Meet the Staff : Nicole Vogt

Name:  Nicole Vogt

Position: Retail Manager

Years working at the greenhouse: 3 years in May

Where did you go to College? Major?
I went to West Virginia University, majored in Agriculture with an emphasis in Horticulture. 

Did you grow up locally? If not, where? I am from Follansbee, West Virginia which is about almost an hour south of McDonald. 

What made you want to be a Retail Manager?  I studied Biology in college but was always fascinated with plants. A friend of mine from high school convinced me to change my major to Horticulture during my third year of college. I really never knew what I wanted to do exactly.  I was very interested in propagation and thought I may end up in research but I somehow ended up in retail thanks to my first official job opportunity after college.

Is there an interesting story about how you got to this type of job? After my  husband Ryan and I started dating, his mom brought me to Bedner’s,  which was her favorite place to shop for plants. I was so impressed with the quality and selection and really thought of the garden center as a dream job atmosphere.

I was working my previous job for 11 years and was shocked when I saw a job posting for Retail Manager. I had 11 years in retail, merchandising, and management in the garden center industry. I really wanted the position but I told my mom I was just interviewing for fun because it probably wouldn’t happen for some reason or another.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?  The most enjoyable part of my job is watching the customer purchase items that I have hand-picked. I also love listening to customers comment and compliment the garden center on appearance, plant quality, and service. I take a lot of pride in the garden center and am pleased to hear the positive feedback; which is very motivating for me.

Another favorite aspect of my job is having the fairy workshops. I greatly enjoy purchasing the product and making the gardens as well, so being able to share that is so fun and rewarding. 

Do you have a favorite plant?   I love pansies, I plant them in the fall so I have happy little faces of color in early spring that usually last until I can plant my summer annuals. I also adore begonias, there are so many types and colors, some that are known for their foliage and some that are so unusual looking that they are astonishing.

I care for Caladiums in shade gardens and in sunny gardens I really like Lantana and salvia.

Least favorite plant?   I am not a big fan of petunias, old fashioned impatiens, and Mexican flame flower.

Do you have a Gardening Tip?   Feed and weed. Weeding and mulching is so important so plants get a healthy start and don’t have to compete with invasive species or grass. I weed by hand whenever possible. I am not a fan of chemical use.  Another important factor for plant care is feeding especially for container gardens and hanging baskets. We preach this to our customers so they can be successful.  Plants need nutrients and you have to feed them like any other living thing.

In addition to weeding and feeding, I encourage customers to prune and trim nursery stock, perennials, annuals, and hanging baskets.  Plants enjoy the process of cutting back tip growth to encourage lateral growth which encourages more blooms to come and stronger branching and growth habit. These tips are very basic but essential to being a savvy home gardener.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.  I love flowers and plants but have a small landscape which at the time is fully grown at least I hope so. I used to have a large terraced vegetable garden which I miss tending to.  I love container gardening and fill several pots with tropicals, standard topiaries, annuals and herbs, it’s a mobile garden and that’s about all I have time and space for at the moment.

I have 2 children who love nature, fairy gardening and flowers as well. We especially enjoy our hikes and bike rides at Mingo Park.

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    McDonald, PA 15057
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