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.
Lara – has an extensive background with plants and plant care. She also has retail sales experience, has worked in landscaping, with Christmas tree farming, grew up in a farming family, and brings broad knowledge as well as an industrious work ethic. She has established her own identity and friendship with many customers. Lara has been quickly integrated into our ‘Garden Patch family’ and has become an extremely important and outstanding member of our team.
Karen – is a full time, part-time new employee with an extensive background in plants and landscaping design. She will assist with sales as well as general duties. For now, she prefers to work only two days/week but her flexibility about which days will allow us to better prepare for busier times and for the most efficient employee scheduling.
Rick – recently retired from university life but wants to continue working in a seasonal job with outdoor and plant interaction. He has specialized in aquaculture, but has a pretty broad overall plant knowledge. He primarily wants to backup Lara and Karen in their sales effort and general duties.