20 Reasons Why I Love You

Ellen C. Wells
It’s Green Profit’s 20th anniversary, imagine that! Guess who else got their start 20 years ago? ME! That’s right. I started my stint of horticulturally related writing back in 1997. I’ve seen a lot happen in the industry over that time, just like this magazine has. And neither I nor the magazine went screaming and running in the other direction. We’re both still here because the industry has been good to us.

In honor of my 20 years (mostly) in the industry, I thought I’d list the 20 reasons why I’ve stuck around so long.

1. You’re pretty. The stuff you create is 99% gorgeous (yes, there is the odd plant here and there that is downright dreadful). I could never write about tires.

2. You’re edible. Pretty and edible is like having both brains and brawn/beauty.

3. You’re close to my heart. I grew up on a family farm, so I can relate to many of the operations in the biz. I get you.

4. You take me places. Big cities, small towns—I’ve seen parts of America I never would have seen otherwise. That’s pretty cool.

5. Holland. Admittedly, I keep hanging around so I can be flown off to my favorite European country should the need arise. I love it there (hint, hint, I’d love to go again).

6. Free stuff. Since I’m admitting things, the test plants and products are a wonderful perk of the job.

7. History. The journey this industry has taken from seasonal roadside stand to year-round multi-department retailer is fascinating.

8. You’ve got stories. You’re all different and how you ended up here is unique to you. Again, very cool.

9. You work together.
I’m not sure there’s an industry that is so supportive of their competition. It makes the heart feel good.

10. You beautify your communities. Everything looks better when there are ornamental plants around.

11. Marigolds. I love ’em and you grow ’em. That alone is enough to make me love you.

12. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Back to admitting things, we should all admit the #1 reason any of us go to Cultivate in Columbus, Ohio, is for the daily visits to the best ice cream shop in the country.

13. Science. I may write for a living but I’m a plant scientist by training. And scientifically speaking, plants are amazing!

14. You’re simple. Sure, I know, doing this whole growing and selling thing can be harder than it looks, but I’ve got friends who are in the Internet security business. That is downright complicated.

15. You’re up against challenges. And I like to think some of the information I provide can help you see your situation in a new light.

16. You’re friendly—Part I. Not once have any of you hung up the phone when I’ve cold called for an interview. (Whew!)

17. You’re friendly—Part II. About 99% of the time when I walk into a garden center, the interaction is delightful and you’re smiling. And you’re smiling because you like your job, too.

18. Spring Trials. Sure, the first few times on the weeklong journey were kind of tough. But it’s gotten fun. And there’s something cool about seeing new plants.

19. My coworkers. They’re talented people, great at what they do and, most importantly, don’t take themselves too seriously.

20. You. I believe in you and I like to think you believe in me. I think we work well together, don’t you?

In 2037 I’ll pull this list out, dust it off and add another 20 reasons why I’m still around. (Did I mention Holland and ice cream?) GP