I Am No Longer Unemployed!

So you may have wondered where I was last week. I have been helping out at a Flower Shop for Valentine's Day and I also took a little road trip to interview for a job.

Of all the many jobs I have applied for there were two I was really excited about. The first was for Seed Savers Exchange and although I went out and interviewed I was not offered the job. Then this one at Taltree Gardens and Arboretum came along and right away I started to invest. I envisioned living there and walking through the gardens and seeing the spring ephemerals in the woodland trails. Oh boy I was in trouble. I know better than to invest in a job that hasn't even been offered. So I kept my thoughts to myself and tried not to start thinking about the combinations of annuals that I would choose to soften and frame the pavilion.

On Thursday February 11th I got a call offering me the position of Horticulturalist at Taltree Gardens and Arboretum. I didn't hesitate. I accepted. I will be one of three full time horticulturists for this very young garden. They are an estate property, about 300 acres, that focuses on native landscapes. They have a prairie, woodland and swamp with lots of hiking trails.

More recently Taltree has put in a rose garden and a collection of oak trees from around the world. They also have a large open air pavilion that is rented out for events. It sits on the edge of a pond surround by native plants. Last year Taltree broke ground on a 2.5 acre miniature train garden. The building has been put in, and the hardscape started. This spring instillation of the plant material will start.

My job will be to manage the entrance garden, pavilion garden and the train garden. I'm excited. When I visited for my interview it was snowy and hard to see all of what was in the garden. But I can tell it has good structure and they are actively working and expanding.

One of the reasons I'm particularly excited about this garden because is it is small and growing. There is a lot of opportunity to learn. I will be able to have many rolls. I can work in the garden, and do some designing and manage seasonal staff and volunteers. There will be opportunities to teach and work with other industry professions. It will probably be a very busy job with high intensity, but I'm ready for it.

This is my first "real job". The first time I get a salary and benefits and the first time I get to officially have the title of Horticulturalist. I'm tickled. I'm thrilled!

The garden is located in the country just outside of Valparaiso, Indiana. It's part of the Chicagoland area. It walks the line of country and city. The gardens are actually nestled in corn fields and the estate is protected by windbreaks. But go north and west for 15-20 minutes and you’re in downtown Valparaiso, population 28,000. Valparaiso has the Lutheran Valparaiso University (4,000 students). I have always loved living in college towns they have a lot of life and usually good restaurants (although I haven't checked it out yet).

It's going to be a quick transition. I start on Monday the first of March. So we have just over two weeks to apartment hunt and move. Jeff is still teaching glass blowing and drawings and his sessions don't end until mid March. So it looks like I'll move out first and Jeff will come once he gets things finished up.

And as for my blog, I'll continue to post and put up recipes, just perhaps not every day.  And I will now have more to talk about on the gardening side.  You may be subjected to apartment hunting, moving and posts about all the changes this job will cause in my life.  It should be fun!  Horray!

All the photos of Taltree Arboretum and Gardens are from their website.


  1. Anonymous2/14/2010

    congrats! sounds like an amazing job, right up your alley!

  2. So awesome, Foy. It's about time ONE of us got a good job in our field!

  3. Yea!!! Congratulations and good luck with the fast move.

  4. Anonymous2/15/2010

    Yeah...Congrats girl. This looks wonderful.
    Barb Osborn

  5. Congratulations, lady.

    You will be pretty close to us - like 3 hours-ish.

    I just started a job this week myself. I started today working with Events at Matthaei Botanical Garden. I have to say, it feels *so* good to be back in a garden setting.

  6. Oh my gosh congratulations! What an amazing job. Sure does beat cubicle life.

  7. Anonymous2/17/2010

    Foy, I am sorry we did not get a chance to meet for the horticulturist position at the Orchard House in East Aurora, NY. You are quite interesting. I believe you would have been a nice fit for us as well. I enjoyed your blog!
    Best of luck to you.
    David Novak
    Grounds Manager

  8. Anonymous2/17/2010

    FOY!!!!! This is excellent news! Congratulations!
    Love you!


  9. Foy, Congratulations!!!! I am so happy for you! Can I ask you a question? Before you leave can we do lunch or something?? Would love to meet you in real life!! diana@phileodesign.com

  10. Congratulations. Good news.