Where did you grow up and how did you start into growing plants?
I grew up on my father’s farm in Upper St. Clair, I was exposed to growing plants at a young age and worked on the farm all of my teen years.
Have you been gardening your whole life?
Yes, though I left the farm to go to Vietnam for 2 years!
Can you tell us about how you started this greenhouse?
I grew plants on my father’s farm in one greenhouse, but found the need to grow more so I acquired this farm and built more greenhouses.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job? Watching the plants mature, growing veggies, and picking home-grown tomatoes.
Do you have a favorite plant? Dahlias and Petunias.
Gardening Tip? Keep your plants moist and always fertilize, except tomatoes and peppers until the fruit sets. Plant in good soil, amend if bad soil, and use lime.
A gardening trick you learned that always stuck with you? Not to fertilize tomatoes or peppers until the fruit sets and to use fungicides to control blight on tomatoes.
What is something else that is interesting about you? I have farmed a lifetime, and horse racing and hockey are my favorite sports.
Position: Marketing, HR
Years working at the greenhouse: 19 years
Did you go to school anywhere? Major?
B.S. Psychology and Latin American Studies Certificate, University of Pittsburgh M.S.Ed. School Counseling, Duquesne University
Did you grow up locally? Bridgeville, CV graduate
What made you want to be a Director of Marketing and HR? Russ and I started dating in high school. It didn’t take long for Russ’ parents to recruit me to work at the greenhouse during my college breaks. After graduating and getting married, I decided to help run the family business full time. I didn’t even know what a geranium was when I started back in ’99, but it didn’t take long for me to become a total plant lover/nerd. I’ve done a little bit of everything here over the years—cashier, sales floor, planting in winter, web design, events, bookkeeping, human resources, buyer, merchandiser, and farm market sales. Since having our first baby in 2013, I’ve slowly stepped back to part-time status so that I can take care of our two girls. I focus mainly on marketing and HR now, mostly behind-the-scenes work.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job? I LOVE many parts of working on the farm—the workload and type changes with the seasons; watching plants grow in the greenhouses and in my home landscape; trying new things to make the business successful; our staff; our customers; eating fresh produce all summer….and now I’d say another favorite is watching our daughters grow up here.
Do you have a favorite plant? Haha! I have to laugh, because I have many favorites, so it’s hard to pick! Right now I’m in LOVE with Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers”. I also love the colored foliage of coral bells (and wish they didn’t bloom). Solomon’s seal, annual Strobilantus, and a variegated gardenmeister fuchsia are favorites too. I could go on……
Favorite part of working at Bedner’s? Working with my husband…. Also sometimes my least favorite part 😉
Gardening Tip? The best way to learn is by experiencing and trying things. Don’t get too upset when plants die, or be afraid of throwing away overgrown plants to plant fresh and new. The garden and landscape is constantly evolving and changing, so be flexible and adapt with it.
A gardening trick you have learned that always stuck with you? I love cutting back plants (about half way or so) in my container gardens, like petunias and coleus, about mid-summer to get fresh, health growth that lasts into fall.
Something interesting about yourself? Russ and I went on a hot air balloon ride in Colorado during our honeymoon, even though I’m afraid of heights!