Remembering who we are and why we need plants and plant people:

A personal message from Dana Altum


How often do we answer the question ‘How are you?’ with ‘So busy!’? A lot, right? We were really busy in 2019. Always buzzing around unloading, setting up, watering, meeting, brainstorming, creating, worrying that maybe we weren’t doing and being enough. And like everyone, the end of the year didn’t pass without some reflection on what we were so busy doing. Were they the right things?

I didn’t want to be so busy hustling around that I forgot why I was doing this.  

I grew up in the garden center. It’s all I really know. And it’s gratifying and fills me up to see what we’ve grown over the years, not only in plants, but in this small business and in our relationships.

Even so, it’s not all pretty plants and Instagram shelfies. It’s unloading trucks and palettes, forgetting to drink enough water and never having nice nails. It’s being so tired at the end of the day in the days and weeks leading up to and through spring that you fall into bed asleep. And it is this way because we are all in. It’s in our blood, sweat and tears (it really is—all of those things!) because we love this place and the people who have made us who we are today.

This past year has been extra special because my son, Kirk joined the Altum’s team, and now he’s helping some of the same customers—and so many new ones—that his grandfather helped. It’s pretty amazing to see the same passion for growing in him, and the way he’s able to communicate with beginners and experienced growers just how fun this can be.

This hits me in quiet moments while I walk my garden or when I’m traveling and connect with someone over plants and growing. It hits me just how much I love this place.

I hope you see and feel that when you walk in here. I hope you’ll come on a day when maybe you need to be reminded of your why. Like how relaxed and smart, creative, capable, beautiful, fierce and fun you are, even if you’ve forgotten. Plants can help us remember who we are because they don’t ask a lot of us. Plus, they don’t talk. So there’s that. But I truly feel comfort when I’m around my plants and that’s what I hope you’ll feel at Altum’s.

I hope you’ll feel that this is a place built on the good things in life. And that we can have simple comforts and beauty in our lives—even when we’re busy—when we pause long enough to notice. (Please say hi to Kirk the next time you’re here!)


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