally visits the certified growers who supply The Garden Patch and she individually selects many of the plants we sell. She also inspects each incoming shipment to help ensure vigorous and healthy stock and supervises their maintenance while in our care. All the supplier-growers are in our local growing region, so all of the plants we sell have been climatized. Each of our plant suppliers has also been state certified to provide pest and disease free plants.
Roger – is a retired industrial salesman who assists Jeanine by focusing on the non-plant aspects of running the business – bookkeeping and taxes, payroll, graphics, personnel, maintenance, and generally helping where possible. While he often handles routine sales and enjoys customer interaction, he also recognizes his own plant knowledge limitation. He tends to defer all but the most elementary plant specific questions to those who are more well equipped to provide helpful answers.
Sue – has spent a large part of her life as a professional catalogue and magazine photographer and as a hobby gardener. She has completed the Master Gardener program in Polk County and she has a passion for plants, both horticulturally and artistically. Sue can offer great plant advice, but she also has an especially keen eye for design and color coordination so she can be an extremely helpful advisor in those areas. Sue’s availability will be sporadic as her other responsibilities allow.
Lara – is new to our nursery this year but has an extensive background with plants and plant care. She also has retail experience, has worked in landscaping, with Christmas tree farming, grew up in a farming family, and brings broad knowledge and an industrious work ethic. Customers will find Lara to be friendly and helpful as she establishes her own identify with them. She has been quickly integrated into our ‘family’ and has become an extremely important member of our team.
John – retired after 32 years as the Polk Country Ag Agent. He is widely known and respected through the county and state for his vast plant knowledge. Although John is busy with several personal projects and will not be on hand routinely this fall, we are all trying to work out a schedule whereby John might offer a few helpful seminars. Stay tuned. We will make any announcement in a future edition of our newsletter.
Michael – is a local young man with little garden experience, but eager to learn. For now he will be helping load customer vehicles, helping maintain the yard, watering and generally assisting Lara. He is eager to learn, has a young family, and is a hard worker.