The Plant People
"What I see growing and evolving out of this...
it's much more than a business. It's family."
Comments like this from one of our staff members make it a joy to come to work each day. We hope this joy is contagious and each visit to Jericho is the highlight of your day!
"Every year is different... it's exciting to help people adjust to weather trends and help them be happy and successful gardeners" - Leslie
Gardening expert Rick Hobson and his wife Jennifer, landscape designer, have assembled an outstanding staff of experienced nursery professionals who are eager to help you select the plants and supplies that match your gardening style and desired results, so just tell us what you have in mind, and we’ll help you bring it to life in your lawn, garden, planters, and pots!
Sam's first gardening memory is planting pansies with her mother at the age of 5. She got her first nursery job when she was selling business directory listings in Tucson; she called on a nursery and the owner discovered she could identify most of the plants and hired her on the spot.
Her favorite part of the job?
"The people. Without question, the people. Not only the customers, but the people I work with. This is a lot like working with siblings; it's a lot of fun and you get to become a real family here. This is the first time in many years I've had a job where I felt like I was really part of a family."
"I had a huge garden when I lived in Arizona. I started liking it so much I just kept on digging. Okra, squash, corn, sunflowers (I pickled the seeds)."
Wendy is most often found at the cash register... she loves to see those Secret Special coupons! And she can answer a LOT of gardening questions and knows which of her team members to call on when she can't.
"I love the people who come to shop, my co-workers, and the plants."
A visit to Jack's home is a combination guided tour and seminar on making a New Mexico yard beautiful. Every tree and shrub has a reason for being where it is, and a story of how it will look in the months and years ahead.
Jack not only lends his experience and helping hands to the daily walk-in customers at Jericho, he also does landscaping consultation to help our customers decide what, when, and WHERE to plant. And on his days off... he's just enjoying his yard!
Alfredo grew up on a ranch in Mexico, one of 15 children, and everybody was involved in the family garden; frijole, corn, all kinds of vegetables. He moved here from Los Angeles where he worked at a huge nursery.
His favorite part of the job?
"Taking care of the plants, keeping them healthy, and keeping the place clean. I don't like anybody just dropping things and leaving it like that. I like to keep everything in order."
So if you spend 5 days a week at a resort, what do you for fun on weekends? Just ask Gary - he is a full time grounds-keeper at Tamaya, and enjoys his Sundays by sharing his 30 years of experience with his Jericho family!
Gary's family moved to Albuquerque in 1970 from sunny California, and he still remembers the palm trees, tropical bird of paradise, and especially the fruit trees that his Grandpa planted for each of the grandchildren.
Amanda's professional connection with plants started at age 10, helping a florist friend of the family, and her first 'real jobs' were in floral shops. When she moved to Albuquerque from Seattle, she transitioned into the nursery field.
"I like the science behind the plants. I really like helping educate people, whether it's about how to fix something, or about the perfect thing for their yard. I like giving people the knowledge."
Amanda wins the prize for her first gardening memory: "I was two years old. We had a big forget-me-not shrub. Blue."
Nhong was a farmer in Laos, and fed a family of 12 by working the land in May, June and July. "After that you don't have to do anything. You go hunting in the jungle. You take a hunting dog into the jungle, they see something and start barking, and you go shoot it". Then one day in 1975, the government decided they wanted his land and simply took it. This practice continues today, and Nhong is active in helping displaced families fight this injustice.
He lived in the jungle for a couple of years, hiding and hunting and living off the land. His knowledge of edible and medicinal leaves on the various plants around Jericho is actually quite astonishing.
He came to Albuquerque from Laos in 1981 and has been working in the nursery industry ever since, including running his own nursery business for six years. When he arrived, all he had was the clothes he was wearing. His success story is truly inspiring, and he serves Jericho and our customers with inspiring joy and vitality; when he turned 71, he decided to switch the numbers and be 17 again!
