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A little garden chat with Jennifer Smith, Horticulturist, client services and garden writer and photographer for Wimberg Landscaping.

You started gardening in northern Wisconsin. How did gardening in that region of the country differ from Cincinnati?
The days were cooler, little humidity, free black soil and mulch from my yard waste center and my own well for water. But what made the biggest impression on me when I returned to Cincinnati and tried to plant my first garden was the soil! So much clay! No more digging a pond before lunch: gardening with clay takes a bit more time.

Did the gardening zone and soil composition in Cincinnati change how you designed your gardens?
No. When I learned to garden, I was spending a lot of time in the woods on botanical hikes. I was taking what I observed in nature and replicating that in my own garden. I was teaching myself to plant native and to pick the best plants for the location- the soil, light and juxtaposition with other plants. I simply applied that lesson here, in Cincinnati. Instead of forcing what I knew plant-wise, I studied what grew well here and planted the best plants for my new Cincinnati gardens.

You do a lot of gardening in public spaces, why? Is this something other gardeners should consider?
I do all my gardening in public spaces. I live in a condo and the parks have become my gardens. If it were not for the time made available with condo living I could never manage my own gardens and gardens in parks. And for now, I can’t imagine not gardening in the parks. Does someone have to take on the amount I have, certainly not. But I do suggest every gardener tend a public garden, if only for a year or two. I share more in a recent post, here. The public spaces I have the honor to garden are beyond beautiful. One stroll around Ault Park and you will know why I had, at one time, five plus gardens there. I couldn’t stay away from the park. The gardens I am working on at Bettman have features I would never have the ability to replicate on my own. But what I enjoy most is talking with the park goers. Gardeners want to share what we have learned with others- it’s in our nature. Gardening in parks, I spend a lot of time fielding garden and landscape questions and I love that.

How do your past garden experiences translate to working with Wimberg Landscaping?
I have been writing about and photographing gardens for years and we are making a big push to increase our online presences via blogs and newsletters as well as increase our contribution to regional publications. I also spend time with our clients fielding garden and design questions and hearing what clients want to get out of their landscape, be it as simple as a new tree to a complete overhaul of the landscape. I make certain that what we say we will do as a company, in particular when it comes to ongoing maintenance of the landscape, we are delivering in a way to meet our clients’ expectations. I’m a second set of eyes for our maintenance team as it relates to what to do in the landscape, identifying potential issues such as pests and diseases and seeing what we will need to address later in the season to a few years from now.

Are you working with new Wimberg clients?
Yes! I encourage anyone who is determining if a company such as ours is a good fit to schedule a free garden walkabout. We can evaluate the landscape together so that I may have a good understanding of what Wimberg Landscaping can do to make what your vision a reality.
You can reach Jennifer, here.

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