Coming Soon: Tales from the N.W. Bloom Crew

We are super excited to share a fun little trailer we made.  Our 1st movie, about what to expect… coming soon: Video (on youtube), Newsletter (sign up here), new speaking events and employment opportunities!

An exciting year ahead!

It’s only February but it is already shaping up to be a busy and very exciting year.  N.W. Bloom and Jessi have been making their way into the media all over the place.  A few of our gardens are going to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens this spring, so keep your eyes open!

mid planting (480x640)

We are thrilled to have our spring filling up with some fun installations that include native plantings, restoration, rain gardens and of course, edible gardens.

Fine Gard interview

Recently, Jessi got to sit down with Fine Gardening magazine’s Chief Editor Steve to talk about the importance of permaculture and sustainability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One of Jessi’s designs is in new book by Niki Jabbour, “Ground Breaking Food Gardens, 73 plans that will change how you grow your garden“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Jessi is going to be teaching all over the place this spring some upcoming highlights include:

A complete list of speaking events can be found on our speaking events page.  We hope that you are as excited as we are for this upcoming season.  Whether it’s in the field or in a classroom we hope to see you soon!

Eco Pro Certification

We are coming into the second year of the WSNLA‘s Sustainable Landscape Professional Certification, now called EcoPro.   Jessi will once again be the opening speaker and teaching sustainable design for the February training.  Zac and Jessi are maintaining their certifications through continued education, and, of course, a deeply ingrained practice of implementing sustainable practices in all of NW Bloom’s designs, construction, and maintenance.  As the industry continues to shift towards more ecological and sustainable practices it’s essential to have credibility to escape “green-washing” and continue to increase the public’s knowledge on the subject, and the EcoPro Certification does just that.

An EcoPro Certified Individual demonstrates a knowledge and practice of the following principles:

• Protect and Conserve Soils
• Conserve Water
• Protect Water and Air Quality
• Protect and Create Wildlife Habitat
• Conserve Energy
• Sustain Healthy Plants
• Use Sustainable Methods and Materials
• Protect and Enhance Human Health and Well-being

The upcoming training will be held at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, WA. and will run February 18-21st.  You can find more information on what it takes to be an EcoPro Certified Sustainable Landscape Professional on the WSNLA’s website.  You can  also read about the process of creating this certification on a blog post before last year’s training here.  If you know anyone that would benefit from this training please let them know so that we can continue to add to the credibility of our profession and our practices.  Register Here!

Happy Birthday to N.W. Bloom!

Thirteen years ago today, I walked into a WA State office and applied for a business license.  This was mostly out of frustration that when I applied for jobs in the industry I was offered many positions, but a pesticide applicators license was required to do any of these jobs.  My ideals were laughed at, and I was told that native plants were ugly and unacceptable and edibles didn’t sell.  I was told that expensive irrigation systems were a money maker, and that pesticides and synthetic fertilizers were absolutely necessary to have a business in this field. When I turned down positions I was told I was naive and I needed to get on board with how this green industry really worked or I’d never make it.  The first few years of business were slow, but with steady growth and I spent most of my time weeding gardens.  I remember being 7 months pregnant with my 1st son, in overalls and shoveling green debris out of a tiny trailer with a pitchfork at the recycling center nearby.  I longed for a dump truck where I could push a button to easily unload my daily collection of “waste” which was to be composted and sold back to me as mulch a few months later.  The business grew from a lot of blood sweat and tears… but never once were ethics or environmental standards compromised.

