I spent this weekend wandering through Garland Nursery’s Gift Barn, a place as familiar to me as my own living room. I breathe in the scent of holiday candles wafting through the air and admire the Christmas decorations as I walk toward the front desk. On the way, I run into my Grandma and Grandpa, my aunts and uncles, and some of the staff members, many of whom I’ve known my whole life. Everyone else knows the Garland Nursery crew as Sandy and Don, Erica, Brenda, and Lee: friendly, helpful, and ridiculously smart about plants. But to me they’re just family.
Growing up at Garland Nursery shaped me into the person I am today. I didn’t grow up in a neighborhood with a playground and a park. Instead I played in the Garland Nursery rock garden and ran free in the acres of fields behind our house. On hot days my sister and I sold lemonade and ice cream to Garland Nursery shoppers and caught tadpoles in the pond. My first job was weeding the grounds and watering the plants. My first bosses were my family members. I used to groan about the tedium of it all. I didn’t want to weed and take out trash all summer, and having your family members as bosses isn’t as fun as it sounds (does it sound fun?). When I was young I didn’t know just how lucky I was.
Eventually I grew up and I got a job away from the nursery. I went to college. I recently graduated and moved to Portland. But I always come back to the nursery. I am the person I am today because of where I grew up. The nursery taught me about work ethic, the importance of making true connections with people in the community, and the relentless love of family. So this year I’m thankful for my entire Garland Nursery family. You helped me get where I am today and your constant love and support always keep me going. Plant people are good people!
As you prepare for this holiday season don’t forget to remember all the people and places in your life that made you who you are today. What are you thankful for?