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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.



Today I’m sitting in the airport in San Jose,Costa Rica. I’m on my home after experiencing a mind blowing trip hosted by an old buddy of mine and his family who is from here. I love to travel somewhere where I know some people who are local, I see and experience things that I would have otherwise never have been aware of. Chatter around the dinner table at their homes I got a much heightened viewpoint of their true opinions and values about life around them from every day life stuff to their political situation and sometimes our political situations. We had all age ranges so like at home the opinions varied a lot! In the family they started with the matriarch who is 84 years old down to the age of 16, there were guys and gals so it was interesting to listen to everyone’s angle.

As I mentioned in a previous article I was down here for three weeks because for the first time in my life I am between jobs. I consider that a very lucky thing for me. I’ve been able to do the same type of work my entire life, I feel like that until a person has spent at least a decade doing something that they are passionate about it is difficult to become completely settled in to that thing so that it becomes more than “just a job”. I have been fortunate enough to be able to have had that experience and to have lots of family members who have had a similar lifestyle. It makes for interesting conversation around our dinner table. I am ending a two year hiatus from the garden center that my wife, Mimi and I own together. Mimi and I agreed to allow myself a change of course by my heading off to manage a greenhouse operation for another company that was growing non traditional crops. It was fun for both of us, local enough that I could do it without leaving home and I got to experience “working” for someone else yet still in the only field I know about.

As I was loving the changes in my every day patterns Mimi was getting to experience changes in her every day world at our garden center. She discovered things in our business that she never had to focus on when I was there since we had our duties split up by the things that we were best at or feared. One thing we both learned for sure is that the crew or better yet the family that makes our place be what it is today loves the place that we call home. The Garden Works family decided that my getting away for awhile and Mimi taking over all of my duties would be something that they would strongly get behind. They experienced great changes in my absence and Mimi‘s greater presence as well.

Mimi and the tribe that runs Garden Works has grown the business into more than it has ever been and into a thing that is way more than just a place to get your garden stuff. It is now a place to gather and a place that people can come to meet like minded people and a place that can be like having a second family. The care and love that fellow gardeners feel when they meet this tribe is often commented on and it has become quite evident that there are lots of people who need and who reciprocate the kind of nurturing that a second family presents. I couldn’t be more proud of what this group has created for our community.

The true meaning of ‘organic’ comes to mind when I think back on the two years the place underwent because of my absence. It wasn’t a plan to turn out this way where everyone involved including myself, had so many gains in their lives from Mimi to the staff at Garden Works to the people who trust us. Mimi and the gang found out things about the business that they were forced to to discover due to the shift in their every day duties. The care that they displayed for each other and the community around us all is something I will always cherish and take my hat off to. I think that everyone involved gained from this unexpected upheaval with personal growth which is always a very positive thing. Positivity is a value that is the ultimate goal for those who seek it wether by accident or force which in this occasion was both.

My buddy that hosted me and my family in Costa Rica and myself have been working together at the other greenhouses during these two years are coming back to offer support to what has been created. We want to be there to take some pressure off of the shoulders of Mimi and the merry pranksters at Garden Works by taking care of behind the scenes maintenance stuff, greenhouse work during heavy planting seasons and light landscaping duties in our customers yards. We hope that now when someone purchases some shrubs or trees but dont have the time or tools to plant them properly we can make that happen so it will open up the possibilities of their wildest dreams coming true. We hope that when big truckloads of pottery or plants come in we can help in the unloading process so the gang can focus on the things that they do best around the place. Javier and I hope we can add an element of less stress for the folks who have added so much to our place and hopefully their own lives. We ultimately want to add on and support their/our success.

Mimi and I are so excited about what’s next for us all we can hardly stand it. Being excited about what looks like a positive forecast at our time of life is very invigorating and unexpected! We hope to see you in that picture if not for anything else but to come and meet this group of unique folks and drop in or drop out with us anytime you feel like it and hopefully rub off on each other. I have a plane to catch!


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