We are very proud of our talented and knowledgeable staff here at Rolling Green Nursery, so we will be spotlighting team members throughout the season. This week, meet Jen! She’s our Store Supervisor and Head Cashier.
Years at Rolling Green Nursery: 1
Team Role: Store Supervisor and Head Cashier
Super Powers: Spatial thinking. Making the Garden Store shelves and items look immaculate and beautiful. A memory like a vault. Funneling questions to the appropriate person quickly. Giving great plant care advice.
Hometown: Exeter, NH
When did you first catch the gardening bug?
My mother and grandparents are avid plant lovers and gardeners, so they always had me out in their gardens, learning the plant names, and teaching me how to enjoy it. They both taught me to notice and appreciate plants, and I fell in love with it right away.
What’s your favorite plant?
Daylilies. I even have a daylily tattoo! They’re so beautiful and very easy to grow – they reward you with a lot of blooms even if you ignore them. One of my fondest memories is when my grandmother used to tag particular daylilies in her garden for my sister and me, and she would divide them up and give them to us as gifts. So they always make me smile now.
What plants from last year’s growing season wowed you?
The hardy, perennial hibiscus blew me away. Those big ole’ dinner plate blooms are just unbelievable. Everyone in the Perennials Department used to catch me out in the nursery just staring at them on my breaks.
What plant are you currently lusting after, and can’t wait to get your hands on this spring?
Elderberries! I am going through some kind of weird, obsessive elderberry phase. I went to a class the other week on how to cook with Elderberries, and use them in food and drink. They have all of these great health benefits. I love the ‘Black Lace’, ‘Black ‘Beauty’, and ‘York’ Elderberry (Sambucus) plants we had last year – so unusual and eye-catching, and they make great privacy screenings too — even in part shade! And I’m also loving air plants — I take care of the ones in the store, and so I’m pretty attached to them. I love their feathery, sea-weedy appearance – they look great with drift wood and beach glass and seashells, and they’re super easy to take care of.
What is your favorite style of garden?
I have always been enamored with raised beds. I just love how they look. And I love vegetable, herb, and edible gardening because it’s so useful in my daily life. I made some raised beds at waist height, and I love them because I can grab fresh ingredients whenever I want, and without even bending down. It makes cooking way more fun. And I’m looking forward to some edible flower recipes I want to try out this season.
You like to cook in your free time?
Love to cook! Love to bake. I also love sewing, reading, wood working, home improvement projects, and I’m really great at cutting hair! I cut my own hair, and I’m like the horse of a different color in the Wizard of Oz — my hair color changes almost weekly.
You are a mother of two kids who are in their pre-teen and teen years. What gardening advice would you give to the young parents out there who would like to garden but have limited time?
Start by growing vegetables. Teach them to enjoy watching the plants grow when they’re very young. Make it a fun science experiment, or a fun snack — make it feel like play time. My son used to love to pretend to be a fireman with a hose while watering the plants. But now that he’s older, he knows how to water the garden and will help out when asked. Both of them grew up eating green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and tomatoes right out of the garden, so I didn’t have to get into a dinner table fight with them about eating vegetables. It makes keeping up with your garden way more easy and fun, and you end up with little landscaping helpers along the way!
What’s your favorite part about working at Rolling Green Nursery?
The staff and customers are great, and I meet so many interesting people. And I get to be OUTSIDE. If I want to go outside and feel the sun on my face and get some fresh air, I can just step outside and take it all in. That is really important to me, and I’m grateful every day for that.