...COPYRIGHT: Visual Alchemy


...a bit of a "Curriculum Vitae"

Long ago... (well, back in 1975) I obtained my certification in Urban Horticulture from Warren Tech in Golden, Colorado. I had a well-rounded education in horticulture at Warren, having focused on greenhouse growing and hydroponics, as well as some aspects of landscape design, floral design and a bit of marketing of houseplants and garden flora. My final project, however, took me out of the greenhouse and up into the alpine zone mountains and the foothills near Evergreen, Colorado to photograph and study mountain wildflowers.

My primary focus in school, however, was learning the work of a greenhouse grower - I loved growing flowers and houseplants! I loved the “vibe” and the “feel” of the greenhouse. So, not long after graduation I found myself working in the wholesale houseplant industry at Steve & Sue’s Greenhouse, a wholesale greenhouse in Sheridan, Colorado. But not for long!

Although I loved the work, I was offered a bit more lucrative opportunity to work as a landscaper’s helper back up in the mountains of Evergreen, Colorado. Our crew worked hard leveling ground, installing railroad ties, hauling filler, prepping soil and finally installing the gardens which adorned our hardscape designs. But it was at that point my path took a turn away from landscape design and into work as a carpenter’s helper, then later, on into black and white photography, darkroom and graphic design at the local newspaper, The Canyon Courier, also in Evergreen, Colorado.

It was years later that I returned briefly to the greenhouse to work the holiday season at Wolfe’s Nursery in Dallas, Texas, this time in retail - where, along with selling poinsettias, cyclamen and Christmas planters as well as the actual cut Christmas trees themselves - our crew also professionally designed, decorated and prepared Christmas trees for installation at various public locations in and around Dallas. For years afterward I pursued varied artistic passions, primarily sculpture and oil painting in addition to graphic design and darkroom work - which was my primary source of income for quite some time.

Most recently, about 1998, I made use of my horticultural experience once again - this time in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a contract gardener. Gardening in Santa Fe is wonderful, and it was so therapeutic to step away from the corporate world and to immerse myself into the zen of gardening after having worked “in the cube” as an art director and graphics production artist for many years.

I began working with a circle of women headed by Kendall McCumber and was fortunate to continue work with Kendall over the course of four gardening seasons. We worked various high-end properties (both public and private) in and around Santa Fe - including such clients as The Inn of the Anasazi, The Inn of the Governors, The Joe Wade Gallery, and for Gerald Peters. We did everything from installation and maintenance to designing dried flower arrangements for display during the winter season.

Kendall’s business has since grown quite extraordinarily. Please see McCumber Fine Gardens at: www.santafegardening.com for an idea of the quality of work we were able to accomplish. I also worked intermittently with Attention to Detail and Boelter Landscaping of Santa Fe, who do not have a web presence at this time. Jennifer Boelter-Gonzales originally was a greenhouse manager at Santa Fe Greenhouses before breaking off to work independently in landscaping. Working with both Jennifer and Kendall was a very enriching experience and helped me to better learn the plant varieties of the Southwest.

- Beverly Nabours



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