ANACORTES, WASHINGTON – It was more than a rush of seasonal energy that inspired the recent facelift at D Avenue Nursery, Fidalgo Island’s oldest retail garden center.
The locally owned nursery benefited from a healthy mix of inspiration and perspiration in the wake of Anacortes native Marianne Mach’s purchase of the business.
Countless D Avenue travelers watched with interest as the high profile nursery underwent a spring transformation with elements ranging from redefined grounds to new inventory.
“We pretty much scraped the site to bare ground and started over,” said Mach, “with the goal of creating a welcoming space for a customer base that has appreciated this nursery’s consistent, quality service since it was established by the Krueger family more than 50 years ago.”
“I’ve always had a love for plants, indoors and out,” said Mach. “I’m new to the game of retail garden service, but what I don’t know I’ll find out. I enjoy being busy, and I appreciate the end result of hard work. I also have the benefit of a great support team including my friend and manager Carole Star, who is a Master Gardener.”
Mach has vivid childhood memories of time spent in the extensive home gardens of paternal grandmother Martha Berentson and M Avenue neighbor Alice Smeby.
“I come by my love of plants quite naturally,” said Mach. “I remember Grandma in her funny, cone-shaped hat. She planted and nurtured a beautiful garden at her home on O Avenue next to the Lutheran Church parsonage. Grandpa provided muscle, and had and impressive set of garden skills including grafting fruit on root stock.”
Recollections of magical times at Smeby’s home include the delight of discovering little ceramic figures among the trees, flowers and shrubs in her back yard.
“I think these childhood experiences had a bigger influence on my life than I realized until I became an adult,” said Mach. “I’ve always had a love affair with potted flowers, flower art, flower fabrics. Flowers and gardens have been a source of joy for me at every home I’ve had.”
Mach said time spent in areas including Texas and Virginia gave her a greater appreciation for the splendor of nature in the Pacific Northwest.
“The Northwest is unique in terms of what you can grow here,” she said. “The plants that thrive here are amazing, and I am reminded of that fact often when I talk to customers who have lived in other parts of the country.”
D Avenue Nursery offers an expanded retail inventory including annuals, perennials, herbs, organic vegetable starts, trees and shrubs. Also in stock are soil and fertilizers, hanging baskets, garden art and gifts including vintage color burst parasols.
“Service is a priority for us,” she added. “We buy quality plants from local growers. We work hard to answer our customers’ questions and to fulfill their requests. I don’t profess to be a landscaping expert, but we have an extensive library of garden books, and we are happy to tap the Internet on the spot if that can help a customer find an answer to their questions.”
“Customers tell us that one of their biggest concerns was that this neighborhood business would be sold and closed to make way for houses. We invite people to visit, to share the beauty and peace of this neighborhood garden,” said Mach. “Bring a cup of coffee or lunch to enjoy at one of our picnic tables, or take a stroll through our secret garden. I think this nursery is cool – and it’s only going to get better.”
D Avenue Nursery, located at 1502 D Avenue just off Oakes Avenue, is open seven days a week: Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, telephone the nursery at 293-8319 or check out the website at www.davenuenursery.com.
Images by Suzanne Rothmeyer Photography
Article by Steve Berentson