March 31, 2020

A Grower’s Life

Today marks the addition of another perspective on gardening, this one from a nearly-new greenhouse owner.

For those of us who garden, greenhouse owners are a breed apart. If you have ever watched a greenhouse owner in the short time you wander their property, you will see that they are busier than the bees flitting in and out of the blooms those same owners have nurtured for months.

I have come to realize that it takes a certain person to be a greenhouse owner.

Enter the Fennellys of Forest’s Edge Garden in Hampden.

I met Gretchen Fennelly last spring when I drove to Hampden specifically at the urging of another greenhouse owner who said I should look to them for my unique plants since he and his wife were closing their business after more than two decades. Gretchen and I hit it off, but I didn’t meet Nathan Fennelly until early January when the three of us got together to talk about Garden Maine and what I wanted to do with this site over time.

And from the get-go of starting this site, I wanted the Fennellys involved because they have that certain temperament I mentioned. It is our great good luck that while Gretchen is a serious plant fanatic, Nathan is a supportive husband who also has a degree in English.

With a bit of cajoling on my part — no word on Gretchen’s efforts, although I seem to recall a bit of a wink and nod when I asked/begged Nathan to write — Nathan will be chronicling life as a greenhouse owner, working to build the couple’s business.

Oh, and that certain temperament I mentioned?

They have to have a sense of humor.

Without it, they might succumb to the relentlessness of their chosen profession. And then where would all of us gardeners be?

Welcome, Nathan.

In honor of  Nathan’s debut, The Daily Plant all week will feature a plant from Forest’s Edge Garden.

And if that weren’t enough already, check out the Free-range Omelet recipe inspired by those chickens happily ranging around Forest’s Edge Garden.

— Janine Pineo