On the job:
I work with department managers on scheduling and positioning, I make interview and hiring decisions, order product/equipment/supplies, chair the safety program, oversee fleet and facilities, work towards training and development, and act as a clearinghouse for all sorts of company communications.
Garden Guru from:
My horticultural roots started in Omaha and led me to my Bachelors at UNL. Go Big Red!
Gotta-have-it gardening tool:
A long-handled Dutch hoe. It takes the work out of weeding. Also, a sharp short handled shovel makes many tasks in the garden more pleasurable.
If you could add any one plant to your garden, what would it be? Why?
I’m not huge on focusing on one plant in the garden but recently my neighbors developed a bad habit of cutting down their trees so I guess I would add a limber pine and maybe a state street maple.
I’m a Christmas guy. I don’t care that the music starts in October, I will listen to it well into January when my wife packs away the CDs. It’s got food, family, gifts, great movies, joy, and merriment. What’s not to like?
Gotta See Garden:
The public gardens I get most excited about are usually the one I last visited. The Landscape Arboretum in the Twin Cities was a great way to spend the day. Also, the Como Conservatory has got it going on up there as well!
My aquariums. I have a couple large aquariums (125 and 90 gallon) that I like to play with. Very heavily planted tanks with larger schools of small fish. It gives me something to take my mind off of the day to day as well as spend time with my kids, my dad, and a friend or two who share the passion.
Favorite part of the garden:
I’m going to call it the “nook”. I think all gardens need a place to sit and be immersed in your surroundings. The nook needs to be a pocket of protection keeping you out of the sun and wind. It should offer views of the garden that may otherwise go unnoticed if you hadn’t given it time. It’s a great thinking spot and a great reading spot!
Least favorite garden hurdle:
Underground utilities have to be right up there, but I will probably go with invasive insects. Lately, it seems like it’s an ongoing bummer to have to plan or plant around whatever new bug is in town that’s not going away anytime soon. Japanese beetles, emerald ash borer, pine wood nematode, and bagworm to name a few are making the use and selection of some plants more difficult than it should be.
Best part about wearing a purple polo:
It’s a symbol of trust that we will care for your property and honor your resources. Not a bad thing to be associated with!
Fictional garden you’d like to visit and why:
Bilbo’s garden in the Shire. I am drawn to cottage style gardens that might seem messy but are beautiful and functional. His veggies are surrounded by wildflowers, a bench overlooking the surrounding meadows, the whimsical fence and mailbox match the architecture of the house, the lines and use of natural materials all add to the beauty and allure of this place.
How do you enjoy your at home garden?
Right now, we are in the process of overhauling the landscape in a new house. We have two small kids who need an outdoor space to explore and grow into. Mom and dad however want a quiet space to unwind, read, or enjoy a conversation over a beer with a friend or two.
One thing you can’t live without:
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I have been eating the same lunch since first grade I guess.
Purple Polo Pro Gardening Tip:
Don’t forget why you garden or why you have a garden. Don’t make something that should be enjoyable and a stress reliever into something that keeps you up at night. Remember gardens are outside and sometimes the outside can be a little messy and that’s okay!
Corey Brabec, Head of Horticulture What’s the first thing you do when you get to work? I usually start my day by checking all of the paperwork that was turned in the day before. I...