"I just enjoy being a part of the Jericho team, and it's so great to see familiar faces year after year as long time customers renew their yards and gardens. Working with the plant life and helping people learn to grow flowers and vegetables and beautify their property - that's real therapy for me, just like gardening is for so many people."
Just graduated from Valley High School, Jeremiah definitely knows more than the average guy his age about gardening!
"I love interacting with people who know something about gardening."
Jericho Nursery is a great learning environment. He has been hearing the full time staff answer tough gardening questions for years, so don't be afraid to give him a little test! What else is so great about working at Jericho? "I get to be outside all the time!"
"As a farmer's daughter, I grew up with an understanding of how essential plants are to life. Helping Mom with her flower beds, working in our huge garden, & taking care of our lawn gave me further appreciation for all the beauty & delight gardening offers. I was privileged to work with both Rick & his dad at another nursery when I first moved to Albuquerque. We kept in touch, & I became a delighted new customer when Jericho first came into existence. During one shopping trip, I mentioned to Rick my interest in doing his books/paying bills for the company if they ever had a need. He called me just over a year later to ask if I was still interested. If I had to name one thing I love about working for Jericho, I would have to say the family atmosphere Rick & Jen have fostered within the company. I feel very blessed to work with such knowledgeable, talented, & kind people."
Because I’ve always loved outdoor activities like hiking, cross-country skiing, & biking, I developed a love for greenery & flowers of all kinds. Living in several different states gave me an appreciation for each location’s unique landscape attributes. Since moving to New Mexico in 2002, I have found the greatest satisfaction working with businesses related to nature which eventually led me to Jericho. Although I enjoy many aspects of working here, my co-workers are my favorite part of the job.
As you have seen from reading these brief stories, as well your own memories they may have kindled, those early years connecting with the joy of gardening plant seeds that can survive years of dormancy even if they don't take root right from the start. That's why we love seeing children shopping with their parents at Jericho. Wouldn't it be nice if one day they could sustain their families like Nhong did in Loas... work three months a year and then just go have fun!
"I grew up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. It was 5 minutes from Canada and 10 minutes from New Hampshire and for five or ten years in a row it was the coldest place in the country. 75 below zero wind chill. STUPID cold. What was the question? Oh, my earliest GARDENING memories...
Our vegetable garden was at least half an acre. I was five, out there with my Grandmother. She had a paring knife in one pocket of her apron, and a salt shaker in the other, and we would go out grazing in the garden; she would cut things up for me. One of my fondest memories.
And when it came to be Fall, we had a border of shrub roses all along the front of our house, and we had to cut them back and wrap them in burlap and protect them so they would make it through a Zone 3 winter. Hard work, but they were pretty all summer long. I had an idyllic childhood. Grew up on a farm, lots of acreage.. I can still see my Grandmother in that apron...
My favorite part about Jericho? We have so many really great repeat customers, people that have kept up with me and followed me for fifteen years, that bake us a pie from the fruit they have grown, that stop by just to say hello. We have a really faithful base that come here because it makes them happy to be here.
And we have customers who come to see certain people here; many of the people on our team have their own followers too."
"When I was growing up, we had huge gardens, and we flood irrigated. Most vegetable plants came in tin cans. We would cut out the bottoms, and one of my favorite memories was making culverts out of the tin cans to channel the water from one row to the next, and watching the water as it filled the troughs and flowed across through the little culverts I had made.
One of my not so favorite memories? When I got into trouble, my 'grounding' was weeding the garden. If I had a nickel for every weed I pulled...
And when it comes to my favorite part about Jericho, it's hard to limit that answer. When customers tell me "we don't go anywhere else", or literally fight back tears in appreciation for a hand written 'thank you' card that we sent them... those are powerful reinforcements that we are doing the right things. But that's not something that happens every day.
What happens every day is that our people come to work knowing that our goal for them is to go home better than they came. We hear about it when it happens; they tell us about a problem they solved, or a challenge they overcame, or a customer that they helped avoid making a huge gardening mistake.
But if I really had to give a single answer, it would be reading what members of our staff said in their comments on this page."