Ask a Gardener: Award-winning garden store owner opening shop in former Bakerview site

Gardeners, you don’t have to wait much longer. Finally, the defunct Bakerview Nursery will be the home for a new nursery moving into Bellingham.

It’s been a long process, but Jenny Gunderson, owner of the former and very popular My Garden Nursery in Mill Creek, is bringing her 38 years of experience in garden retailing to us. Serious problems with the buildings at the former location made her look around for another spot. And lo and behold, the perfect one emerged: Bellingham.

Jenny grew up in Bellevue and loves the Northwest. She’s worked over the years in big-box stores, bringing their sales of plants to prize-winning levels. Locally, she worked at Molback Nursery for five years as a manager. One day, in the throes of looking for seasonal workers, she hired a man who had little experience with plants but sounded to her to have the motivation and curiosity to make a good employee. Plus, she needed a decidedly tall person to handle the hanging baskets. Bill Reynolds was the ticket.

Then, as such things sometimes happily happen, one day Jenny and Bill began to explore the idea of opening their own nursery. When the idea grabbed hold, and after much searching and ensuing work, My Garden Nursery in Mill Creek became a reality. It was voted best Home and Garden Store in Western Washington in 2010, 2012 and 2013 by “Evening Magazine” viewers.

In addition to the many classes, celebrations and fun activities, Jenny and Bill are known for their fundraising for Alzheimer’s and breast cancer research. They’ve raised $70,000 for Alzheimer’s research alone.

Jenny’s plan is to never retire. She loves her work too much and really doesn’t consider it work, envisioning herself at 92 sitting behind the cash register. She and Bill are looking forward to exploring all that Bellingham has to offer. She hopes to make her nursery a destination, with lots of color and new things to see; she’s open to trying everything, and hopes that customers will feel free to make suggestions.

To give you a taste of what went before, and will come next, here are but a few: Scavenger spring hunt, plant ahead for Alzheimer’s, Horticultural House of Horrors, local sourcing of plants and materials, 365 Days of Heucaras and emphasis on organic.

There’ll be plenty of work going on during the rehabilitation and moving process, but the hope is to have the doors open this late spring or early summer. See you then at Jenny’s place.