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Passing on the Passion: Gardening and Grandparents

Jean Walker’s life is narrated by loving and trusted voices from her past. “Always plant potatoes on Good Friday,” Grandma whispers as Jean opens a sack of seed potatoes. “And don’t forget to plant marigolds around the vegetables, they keep the bugs away.” As Jean reaches for the roses, Grandpa reminds her, “Don’t forget the cow pie, Jean. For roses, a good ole cow pie is just about the best fertilizer you can have.”

Of course Grandma and Grandpa are gone, the voices in Jean’s ears merely the echoes of a sweet memory, but the spirit of their love continues. They inspire Jean’s planting decisions and provide guidance in her work. Because two people shared their heartfelt love of growing things with a curious young girl, Jean is able to offer them a living legacy with every seed she plants.

The Greenhouse

And planting seeds is a large part of what Jean does! She is the proud owner of Walker’s Floral and Greenhouse, a full-time florist shop and seasonal greenhouse. Because her grandparents taught her from a young age the best way to plant and grow a garden, she’s been able to make the business work by following their example. This affords her a unique advantage in her area as she is not only a successful florist, but also a provider and wholesale distributor of naturally grown flowers!

Running a greenhouse is challenging work, but Jean enjoys putting in the time. It’s due to the most powerful emotion we know, love. She harbors a simple love of all things natural, of nurturing a fragile sprout into a strong and vibrant plant and of spending time with her beloved grandparents in the only way left to her, reliving their memory while engaging in the work they taught her.

The Shop

Jean also has a driving passion for her floral business! For her, there’s nothing like walking up to someone’s door and seeing the smile a beautiful arrangement elicits, or noticing the light in a bride’s eyes the first time she holds her perfectly arranged bouquet. It’s those little moments that let her know she is doing a good job and spreading some joy along the way.

And yet, as fulfilling as those moments are, when the greenhouse is closed Jean harbors a desire to get back to digging in the dirt. It’s not the feel of grit under her fingernails or the loamy smell of fresh-turned earth, though those are enjoyable in their own right, it is a desire to spend time with the loved ones she has lost. Every spring their voices surround her, enveloping her like a warm and comforting blanket. They come to help make the plants grow strong and vibrant and fill her heart with warm memories. They may no longer draw breath, but as long as Jean lives, their voices won’t be silenced.

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