Berkeley Hort Entrance - Illustration by Helen KrayenhoffFive years from now we’ll have a major celebration, but why wait until then? We are getting warmed-up now. As they say, “any excuse for a party”. Our excuse is that 2017 is a minor milestone for this small, family-owned business selling plants, seeds, fertilizers, and garden accoutrements.

I have worked at the nursery for nearly half of the 95 years that Berkeley Hort has been open, and during that time I have seen huge changes in the way that businesses operate, and in the way that people relate to gardens. Technology has improved efficiency, yet often at the expense of human resources. It has also enabled new types of communication, sometimes at the expense of real, live conversations. And technology has facilitated the sharing of massive quantities of information, some good, some bad, and sometimes just too much. It’s easy for us to get excited about these advances; what’s not so easy is staying true to the goals of our founder, George Budgen.

Back in 1922 we all moved at a slower pace. The phone only rang once every hour or so. Everybody did a little bit of everything; menial tasks were not considered….well, menial. Business management was simpler; there were fewer regulations, and there was more time to devote to actually growing, grooming, and nurturing our beloved plants. Now, it takes a more conscious effort to be out chatting with customers, pulling weeds, or arranging displays, but we do our best.

As I transition toward retirement, I am spending less time at The Nursery on day-to-day operations. But along with the many capable hands on our staff we are planning to “get back to the roots” as we invite you to join us over the next few months for fun-filled events (see inside for details) when we present guest speakers, live music, local food, art, freebies, and much more. Come see what we are doing. Bring the family. Have a picnic. Lounge, dance, or just take a nap.

We have our sights firmly set on that major milestone in 2022. In the mean time we’ll continue doing what we have always done.