Who is Green Girl?
The idea for Green Girl Garden sprouted in late 2019, but I've had a love of plants and horticulture since I was born.
After the birth of our second child, and frankly, awhile before that, I realized I could not go back to yet another office job I wasn’t able to stomach going to day after day, much less happy and thriving. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I was 36.
I kept thinking to myself on my daily waddles around my neighborhood, “Why can’t I just raise my kids and piddle around with my plants and garden?” Turns out, I CAN.
I was like one of those plants you may have picked up at your big box store labeled simply, “Hardy Houseplant,” or worse, “Office Plant,” where you have no idea what it actually needs to grow and thrive- you just assume the obvious: water and sunlight. You’ve seen them. You may have even bought one. It’s ok, I have about half a dozen.
So, you start throwing those things at this hardy houseplant all willy nilly, with no regard to how much water, how much sunlight, does it freak out if its leaves get wet, and so on. Before you know it, it’s on death’s door. If only you’d done a little bit of research to find out what it actually is, and what it wants and needs. Most of my adult life had been approached this same way: Haphazard care fueled by incorrect assumptions.
So, how did we get here?
After getting sober in June 2017, I realized I had neglected any semblance of any true interests or hobbies. Sure, I had an outside garden that I had mostly neglected, but several hydrangea bushes that bloomed beautifully, so that counted. I started reading a little more and a little more, remembering the difference between perennials and annuals, taking my son to our locally owned garden center at the start of each growing season to pick out flowers and plants for outside.
I wanted a vegetable garden, but I’d let each year pass without one. I was too busy, wasn’t sure if it was worth the time and effort, I’d do it next year.
Then, in the spring of 2019, it was like a switch was flipped.
I was falling apart mentally from a high risk, difficult (MISERABLE) pregnancy, and needed something to focus my attention on that wasn’t our other child, or driving my poor husband nuts about paint colors for the baby’s room. (Do you have any GD clue how many shades of yellow paint there are? It’s insane.)
I took two months prior to the birth of our daughter and my entire maternity leave and threw myself into gardening, houseplants and learning as much as I could about the favorite hobby of two of my favorite women: my late mother and my late grandmother on my dad’s side. Oh! And trying to keep the kids alive, of course. I also did that.
I did grow up exposed to horticulture- namely by my mom and grandmother. I was far more interested and involved when I was very young. My grandmother essentially managed the grounds at Ashland Gardens, Henry Clay’s Estate in Lexington, KY, and let me tell you if you’ve never been, they are stunning. She was also president of The Garden Club of Lexington. She had a beautiful spray of daffodils at her farm, and an even more impressive greenhouse room at her home. I remember how many African Violets she kept. I loved their fuzzy leaves.
My mother would travel to Cincinnati often for the annual butterfly exhibit at Krohn Conservatory, and every year she’d say, “I could just live here.” My mother also built a sunroom on the back of our house, and was ALWAYS piddling, obsessing and doting on her plants and outdoor gardens.
I thought about majoring in horticulture in college, but alas, I didn’t. I moved away from my mother and grandmother, and lost active interest in the hobby. What I wouldn’t give to be able to share this love with them now. There isn’t a day that I’m tending to some plant or trying to figure out what’s wrong that I don’t think, “What would Tishie do? Or I wish I could call Mom.” It’s brought me closer to them, and helped a grieving which I never truly embraced or felt before these last few years of clarity.
Cultivating the interest again has been such a rewarding and fulfilling (and frustrating) adventure- so much has changed, but so little. And there’s a whole world of knowledge that I could never absorb, even if I had three lifetimes. Technology and the internet have opened so many doors, windows, (letting in all that great southern and eastern light...wink) for hobbyists of all types- anything you ever want to know about any subject is very easy to find, however you choose to find it, and thank goodness they still have good ole fashioned libraries with REAL books, cause I love those too. There is also, of course, a lot of misinformation, and depending on where you look, people trying to sell you a line of garbage, literally and figuratively.
You won’t find that here- if it’s a lot of trial and error involved, I’ll tell you up front. If it’s my musings and experience, you’ll know that, too. I want to share my successes and failures with you, and hopefully we’ll grow some beautiful plants along the way. One thing which will definitely grow along our journey together is you- so get ready.
At Green Girl Garden, our mission is a simple one.
It boils down to this: A girl with a plant hobby, trying to teach my kids about growing things in the dirt, and make some connections with like-minded people. Products we sell are hand selected from trusted growers & makers or grown by me organically, responsibly, and to promote conservation and sustainability. We aim to learn and educate without judgment or shame, share a love and curiosity for all types of growth, and to find beauty in the simple forms.
Our journey, and all successes and failures are dedicated in loving memory to my late mother, Cere Michelle Duer, and my late grandmother, Patricia Headley Green.
A postcard sent by Mears' late grandmother, Tishie, (Patricia) center, in 1983 from France, commenting on the beauty of the flowers, and Mears' late mother, Cere, in mid-1990s.
Green Girl Garden's residence is a certified Wildlife Habitat site with the National Wildlife Federation, and I have certifications in Garden Design & Maintenance, and ServSafe Food Handler. Green Girl Garden is an active member of the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association, and I serve individually as an appointed member of the 2022 Tree Committee in Anderson Township, Ohio.