After 16 years of being a professional domestic engineer, (homemaker) I’ve joined the outside work force once again and I am loving it! At first, I didn’t like the idea very much mostly because it marks the end of a very special chapter in my life. Our youngest turned 18 this year and suddenly this stay at home mom was out of a job. I’ll admit there have been more than a few tears during this transition, but the joy of seeing our young adult children finding their way in the world and meeting their adult responsibilities helps to ease the sadness I was feeling. I just bet some of my farmgirl pals can relate. While we don’t have an empty nest yet, they certainly don’t need mamma like they used to! Have you guessed what I’m doing for work yet? Come on in and see if you’re right! Also, be sure to stay with me till the bottom of this post. I’m announcing our winner of the Fluffy Layers Egg Collecting Apron Giveaway!
My new part-time job is my “third” job. I write ( year round) and flower farm in the spring, summer and fall, and now I get to work part-time in a local garden nursery! It’s the perfect addition to all the things I already love to do and working at a nursery has been on my bucket list ever since I started gardening in my early twenties. This farmgirl loves being with flowers and plants. I especially love working outside and garden folks are just some of the nicest people on the planet. The best part about my new job is that I don’t need to go out and buy a new wardrobe however, I am on the hunt for a comfortable pair of tennis shoes. I’m on my feet all day and I can ‘feel’ it.
This time of year is particularly busy as the nursery gets stocked and ready for customers. Trucks arrive several times a day with plant orders that must be unloaded, placed and priced. The carts come right off the truck already loaded as pictured above. As a hobby gardener for over 25 years I thought I knew a lot about garden perennials but I’m seeing many new varieties I didn’t even know existed like these darling spring blooming flowers below. Forgive me for not having a name for you today. I’ll get there!
It seems like these days people must be more adaptable and flexible in the workplace than ever before and have you noticed that the work force is looking older too? I turned 54 this year and I’ll admit the thought of preparing for an interview was daunting until I decided that I would try to get a job in an area where my passion and purpose are aligned. You can’t help smile and feel enthusiastic about going back to work when you’ll be doing something you love.
Many people hold down more than one job whether it’s for financial reasons or just because it provides a more interesting lifestyle. If you’re a small business owner you wear more hats than any single job requires. I like working at a variety of things that allows for new learning experiences and creative expression but are also interconnected. I feel like every time we step out of our comfort zone and try something new we are adding to our wholeness as a person. For better or worse, we are changed and more wise than we were before.
Since I started growing cut flowers I’ve added ‘floral designer’ to my list of job qualifications. Those skills transfer well to a garden nursery environment. Above is one of the window box arrangements I created with house plants for the conservatory room at the nursery. Pictured below is the wall of plants I arranged for opening day!
The variety of the number of house plants alone is staggering. I bet Nicole ( Suburban Farmgirl ) could identify many of them!
My manager is making fairy gardens to have on display to inspire our customers. Some of these smaller little delicate plants will find their way into her creations.
What would a house plant section in a nursery be without succulents and cactus plants? As you can see there is plenty of inspiration for home gardeners and floral designers alike.
I think all gardeners are floral designers at heart. After all, isn’t that what we’re doing when we plan a larger garden scape? We’re just painting with a broader brush, that’s all.
The manager turned me loose and let me plant some cute little moss purses. I’m sure you’ve seen these hanging around.They come with a plastic liner inside so you can water the plants. I think they make an adorable hostess gift and they’re a great way to add color to an outside door or garden gate. This one’s filled with ‘Frizzle Sizzle’ pansies. Another new variety to me!
Pansies and the smaller violas area always first to arrive at the garden centers in spring time because they are cold hearty. They can take a late spring snow or frost and bounce back with no problem. Most varieties will last until the summer heat arrives so enjoy them now! Pansies are the perfect container plant for your window boxes and patio or deck flower pots. I love the softly ruffled edges on these little cuties.
There’s no shortage of fun containers to pot-up at the nursery. Have you seen these brightly colored watering can planters kicking around in your neighborhood garden center yet? These come with holes in the bottom for drainage and they look great with a hanging plant plopped in for a quick fix of color on your deck or patio or in front of your potting shed!
What I love about the nursery is that is it a local business that’s been around since the 1960’s. The first week I was there I was invited to work in the greenhouses potting up plugs that are ordered in from various nursery suppliers.
They also grow a lot of their own plants which I hope to learn more about in the coming months.
Right now, I feel like I’m drowning in flowers and plants and for this newly employed farmgirl, that’s a GOOD thing. In fact, I like to so, so much that I miss it ( and the wonderful people I’ve met) when I’m not there. I definitely feel at home. The only challenge I can foresee is making it home with my paycheck in full!
I hope you enjoyed your trip to Crystal Lake Garden Center with me. It’s such a happy time of year filled with hope and new beginnings.
