Nick Zimmer, Our “Chief Gardener”
Nick knew from an early age that he was destined to work outside. In high school, he and a friend started a successful landscaping business that solidified Nick’s desire to work with his hands in the dirt.
Nick studied horticulture at Michigan State University and worked for numerous greenhouses during his college years. Each job provided valuable knowledge and new skills. In addition to a degree in horticulture and varied work experience, Nick also met Kara, his future wife, at MSU.
After graduation, Nick worked as Head Grower at Barlow Flower Farm, a high-end retail garden center on the New Jersey coast. At Barlow he oversaw year-round production of plants in their 60,000 sq. ft. growing facility.
Nick and Kara moved back to Michigan after almost three years at Barlows to be closer to family and to work for Proven Winners as the Trial Coordinator. Working with thousands of plants at Proven Winners gave him with the ability to choose the very best varieties to grow for his customers.
Nick’s expertise is in growing flowers but what gives him even greater pleasure is working with customers. He loves sharing his passion and knowledge with others and helping them create a successful and fulfilling gardening experience.
Jenni joined the staff as retail manager in June of 2015 after retiring from a 36-year career as a school psychologist for Ann Arbor Schools. Jenni is having so much fun and loving her second career!
At Willow she is known as the “Fairy Lady”, and enjoys giving fairy garden workshops along with other workshops throughout the year. She also enjoys hosting groups of people who come out for garden club meetings, school field trips, and Ladies’ Night Out get-togethers.
Jenni, too, takes great pleasure in getting to know customers and making sure they have fun at Willow.
Nick’s wife, Kara, also an MSU grad, has a degree in Hospitality Business Management.
She currently works full-time at Motor City Casino in Detroit as an Executive Meeting Manager.
Kara also plays a vital behind-the-scenes role at Willow Greenhouse by handling the bookkeeping and keeping the paperwork under control.
Nowadays, you will see Kara most often with their daughter, Tessa, and son, Zach, coming to visit the greenhouse. The greenhouse is Tessa’s favorite place. She is learning to greet customers and learning to use the hose to help her “Dada” water. Just watch out when she takes control of the hose! She might just water you!