Fast forward to today — and not only do we have push-button dump vehicles (yay for making our work easier!) but we have more accolades in our office than we have wall space to hold them. We take a lot of pride that for 13 years now, we have been building ecological landscapes that are highly functional without the input of wasteful and harmful products and practices. Our gardens provide lush habitat for wildlife and the humans who use the gardens alike. We have more photos of these beautiful landscapes than we know what to do with, or have time to organize. We have wonderful base of clientele that appreciate our work and send us lots of referrals which books our schedules out several months at a time.  The industry is now thankfully recognizing these high environmental standards as best management practices.  The N.W. Bloom staff is passionate, dedicated and talented, making client relationships and education a priority.  Outside of designing/consulting, I now spend most of my time teaching seminars and workshops to large groups (from homeowner groups to industry professionals), managing media inquiries and photo shoots, plus writing books – the latest is an inspirational and practical guide on permaculture design which is approachable to the masses.

We are proud to have officially entered into the teenage years, which is actually pretty old as far as small businesses go and we are looking forward to the future and what it holds!

The NW Bloom Crew: (L-R) Zac, Carmin, Susan, Fernando, Jessi, Cruz, Tenney, Rita, Peter. Not pictured: Spanky, Willow, all the chickens, turkeys, ducks, fish and honeybees

 

The Plant Orphanage

Here at the NW Bloom nursery we have always had an “Orphanage”.  This is where all of the unwanted plants come to live and get the chance at a new beginning, in a new garden.

In the majority of our projects there are usually plants that the client wants to get rid of — for various reasons; maybe it was growing too big for the spot it was originally planted in… maybe it was the wrong color of flower.. maybe it was in a spot slated for a more desirable plant.  Regardless, we don’t believe good plants should go to waste!  Many of the plants we end up transplanting are the same – rhodies, boxwoods, roses, lilac, ornamental grasses, etc because they take to transplanting well.  Even though these are common in many landscapes, there are many projects that have no plants to start with or have a low budget, and getting more mature plants can save a lot of money!

Using her best, cheesy Vanna White impression, Jessi shows off a large orphan camellia. This large plant was being installed into a new landscape project which will provide the client instant privacy from their neighbors deck!

Hundreds, if not thousands of salvaged plants have found new homes in our garden projects.  It has been always been a common practice at NW Bloom since the business first started out!  Now, even the internationally recognized green building program LEED even gives projects points for reusing plants!

 

We’re Hiring!

Happy New Year!

2013 is already much busier than we expected and we need new team members both out in the field, nursery and in the office!  If you are passionate about building sustainable landscapes and enjoy hard, but fulfilling work then read on – if one of these positions resonates with you, we are accepting resumes and letters of interest right now.

  • Landscape Crew Member (FT): Looking for a candidate able to work with landscape construction and maintenance teams who work on a variety of interesting projects. Prefer at least 1 year of landscaping experience with knowledge of various materials and tools. Must be reliable, possess the ability to take initiative, work alone or as a team. Must be able to lift 60 lbs and be able to work in all weather conditions. Horticultural (and organics) education or knowledge preferred, but not required. Must have a valid WSDL and clean driving record. And most importantly must have an excellent attitude!  Applicants send resume and letter of interest to nwbloommaintenance@gmail.com
  • Office/Admin Assistant (PT): Ideal candidate would have 2+ years experience and be proficient with all MS office applications, social media, have excellent communication and organizational skills. Must be a self-starter with the ability to work independently and handle multiple priorities within a fast paced team atmosphere. Plant ID and horticulture knowledge a plus and must like pets and kids!  Applicants send resume/letter of interest to info@nwbloom.com
  • Landscape Designer/Landscape Architect (PT/FT): Ideal candidate will have knowledge and passion for ecological design, CAD skills and be able to perform overall project management tasks including but not limited to bidding and quality control of the project. Must be able to work productively and develop strong interpersonal relationship with others while maintaining all necessary correspondence and documentation. Prefer a portfolio carrying individual with at least 3 years of experience but willing to work with the right individual who has less experience.  Applicants send resume, letter of interest, samples of work and salary requirements to jessi@nwbloom.com

Location: Our office is in Mill Creek WA, however we work on projects throughout the greater Seattle area.

Pay: DOE and qualifications. We offer health insurance, Simple IRA, paid holidays, bonuses, training/educational opportunities and more.