Isn’t it the old saying that you’re not going to meet your future spouse in a bar? Well, I beg to differ. Totally unexpectedly, with no concern but to see a fun band and spend some time with a friend visiting for the weekend, I met the man who would turn out to be my future husband. A truly breath-taking saga of our courtship would follow, including, but certainly not limited to, elements such a roommate with an alluring English accent, a random run-in at the local Walmart, chance meeting at the weekly trivia game night, garden center visits to where I worked, and finally a home-cooked, full tilt, Southern-style Thanksgiving dinner (made entirely by my eventual husband-to-be). The details of those first couple months of meeting Jeff, when it was first his roommate (yeah, the English guy) who asked me out and then totally flaked, and then Jeff eventually maneuvering his way into the picture afterwards, could be an entire novel of their own. Perhaps it’s that potential novel, the profits it would generate, and of course the film development deal which would naturally follow, that could fund our future garden shop. After all, it was plants that ended up bringing us together. And three years after that initial meeting, Everbloom, Inc. was born.
Jeff and I both worked for the Sea Island Company, just not at the same time. Being part of the staff at a world class, five-star resort community was equivalent to another college education. We both learned a lot from our experiences there, all that would eventually lead us forward to Savannah and to the opening Everbloom. After Jeff’s venture into the corporate world of the large scale, national level landscape company left a bit more to be desired, he jumped on board to my little seasonal color business and helped expand our services into larger landscape redesigns and other detail-oriented specialties. With just the two of us and our passion for beautiful garden spaces, we knew we held a special niche in the Savannah market as being completely hands-on with our projects and the ability to build long-term relationships with our clients. What started out with me and a handful of flower customers and a few small maintenance projects, grew to over 50 clients, from seasonal flower installations to weekly detailed garden maintenance. Since Savannah is a true small town at heart, it didn’t take too long for the ball to start rolling and word of mouth to work in our favor. We are lucky to have so many clients who trust our tastes and judgment, and allow us free rein to create something spectacular in their garden. We start to consider their gardens “ours” as well, since we become so involved in the ongoing process of their creation and evolution.
Part of the reason I chose “Everbloom” for the business name was that I liked the sound of it, but also because in this single made-up word, it told the story of my business model. I wanted to strive to create a garden space with year-round interest. No matter the month of the year, there should always be something to grab your attention in the garden. Granted, this goal is a lot easier to attain here in Zone 8, but that’s the benefit we get for suffering the soul-crushing humidity of August in the Deep South. For those of you unfamiliar, August stands alone as the unofficial fifth season here, also roughly referred to by many I know as “the scorching month of hell.” God love the salvias, pentas and assorted tropicals that hold up in this month of inferno, for we still need something pretty to look at in the garden, even if it’s from behind the air-conditioned and condensation-slicked glass windows.
So many people ask us how we manage to work together and stay married at the same time. “I would kill my husband if I worked with him all day!” is a typical comment from friends, but I remind them that most of the time we don’t spend our days together, we divide and conquer. On the days that we do work on the same project, I am grateful for the extra help and make good use of it! Sure, we spend many an evening and “off” hours discussing clients, projects and ideas, but plants are always a welcome topic of conversation between us. After all, it was plants that brought us together in the first place, and sharing this passion is just one factor that keeps us connected many years after the fact. And just so she’s aware, I’m pulling for Minnie Driver to play my role in that upcoming movie adaptation. On the other hand, Jeff said he would be happy to play himself on the big screen version of “The Englishman and the Roommate”!
You can find out more about Everbloom, Inc. on their blog. It includes contact information and inspiring photos to get you in the mood.