If you’ve been thinking of getting back on the old ‘work’ horse have no fear. If I can do it, so can you! Just follow your heart! It will lead you to the most beautiful places.
Before I announce our lucky winner I want to thank all 112 of you for your sweet comments and entries for the apron giveaway sponsored by Tara J. Grier of Fluffy Layers.
Please join me in congratulating the winner of the fabulous and fashionable Egg Collection Apron, Vivian Monroe!
Until our next shoreline visit~ Put down some roots and BLOOM!
Beach Blessings and Much Love,
Deb (The Beach Farmgirl ) # 1199
Congratulations on the new job! I’m so glad your are enjoying every moment of it and learning many new things along the way. Your moss purses are super adorable. I would love one of those for my patio table. Also, congrats to Vivian for winning the super cute apron.
Thank so much and always nice to hear from you! xo Deb
Congratulations on your new position and also to Vivian! You will be fantastic at designing and working with all the plants and fun statues, pots, baskets, etc.
Thanks Kathy! Glad you stopped by to say hello ! xo Deb
Sounds like the perfect job for you!! That is if you want to call it a job??? How about playing with plants away from home and getting paid for it. Enjoy this new time of your journey!!
You fit in very nicely in your new job! If you are doing what you love, it doesn’t seem like work. I also started part time at a greenhouse. The first two weeks were transplanting the little seedlings into bigger pots. I have never transplanted so many plants. I must have done about 500 tomatoes and 1000 herbs! I am working for trade. I went in to see about bulk garden soil and ended up getting a job! I have to start my gardens all over since we bought our little homestead just last November so I “need” a lot of garden supplies. I will probably end up spending more than I make!
Oh, the danger of spending my entire paycheck, is REAL! It gets harder to control myself as the season progresses and more goodies come in to the nursery! Trying a new Floribunda Rose this year in a pretty coral peach color. I’ll keep ya posted! Enjoy your new job! xo Deb
That new job is just fabulous for you! I wish I was 54 again ( I’ll be 74) in July. I love your posts and your beautiful pictures. Don’t get too busy that you stop them. Have fun!
It does seem to be a good fit for me right now. I promise I won’t get too busy to write. You’re sweet. I’d miss everyone too much!
Congrats, Deb! I can so relate to all of this, as a year ago, at 55, I started a new part-time job at a health food store. I spent all of my 8 hour shifts standing, and looked immediately for supportive shoes. Also, I spend most of my paycheck at the store, lol. It was a triumph of working out of my comfort zone on many levels, and so healthy for me on many more. Just as your job is, following your passions and unleashing your creativity ! And it is good to be out in the world and meeting new people all the time
Thanks Laura! Congrats to you too. Good for you for getting out there and finding work that not only makes you feel better, but you get to help other people do the same. So many rewards in that.
Keep up the good work.
The photos you posted look “yummy” if you know what I mean. Some of them would make great faded background scrapbook pages! At least, to me they would. It is a pleasant feeling to be working at what you love doing and getting paid for it. I’m an origami instructor and back when I lived in Philadelphia I was paid to teach origami at a couple of assisted living facilities. I so looked forward to it. Besides the pay which was nice the older people there were so interesting. Many loved to reminisce and I enjoyed their stories. Some hesitated to try folding something and would rather just sit and watch BUT with encouragement and hands-on assistance they eventually sat back in their wheelchairs happy and proud holding their finished model in their arthritic hands. I’m happy for you that you are able to “work” at what you love. It is so satisfying, I know. Have a blessed day and thank you for all the lovely photos. May the garden center by overrun with — customers!
Deb, I am sooo excited about winning the apron. Thank you and Tara from Fluffy Layers for the surprise. And what a nice surprise since tomorrow is my big 60 birthday. My sweetie and I and our two 4 legged babies are on a trip rving across the country pretty much. We have been in 10 states in 6 days and I even met some of the “Sisters on the Fly girls” in Shreveport while at home visiting my grandbaby for his 2nd birthday. Cute Glampers they were. Now we are staying put for 4 nites in beautiful Minnesota, but it is a little cool here. Going touring some Amish farms tomorrow as I love their work ethics and how beautiful some of their crafts are. Thanks again and congrats on your new job, and yes you probably will NOT make it home with your paycheck. Be Blessed. Neta
Good luck with your job. The flowers look so beautiful.Enjoy!
Congratulations Vivian!!! And to you too, Deb!!! I am the lucky one though, you there and my friend Lisa, here, are both super gardeners and you both are ’emptyish nesters’ and both are now working at garden centers — I am so happy for both of you and thanks for sharing your super pictures, my fingers are itching to get at the gardening but we received a foot of snow today – with a bit more to come, so I will be waiting till around Memorial Day to do most of my prettying up outside but thanks for the great ideas. God bless.
Congratulations on your newest job! I love the garden boxes that you designed the arrangements for! You are in your element. Enjoy this new chapter of your life.