Thursday, October 28, 2010

Starting Out

I must say that it feels a bit strange writing a blog and posting my work for anyone and no one in particular to read.  I have written for two local horticultural periodicals in the past and I absolutely loved doing it.  In part, my desire to again write for these and other publications inspired me to start this blog.  However, a blog is something entirely different from print media. Whereas print publications have a set readership, this blog has - well, at the moment that I write this - none.  So you see, I do feel a bit like I am writing to myself.  

Fear not, this isn't a blog about me, rather it's a blog that I hope will convey my passion for plants, gardening and garden design.  Just the same, in this first post I will give you some background information about me so you are reassured that I am not some hack with a keyboard and an internet connection spouting off about gardening. 

Growing up in the then tiny hamlet of Snohomish, I was a novice if not apt gardener, helping my mom tend our family's modest beds.  The germ of my love for gardening grew from her careful instructing.  We grew vegetables, perennials and annuals.  Her knowledge came from my great grandparents, both of whom I was fortunate enough to have known in my youth. I still remember the lush, carefully laid out vegetable beds of my great grandparents and the constant flow of fresh fruits and vegetables out of the garden and into the kitchen.  You could say that gardening is in my blood. 

My career in horticulture began 12 years ago when I started working at Molbak's Nursery which happened to have a store conveniently located near the college that I attended. I'll say right away that my degree is not, I repeat, not in horticulture or botany, nor am I a landscape architect.  My degree is in Archaeology with a double minor in Architecture and Art History.  I know, I know, I have a degree that entails carefully digging up things from the ground but instead my career is spent putting things in the ground.  Life sometimes does that.  Suffice it to say that while I was getting my degree, it struck me that I could combine my architecture studio skills with my rapidly growing plant knowledge and do two things I loved: gardening and designing. 

I did a brief stint designing and gardening with a friend before I started work at Wells Medina Nursery.  There I honed my horticultural skills from being surrounded by consummate plantsmen (and plantswomen).  For those of you who have never been you simple must go there.  It has stood as a regionally recognized nursery for the rare and unusual plant, be they perennials, shrubs, conifers or deciduous trees - especially Japanese maples.  Truly a fantastic experience. What's more, I learned from some of the brightest minds in the industry.  

I left Wells to work for a small start-up garden design company where I did the design, consulting and installations.  In 2006 I struck out to start my own garden design company and haven't looked back.  I have been designing gardens now for all of 6 years and this last September my company celebrated its 4th year in business!  I have been fortunate to work in some beautiful gardens and, recently to be working in my own garden.  Last year my partner and I purchased a townhouse in Seattle and this fall we began prepping and planting the beds (ongoing information to come on this!).  From this last point at least, this is a great place to start out my blog.  And now that all the boring stuff about me is out of the way and you have my credentials, we can get down to the stuff you're really here to read:  gardening!


  1. As a former client of Jason, and as his friend, I think it's truly exciting that he has chosen the blogosphere as one significant way to share his amazing knowledge of and passion for gardening.

    After reading in your blog introduction about the specialties of the Wells Medina Nursery, Jason, it occurs to me how helpful it would be for folks to learn more about the nurseries in and around Seattle. Most often I visit only one nursery, more out of habit than any other reason. In part that's because I have no meaningful knowledge about the various nurseries here-- primarily their special strengths as well as their individual weaknesses. The annual flower and garden show, which I've visited only once, doesn't seem to meet this need, since the nurseries exhibiting there are showing only a small part of what they have to offer.

    Just a thought as you search for the various ways your blog could be uniquely helpful to both experienced and, like me, novice gardeners.

    Craig Kyte, Seattle

  2. Craig, that's a great suggestion. I plan on sharing my thoughts on local and regional nurseries that I visit. I'll also be blogging about gardens, public and private. Thanks for your support and for the suggestion!